All posts filed under: Farm Life

A Word on Guinea Hen parenting….

Well, its about time I got the Farm Blog going again…so lets talk about birds. I’ve been raising fowl on the farm for years.  Most would agree they have an idyllic life, free range and plenty of space to enjoy their social life, while providing us with fresh, yummy eggs and controlling insect pests well.  Occasionally, a hen will get broody and sit on a clutch of eggs, then bring new life to the flock.  Chickens, in general, though less likely to get broody, are great mothers and I have had to intervene very little. This year I have a pretty large flock of adult Guinea hens.  In the past, our guinea population has been small…6 or so, with only one female.  This year, thanks to a neighbor who needed to relocate her flock, we have a larger, more diverse flock.  I’ve enjoyed watching these little, flighty prehistoric creatures and their antics.  I am realizing, though, that they have a pretty interesting social structure.  We’ve had two broody guinea hens this year.  The first one …

Some Horses….

Some horses come into our lives forever, others for a short time.  I try hard to be open to whichever that is… Many years ago, I fell in love with a thoroughbred named Canonize.  I first saw him romping (literally all feet off the ground one second, on the ground rolling the next) in a demo at the Equine Affaire nearly a decade ago.  At the time I was working through the Parelli Levels with my horse Manny, who was a naturally introverted horse.  He has very little real play drive and I was craving a horse who liked to move their feet.  It was love at first sight that November day and as soon as the trainer reported that he was available for adoption through the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation, I knew he would be mine.  Many of my friends would tell me I was crazy to get a second horse…that I couldn’t keep two horses in work with a full time job.  Those of you who know me well, know the easiest way to get me …

Support Henniker Farm Store….

If you haven’t already heard the Mock Family who own the Henniker Farm Store in Henniker, NH lost their home, several beloved pets and all their belongings in a tragic house fire last week.  They are holding a bake sale at the store this weekend to help with the rebuilding of their home.  Please take a drive on this beautiful weekend to support them. Out of town and want to contribute?  Donations can be sent to the store. The Mock Family, 110 Bradford Road, Henniker, NH 03242

Natural Parasite Control…

Someone asked me today how I get away without worming my horses. To start with…its not that I NEVER use conventional wormers…I have and will use them when its necessary, but I avoid them.  There are several reasons for this, but first, an analogy… Anyone who has started a garden, large or small, be it a small kitchen garden or a farmers market garden or mass produced corn, has to decide how they will manage pests and disease.  Will they grow organically or conventionally.  Both ways work and of course there is alot of territory in between.  The conventional garden is managed by adding pesticides to the soil to minimize disease and pests either up front as a prophylactic or in response to a threat.  These agents kill not only the pests, but also harms the organic life and sometimes the structure of the soil, making it now necessary to add fertilizers of various compositions to maintain ‘healthy’ levels of nutrients for plant growth.  There’s a billion dollars worth of research about how to do …

The Ripple Effect

This is a story about a horse and social networking.  Say what, you ask? I remember the day I was invited to sign up for Facebook by a friend.  Don’t remember the friend, but I remember being annoyed…..thinking FB was just another tool to invade my privacy and bog down my internet traffic.  I signed up anyway, added a photo of myself and took some queer quizzes about what sort of dog I was and whether I was a redneck or not.  Then facebook suggested some friends for me.  How did it know I knew these people?  Ah, its invading my gmail address book…again, I was annoyed.   Of course a few weeks later, other friend requests came through that I though, hmmm…I haven’t spoken or emailed that person in years.  I hooked up with cousins and family that I normally don’t stay in good enough contact with (despite resolutions to the contrary).  Facebook even hooked me up with my ex-husband, Angelo.  This was becoming kind of fun now.  I was in daily contact with …

On losing a horse…

I was restless this morning.  I could have slept til 6am but my brain was triing to get up at 5.  I finally acquiesced and got out of bed at 5:30.  As is my routine, I looked out the window down onto the farm…to be sure everyone is roughly where they should be.  I am lucky to have a house that sits on a hill and the farm cascades down below it, so I have a view of my creatures from most of the windows in the house. I immediately noticed Doc.  He was lying down flat on the wrong side of a fence.  OMG…I thought…he looks dead!  I stared at him, holding my breath….willing him to show some sign of life.  At last, he lifted his head and looked around.  I breathed a sigh of relief and chastised myself for such a morbid thought.  I left the window and sat down to my computer and email, then downstairs for coffee. As I left the house for chores, I glanced down the hill to check on Doc, …