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Farmette 1769

by Monica Melograna-Ward

Tag Archives: farmette1769

It is almost one year since my major surgery. We have been able to get a lot done to reorganize the farmette since then. The work has helped me to build up muscles (including the ones supporting my fused neck) and to retrain all the crushed nerves. Things in that medical arena are far from perfect, but my ability to move is vastly improved in comparison to the two years prior.

We built a new pony run-in just in the nick of time before the cold Winter weather really struck:

Old Run-in

New Construction


New Run-in


Decor added September 2012

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To bring the livestock count up to date:

Dogs (Pets, Watch, Retrieving, Service, Herding)
1 Female AKC Golden Retriever, 2 Female ACHC Gollies
(Golden Retriever x Rough Coated Collie)
Ongoing but not currently: One Black DOG project
pulling a pound dog from local shelter to re-home.

Goats (Brush clearing, Lawn mowing,
Milk – hopefully this Spring, Kid sales)
1 ADGA Young Nubian Buck, 1 ADGA Nubian Nanny,
1 Pygmy Nanny, 1 Pygmy Doe, 1 Pygmy “It” (female-ish)

Ponies (Transport pull cart/ride, Pasture ornaments)
1 (14 Hands) Blind, Quarter Pony Stallion /
1 (10 Hands) Grumpy 21 yo Shetland Gelding

Poultry (Eggs!!!, Insect control, Chick sales)
1 Chinese, Female Goose /
1 Shy, Free Range, Ameraucana/Wyandotte, Standard Sized Roo /
1 Angry, B&W, Polish, Top Hat, Bantam Roo / 1 Blue, Sizzle, Bantam Roo /
2  (Red, Birchen) Cochin, Bantam Roos / 1 Mille Fleur, Cochin, Bantam Hen /
1 Pair B&W, Ugly, Project Bantams / 1 Silkie x Cochin, Bantam Hen.
17 Young, Bantam Chickens for grow out (new breeders needed,
heat wave drove raccoons out of woods for giant raid on our main coop).

Inside
1 Parakeet that throws seed as far as outer space.
No particular use. But, he is very cute.
1 (55 gallon) fish tank w about a dozen fish.
Calming living room centerpiece.

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New coops are being built or re-built. The truly scrappy ones made from reclaimed everything were burned along with their hornets/wasps nests. Making solid, super sheltered, predator-proofed pens for our poultry was long past due.

One of the new coops:
1) Frame, 2) Digital Plans, 3) Final in use


We barter/traded our one man auger for a working nuc box of bees
(we lost our queen last year in our top bar hive and inevitably
lost that colony).


– The back pasture needs fencing, but has been cleared of coops.
– We need to move the two fruit trees to the front and plant the third
(still in pot from purchase months back).
– The farmette needs to buy a few pure bred hens for laying and
Spring chick sales.
– More coops will be necessary. Bobwhite quail, diamond doves and/or call ducks may be in the mix soon.
– A tree-house style goat house or two (with easy cleaning bases) need to be built, so that we can leave the well shed for storage alone.
– The pony run-in will have additions as time goes on.

The projects never end. Thank goodness we enjoy them!

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And eats and eats! What a hungry, hungry hippo! We just had an illness run through the brooder that Chance II was in, losing one of his little buddies, but (crossing fingers) that problem seems to be going away.

Chance II is back to eating like a pig and drinking as usual:

Here are two side view glamor shots:

#1 Left Side – Not so bad.

#2 Right Side – Hold your breath!

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Goats have quite a lot of horsepower for their size. We have four pygmy goats. Ours are 35-50 pounds each. One of them can make a formidable opponent in tug-of-war. When you need to move an unwilling goat on a lead, that is the game you play.

They have several jobs on the farmette, one of which is being a playful, cute pet. Goats are also foragers, and so clear brush like no weed-eater you’ve ever seen. They produce milk, which can be a great source of dairy foods for your household. Hopefully, this year will be the one that we actually try milking our goats. We have two very tame girls that should not be too much trouble to train to the milking stand.

Our little billy goat boy, Jeffrey, has turned out just as planned. He is very small, but gets his job done with his harem.

Jeffrey - Our Herd Sire

A nanny has to give birth in order to produce milk. A lot of people take the kids away and bottle feed. This way, the nanny will think of you as her kid when you are milking. Then you can share the milk with her real kids. The following pic is of Luna, who is 1/2 Nigerian dwarf and 1/2 pygmy. She should make a great milker since she is tame and friendly. Also, the Nigerian blood will make for better milk production.

Luna - Nanny #2

I had to give Luna extra attention when she was born since she was a super-runt, being half the size of her two brothers (her mother had triplets). She is my favorite due to the puppy dog-like personality that developed from the extra care.

We sell off the boys (you only need one). The sales goes into our farmette’s feed and grain money jar. Goats are a great livestock animals since they serve so many purposes. And again, they are very endearing too.

Special Goat Tip; Double up on the collar and connection when you leave them out on a lead. They are very agile, mischievous animals and it helps to have back-up security on tie-outs.

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In the Charlotte Region of North Carolina, we have had the first White Christmas in 63 years. The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow, did not give the luster of mid-day to the open country at that time. Even if the snow had stopped and the clouds cleared, at most, there was merely a sliver of the moon visible on December 25, 1947.

The snow started here in the evening on December 25, 2010. We were full from a lovely holiday meal, as we gazed out at the gently falling flakes. It was peaceful and beautiful. Since it started at the end of the day, we had little left to do but enjoy the calm that belongs to natural winter blankets. The livestock were nestled all snug in their straw, while visions of sweet feed danced in their heads – and their jaws.

Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse;*

Our pack of canines had not dared venture out the dog door into the cold, wet world of wintry splendor. They truly enjoy easy access to the warmth of the mud/laundry room. Luckily, the weather keeps any mischievous souls away from the country roads, and so, no need for the watch dogs outside.

When I had gone out to check on our flock for the night, our homing pigeon was out collecting snow on her wings. I had put up a shelter for her the day before, after the coops had been re-arranged. Apparently, she did not approve. I grabbed, luckily caught her and placed her in the main coop for the night. We’ll have to keep putting her food at the door of her new house to help entice her in.

Our small goat herd came out briefly to wolf down their grain. Then they scurried back into the well shed. They like to be out in the freezing weather, but do not normally stay out in precipitation.

We lost a nanny to the cold/wet about this time last year. She and her billy had access to two small shelters on pallets (the male goat had just broken the third; the one on stilts). The pen had gotten too muddy.  The day had started out wet and warm. It had ended icy and cold.

The high strung billy that had a knack for breaking everything, was replaced with a tiny, mild-mannered billy. Ever since then, our goats have stayed in the fenced area with the shed where we can keep a close eye on them, instead of in the small pen on the far side of the house.

I find it amazing how the equine will stand out in the cold and rain to munch on a round bale of hay or just stand in the field. “Rocky”, the Shetland pony, presently looks like a woolly mammoth, so I do not worry about him. The “Big Man” Dakota has a good winter coat for a small cob size horse, but not the stout body. He has a water-proof blanket on the way from ChickSaddlery.com.

In the dark, they were lured into the run-in using a grain incentive. Grain is like a drug to them. If you ever have trouble catching a horse, just shake a bucket full of pelleted feed and they will come.

View from the road*

We enjoy the changes of the seasons here on the Farmette and the snowy wonderland. The New Year is nearly here, but winter is just getting going. The temperature will remain low for the next few months.

The magic of the winter holiday season bestows upon us many gifts. It also a reminds us to contribute to peace on earth and goodwill to men (and beast). Our life here would not be whole without having both storms and clear skies. But, Spring will be very welcome when it arrives.

* Pics were taken the next evening, December 26, 2010.

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Our regularly scheduled blog has been interrupted due to a decision to sell our Horse Trailer. The “Chicken Photo Parade” will be continued later this week. Today’s blog will be linked to our Sales Advertisements for a 1990 Kingston 2 Horse Tall Aluminum Bumper Pull Trailer.

Right Side

There are people that love their motorcycles and classic cars. I love this horse trailer. Those 60’s aluminum camping trailers have always had a place in my heart. The trailer fulfilled my need for metal and horse transportation at the same time.

Front

We actually purchased the trailer a while before getting a horse, literally putting the cart before the horse. It was very handy for moving here to the Charlotte, NC area. Once we owned horse-friendly property, we got a horse.

I have known how to ride since I was a teenager. Riding my own horse was something I had thought of often over the years. Not very long after that dream materialized, a medical problem of mine took over and my days of fast riding quickly came to an end.

It is not a bad thing at all. We have a 14 hand/6 year old blind quarter/arab stallion and a little pistol of a 10 hand/19 year old shetland pony. They are both so beautiful just to look at. How could I possibly complain? I’m still a 46 year old cowgirl…

I get to hack around with my lovely handicapped horse on the property. We even made it all the way down the road one day! But, we will not be doing any major traveling.

Since horse shows are not in our immediate future, and as much as I hate to do it, it is time to give up the trailer. It does not make any sense to let a classic 1990 Kingston sit out front, begging to be used.

Left Side

This Classic needs some things to make the ease of use better, but after I have the new electrical plug put on this week (I pulled the truck away from the trailer before unhooking it – oops), it will be usable as is.

The horse trailer has brakes and really cool lights all around the top. It also has working brake lights and turn signals. The pin hitch is easy to use and the truck hook-up will be included.

Two out of four tires are nearly new. This trailer fits extra large equine. One back tire will need new bearings before loading it up with the really big horses.

The trailer has a ramp. Currently it takes a strong individual or two to get it up and down. With a new spring welded back onto the base, one weak person will be able to raise and lower it by themselves. Also, if your horse is hard to load, it would be best to put rubber on this ramp.

Interior - Removable Divider Bars

We have been using a car jack to get it hooked up to our truck. A new trailer jack can be put on if you want things to be more convenient.

One of the escape doors won’t open, but we just get in with the one that does. It has a working key to lock it closed too. The front window crank does not work. That window is easy to open and close with your hands.

Interior - Spare Tire

The floor was redone. It is solid and safe for your horse(s).

You will be glad to know that this horse trailer has a NC title and current tag. It can be registered easily in any state.

On to the cost of this unique and rare 2-horse trailer. Basically, we’re asking Best Offer. This means Cash, Cash and Trade or Trade.

Cash is wonderful, but times are tight for everyone, so trading is completely fine.

Just to give you’all an idea of things that we are interested in, I’ve made a list. We are open to other ideas, but the following items are positively things we would appreciate:

• Pony Cart & Harness (our pony is 10 hands high)
• 4′ x 6′ road worthy Utility Trailer
• Old working Tractor (40’s, 50’s & 60’s)
• Shed/Shelter/Small Barn
• Hay Ring
• Farm Gates
• Fencing
• Power Tools such as a Miter Saw/Table Saw
• Round Pen

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Snakes can be good on the Farmette. They eat mice. We get more than your average household due to the never-ending supply of spilled grain. Having snakes prey on rodents is very helpful.

Of course, I might think differently if I encountered a poisonous snake. This would not be a good thing. There are several types of these dangerous predatory animals in this region.

Also, yesterday morning I made a grizzly discovery. One of the ducklings was dead. It took a while to figure out what made it look like it got pulled half way through a pipe. My best guess is that a snake that was not big enough to eat this size duckling decided to give it a try. About half way through, it realized that the end of the body was not the same size as the head and neck and spit it back out.

A few weeks ago, we had found an Eastern Kingsnake when we were getting the garden started. She was about the right size to create this kind of damage. I must remember not to put ducklings out in the chain link pen until they get a little bigger. I was thinking about the recent coyote incidents in the area, but had forgotten all about snakes.

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We have a square with wood edging that will be our Spice Garden. My handwriting is atrocious, so I will type in the contents: Oregano, Mint, Cilantro, Chives and Basil. These will be great additions to our Italian, Asian and Mexican dinners.

Spice Garden

Since it is easy to go overboard on the gardens, we have made written plans this year. It seems to make sense to limit the crops to something manageable. This is our way of avoiding total mayhem on the Farmette.

Vegetable Garden

This plan is impossible to read, so I’ll explain. To the back of the vegetable garden is a quick incline and plateau. It has a slight curve in it when viewed from above. Corn and plants that grow in vine form will be planted here. The vine types are zucchini, watermelon, cucumbers, cantaloupe and yellow squash.

The illustration is flipped. The main (long) vegetable garden is in front of the plateau. We love tomatoes. Since this is a highly desired crop, we’ll spread it out along the entire length of the Long Garden. Then in front of them in sections will be the green beans, peppers, sweet potatoes, eggplant and okra.

Now that it is all written down , it seems like a lot. I think we’ll be able to care for it all OK though. There is quite an incentive to do the work.

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