Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Old Mac Donald's Farm

We went to visit our neighbours today. They are livestock farmers. They have goats, pigs, chickens, turkeys, cattle, a dog, and the typical unwanted critters that go with having a farm. Surprisingly though, they have no cats! I don't think the cats would survive the dog, so I guess that's a good thing.

Here are some of the children in the goat barn. These are milking goats. They are currently milking 500 head. (Yikes! That's a lot of milking to do!)

This is one of the Nannies. She is a mixed colour -- likely an Alpine. Our neighbours are working on breeding out the mixed colour goats to only having the pure white Saanens as they are the better producers.

Here is the new sport of the 2008 Summer Olympics! This is goat riding. You do have to know which one will accept riders though, as not all are as gentle as this one. Dutchboy#2 is the rider to beat for this competition.

The scary looking fella second from the right is a Billy. He's really disgusting looking because they're breeding right now and he likes to perfume himself to make himself more attractive. Nuff said about that!!

These are the young 'uns born this year. The youngest are the ones enclosed in little pens. As you can see, the vast majority are white -- more so than in the dairy barn. The first year a goat kids, she will only give birth to one as she herself is not full grown yet. The following years she will typically give birth to twins or triplets.

A little group of hens that will eventually become layers. Yummy! Farm fresh eggs!

This is a group of meat birds. In here are some chickens and some turkeys. If I recall, the white ones are the turkeys. Dutchboy #3 is giving them some feed.

These are the new piggies. They arrived Monday. Usually they are all within a few pounds of each other in weight, but this time they had one group of smaller ones. As they reach a certain weight, they are shipped out weekly until the barn is totally emptied and cleaned. Then a new load arrives again. They are so funny to watch!

This gal is a free range hen. She will not tolerate being caged, so she, a bunch of her girlfriends and a couple a roosters have the freedom to trot around the farm yard. Funny thing is, we never see them on the road. Somehow they know they'll end up soup before their time I guess.

We think these eggs belong to the hen pictured above. If they all hatch, which is doubtful I'm told, she will be one busy Mama! These were hidden in a wagon way in the back corner of the drive shed.

Little Dutchboy#1 holding one of the roosters. If you use some sneaky tactics you can catch one, but generally they can outrun you. Besides, if they think you're getting a little to close for their liking, they just fly -- not well -- but enough to get away.

Finally, here is one of the cows. I'm not sure how many they have, but not a whole lot. Just enough for their own personal milk supply and for beef in the freezer.

Poor Squeekles! He is the only one who didn't get his picture taken. Squeekles is the dog....


  1. That's my kind of "field trip"! All those wonderful animals - such fun and fantastic learning opportunities.

  2. That looks like a fun day! And so close to home with no entry fees. Perfect!


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