Farm Happenings

Spring on the farm is in full swing these days, as evidenced by ALL OF THE THINGS that are happening around here right now: planting, growing, building, major weed management, fat donkeys, and… babies!

Okay, there are no babies yet, but a couple of weeks ago my female guinea went missing. When I bought these guineas from a farm down the road, the lady told me that one day in early spring any female guineas would go missing, and I’d assume something got them, and a month later they’d turn up with a flock of babies…


Well, for a week there was no sign of her, and then I realized if I happened to be near the barn around mid-morning, there would be a guinea call coming from a wood pile in the pasture. It took two more weeks of running out there any time I heard her call to actually find her.

Now, from what I’ve seen the male guinea prefers to, ah, “work his magic” with the chickens (who, in turn, prefer to try to peck his eyeballs out whenever he gets near them… farm drama) so I’m not 100% sure the female guinea was laying fertilized eggs. But if they are– since guineas have a 26-28 day hatching time–those chicks should be arriving some time next week.

WHAAAT. I know, right? Who in the hell is ready for babies on the farm next week? Not this girl.

I honestly don’t know how I feel about this because the guineas are awesome at tick-management, and pretty hilarious to watch…

And they are also incredibly loud and annoying. I’m not sure I want a full flock of these little shits running around… still, having my first Feather-born babies on the farm is kind of awesome. We’ll see how this plays out over the next week or two.

So, that’s the big news around here, unless you talk to either of the donkeys who are both on a seriously restricted eating plan this spring…


The only thing they can talk about is how they are STARVING. TO. DEATH.

I feel for them, I do, but we have a much bigger problem than being hungry, which is that when the farrier came for our regularly-scheduled hoof-trimming a couple of weeks ago, he found some bruising in Docs hooves that can be an indication of founder. (Foundering causes pain and sometimes the separation of bones in the hooves, and can lead to an animal having to be put down… so, kind of a big fucking deal.)

When I got these guys from the Humane Society, they told me that they had foundered before and were more susceptible to it again. While we haven’t had a problem in the last couple of years, in spring the grass can have a lot of sugars in it (which can lead to weight issues and foundering) so instead of free access to gorge themselves on grass, they’re in a very restricted section of the pasture right now…


Not fun. I’ve got a couple of grazing muzzles on order… I hate the idea of these things, but if it allows them to stretch their legs more, without eating too much, that’s probably a win-win for us.

The good news is, Doc isn’t showing obvious signs of hoof-pain.

Also, he’s getting the royal treatment from my mom, who has added essential oil massages to his weekly routine…


They’re so hungry, they’re just hoping it’s treats…


I think we’re going to be okay, it’s just going to take a little more time and thoughtful management of their eating over the next few months. The part of me that loves my garden is hoping for rain, but I also really need the pasture grass to dry out quickly so it will be better for the donkeys.

ALL OF THE THINGS, you guys. I wasn’t kidding…

Still, hasn’t stopped the forward progress on the garden. The five new beds are actually in!


In what may a serious display of overkill, I used the 9″ auger on my tractor “dig” the twenty-four holes for the beds…


They are TWO-BY-FOURS, going like 12″ into the ground. There’s no reason to use a tractor to do that shit, but, I mean, if you have one…

Anyway. The those beds are in (just 5-ish more to go and then I’m done installing raised beds for the next 5 years. Word.)

Thanks to my mom and her valiant weeding efforts, the rest of the garden is looking pretty damned good.


And we’ve rigged up a temporary watering solution for the orchard. 65 gallon drum + tractor = problem solved.



I’ve got a few more long-term ideas for watering the orchard as well, but right now we’re just doing what we need to do to get it all done.

The fun (fun?) part is that this is a lot of stuff, but it’s not even close to the biggest project I’ve got going on right now. THAT one, required a 30 yd dumpster…


So much shit is about to get torn up, you guys. You have no idea….


25 Responses

  1. LMAO!! That guinea running reminded me of some sneaky, chunky cartoon character with tiny, really fast working feet..I *cannot* think of it’s name tho!

    Well, good practice with the tractor manipulation and auger aiming in a small space….and the HUGE fucking holes allow a generous margin of error in said practice….lol!

    1. Seriously, they are hilarious when they run. In my head I always make the cartoon noise for when things are running dedeledeledelededl…. (Sometimes I make that sound out loud too!)

  2. Growing up, the people across the street from us ran a meat market, and so they raised cows and pigs – in the fields across the street from us. They also had guineas, and I will never forget looking out the window and seeing a herd of guineas walking down the street! They would actually walk on the paved road. I am not sure where they went, but later you would see them (or hear) them come back by. Darn funny things!

  3. If I had a tractor with an auger you’d better believe I would have used it too! (Meanwhile there isn’t enough room in my yard to even turn a riding lawn-mower)

    I’m so glad I found your blog because I’m enjoying it immensely.

  4. OK. As if I didn’t love your mom already…donkey love with essential oils! I’m super excited to see what that giant dumpster is for. Good luck with the babies!

  5. The kitchen! You’re starting work on the kitchen! But wait, what about the master bath?! Did I miss something?

    1. Oh, no, you haven’t missed anything. The master bath is still torn down to the studs, and the tiling isn’t done in the other upstairs bath…

  6. That’s a big dumpster! I can’t even imagine the next major project. The donkeys must love your mother so much — I’d love to have someone come and rub essential oils on me while I’m dieting. Who can I get????! Jo @ Let’s Face the Music

  7. I’m amazed, yet again, at how much you get done in the run of a day/week/month! It’s like you exist in a time before Netflix 😉 You are truly nailing this farm girl gig. Love reading about all your adventures. And seeing donkey pictures, because obviously.

    1. I kinda do… no high-speed internet out my way, which means no streaming of videos or shows, and I don’t have a dish. So basically it’s farm work or nothing! 😉

  8. Oh, poor Doc! Founder is no joke! Good for you for getting on top of it and for having a good ferrier. They see your equines more often than the vet and can often catch problems before they become crises. Don’t feel bad for restricting the grazing and DON’T give in to sad donkey eyes. It’s what you’ve got to do to keep them healthy and giving you their amazing donkey hugs!

  9. You do have a ton of stuff going, much of it new in addition to your daily chores and full time city job. You are indeed an inspiration and great info resource, and the mini-donkeys are adorably cute. Any chance I could use the tractor vs physical labor I’d do it as well, that’s working smarter not harder.All the added garden beds and work plus the bees n the trees…you have been very busy…and are really building an awesome farm w/o netflix
    Your rockin it!!!

  10. Aww… donkeys have the Eeyore look – please, please,please feed me! So glad you caught the founder; poor Doc. Sending hugs his way.

    If I had a tractor and augur, I would do the same thing – most efficient use of time and energy. The garden is looking great. Dumpster for residing the barn?

    Your Mom, as always, rocks! Whether helping you or loving on the donkeys.

  11. That garden is looking fantastic! From my tiny city apartment, I will be dreaming of a vegetable garden like yours.

  12. I love reading your blogs about farm life and DIY projects. We live on 5 acres in southern Oregon, and I can’t imagine life without our tractor.

    BUT! How do you change the implements by yourself?! I always have to wait for my husband to help me change them out. If you have any hints or tips for doing this by yourself, I’d love to hear them!

  13. Everything is looking great, except for the poor donkey feet. I hope doc gets better soon.

    I’m going to second the idea about rainwater harvesting. Either rain barrels or a big cistern and gutters on your roofs. You can catch a lot of rainwater. Even out here in the desert we can do that. For example, Phoenix only gets 8″ of rain per year. However if you have 2000 square foot of roof, that gives the potential to catch 10,000 gallons or water per year. 2000 x 8 x 0.625. That waters a lot of trees! I just recently put in my gutters to start harvesting rain.

  14. Love the Guineas – so cool you might have Guinea babies! Although I know that ads another dimension to an already crazy schedule! Your garden is looking awesome – so impressed! Poor Doc, hope he’s OK.

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