Saturday, April 7, 2012

All the little noises

Working on a farm you get used to all the obvious noises you hear every day. It's often very early in the morning  these noises occur. The crowing of the rooster starts at about 2 am, braying from our little donkey as we enter the farm , the screeching from the geese as we pass by the duck pond early in our feeding schedule, neighing from the horses when we open the barn doors and turn on the lights and mooing from the cows demanding they get their breakfast right this minute!
It's the out of the ordinary noises that perk up your attention.  The cries from newly born animals can wake up a farmer pretty quick and get you hopping tending to their needs.  Hungry babies sure do make quite a racket! 
Once a barn full of animals has had their breakfast it is truly amazing how quiet it can be.  All that is heard is the quiet munching and chewing sounds as the hay gets devoured. Babies are content and back to sleep after bottles are drank dry.
Sitting on a little stool beside a warm jersey cow with the sounds of the milk clinking into the bucket there is anouther sound I have been trying to figure out what it is and who it is coming from for a while.  Beside me is a large stall of pygmy goats eating their breakfast except for one soft groaning noise. This noise is familar as we had a nubian dairy goat that often made this noise at night resting after dinner.
Well, the problem is if I get up from the milking stool and try and see who it is that is making this noise they will of course stop, so I enlist the help of one of the farmers to sneak over to the stall and try to find this groaning goat.  Farmer Dominique is very quiet, stealthy and observant and finds our goat who is making these funny noises. Sweet little Molly the pygmy goat is happily groaning away as she's finished her breakfast and lying peacefully on a homemade block in the middle of the stall. Thanks Farmer Dominique!
It's the subtle noises that get you going, make you curious and catch your attention when there are so many little noises at a farm!

Join the fun here at the farm and see how many little noises you can hear!

Farmer Nadine

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Happy Easter

It's been an Easter tradition here at Maplewood Farm to hatch our own eggs in an incubator.  This year we opted for a smaller hatch which ended up to be fourteen little chicks this year.  For those of you that don't know what an incubator is, it is a machine that provides heat, humidity and a turning apparatus to simulate what a setting or brooding hen would provide.  It takes 21 days to hatch chicken eggs.  They have just hatched so come on down and see them as they grow very fast.
Chickens are getting quite alot of publicity these days as many municpalities have new bylaws to allow them in backyards but what do you really know about them?  Well they are very entertaining little critters.. Ever see a chicken run?  It will deffinately make you laugh!  Need any pest removal or excavation? A chickens natural behaviour of scratching and digging for insects, grubs, and bugs churns and rotates the earth.  It is also interesting to watch chickens in a group interact.  It would seem the particular breeds stick together.  Silkies with silkies,  little bantam duck wings with each other and so forth.  Our Silkie rooster  is particularly gentlemanly to his hens when he finds a good collection of bugs he calls his cluster of hens over to endulge while he patiently stands guard!
If they're not eating , running or scratching around you will find them sunning themselves or having a dust bath in the nearest pile of dirt.
So enough about chickens!  There are many other critters to see and lots of fun to be had right now at Maplewood Farm!

Farmer Nadine