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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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

Oatmeal for the Girls

November has brought a few cooler mornings to greet the flock. Our local stores have enormous bags of quick oats that are not only delicious for the kids, but also provide a pick-me-up for the layers. 

I use approximately 5-6 cups of oats at a time; placed in a casserole dish. Boil water and add to moisten the oats, but I try not to make it watery. Then I top it off with a sprinkle of cinnamon. 

Turns out Kevin loves this morning treat too! Since she (yes, Kevin is a gal) didn’t get any the first day, I made her a special batch. 

Chickens

The Usual Suspects…

The youngest flock of chicks are now four weeks old. Time flies when you’re watching over these gals! Actually, they fly…In just a few short weeks, some of the bigger ones have started to take some pretty brave flights in and out of the brooder. More so than the older bantam chicks (white silkies) we have.) The bantams see perfectly content in their brooder box.

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Silkie Bantams are about 6 weeks old.

However we refurbished a run for them outside and when the weather is nice (ie, about 60 degrees) we put them outside for the day. The pen is also covered so there isn’t the open invitation to hawks.

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Golden Polish Chick

Since the bantams have some time outside, we have moved all the younger chicks into the big brooder (converted firewood holder). They are loving the new found space! The feathers growing in on the younger birds are gorgeous and a rainbow of colors and patterns. Slowly their fluffy feathers are disappearing!

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Jersey White Giants (I think.)

We have quite the gang growing up here and have only lost one chick to date! There is a runt that seems to remain unchanged since arrival, but we’re keeping a close eye on her. Key points we have learned in this chick raising endeavor:

  • Chicks will constantly kick shavings into their waterer. Prepare to clean it out often.
  • They eat. A lot. If you plan on having more than 4-6 chicks, don’t waste time with one of those little mason jar feeders, just get a big one.
  • Move slowly around them, or else there could be a stampede into the corner and the tiniest of the flock will end up on the bottom of the dog chick pile.
  • Build them a little perch/roost. They will thank you for it. Also helps alleviate chick boredom.
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Silver Polish