Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Farm Family Farm Sitting

The neighbor farmers had to go to their parents 50th wedding celebration, so I got to babysit the farm while they were away.

It is a very diversified farm with all kinds of different species.

I visit the poultry first for morning and evening chores.

I love talking turkey.

There are 3 turkeys in the grow out pen along with a May hatch of red and black sex link pullets.

The turkeys listen while I chat and tell them all the news from my side of the village.

They love it when I fill their feeders up and sing to them.

The black sexlinks grew out nicely and complement the colors of the red comets and the turkeys.

 These pullets should be laying by the beginning of October, if not sooner..

These two want to come home with me.

Next stop is to the layer pen.  20 hens share a very large box stall with ceiling to floor windows.

There are 3 different grain feeders for them and 4 waterers.  Lots of stuff for me to haul in there to give them, plus they get hay, weeds from the garden and veggies to nibble on.

Certain hens like to eat out of their favorite feeders.

There is an assortment of breeds here.
Australorpe, Comets, Speckled Sussex, Barred Rocks and Rhode Island Reds.

 There are way too many predators on this farmland to let them out free ranging.
They are safer inside the huge 200 year old barn.

The flock has a great view from their barn windows.

 The next stop is to check on water and food for the adult emus.

They ignore me.

Not interested in chatting.

They are paired up and named after famous duos like Sonny and Cher.

Occasionally they will come closer to see that I am properly doing my job.

 This farm use to be a well known dairy farm.

But the economics of dairy cattle and milk could not pay the bills and so this farm family diversified and are doing just a little bit better.

Next stop was the hayloft to feed the barn cats.

The hay elevator was waiting to be put to work.


There was only a little hay in the loft.  Due to all the rain in June and July, not too many farmers were able to bring in their usual amount of hay. Hopefully the weather will remain sunny and warm and allow some good haying days..soon.

 As soon as I rustled the cat food bag out of the grain bin I had a guest for breakfast.

This is a new stray that has found his way to the free lunch counter.

These barn cats get to eat out of vintage glass pie plates. Very fancy.

The rest of the cat crew started coming out of their hiding places in the barn.

 I had both dogs with me and a few of the cats were very cautious.

Soon there were two at the lunch counter.

Then the new cat had to check out what the other cat was eating....

Then back to his own pie plate.

 Time goes by fast when I do farm chores and my two companions, Mavis and Queenie, were getting hungry.

Several bones were waiting for the 2 hard working farm dogs for their brunch.

Mavis got down and dirty with hers.

Mavis loves a good cold bone.

Next stop was to the special barn where a bull and a steer were waiting to go to their new home.

 Vince was very interested in my camera.

The barn was nice and cool.  I didn't want to leave.

Next stop was to visit the beef herd and make sure the calves were behaving themselves.

The calves and the yearlings were lounging under the barn and staying cool.

The designated yearling babysitter came to check me out.

This getting inside the hay ring might be the new bovine Olympic sport in the near future.

Seems to be a popular past time for young calves and mischief makers.

The calves were very interested in taking a look at me and then trotting over to their respective moms.

I think this herd saw me as an intruder.

They lined up and gave me the evil eye.

Strength in numbers.... and all that.

The younger cows started nursing their calves and then went and took a nap.

Nap time is important for little calves.

 Every calf has a double earring and a short 4 letter name this year.

I love reading the tags.

Some calves are named after famous characters in well known books.

Next stop was to feed the only Mule in town and her constant Arabian pony companion.

Pearl the mule and Charlie the pony are well into their twenties.

Pearl is very attentive and makes funny faces at me.

I could take photos of her unique expressions for hours.

Charlie is very quiet and really enjoys his meals.  His expressions are normal.

Before I left I checked the solar charger to make sure the fence was hot and there would be NO escaped goofy equines running up the road.

The bees were not happy that I was so close to their home.

On my way home there were maple trees changing color.

 And a lone turkey guarding my road.

Tonight I return to the farm for evening chores and do it all again.

Have you got a trusted farm sitter ?


  1. No we don't have a farm sitter so I can't leave to go anywhere for very long. They are lucky to have you! They have some nice animals, we have cut way back as the feed costs too much now, the only way to make any money on raising animals is to grow your own grain.
    I just made a long foot bridge out of a hay elevator like that one only it was not in working condition.

  2. i totally LOL'd at Pearl. she's a peach!

  3. What lovely photos, thanks for taking us along! Those turkeys were really checking you out, I'll bet they would have gone home with you. :)