Meet the Originals
Primrose is the sweet, fat donkey who loves to be brushed and petted, and loves to get treats. She is never agressive, at least toward people, and loves to get very near and lean her body against yours. She isnt pregnant, she just has a fat belly. I think she would love to have a donkey partner to keep her company. She tolerates the dog and the goats, but they just arent the same as another equine. Maybe soon she will find a mate, or at least a best friend.
Alita, our first goat. She is a Miniature- Nubian, and nearly 3 years old. She has the sweetness and voice of a Nubian, and the assertiveness of a Nigerian. She hasn't had a kid yet, but hopefully this will be her year. She is definitely the leader of the goat pack, and a greedy eater.
Julia - the Dorper sheep. She is responsible for getting us interested in raising sheep. She is curious, smart and very strong! So far, she seems to be one of the healthiest of the herd. She will jump and bounce around the field when she's
happy, and jump to get away when she's mad. She doesn't like to be confined to be sheared or get a shot. So far, she is the only Dorper, but we have high hopes for her.
Scout - our 6 month old Great Pyrenees guard dog. Already, he takes is job seriously, watching patiently over his flock. He lives comfortably with the sheep, goats, chickens and the donkey. Sometimes he even sleeps in the chicken coop. Once in a while, he likes to sneak an egg when no one is looking.
Kittens in the barn
Every farm needs a few cats. They're great for chasing mice and other undesireable small rodents. They can also be quite lively and entertaining. When we bought the farm, there were several feral cats living under the old mobile home. Being the humane person that I am who seems to attract strays, I took all that I could catch (4) to the vet for vaccinations and spay/ neutering. $200 and a few weeks later, one disappeared. A neighbor said he thought he saw him laying on the road. After we pulled the old trailer away, the three remaining cats took up residence at the next door neighbor's house. I guess they were mad at me for getting rid of their home. Or, maybe they liked her food better. They weren't very friendly anyway. At any rate, I needed some new kittys. Old Yeller, the orange male kitty found us first. He was dropped off in front of my house and took up residence in the garage. Just a few days before he showed up, a friend posted on FB that she had kittens to give away. Of course I needed at least two of those. Nanny Goat and Dolly Parton made friends with Yeller right away. When the house was sold, they had to move from my garage to the barn. They seem to like their new home and have even made friends with the chickens and the sheep. The sheep are tolerating them too. I think its about time to take them to the vet. Hopefully this time they'll stick around.
Moving day for the Rams
In order to finish building the driveway for the maybe someday possibly house to be, dirt has to come down from this hill. And, it needs a place to go.
Fortunately, theres a low spot that needs filled in just below that is prone to flash flooding from the creek across the road. Unfortunately, this spot is the current home to the Rams.
Loading Sheep into a trailer is not an easy feat. Once we finally got the trailer situated in the lot, we put their feeder and some hay and grain in it to help entice them. We tried gently pushing them, herding them and calling them. Sheep are often accused of being dumb animals. I don't think they are dumb at all. being an animal pf prey, their instinct is self preservation. You can't chase a sheep and expect him to go the direction you want him to go. And don't look him in the eye, he sees that as a threat. After several attempts, we decided to "think like a sheep." Sheep like being with their herd, so we needed to get them to follow each other in. We were able to wrangle the small ram and drag him into the trailer. Once there, he was happy to stay and eat some grain. The dog, being a good guardian, joined him. Rambo saw his 2 partners enjoying the feed in the trailer, hesitated for a moment to think about it, and then trotted in to join them willingly. We quickly closed the gate and they were caught! Up the bumpy hill we went to the acre lot that was fenced several months ago, waiting patiently for its inhabitants. (I, on the other hand, have not been so patient. But thats a story for another day). Happily, they explored their new home. Bailey wasnt quite sure if she liked it at first, but the Rams loved the tall grass and spacious field. Tomorrow, we build them a shelter and they are set to stay here until the Ewes are ready to go courting.
Where do I begin?
One year ago on June 20, 2012, I bought this land. There were no buildings, exept an old mobile home, a leaky garage, and an old picnic shelter. The road was steep and rutted, and the land was covered with briars and weeds. Family and friends weighed in. "Farming is hard, dirty work... When do you have the time?...You don't look like a farmer...Why would you want to do that???" Some were silent, some loud, and some just chuckled and shook their heads. And there were some who thought it was grand.
In one short year, many things have happened. The picnic shelter quickly became a tool shed, complete with shelves and a wood burning stove. The mobile home (briefly destined to be a chicken coop) is now gone. A pole barn with a burgundy roof sits in its place. Behind it is a chicken coop built from old fencing from my former suburban home. The porch from the mobile home made a nice shelter for the sheep and the donkey.
I am now 'homeless' after selling the house that was my children's home in an upscale subdivision. I live in a nearby rental house, and contemplate what's next.
Meanwhile, we have 11 Katahdin ewes, 2 rams, 1 donkey, 3 goats, 2 dogs, 3 cats and 28 chickens that have to be fed and cared for each day.
My name is Christy Franklin.