Farm Happenings

The excitement of almost spring…

You probably saw my live video over on Facebook yesterday. If you didn’t, we had goat kids born that I shared live. Mama was tiny and it was a first time birth that caught us by surprise. Babies aren’t supposed to be due till the 22nd and this goat wasn’t supposed to be bred.

Yesterday brought us one doeling (baby girl) that was living, see the video link here:

Unfortunately, the second doeling got stuck forever and had to be pulled. It wasn’t living. Another unfortunate detail is this first time mama isn’t being kind to her baby so we brought it in the house to warm up and to get colostrum. She’ll be a bottle baby it seems.

Not only is the sound of a baby goat being heard in the house, we also have the sound of happy chicks is filling the house! Between broody chickens/ ducks and my indoor incubators we are welcoming new chicks every week here on the farm.

Several of my fancy chicken eggs have made their way to hatching so we already have an array of full sized and mixed frizzle and/ or silkie chicks in the brooder box.

We are also busy with high tunnel construction, seed starting for our CSA families and general farm/ garden spring time preparations.

Yesterday was a lovely spring-like day! I finalized the CSA crop plan and planting schedule while Nathan put more sidewall posts in for high tunnel project. We’ve started making plans for our outdoor rabbit housing and various chicken tractor living arrangements for the spring.

When discussing my rabbit manure management ideas for our CSA garden with Nathan our older daughter overheard and got some creative ideas.

I like to arrange the rabbit hutches in a way that allows us to collect their manure for composing and working into the garden soil. This allows us to take a sustainable approach to feeding our vegetable crops and reduces the need to bring in soil fertilizers.

This year in addition to minding my rabbit manure I also wanted to setup a nice garden run for the rabbits to enjoy. This will help me keep rambing herbs under control and it will be a fun way for animal interaction on the farm. However, this takes some advance planning.

If you don’t bury chicken wire under the soil where you let your your bunnies play they may very well have a tunnel dug and be hiding away underground when you go to put them away for the night. We know this from past experiences. Ha, ha.

So the game plan was to bury chicken wire fence, then plant a perennial herb garden in and around the bunny place space. This got my oldest pretty inspired. In the afternoon we went outside to visualize the new layout plan and she went to work digging the space for putting the fence down. When we got that done it was time to move the very heavy rabbit house. Normally this is a two adult lifting job but instead me and the 3 kids did it without Nathan. Next Everly started digging a frog pond just on the other side of the rabbit play area, in the herb garden space while I secured fence and pulled weeds.

All we have left to do is the fencing around the rabbit playspace and the planting of herbs. When the weather warms up we will tackle the planting and move the rabbits to their outdoor home.

Our average last frost date is about a month away at this point and it is still raining a ton here. We can not wait for some sunshine and warmer temperatures so we can start bringing the garden back to life!

<p>A city girl turned farmer. Yes women do farm ;) Owner and operator of direct to consumer, Ryder Family Farm in Southern Illinois.<br /> Wearing many hats I'm also a mother to 3, a wife, a yogi, a farmer, a 4-H & Girl Scout leader & hospitality manager.</p>

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