A diary of the projects, hurdles, rewards and family life at we recorded at Wise Acres, our former homestead in Horsefly, BC. (Careers and teenagers have forced us back into the city, at least for a little while.)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Additions to the 'Farm'

This is Mittens...I love this picture. I am really surprised how much I like this cat...I've always been a 'dog person' but I find her quite entertaining and I just love the image of the cat in the window.

Anyways...we haven't posted in a while, so I thought I would get you all up to date on what we're planning. Since we moved here, we have been considering what livestock we would have, we picked up our chickens early on and we've been quite happy with them. They are still steadily producing a couple of eggs almost daily, although we did lose Henriella, likely to a fox. We're not sure, but one day she just didn't come home (which chickens usually do, when it gets close to dusk), so we have to assume something got her. R.I.P. Henriella...

We've learned a few lessons, like chickens can easily clear a 6 foot fence, that they will lay their eggs wherever they please if they are free ranging, that they will eat dog food and that they will quickly lose their fear of dogs and poop on our porch if we let them. Now that we have put a roof on their run...things seem to be going nicely.

So what's next? We've been thinking about sheep or goats for a while. While we would like the goat's for their milk, we have come to the conclusion that fencing would be costly, since goats are quite skilled at escaping and are prone to all kinds of shenanigans, that are probably beyond our beginning farming skills.

A friend of mine from the Okanagan, recently got some Icelandic Sheep.

This image was originally posted to Flickr by biologyfishman at http://flickr.com/photos/43021596@N00/234876383

I have been doing a bit of research and they seem like a great choice for us...they are very cold weather hardy, being from Iceland and all; they are great foragers and will eat a lot of the brush and small plants we want to clear out of our place; they are a little more hardy against predators due to their horns; and they are great for fibre, meat and milk. They are also less mischievous then goats. Their fibre can be spun to create Lopi wool, which is a nice wool to work with. Erich's mom has a spinning wheel that she is willing to ship out to me.

We've been making inquiries around a have come across two breeders who may have some sheep for us...Flanelberry Farms and Greencroft Gardens. More details to come...

We have mapped out an area for fencing...opting to use the many poplars we have around for posts, we are able to fence for quite a reasonable price. We just have to purchase a dozen metal posts to supplement the tree posts and of course the wire farm fencing itself.

We have also been talking to one of our neighbours, who is hoping to thin out her flock of alpacas. She has offered us two, one of them happens to be part llama and makes a great guard animal. Their fleeces are also lovely and can be spun to make yarn. They also seem to be a relatively low maintenance choice, as they are not aggressive escape artists, have soft feet, so don't make a total mess of your property and eat a fraction of what a cow or horse would eat.

This week-end Erich is just finishing up the plumbing on the new tub and next week-end will be dedicated to getting that fencing done!

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