Farm Life

Missing Noodle

It is with a heavy heart that Owlcatraz Farm shares the news of the passing of Noodle, our beloved white turkey. Noodle was the unofficial mascot of the farm and eagerly ran to greet all visitors. She adored treats, hugs, and scratches under her wings.

Raised from just a tiny ball of feathers, Noodle quickly learned how to steal the hearts of guests as well as garner snacks. She would tap on the back door for a bite to eat and even come inside for extra attention.

Over the past several weeks we also lost Kevin, a gorgeous turkey that was raised on the farm too. We believe a large predator (fox or coyote) got both birds. For any reader that thinks it isn’t possible to become attached to a feathered, barnyard friend – tell that to the tearful kids holding the white feathers of Noodle.

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Chickens, Farm Life

Signs of Life

Spring is just around the corner! The signs are everywhere from the tulip bulbs poking through the mulch to the increased egg production from the ladies! Kevin and Noodle are preparing to nest as well, taking long walks into the woods to find the perfect spot for a turkey gal to lay.

Spring also means it’s time for chicks! The local Tractor Supply has some in and I succumbed and added several water chickens to the nursery. But here at Owlcatraz we have grown accustomed to hatching a few of our own. This year there are barnevelders, marans, and Easter egger x polish crosses patiently growing. Children (and adults) enjoy the candling process to view the development of the chicks. This evening we candled our blue eggs and were pleased with the result.

At six days old this chick has a heart beat and if you watching closely, you can see it moving ever so slightly. This website has some wonderful insight into embryo development inside the egg. Only fifteen more days to go until hatch day!

Farm Life, Goats, Uncategorized

More Kids!

We counted our blessings and one chilly morning (Nina likes it cold) awoke to two sweet does. Nina managed without any assistance from her human servants and under the watchful eye of Nubs. Both kids are healthy and have enjoyed all of the special attention from the human kids.

After careful consideration, the does have been named Daisy and Rose. Our neighbor, who grew up on a working farm, enjoyed a home visit from the kids as well. These two gals just might be staying on the farm, we are undecided if they will be posted for sale or not at this point. Stay tuned!

Farm Life

Where is Spring?

 

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Rufio and his ladies.

Time sure flies when you’re having fun – or does that not stand true during the winter months? Here at Owlcatraz Farm we really can’t complain as this winter hasn’t been too harsh. (Dear Mother Nature, please don’t see that as a challenge.)

Our flock has been routinely enjoying warm breakfasts of oatmeal and sunflower seeds. Boiling water over frozen water jugs is a welcome treat as well; yes, it is safe for the animals.

Even though this winter hasn’t been too bad (compared to a previous year where we received over two feet of snow); thoughts of spring and even summer are welcome!

Egg production has diminished over the winter months, that started with the Great Molt in November. The girls of the flock shed a majority of their feathers in November and walked around looking like zombie-chickens from a low budget horror film. Fortunately all have recovered their runway-worthy feathers. Longer days with more sunlight and warmer temperatures will bring the eggs back, hopefully without too much longer of a delay.

Nina, our Nigerian Dwarf doe is pregnant and expecting kids any day – yet the human version of “any day” and the goat version appears to have some discrepancies. She seems comfortable and content; showing no signs of imminent kidding. Her companions, Nubs and Louie, have been watching over the pen and encouraging her. (That’s how I interpret their calls.)

 

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Noodle and Kevin don’t seem to mind the snow.

 

Treats & Eats

Simple Seafood Spaghetti

It should be entitled “scrumptious, simple seafood spaghetti” to keep with the alliteration theme…but let’s focus. We’ve been craving seafood recently and decided to make this version of seafood pasta in honor of January birthdays.

Ingredients

4 tablespoons butter (I used unsalted)

1 jar (8 ounces) clam sauce

1 cup (ish) of white wine

dash of garlic powder

1 pound of clams

1 cup of miniature shrimp

1 can of claw crab meat

spaghetti or pasta of your choice  (3/4 lb)

Parmesan cheese

(A simple wine will do, this was under $10.)
  1. Wash clams with cool water, set aside.
  2. Melt butter in deep pan and then add garlic powder. (Oma had this amazing new cast iron braiser pan that I used. Worked perfectly!)
  3. Add clam sauce and wine. (Pour yourself a glass of wine as well.) Stir and heat just until boiling.
  4. In a separate pot, cook pasta.
  5. Refill your wine glass if needed.
  6. Add clams, shrimp, and crab meat to wine mixture. Turn down heat and cover.
  7. After 5-7 minutes, clams should begin to open.
  8. Add pasta to seafood mixture and stir. The longer you allow the pasta to sit, the more of the sauce and flavor it will soak in.
  9. Serve with Parmesan cheese.
(Lots of sauce, prior to adding pasta.)
Goats

The Kids Arrive

After months of anticipation, Owlcatraz Farm proudly welcomed two gorgeous kids early on Monday, December 26. Nina, a four year old Nigerian Dwarf goat is the proud momma. She went into labor on Christmas evening, marked by her notable change in demeanor (she went from being standoffish to loving the cuddles and attention) as well as the loss of her mucus plug about 6pm.

Margo, the chicken, acted as Nina’s midwife and stayed by her side all night.

As it normally goes in the animal kingdom, Nina waited until I wasn’t doing hourly checks to deliver. At the first check in the morning, 5am, two wet kids were standing on wobbly legs. A lovely boy and girl! 

Both kids and mother are doing well. The kids (Thumper and Montana) were quick to start nursing and started to play almost just as fast. The human kids have fallen in love with the new additions! 

Crafts

Christmas Ornaments

When the weather outside is frightful, then it’s time to wrangle the (human) kids and work on Christmas crafts! Over the past several months, the kids and I have been busy collecting some of the nicest feathers from our flock for future crafts. Our collection proved useful as we created these glass ornaments for family. 

Michaels craft store has various sizes of glass ornaments  (on sale) that proved perfect for this project. Carefully clean feathers with fingers or an old tooth brush. Then insert carefully into the ornament. We used a skewer to position the feathers once inside the ornament. 

Once filled, carefully insert the top of the ornament and add a ribbon! We had feathers saved from one of our matriarch hens (Isabelle) that passed this summer and the kids were able to create a keepsake ornament for Oma.