Life of a Farm Blog

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All Is Well

Wow, I didn’t realize it had been so long since I last posted. Geuss the old saying time flies when you’re having fun is true. We’ve been having lots of fun here. Last month I kept a diary for Farm and Ranch Living Magazine so I kind of intentionally didn’t post. I don’t have much of an excuse for the rest of the time though. Everything has been crazy here. We don’t have any full time help with the chickens now. That’s meant a lot of time in the houses for me. Most days it’s been a 5am to 5pm schedule. That doesn’t leave time for much when you throw in feeding the animals and doing the other farm chores. To add to the burden Cobb has decided since our flock has done so well they will keep them a couple extra weeks. Now our sell date is December 7th. Thank goodness it has slowed enough we are able to handle it. I don’t know how we would make it during the peak time without some full time help. I’m still looking for the right people for the next flock and the second set of houses. I have had a few people interested, but don’t know how it will turn out. Most seem to run when they find out it’s a little bit of work. The rest don’t want to work weekends or holidays.

Chicken House  by you.

Coyotes have suddenly become a problem here. A few days ago a neighbor warned me that he had seen a dog or coyote chasing the goats. A day or so later I noticed a young goat missing. Then one morning at 5:00 I saw a coyote in the field by the chickenhouse. We never had this before. I wonder if the chicken noises have lured them into this area. I don’t think there is any way they could get in the chickenhouses, but I am going to have to figure out something to protect the goats and calves.

Joel feeding goats  by you.

All is well with the kids. Kaylee cheered her last home football game this past week. I’m awfully proud of her. It’s a real accomplishment to be cheering on the high school team at 11 years old. She is very committed. They practice 4 days a week for 2 hours each day. That’s quite a load on top of her school work and helping aroud the farm. Garett has his own accomplishments too. He is on the academic team this year. It’s his first year in a new school and he seems to be doing well. His grades are all A’s and he loves the library at the new school. Madison is her usual cowgirl self. She loves to ride her horse “Johnny”. She’s doing good in school too. She says she doesn’t like school as much as in previous years, but she still has all A’s.

Well I’ll close for now and try to get some work done. Sorry for the long break. I’ll be posting more soon. Thanks for reading!

18 Responses to “All Is Well”

  1. Kori Says:

    I actually read that magazine faithfully, so will look forward to reading your diary in it. When did you say again that it was going to come out? I know last time I was here you mentioned it, but I am frankly too lazy to scroll back and find it.

  2. The Father of Five Says:

    Are you not allowed to shoot the coyotes if they are killing livestock or doing damage to your farm??

  3. mlytc Says:

    Help seems to be an ongoing problem for most egg farmers, I have help now, but that could change before feeding time in the morning. As for the coyotes, a donkey or two will take care of that problem rather quickly.

  4. Barbara Nicolazzo Says:

    About the coyotes, read \”Prodigal Summer\” by Barbara Kingsolver. As a farmer, you know about the value of predators already and, whoops, as a farmer, you don\’t have time to read, but it\’s an EXCELLENT book anyhow!

  5. Kevin Says:

    Hi Joel!

    Coyotes and dogs can pose a real problem to poultry, goat and sheep farmers. Coyotes are such a threat that there is no closed season on them here. Even though I am from a county famous for the Old Drum trial we have always had a problem with dogs killing livestock. Our solution has always been, like most other farmers, shoot dogs you don’t know and toss them under a brush pile. Of course the big problem is irresponsible dog owners moving out of the city and into the country. They get the biggest dogs possible, and then do not keep them chained or penned at night. If you have a problem around the chicken houses try using an electric predator fence. You can get them either through the internet or from a local supplier. You can attach the wires/tape to insulators you install on the existing fencing around your chicken houses, just make sure you install the lowest ones almost on the ground, and you might also have to go another set of wires about 5 to 7 feet away from the fence, these will (hopefully) prevent the coyotes from jumping over or digging under one set of wires. Of course you can always try trapping or calling and using a red spotlight at night to enable you to shoot them. My guess is they are being drawn in by the smell of the chickens, both living and dead. As far as the goats, they are interested in the kids. The thing I can suggest is put them up at night and have an aggressive large dog near where they are penned up. Even if the dog doesn’t fight with them, the sound of it barking at them will alert the goats and make it harder for the coyotes/dogs to stalk and catch them. Some people around here have been trying companion animals, like donkeys, dogs that have been raised with goats and sheep, and llamas. Some swear by them, and others just see them as ornaments in the pasture. Again, you can also use predator fencing near the goat pens. If you don’t have a 223 or 243, and don’t want to buy a rifle just for coyotes and other problem animals you can use a 22 magnum. They are cheaper to purchase, and can be used for raccoon or possum hunting. Just make sure you get a good grade of scope with a large objective lens to allow better light gathering. You’ll see most of your problem animals near dusk and at dawn. Of course they are also active at night, but unless you want to spend the night hunting coyotes and the day tending chickens just keep a rifle and shells around wherever you are at during those hours of the day.

    Good luck!

  6. J. Miller Says:

    Consider a llama for coyote defense. I hear they are used here in California to protect sheep.

  7. Lori Says:

    Try a donkey or lama. They will chase down and stomp predators to death yet they can easily comingle with other livestock. Good luck and thanks for your blogs, love reading about your life.

  8. paintsmh Says:

    Hey. Sorry bout the coyote problems. We’ve had them take down full grown cows that had recently calved on us. And now we have a pack of wild dogs that are a german shepard cross that a woman supposedly released when she couldn’t handle two any more, that are taking down full grown ponies and other large livestock. It is terrible. And we had the coyotes kill our entire flock of chickens five or six years ago. For the goats and calves, if you have a barn that can be closed tight that they could stay in at night that might help. Otherwise we’ve found shooting a couple that are causing the most problems when we can find them seems to stop them for a while. hope all turns out well!

  9. Andrea Brown Says:

    I came across your entries when I was checking my mail. I found your stories so interesting. But I have to admit that the pictures of the landscape were breathtaking. Continue to post (when you have the time). Best wishes to you and yours. Sincerely, Andrea

  10. Ray Says:

    Good to see a post again. Was starting to wondering if your blog was going to continue to be maintained or not. The dog issue is bad one (coyotes too). I never really understand folks who think their dogs should have free roaming rights in the rural areas and get upset when a sheep farmer protects his livestock – I have personally been around when that one happened. Just to much of people that do not know pushing back out into rural areas I think.

  11. Kyle Says:

    Hey, Joel! Nice to see ya back! I can’t wait to read you Farm and Ranch diary. I subscribe to it! Coyotes aren’t a huge problem around here, but dogs, foxes, racoons, and cats are. Skunks and foxes eat the eggs. Groundhogs, skunks, racoons, and deer tear up crops to. We have to shoot a few of each before. That is legal when protect livestock though.

    Also, I’ve been getting back into our website and blog, too.

    That Kaylee’s turning into a beautiful young woman!

  12. Alpaca Farmgirl Says:

    Have you considered a livestock guard dog to help with your coyote problem? We have had Great Pyrenees for 8 years now and have been impressed with their guarding ability. Can\’t imagine life on our alpaca farm without them!

  13. Kevin Says:

    Hi Joel,

    I hope everyone has a Happy Halloween!

    The weather here started out sterotypically Halloweenish (we had thunderstorms around sunrise, and some rain) but it is turning out nice enough (clear, sunny, in the 60′s).

    Fuel prices are way down here, Unlead is around $1.96 and Diesel is around $2.79. I just wish food prices would go down as well.

    Take care!

  14. Frankie Wilson Says:

    I just found your website. It looks like you have been at this (blogging) much longer than I have. I look forward to reading more.

  15. Pat Says:

    Interesting web site – I\’m a town girl. We have the same problems in town: coyotes, fox, racoons, groundhogs, and skunks. However we don\’t have livestock to protect.
    We welcome the fox because they eat the overflowing population of rabbits and ground squirrels. I have to admit I wish one of the local coyotes would take care of my neighbors small terrier dogs that bark like mad.

  16. Lynn Pritchett Says:

    Your blog was advertised on a local realtor\’s website, It looked interesting, so I came for a visit. I see that you\’ve got coyotes giving you trouble. We\’ve got them in Virginia also. Some of the people that have vulnerable farm animals are placing guardian animals in their pastures. Llamas, alpacas, burros and donkeys have superior reputations for helping. Here\’s a website to read some, and you may google for others.

  17. Javier Pena Says:

    If you have trouble with cayotes or ferrel dogs get a couple of Great peryenees dogs. I had over 16 sheep slaughtered. After I got my dogs not one. There was a wild dog after my chickens last month. I don\’t want to tell you what happned to him. He is no longer with us. End of problem.

  18. Hemoroid Says:

    If you have trouble with cayotes or ferrel dogs get a couple of Great peryenees dogs. I had over 16 sheep slaughtered. After I got my dogs not one. There was a wild dog after my chickens last month. I don\’t want to tell you what happned to him. He is no longer with us. End of problem.

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