Category Archives: Ducks

the quackers that never shut up or stop moving

Back To Normal? HA!

Now that I’m feeling almost ‘normal’….my animals have decided to be themselves again and show me just how ‘normal’ it is around here. So far…today…. Bouncer chased one of the baby chicks, it ran to the trees where both mama hens were sitting with the other peepers. Both chickens FLEW out of those bushes and went after Bouncer, wings flapping, loudly squawking! Bouncer ran the other way and they FOLLOWED him attacking! Dillon the stupid goat, worked the fence to get himself on the other side where Stormy our boy Llama was and got himself stuck there. He trotted back & forth BAAAAAING trying to get back to where our mountain goat was. I went over, lifted the fence up as far as I could with my back and right leg, to let him come back to his side of the pasture. I looked like a weight lifter! He stood there staring at me, so I took my left arm, went under as far as I could, grabbed his collar, trying to force him under and back over to me! He gets half way under and does his famous stiff front legs out, digging into the grass trick, letting me know that ‘he aint going nowhere’! It looks like me and the goat are playing Twister! Right at that moment, a young mom with her little girl drive up, get out, asking me from afar if I have eggs for sale! Do I look like I can go check?? After threats, grunting and pulling, he gets on his side of the field and runs to Sierra. The black mama hen and her 7 fluffy chicks found their way outside the fence in the farthest back pasture, staring at me trying to get back inside, I can’t get at them, I need Super Farmer to help me, so there they stand, the 8 of them, lined up along the fence, clucking to get back in!!
After about an hours rest, LeAnna, Isaac and I, decided to do some Goodwill shopping. She accidently left the gate open and I just happened to look up to see Lincoln across the street in our neighbors yard, munching away at their bushes. Sammie is in the driveway a few steps from joining him! I yell at LeAnna, “HELP ME”! We run out to where the escapees are, they look up, spot us running toward them which makes them take off galloping down the street! Now, I have a truck coming towards them and a car coming up behind us, both vehicles stopped to let the circus perform. We are running as we zig zag with outstretched arms., I tell her, “herd them back my way’!!. LeAnna isn’t familiar with farm talk, she looks at me funny, so I say,, “bring them back my way”…she then looks at me bewildered! I yell, ‘just help them to come back towards our yard”, she understands and starts to herd those animals. I run in front of the bushes to keep Lincoln from going around them and back into the street. The lady in the stopped car, has her window down. I smile as I say running past her, “never a dull moment”! Her mouth is open and she stares with an amused, yet concerned look at this crazy lady running down the street behind two llamas with her arms frantically waving as another young woman with an ‘oh no’ look, follows in a nice dress and shoes!! Lincoln sprints through the open gate and I tell LeAnna, ‘just wait, Sammie will follow’…he did. We both grab for the gate, slamming it behind both animals that are now running to the back yard as the others join them. Stormy is watching all the excitement which makes him agitated cause the boys are a few feet away from him enjoying some freedom. He screeches out his alarm call as he runs along the fence trying to find a way over it so he can fight!
When I came back home, my chairs were knocked over from the donkey, they forced my bird feeders off their stands, eating ALL the birdseed, pushed over Isaac pup tent which is now laying in a heap, the trash can was on its side again and the goats ate my flowers. Yep, back to “NORMAL”.
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An Alpaca chasing what?

I need to strap a camera around my neck every time I go outside.  My animals never fail to amuse or surprise me! Lincoln our Alpaca was munching away in the back yard with Sammy one of the lamas. I decided to let my two Chihuahua’s out in the back with me while I fed the bunnies and chased the ducks back into their own pen.  Out of the corner of my eye, I  could see a blurry movement of a large brown animal, head bent low to the ground chasing a tiny tan thing. I looked up and what crazy sight did I see on this bright sunny day?  An Alpaca chasing the smallest animal on the farm, Chippie my 5lb Chihuahua! They ran from the very back of the yard all the way up to the door where I was standing.  Chippie yelping in fear as Lincoln tried to head butt him all the way to the house! Oh where was my camera? I quickly grabbed Chippie who wiggled  under my shirt as I scolded Lincoln (with a suppressed smile) about how we don’t chase our family members. Lincoln blinked at me with disappointment in his huge soft eyes, he  turned  around trotting back to where Sammy was feasting on the fresh spring grass! I coaxed Chippie out  from under my shirt, examined his shivering little body, then winked at him…he was not amused. So far on the farm I have seen out of place images such as…cats chasing goats, horses chasing chickens, bunnies chasing ducks, llamas chasing dogs and Dunkay the donkey chasing his tail!

Snow? What snow?

For the last 24 hours all we’ve heard on the news is about this powerful snow storm heading our way with up to 24″ of snow and high winds over night!  What do I see outside this morning when I got up?  5 foot snowdrifts? NO!  Wind swept pastures with sheets of blowing snow giving us white out visibility?  NO!  It is sunshine galore out there!  Not a cloud in the sky!  We spent hours yesterday getting the animals ready for riding the storm out. We shut them in the barn, gave extra grain, plugged holes that we discovered from the last storm, spreading more straw. I gave them all a lecture about being nice to each other while cooped up in a tight spot and few a warnings along with finger pointing (Sparky) for a more dramatic effect if anybody nips at the other! I have trapped animals who I’m sure are very unhappy by this time of day and I’m the one who will be opening up the barn door! That means I have to slowly, carefully slide it open as I stand sideways so I don’t get trampled as they gallop for freedom! As soon as they gulp in the crisp fresh air, shaking off the barn dust they will realize that I’m in the barn and they’re not!  That means they all run BACK into the barn to pounce upon the food that I was trying to sneak out before they realized it! IF I’m lucky, I will be in the back pen with the girl llamas and Stormy feeding them before the troops raid the barracks! sheesh!!

Billy the Goat!!

I need to write about our first goat…Billy. Yes that was his real name. Chad and I were just getting started in the ‘farm business’ when a man with 2 kids tagging along behind him, came to our garage sale at our new home. He asked if he could take his children over to pet the horses and see the llamas up close. Of course we said yes, after all, that is why we felt led to get some large animals,to share our place with folks who had young’uns. After a few minutes of friendly chit chat, he mentioned that they purchased a young goat from the Amish almost 6 months ago and Billy was getting too big for their back yard. He asked us if would like to have him…for free! Well of course we said yes! Never turn down a free animal when your starting up a farm!   Since we were new at this large animal stuff, it didn’t click inside our heads that there is always a good reason why people want to give away a perfectly good goat (remember the Dorito commercial??). That should have been Red Flag number one! We agreed to meet ‘Billy’ the next day to see if he would fit in with our family. We met Billy in the back yard of a modest house where they kept a few chickens and a very large black lab. Red Flag number 2 was about to show itself!  Billy came running straight for us as fast as his little goat legs would trot, only stopping when his horns were firmly planted on Chad’s behind! We nervously laughed as Billy’s mom commented over and over how cute it is that he likes to ‘play’…allot….non stop…continually. Flag number 3 came when the kids automatically hid behind both parent’s as Billy tried to play with everyone within sight!   
We took him home, in the back of our van.  
Billy was an adorable looking goat with big horns and a non-stop ‘lets play’ attitude. His playfulness consisted of butting everything that breathed….the horses, which kicked their hind legs at him…the llamas that ran away which made him very happy since that meant chase, and anything on two legs! If you moved, he butted…if you stood still…he butted. If you came outside…he butted. He wasn’t mean, just a typical boy goat! After a couple of months of the butting game, Billy started to get gruff! He was beginning to smell like a mature goat! Male goats STINK if they aren’t fixed! Billy needed an ‘operation’. We were hoping that after his ‘castration’ he would settle down. Hope is a funny word when it comes to goats. Our wishful hope did not come true. Billy just wanted to play! Soooooo, we learned to run faster than him in a zigzagging line , we even made escape plans before we ventured inside his pen!  Chad and I tried to feed him together as one of us distracted him so the other could sneak in, filling up his food dish and water bucket, trying to be quiet as barn mice. If he heard you, he got into play position, head bent low, horns glowing with determination to butt! We tried with Billy, we really tried. We changed how we did farm chores, we gave him balls to play with and learned how to be sneaky. After a LONG frustrating year, we gave him away…free to some folks who I’m sure had Red Flags swaying in the back of their minds as we commented over and over how cute it is that he likes to play!  
Then we got our next FREE goat…Jasper, ‘butt’ that’s another story!

Starting The Farm

When Chad and I started our little farm almost 5 years ago, we were as green as green gets! Chad did have a few years growing up on a farm when he was a boy. My dad was born and raised on 48 acres raising dairy cows in Kansas. Every summer my folks would pack up us kids and we would spend 14 fun filled hours in a car driving to KS to visit relatives and get some farm experience! Well, even thou my father hated farm life, it must have rubbed off on me because as long as I can remember, I’ve dreamed of having horses and other critters! Unfortunately, life does a detour forcing your dreams to take a back seat until the time is right. My time came when the Lord opened a door for us to live on a llama farm that was already well established in Laporte. Our first 2 Llamas were given to us by dear friends, I had our horses, Laci & Sparky on ‘lay-away’ until I could pay them off (yes you really can put a horse on lay-away!). Chad and I started this adventure together even thou some family members objected. We both felt like it was God’s will for us to start our own little farm, making it a blessing for young family’s with little ones. Our herd has grown from 2 llamas and 2 horses up to 4 llamas, 1 alpaca, a donkey, 2 goats, our original horses, various chickens, 3 quackers and too many barn kitties, not to mention the escaped bunnies who are now helping the wild rabbit population go from basic brown to funny spots and droopy ears! We talk quite a bit about how different things could have been for us when the kids were growing up if we had the farm 14 years ago with all of Gods creatures, big and small a few feet away. I am so blessed to be here and I try not to take what God has given us for granted. I’m looking forward to sharing all this with many grandchildren. We hope to be the fun grandparent’s that are considered cool and have the ‘must-go-to’ place in the eyes of a child! A home where the next generation will always be safe, happy and drama free! We both desire that the days with Baba and G-pa, imprint sweet memories in the hearts of all our grandkids for years to come!