Friday, April 30, 2010

Whistle While You Work

Things have been so very busy here-wow! We have been under construction for some time and have had to stop on and off due to me not able to commit to a floor plan to me having a baby, but we are finally getting close to saying that we are done with the kitchen! There is still the decorating and a couple of missing pieces of hardware, and but it's been a long time coming! More pictures will come as the last little bits and pieces fall into place.
We are getting ready for the four new lambs to arrive tomorrow! I can't wait to go and pick them up! The kids are so very excited and so am I, maybe even more so! So much is happening here at Bakers Acres, with baby animals and planting season starting and work on the old farmhouse. If you are in the area stop in and see our little piece of heaven!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

More babies are on their way!

A couple of weeks ago I was told by my in laws that I really should drive out past this local farm and take a look. My mother in law told me I would love because they had fields of sheep and tons of lambs. Not that long ago we had gone down the road to see tons of lambs at another local farm and after the second drive by decided that it was not the farm for us. Although it would have been wonderful to "save" some of them by bringing them here to Baker's Acres the fear of what else we could bring back to our other animals worried me.

As we headed off threw the hills not to far away we came upon a sheep's dream! A wonderful farm with rolling hills, well kept grounds and sheep that looked healthy and happy! I called Rob right up and told him that we needed to go for a afternoon drive very soon to a wonderful place I knew that he would love to see.

On a beautifully sunny day we headed to the Farm. We pulled to the side of the road put the windows down and enjoyed listening to them and laughed as we watched the lambs running and jumping! We had hoped to reach someone at the house but sadly no one was home so I decided to leave a note. I was pleasantly surprised when I received a phone call! The gentleman that I spoke with, Paris, clearly loved sheep and all that goes along with them. He was full of information, enthusiasm and thought that maybe his bottle babies might just be a great addition to our little farm! Rob and I of course decided that we would take all four of his "bottle babies"! They will be getting picked up May 1st. There are two Rams, Jake and Gilbert, and two ewes Lily and Cordelia.

The Border Cheviot derives its very strong constitution from its origin in the hills that divide England and Scotland. That bleak landscape shaped the Border nature; extremely hardy, independent, and alert.
-A little history-
This wonderful little farm snug in the hills has a great site you should check out, better yet after checking it out get in touch with them and see if you can set up a visit! I know I'm really looking forward to my visit tomorrow!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Daisy and Maisy

This is Maisy.
This is Daisy.

We were thrilled to bring home the twins today! We went to Mindy's farm The Old Homestead in West Edmeston, to pick them up. We were more them excited! This is a farm that you should visit if you can. They are taking part in an Open Farm Day July 24th starting at 9am. Anyone that loves sheep, wool and honey should attend!
After getting the girls settled in we spent time just sitting with them letting them get used to us and our smell and our sounds. When it was time to feed them it was a true treat! Not only did we all enjoy the thrill of feeding them but we hope that this will help to create a bond with them.

They will certainly not be lonely. The boys will be sad to head back to school on Monday and have to spend time away from them. He boys have high hopes for showing animals at the fair this year! It's a true joy to be able to share all of these life lessons with the boys. Not only are the animals growing boys don't seem to be slowing down at all.....

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A cluck cluck here and a quack quack there....

We here at Baker's Acres have really been enjoying all of our baby animals! The circle of life is at times tough but a true joy to take part in. Sadly we lost two of our bigger chicks that were living our in the coop. This was a sad accident were we believe that they were smothered at the bottom of the sleep pile.....On a happy note the chicks have grown big enough to be out in the yard and not manage to run threw the fencing squares!

This is licorice who gets tons of love and attention!

The started out not even being brave enough to go out the chicken door! The word "Chicken" makes me laugh every time as I watch our little lock freak out over funny little things. Then once they seem to get their feet under them they suddenly become brave and step out on a new adventure!

They have now been out and about running in a large fenced in area with tons of room to explore! They are growing to be beautiful birds! We have been watching closely to try and see just who will rule the far we are sure of two roosters and are guessing on at least two others. I'm hoping that we don't have many. I would like to keep two and no more then three. I want to better the population of Heritage Birds by breeding in the fall and hatching. I don't however want to be over run with roosters. If we find that we seem to have more then we need I will try to relocate them to other farms that so an interest in Heritage Birds. The 15 that we hatched here at home are doing well, growing strong and before we know it will need to be out in a coop too.

The ducks though not in a proper duck house are growing and starting to get their "big bird" feathers. They are still stinky but so very much fun to watch as they jump in and out of the water bowl and chase bugs. I'm looking forward to seeing them on the pond. They once down on the pond will not be as hands on as our other animals but we will be sure to try and keep up with them as much as we can!

We are counting down until this Saturday when we bring home the twin lambs! Can't wait! We will be sure to keep you posted step by step of their arrival.

Friday, April 16, 2010

April Showers......

April showers bring May flowers! Oh and did we mention Garlic!!!! Wow our Garlic is really growing like crazy. This is our first year growing garlic and so far we are very pleased. We planted 2000 seed in this fall and are really looking forward to a wonderful harvest.
I honestly don't know when the last time something was planted as a crop here on the farm. Our soil is great and the plants seem to really love it! With the rain of the today I'm sure that it will only help our plants. Things are turning so wonderful green here on the farm as Spring showers are bringing everything to life. There is nothing like the smell of Spring rain in the country....

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Eggs....eggs...and more eggs!

Our Guinea Hens have started laying! It's very exciting! These very unique birds have wonderful feathers, a voice few will forget after hearing and wonderful small eggs with very hard shells! Since we have male and female birds we decide since the incubator had not been up away yet to put some in. They take a few days more then chicken eggs and the idea that we might be able to hatch our own birds eggs is thrilling! They are cozy in the incubator along side 10 duck eggs! My Brother In-law gave us 10 of his ducks eggs to hatch for him! The boys are thrilled for the next egg challenge! Being that we are new at this we are hoping that we have good luck again. Due to the size of the duck eggs they will not fit in the egg turner so I'm turning them by hand.

Below is a picture of the new coop in front of the barn! We are hoping to add another very soon! We will have a total of 48 birds! Our 17 older chicks that are cozy in the new coop right now are grow nicely and are really starting to look grown up! They have changed a lot and have wonderful colors showing in their feathers! I do see that the Roosters are already feeling out who is boss and I know that we will have to decide who will stay and who will go. The boys will be showing at least two Roosters at the local fair.

Many of our logs have left the farm that Rob and my Father In-law and Brother In-law cut. We are waiting on the return lumber for the finishing of the machinery barn and the start of the Sugar Shack and as some point a Farm Stand.
So much is happening here on the Farm! So much is new and exciting for us all. We are enjoying sharing this with our children and watching as they jump in with both feet to be part of the experience!

Hobby's a wonderful life. If you know someone that is a Hobby Farmer take the time to pay them a visit. It will be time well spent!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Babydolls that don't wear dresses

One evening while reading the Hobby Farm magazine I noticed in the back where all the ads are that I love to check out for fun that "Babydoll" sheep were listed. There was a small description attached letting you know that there were small as adults known for their wonderful smile and very lovable. I went right to the computer and had to look them up and knew at that moment that some day Baker's Acres would have some of these wonderful little sheep!
I began the search for somewhere local or at least in the state that had them. I located a small handful of places with very cute pictures on line. After contacting them and finding that the waiting list was very long and the price was very high I thought that maybe we would have to pass......this was a major disappointment. Not only to me because I thought that they were dear but for the boys. I had though that these sheep being that they don't get as big as some other breeds would be great for the boys to have as their first show animals with 4H! I wasn't going to give up yet....I kept searching.....then I stumbled onto a website with a local address! I contacted the owners after checking out their nice website,, and was put on a list to be contacted when babies could be chosen! I also followed them on facebook to see all the new baby pictures! It was all very exciting!
When the email came that all the babies were born we made plans to visit. We went the day before Easter and it was wonderfully sunny and a great day to be out and about! We were greeted by the owner Mindy who was very welcoming and as we listened to all of the information that she had to share with us it was clear that raising sheep was something she had a passion for! The lambs were so cute and she had 14 very adorable ones to choose from.

These are twin girls that sadly were orphaned by the unexpected passing of their mama. Even before knowing their story their darling faces caught you eye. All of the babies were wonderful but my eye kept returning to the "bottle babies" (the twins and another known as Polly) and a little black cute and little.
As we were getting ready to leave the farm we had decided that we would happily take the twin girls! I would have loved to fill the fields at our farm.......After we got home I contacted Mindy and asked it the little black ewe was still available and we were thrilled to find out that she was and took the chance right away to say yes! I still think of the other "bottle baby" and hope that she finds a wonderful home.......if it's not ours.....

Monday, April 5, 2010

The small sounds of Peeping.....

Our eggs Hatch Day came and went on April 3rd.....nothing.....not even a crack....not any little sign of promise.....ugh! I wasn't going to just give up! I decided that we would wait a couple extra days even if there were no good signs of progress. That night I was checking to be sure that there was water in the bottom for humidity in the incubator and stopped.....was that peeping I could hear? I called Rob out to listen to be sure that it wasn't just me. Sure enough he could hear it too!!!! I was so excited I could hardly stand it! We were up preparing for the Easter Bunny to visit and I was glued to the window of the egg can take 24 hours....oh my I was in for a long night! When we finally gave in to sleep there was a tiny chip in the shell......tiny.....

After we got up and enjoyed the joy of Easter baskets and egg hunts we decide to go to the den and check on the incubator. To our surprise we made it just in time. We watched......we waited and suddenly it all started to happen.....

It was amazing! And the goofballs that we are we were cheering for him......

He was hard at work

With one big push he was out! It was our first hatched egg and it was all I hoped. Rob, I and the boys all were lucky enough to see the whole thing.
What a great day to hatch!

Today our 24 hours had passed and some of the first hatched chicks have moved into a box as we wait for more to hatch.
Our head count is now 12 hatched and more with cracks, rocking and peeping! We had 38 eggs total and are hoping for about 1/2. We will keep you posted.

What a great Easter!

Our little Quackers!

Rob took the three big boys to our local TSC to pick up some Rabbit fencing for our new Easter Bunny's and come home with these! I had looked at them the day I was in search of the bunny's and I was temped....very temped. As much as I thought wow more babies I was totally excited! These are Rouen's. They are too cute for words. Very fun to watch and the kids just love them. We have a nice pond that will house them well. We will soon be able to let them try out swimming in shallow water! That will be very exciting! They are so much fun to watch playing in the water and lining up as they waddle off to see what the brooder holds!
They will look perfect on the pond as adults! Wonderful for us to enjoy and raise!

Saturday, April 3, 2010

So much is happening here at the farm......

Spring has sure sprung here at the farm. The air is fresh and wonderful, birds are singing the flowers are popping out and baby animals are arriving! We have been tackling several project for the farm and house not to mention keeping up with busy kids lately! Wow we're so glad that the time has changed and there is more sun later in the day!

In this picture my sister in laws husband is prepping the ground for the placement of the new chicken coop that we bought. It arrived tonight and we are so excited to get it in place tomorrow! It is a wonderfully handmade coop that came from Yoders. They are located in Richfeild Springs NY. This coop is "pest proof" and we hope that will help to protect our flock.
This cute little one arrived a couple days before Easter with a sibling! So very cute! We decided that we would get the boys Bunnies for Easter. These are a Lion head/mix. Very soft and so darn cute!!!! They are very loved and are currently comfortable in the house in a rabbit cage. Rob and the boys will be working on building a hutch for them to stay in! The boys love to build with daddy. Not only are they making great memories with these projects they are learning so much in the process!

Our chicks are growing like crazy! This is one of our Heritage Delaware chicks with our oldest son! We spend a lot of time with our chicks from the beginning! They are well loved and hands are one them often! With our past flock our full grown chickens followed us everywhere. They loved people and were never really afraid of anyone. We are hoping that with this batch of chicks we have the same luck. This is however the first time that we have ever had straight run so I will find it interesting to see if there is a difference.

Our sap season has come to an end. It was a good season for us being new comers to the hobby. We weren't totally over run and unable to keep up. I do understand that those who rely on this as their lively hood are finding this hot flash we are having a big let down.....Now that we have tried our hand at this and have found out just how much work it is my heart goes out to them. We are already making plans for the building of our sugar shack this fall. We hope to have our new setup in place for next years sap run!

So much is in the works here at Baker's Acres that things are just humming! It's and exciting time of year for us all. We will keep you posted on all that is new and exciting!