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!
Oh what a wonderful morning! The first thing I usually do is open my curtains to spy on the animals to see if they are being naughty or nice! This morning they have decided to be naughty! I see Sweetie our black Llama in the front field, where she is NOT suppose to be! NOT A GOOD SIGN! I quickly get dressed and run out the non-stop swinging door, which I seem to be doing allot lately. I can now see Sparky, the Tank and Dunkay in the Llama field, a very bad sign. I don’t see our boy Llama Stormy, Sammie or Lincoln, an ‘Oh NO’ sign! I sprint to the barn where I hear two Llamas fighting and Lincoln my Alpaca is now running to the back field screaming…I didn’t know Alpacas can scream! It’s an eerie sound, nothing like their warning call. In the barn are two full grown male Llamas that out weigh me by 150 pounds each, fighting, making sounds that would make a grown man stop and back away praying that they don’t see him! I have to form a plan, quickly. Do I let them fight their way out of the barn or do I yell like a crazy lady waving my arms outside where people can see me? I yell. They both stop, look at me, look back at each other, then back at me. I swear they both had a look of amusement on their faces. After sharing a laugh between themselves, they decided to go back doing what boy Llamas do best…fight. I gave up. I trudged my way through the thick mud to the back field and chased 2 horses and a donkey back into their own pasture. Meantime Lincoln is in the corner of the fence panicking, wailing out his distress sounds. Both goats are in the barn hiding under the food bin and the kitties are going about cat business, they want to be fed…now! Stormy decided that he had had enough of Sammy and searches for Lincoln which got him out of the barn. He galloped over to where Lincoln was trembling then chased him along the fence. A grunting Llama with his head close to the behind of a screaming Alpaca! Oh where was my camera! While those two were running back and forth, it gave me a chance to herd both girl Llamas into the side yard with the promise of tasty grain. Lincoln runs back to the barn with an angry Llama snipping and spitting close behind! By the grace of God, I got Sammy & Lincoln into a pen (where the goats were hiding) and shut the gate to keep Stormy our boy Llama from biting them! Now I have 2 girl Llamas in one field, 2 horses and a donkey in another with an unhappy boy llama running from barn to pasture where his girls are. Now all I have to do is trick 3 Lamas into their own territory! HA! With a cup full of desirable grain, a slide of the hand on the gate, along with a few herding tricks that involves out stretched arms mixed with my own animal noises, they are back where they belong! I shut everybody into their rightful places and inspect for damage inside the barn. Not too bad, they didn’t consume all the grain, 2 hay bales were toppled, the chicken and cat food I left out last night had been eaten and only 2 piles of horse poop in the main area. I gave the horses their pills and fed chickens along with kitties, I scolded everybody for being bad boys and girls which doesn’t do me any good, they only stare back with a blank expression. I will keep a close eye on the herd today. If they worked the inside gate open once, they will surely do it again.
I looked out the window and Laci the mini tank was standing outside the barn as Sparky stood half way in the barn door. Laci was standing, not moving a muscle, staring at the house. I didn’t think too much of it until I looked out almost 15 min later and they were both in the same spot. Now on a normal day I wouldn’t have cared…I would have shook my head and thought to myself, ‘what a couple of ding bats’. But the wind chill is MINUS 50 and with open fields all around us, the wind is blowing hard! I watched them for a few moments and noticed that Laci was moving one foot up, then another….duh….she’s cold! Go inside! But she stands there, switching feet slowly freezing to death! Well my farmer instinct kicks in and realize she might be A. frozen to the ground or B. the cold has made her mind as fuzzy as her winter coat and she can’t figure out how to get back inside the barn! So what do I do??? I tell Chad to go out and chase the horses back in (I’m not going out there, its too cold for humans!). My faithful hubby gets bundled up with a forced ‘Yes Dear’ smile on his face to chase horses back into a barn as the wind blows tiny ice particle’s onto his exposed face making it go from warm to frost bite in less than 4 seconds! I watched him trudge through the thick snow with a warm heart, knowing that my hubby loves me and that the horses will be saved from Mother Natures wrath! He got to the barn and what did those horses do? They ran opposite from the barn and into the pasture! Chad sort of chased them back towards the barn but they did a wide circle around him and stood there facing him…oh good, a stand off! I could see him shaking his fist at them and I’m sure he was using threating words as his skin turned from pink to a frosty blue. He finally gave up and did what I always do, trick them back inside with tasty goat grain! These horses will follow a hand full goat grain to the ends of the earth! After a few tense moments and a few snickers on my end, he got the horses back the into barn!! Good job honey!
why do they stand there in 50 BELOW wind chills???
I should train myself NOT to look out the window early in the morning to see what the naughty’s are doing, its too stressful! I pulled back the curtain to see what was going on in the field and I spotted Laci the mini tank laying halfway in the barn door. Dunkay was trapped in the barn with his head poking out, Sparky and both goats were stuck outside trying to get back in! Our mini tank was laying completely still, head down, not moving a muscle. I truly thought she was dead. She likes to lay down in the middle of the field but in the middle of door way? I ran from window to window trying to get a different view to see if she was moving, I even knocked on one window which is silly, they can’t hear me that far away although both goats perked up and looked my way happy to hear human sounds,they have ears of an elephant when it comes to the possibility of food, all other sounds they ignore. I woke Chad up and told him in less than 3 seconds how Laci was laying in the doorway possibly dead and that the other animals are trapped! I yelled that he needs to get up NOW and go do CPR before we lose her!! He looked at me with one eye open with his ‘here she goes again’ look and mumbled something about the ‘horse is sleeping, leave her alone’. I insisted he get up and save my horse,he insisted that he stay in bed and rolled over. Needless to say, by the time I got dressed and out to the barn, Laci was sitting up looking at me with joy in her eyes knowing that breakfast was early this morning!
We should name our big fat horse Laci…HOUDINI! I went out to the barn about an hour ago to do my ‘feed the animals without being trampled dance’! I gave Sparky her pill, then turned to give Laci her medicine and noticed she wasn’t in the barn pigging out like a good horse. Was she in the field enjoying the brown grass?? NO! She got through the fence and was in the front yard next to our 6 foot tall concrete hand, 3 feet from the road munching on the rich green grass that she isn’t suppose to be eating! Cars were slowing down with folks straining to see and pointing to the funny horse eating by a hand! I quickly grabbed her ‘leash’ and calmly walked out the gate pretending I wasn’t interested in ‘catching’ her. I slowly walked up to the naughty horse, gave her the pill mixed with delicious goat grain that no horse can resist and slipped the lead around her fury neck. I let out a huge sigh of relief! She whinnied cause she just figured out that I, the crafty human has just gained control! Woo-hoo…I win again! I do not make this stuff up! Our animals are smarter than the average bear and keep me on my toes!
And now for the rest of the story…. you’d all would be proud of me. After I got Laci back to the barn (she is currently penned up with Sparky), I walked the fence and found where she worked it loose and got out. I’m shocked, this over weight, so called ‘mini horse’ had to get down on her belly and wiggle through the bottom of the fence…Laci the mini ‘TANK’, squeezed through a small spot close to the ground! I tied the bottom of the chain link to a concrete block to hopefully keep her from pushing through again. I did it all by myself! As soon as Chad gets home he will go out-alone-in the dark-alone-to inspect or fix the now out of shape fence!