Sunday, May 29, 2011

We lost a bunny...

There is one thing to be said about living on a farm and having lots of animals, it is a wonderful opportunity to learn about life's lessons. This morning Jacob went outside to feed the rabbits and came in very upset because Ginger was "not a good mom". I was a little confused as she is actually a very good bunny mommy. He then explained that one of her babies was dead in the cage. They are quite old now (born on the Monday after Easter) so I was surprised that we would loose one so late, but alas we did.

Adam cried a little because it looked a lot like his rabbit in miniture, but after a quick discussion about heaven, he was off to play "pioneers" in the back yard!

Cake Auction Purse

We participated in a cake auction Friday to help raise money for our church young women's summer camp. I decided that I wanted to step out of my comfort zone this year and try a few new techniques. I don't care for the taste of fondant so I decided to try modeling chocolate instead - much better! I really enjoyed breaking out brushes and sweeping the cobwebs off my creativity - it has been too long!  This is all new to me (I really don't decorate cakes, I buy them) and the first time I have ever done anything like it, so although it is not "perfect" I am really happy with the end result & the process of getting there!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Visiting our Family Ranch in Oregon

Last weekend, Mikayla, Adam & I went to Joseph to pick up the grass fed beef that we harvested. We have a family ranch on about 200 acres. This last year we started raising grass fed beef. This was because we wanted a healthier option for our families. These cows were only wormed (to ensure we didn't have a problem with the meat) and given no other medication. They were raised and finished on the incredible grass in Eastern Oregon.

We have started increasing our herd size and are excited to see what the next year brings for us! My dad has decided that he wants to try adding Scottish Highlander Beef to the ranch this year in addition to the Angus cross we already have. I am anxious to see how those turn out, they are very interesting looking animals and remind me of small mammoths with Texas Long Horn horns!

We had a great time there with two of my sister's girls. The kids loved being out with all the animals!

This cow would not stop following us around! She loves the kids and just wants to be with people! There was a thunderstorm later that day and this silly heifer came up to the porch and put her head under it so that she was covered! Never mind that the rest of her body was getting pelted by rain, her head was protected from it and she could not hear as much or see the lightning! Crazy cow!

We lost a kitten....

Every day I check on the kittens multiple times a day. Last night when I went in to do my before bed routine, I immediately noticed that one of Shyanne's babies was dead. Our best guess is that she smothered it. She is not a very good mom. In fact, I very rarely see her in with her babies. Because of this, I keep a close eye on those babies to ensure they are getting enough food. Thankfully she is a GREAT mouser and is very friendly.  It is a good thing we are going to spay her!

These pictures are from Cami's litter. They are 15 days old today and are starting to walk a little bit. It is really cute to see them stumbling around! Cami continues to be an AMAZING mom! She uses her arms to keep her babies snuggled in close to her and looks on anxiously whenever she hears her babies cry. She is definately a keeper!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The bunnies are getting big!

Ginger's babies are getting so big! It is amazing how quickly rabbits grow! They are now eating real food and are nursing just a little until they get better at drinking out of the water bottle.  Soon, it will be time to say good-bye to the ones we are not keeping. We have tried not to handle them too much because a few of them are going to grow to be dinner while the rest will find new homes. I don't want the kids to get too attached as I know it is going to be a sad day around this place without being attached.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Kittens -- Round Two!

Here is Shyanne with her litter. Adam named her Shyanne because when she first came to live with us she was very shy. We thought it was cute so it has stayed. The funny thing is that now that she knows us, she is ANYTHING but shy!

She had 6 babies this morning in about 2 hours! I couldn't believe how quickly they kept coming. I think she may be done but she is acting a little weird still. Of the six she had, one did not make it so we have 5 live ones. They are mostly black & white, but there is one with some orange on it. She looks like she will be a good momma, but not as experienced as Cami, who was amazing!

Here is Cami taking a nap with her babies. They are darling! The little orange one has his arm across his sibling -- too cute! Here they are 3 days old.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

First Round of Kittens Have Arrived!

On Easter morning we got quite a surprise! Our Bishop called to say that someone had left a pet carrier with 2 cats in it next to the door of the church. He asked if we would be willing to foster them until he could figure our what to do. Well, much to our surprise, when we let them out of the carrier, they were both pregnant!
We named this mommy cat Cami. This morning she had 5 live kittens and lost one. She is an excellent mother and very friendly. We have decided to keep 2 cats once all the babies are ready leave. We haven't decided if it will be the mommy or babies yet. The mommy cats are obviously house cats and we want them to be barn cats so that would be a serious consideration.

She labored nearly all day and I was able to see a couple of them born. She was very tolerant of all the commotion as kids kept coming and going to see the babies. I have never owned a cat before and must admit that I actually really do like these mommy cats and look forward to having this addition to our farm. I think I am going a little nuts!