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.

 

Chickens, Farm Life

Keeping Cool

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This summer has passed with relatively few hot days. But on those days when the mercury is rising, we have used a few methods to keep the flock cool.

– chilled, halved watermelons
– fruits frozen in bundt pan (grapes, strawberries, cherries, blueberries)
– frozen cream corn (used muffin tin)
– lots of ice in multiple watering stations
– kiddie pool / wading pool filled with 2″ water and throw some fruit pieces in (also highly entertaining)

To loosen any of the frozen treats, just run under warm water for a few minutes. During the hottest portion of the day, the gals will normally rest in the shade of the woods or under the deck. How are you keeping your flock cool this summer?

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Farm Life

Visiting Owlcatraz

Any and all visitors are welcome to Owlcatraz, provided they are willing to work a little! While we are still in our early stages of “farm development” and there aren’t that many (yet) animals to care for, there are still plenty of chores. The kids had some friends over this weekend for a sleepover and we made sure that everyone pulled their weight. Be it letting the chickens out, watering the goats or giving a hen some extra attention, our guests were wonderful sports.

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