This Week on the Farm: March 23-29, 2020

In This Week on the Farm by Laura CrossleyLeave a Comment

Seven days ago, we had no cattle. Holy cow – what a difference a week makes.

Our chicks are huge

Our tiny chicks have nearly doubled in size. They’ve only been on the farm for about 2 weeks, but we’ve already seen them grow a ton. Their feeder is getting refilled daily. Their water can runs low often. They’re getting tons of attention from the nieces and nephews – and are truly one of Isai’s favorite things to watch.

Read more: A Big Week for Little Chicks

We have 3 bottle calves

In less than a week, 3 bottle calves have arrived on the farm. The land’s previous owners left behind several kennels from a long-ago dog boarding and training business. Lucky us – we were able to expand one of the kennels into an indoor-outdoor pen for the babies. They have tons of straw to stay cozy, some hay to chew around in and 2 bottles a day of milk replacer.

They even got their first ear tags – marked I, R and T for Isai and our nephews, Rhett and Tanner. Baby cows for Grandpa’s babies.

Read more:
Meet Chuck – Our First Moomaker
Now We Have 3 Chucks

Sun, sun and more sun

We’ve had such a great time soaking up the sunshine over the past week. We grabbed a couple of poles for fishing and cocktails by the pond. We’ve taken tons of walks around the property and even found an old ATV trail that connects our land with one of the adjoining farms. We’ve gone mushroom hunting in the timber, explored the creeks and walked around the pasture while a sprinkly rain fell. The dogs are loving the extra time outdoors and, by evening, we’re all ready to crash hard.

Read more: Day 13: Quarantined on the Farm

Critter feeding is a thing we do

Aaron and I have found a weird groove for feeding all of the animals each morning and evening. The dogs eat their meals in the house with us. The chicks are still in the garage and the cows are in the pole barn. We are quickly becoming pros at scooping foods and mixing bottles. We’ve also already started the “how do we automated feeding these things?” conversation. Farm tech experiments to come!

Chicken coop in progress

The sunny weekend gave us an incredible chance to start checking farm tasks off of our long list of projects. Top of the to-dos included building a chicken coop for our tiny garage guests.

Aaron, his Dad Steve and my brother Chris all dove head-first into getting the coop framed up. Aaron and I had thought it would be an easy 2-day project – but gathering materials, working with a baby in tow and finding ample sunny day distractions slowed the progress a bit.

By Sunday evening, we had a fully framed coop including a couple of panels of siding. In the next week, Aaron and I will finish the siding, add roof panels, doors and windows – then, start working on the styling. I’m sure plenty of y’all would wonder why I need to style a chicken coop – but I’m completely pumped about finishes and landscaping while we work on plans for our house remodel. The coop is going to be the perfect trial run for some paint colors and finish options that I might recreate on the house exterior later!

Garden prep in full swing

Possibly the least expected but most exciting detail of the week is that our garden prep is officially off and running. Starts are finally sprouting in the greenhouse – a much-welcomed surprise after we had pretty much decided that I planted them very wrong. Plus, my nephew Rhett and niece Zoey helped plant their very own tomato and bell pepper trays while we played in the dirt. Even more starts will get rolling this week with a little more help from family – and then we’re simply waiting for the final freeze!

On Sunday, we had to take a plow-break in the middle of working on the chicken coop. My dad fired up the tractor, Aaron hooked up the plow and we took our very first stab at breaking up the ground on our family farm.

Later, Chris and Aaron even pulled an old disk from the brush near our creek and took a few passes to test it out. A little clean up and extra weight will have it working smoothly in no time!