Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Did you know this?

Assalam alykom:

My family and I are learning so much about animals and the outdoors. Do you know what this picture is? Will it looks like the feet of a strange creature. Well, we discovered that it is wild rabbit tracks. The two in the front are the rabbits front paws. The one spot in the back is his back feet. They look like one foot because the rabbit keeps his two back feet together when he hops. Did you know that ducks have no nerves in their feet. When we see our ducks swimming in a bucket of water and it is freezing cold, we are not feeling sorry for them anymore. Allah equips them in this manner so they can endure cold water. They also have very thick feathers so they do not even feel the water touch them. We learned this when researching some of the animals we have on our farm.

Did you know that it is good that an animal is shivering when it is cold? Well, I was feeling really sorry for my sheep and goats when I saw them shivering on those below zero days. However, I discovered that if the animal does not shiver that means it is suffering from hypothermia. The shivering is a way the body reacts to the cold and keeps the animal warm.

Did you know that a rooster can get frost bite? Well, I would have never thought of this especially since my chickens and roosters do not even leave the barn because of the cold. However, my rooster does have frost bite. It does not seem to bother him because he is not lethargic. However, the kids still feel sorry for him and he has spent a few nights in my basement. We have made their roosting room as warm as possible, but he is very large and has a huge comb on his head. It was reading that the larger birds are more prone to it. Keep reading my blog and you might learn more right along with us.

Organic Eid

Assalam alykom:
I have been very excited about having more organic meat, eggs and vegetables in our diet. We slaughtered one of our sheep for the Eid. She was 100% organic. She was fed only corn, alfalfa and grass. The meat looked so different. It was very red when I was organizing it to put in my freezer. I cooked some of it with rice this week. Sometimes, sheep can have a strong smell when you cook it. This one did not and it was the best tasting meat that I have ever had. When we lived in Florida, it was a hassle to slaughter for the Eid. It was always very crowded and one sheep was over $200.00. This year was very easy. We just took her from our pasture and that was it. We have three pregnant goats pictured here. Once they deliver, I will be experimenting with getting their milk and making yogurts and cheese. It will be a learning curve I am sure, but I am looking forward to it.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Snow on the farm

Assalam alykom:

After living in Florida for over 20 years and all of my adult life, I think even a little snow can be overwhelming. However, we have about a foot of snow and huge drifts. This is my driveway and from where I am taking the picture is my big barn and this is where my van is parked(TRAPPED). I started to shovel my way to the road, which is way passed the shed you see in the picture, but I grew tired after three hours. I decided to try again the next day. Well, the next day had shown all of my shoveling efforts to be gone. There was a great deal of wind overnight, and my driveway was once again totally buried. Our friends came with their four wheeled drive, and with a great deal of of shoveling, pushing and a chain that pulled us, we were finally able to get my van to the end of the driveway. I think it will be my parking spot for most of the winter. Later that evening, a neighbor came by with a huge plow and offered to plow the entire driveway. Al hamdolilah! The rest of the pictures, I took during the snowfall. My daughter made the comment when we went outside that she felt like she was inside a giant snow globe. The flakes were so big and she felt that someone had just shook up the globe and she was on the inside looking out. I thought that was such a neat description of what she was feeling. Well, I hope the winter is easy for us former Floridians.

The dark side of a farm

The bright side of farm life is the fact that it is full of life. There are chickens, ducks and animals. There are eggs being laid and baby animals being born. There are wild berry trees, fruit trees and nuts. There are gardens and flowers being planted. With all of this life, the dark side is death. It is inevitable that death will occur on a farm. It can be quite emotional. This emotions are very great when your attached to some of this life. When we first came to our farm, my friend gave us a chick. She was very sweet and so friendly. She was getting quite big and her cage was to messy to keep her in the house. She had a very large cage and we decided to put it outside right next to our back door. It was during Ramadan, and I was up preparing the food in the morning. I checked on the chick, and she was fine. As we were eating, I heard her cry. It was too late. There was a feral cat that had grabbed her through the cage. This was our first death. The kids were all crying, but it was soon healed with a little time and twelve new chickens. Our next story is about a young sheep. We got our first new sheep. There were four, andthey were all young sheep. Three of them were around 4 to 6 months. One was a baby who had been orphaned. His mother had died from a bug bite. He was doing great when we first got him. However, we think that he had ate more than he was used to and became sick. He was our second death. The kids were sad, but better than the chicken. The most recent death was my friends' horse. My friends had brought one of their large horses to my pasture. The horse had been nursing her baby and the baby was ready to be weaned. The mother horse had become very thin from the nursing and she was also older. While she was in my pasture she did not seem to gain weight. Last week, she must have felt ill and sat on the ground. It was very cold and she was unable to get up after that. After spending the entire day with the vet trying to get her better, she died. This is all what can happen with life on the farm. I think that I do not want to have too many animals as pets. The attachment to them is really hard when something happens to them.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Our Ducks

Assalm alykom:
My friend has so many ducks. When we visited them, my husband cornered a male and female. Now they are the new residnets on our farm. Well, they are kind of camera shy. They just would not turn around for the picture. They are really cute! Be sure to see my other blog for a great craft about ducks!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Our Goats

Assalm alykom:

We now are venturing into goats. I do not really like them for their meat. I prefer sheep. However, I do love the milk for cheese and yogurt. I really know nothing about goat milking. I am sure it will be a big learning process for the whole family. All three goats are pregnant and we might be starting our milking adventure soon. Goats have more personality and are much smarter than sheep. we have had them less than a week and they have been out of the fencing three times already. They went right to where we store their corn, took the lid off the can, and they were feasting. They are pretty tame, and the kids love them. The white one with the beard lets us pet her the most. I cannot wait till they have their babies. They must be so cute!

More chickens

Assalm alykom:

Well, we added more chickens. We now have ten hens and two roosters. I thought I would get more eggs now. Well, I have had them for two weeks and no eggs. Someone told me they do not lay eggs as much when it is cold. When we got the new chickens we got these little tiny chickens. One is the rooster and the black one is a hen. SubhannaAllah, how Allah makes creatures of different sizes!

Friday, October 10, 2008

I Love the View

Assalam alykom

I love the rolling hills that I can see from my front porch. I captured this picture of the moon as it was rising just after the sun set. The other picture is the same view, but it was in the morning as the sun was rising.

Borrowed Mowers

Assalm alykom

When we purchased our home, it had been left unkept and over grown for a long time. We have quite alot of overgrown pasture. Our few little sheep could never clear it out. Therefore, our friends thought that they would bring three of their horses over to help out a little. Two of them are ponies and the kids and I are really enjoying petting them everyday!

Our Chickens

Assalm alykom

We got our chickens, Alhamdolilah! Our frinds brought them over as a gift. I love the rooster! He is so big and beautiful. We had 4 hens, but I think a chicken hawk swooped down and got one. We are down to three. I just love the fresh eggs. they lay about one per day. I think if we got a few more hens, it would be better and I would get more eggs faster. My kids have already checked books out at the library on the chickens. They want to know how to raise and care for them.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Animals, Birds, and Bugs

Assalam alykom:

Here is our small flock of "Organic" sheep. There are three young sheep and one baby who was an orphan. The kids were bottle feeding him at first, but now he can eat all by himself.

Some creatures I do not like. Take these creepy spiders.

My son brought this one in to show me. Wow, it is so beautiful, but I had the shivers at the thought of holding it. It is a garden spider and good to keep on the outside of the house.

These are little barn swallow babies that I found in the barn. They are sooooo adorable!

This is our new kitten. Her name is Sweety or Sicarah in Arabic. She is so good with the kids and they just adore her.

Life along the Countryside

Assalm alykom:

Welcome to my new blog. We just purchased a very old farm house out in the countryside in Nebraska. The house is on a little over six acres and has a few barns. For so long I have wanted a property like this. I have been longing for a more organic life. I really want to grow my own vegetables, raise my own chickens for eggs, have a small heard of sheep for meat and enough room for my kids to run and play. Well, Allah has richly blessed my family and I with a homestead to fulfill these dreams. Al-Hamdolilah!