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P.O. Box 190
Fly Creek, NY 13337

Welcome Home Vina, Giselle & Gwen

This week we went and  picked up three  new additions to our homestead. Vina , Giselle and Gwen. The girls  have been staying at St. Mary’s Monastery in Greenwich, NY.  Sister Mary Elizabeth has  taken care  of them for me for the last few months as their owner needed to move them quickly. Their previous owner Marlene  must  of  loved  these goats to pieces. I can tell from their gentle temperament that they are used to being handled… hugged and  loved!

Just when I thought I knew what I was doing……

Lilly and LuLu....LouThis was the year Matthew , my son, and I thought  we were ready to show chickens at the county fair. I’ll admit this has turned from a hobby with his best interest in the beginning to my total obsession. I can now  understand the mommy pageant insanity or sport driven parent . For me it’s animals  and now I’ve decided to enter the competitive world and drag him along for the ride . The county fair was something I had experience as a 4-H er showing rabbits and my sister  pigs. So I had our Hulse Hill Farm Banner ready, chicken supplies in tubs and labeled, and had read up on chicken shows a bit. I even read and reviewed the American Standard of Perfection , the DSM-5 of the chicken world.  I enter the show barn and was like a kid in a candy store. Chickens and chicken people , it doesn’t get any better. My birds settled in  very nicely. The day before the show we cleaned and prepped the birds,  Little Debbie (Black orph), Bob (roo black orph), Daisy (white orph) , and  two lavender pullets  ,Lulu and Lilly. The day of the show it  poured. The judge looked  like a chicken expert with his white coat on and colorful bird  patches. Turned out Bob was disqualified for a  funky comb, which should of been straighter and  not split at the end. Another girl had the same problem with her  silky and was upset so we took solace together  knowing their show days were over, but we loved them anyway.  Daisy and Little Debbie  both got blue ribbons.  Possibly because there were no other orphingtons their color in the show?  Turns out one of the lavender pullets is a rooster. Many  people commented to me ,”ya know that is a rooster right?”. Well of course I did! NOT. But I eventually admitted  I did  not know and was confused since they were pullets and didn’t really  see the tail  go  down until this week.  Overall , it was a fantastic experience . I was surrounded by folks who know a ton more  then me about chickens . The energy created  when you are  learning about  something you love is  a great feeling. I am a runner and the endorphin high  is well worth  the painful runs. I think I now have a  back up plan for getting a similar feeling and  not experiencing the pain!

Cordless Lawn Mowers

I was looking at the ads in an chicken magazine that is published in England and noticed that there was a company that will bring their cats to your  chicken coop to rid them of mice. Then I heard of  the goats that  were brought to LA ‘s  flight runways to eat the  brush on the sides to prohibit  fires from occurring and spreading after an accident. It’s true, goats will eat the  junkiest of weeds. If you ever  have the time to watch a goat graze in a  pasture  do it.  Watch how they  pick out the  weeds and  chomp them  better then the  biggest  lawn mowers. IMG_1492

Happy Goats…..Happy Chickens….Happy Farm!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Summer came in like a Tsunami this year. The wetness kept everyone inside and  fighting off the slugs. Fortunately  we entered  what you would  call our typical upstate NY summer weather…. 70’s, sunshine and a  relaxing breeze on the top of the  knolls. Olga and Olaf are enjoying the  feeling of being cashmere  free for a while with shiny  beautiful coats. We are about to welcome three new cashmere goats ,  Vina,  Gwen and  Giselle in into our barnyard family. This means  more pasture fencing and a  new barn. It also means more cashmere! With any luck from the fertility  Gods we’ll have some kids in the spring .

I have enjoyed having the time to sit and watch the chickens . The new lavender and white orphingtons  from Hinks  are magnificent.  Nothing causes you to stop and slow down in  this  busy life more then  summer on a small farm. There  is so much to see. Chores consume  much of  our time . However, the real gift is  just slowing down to watch and join the experience of the animals, the garden  and all that surrounds us. No cell phones , computers,  or  people. Just the barnyard and it’s simple balance.