Welcome back!

I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving with your family. We had all our family together for Thanksgiving and we had a wonderful time.

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Do you remember the types of dishes and bowls and cups you used during Thanksgiving dinner? Some dishes were probably flat, some were more like bowls. Each bowl or dish is used on purpose to hold each type of food.

The animals on the farm have certain types of feeders, too. We use the word “feeder” for something that holds animal food.

This is the feeder on the milk stand.
It’s called a ‘hang over bucket’ because it hangs on a bar or a piece of wood.
This is what it looks like with feed in it.
We don’t wash the feeders very often. People need clean dishes, bowls, and cups to eat out of. Animals don’t need to have their feeders cleaned that often.

This is Echo’s ‘hang over bucket’.
It’s much bigger than the goats’ bucket because Echo’s head is much bigger!
This is the same size bucket that horses eat out of, too.
The chickens eat from a hanging feeder.
I pour the feed into the top and it fills a dish at the bottom.
The chickens are so messy that I put a rubber feeder underneath to catch all the food that falls out.
The chickens can still eat the food in the rubber feeder and it doesn’t get wasted by falling all over the ground.
This is how we feed hay inside the stall.
The fence holds the hay and the goats can pull out what they want to eat.
We take the hay that’s on the floor and bring it out to the chicken pen.
We put it inside their nesting boxes, and sometimes spread it on the ground.
The chickens love to eat the leftover hay.
This is the feeder we use for Echo and the little goats.
It’s really a horse feeder, but Echo doesn’t mind it.
We like to feed her outside because she always poops while she’s eating!
We don’t have to clean the stall as often if she poops outside.
The feeders are all under some sort of roof in the winter so the food doesn’t
get spoiled by snow and rain.

What about water?

You drink from a cup or a bottle, but that doesn’t work well for most animals.

The white part of the container is filled with water.
There is a float at the bottom so all the water doesn’t spill out on the ground.
Look closely and you will see a black cord coming out of the top of the waterer.
That cord is attached to a heater that sits at the bottom of the bucket.

I’m sure you’ve noticed that there is a lot of ice on the playground, and maybe around your house. The animals can eat snow, but they like liquid water better. If they have enough water and food, and if they have a place to get out of the rain and snow, they stay warm without a furnace like we have in our homes.

The blue barrel, and the green barrel, both have electric heaters at the bottom.
You can see the chords plugged into the grey box on the post.
Echo, River, and Serenity use the green water barrel.
Misty, Clover, and Annie use the blue water barrel.
The hose also plugs in! It’s hard to get water into the barrels if the hose is frozen. Someone was really smart and figured out a way to put a heating wire inside a hose so that farmers can use a hose in the winter instead of having to fill buckets of water, then dumping them into the barrel where the animals drink.
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Every morning Scout, JJ, and Midnight like to have a treat in the barn.
JJ gets her sip of milk from an old plastic feeder on the floor.
Scout gets his sip of milk in an old metal pan near the milk stand.
Midnight gets her sip of milk in an old metal lid.
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I am sad to report that there are no baby chicks. When the hen started sitting it was so close to winter we weren’t sure if she would stay and keep her eggs warm. We also weren’t sure if she would be able to keep her chicks warm enough with winter so close.

One morning when I went out to do the chores the hen was gone from the nest, and the eggs were almost frozen. The eggs were so cold that there is no way the chicks inside the eggs could have survived. The eggs need to be kept at about 100 degrees so the chicks inside can grow. Once they are hatched the mama hen needs to keep them at about 95 degrees until they can grow enough feathers to keep themselves warm.

This is not the time of year that we get warm temperatures like that!

Things on the farm don’t always turn out the way we want them to. Sometimes that’s for the best.

Earlier this year we had some chicks hatch out. That was the first time we ever got to see some chicks hatch!

I thought you might like to see some videos of that, too.

Here’s Xander holding the little chick from the video.
Those chicks are all grown up now. They were some of the roosters that we gave away to another farm. Our farm only needs one rooster. Roosters are noisy. The more roosters we have the noisier they are because each one tries to be louder than the other!

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Do you remember Dale? She’s the chicken that likes to ride the goats as if she’s a cowgirl.
We don’t know what happened but two weeks ago Dale hurt her leg. Usually a chicken will die if they hurt their leg. There aren’t any chicken veterinarians to take care of them.
Sometimes they get better!

Can you see Dale limping a little bit? She’s getting better! She couldn’t walk on her left leg two weeks ago. All she could do was hop around the farm on her right leg.

I hope she gets all the way better!

Stay warm and have a great week!

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