Wednesday, May 25

Meet.... um... Baby Calf

A few days after our donkey, Gavin arrived here on the farm Fiona was preparing for her forthcoming calf.  For several days leading up to the birth of the little bull calf, we dreadfully set our alarms for every two hours throughout the night and into the mornings.  On Thursday EARLY morning on my third trip out to the barn to check on Fiona's progress I found her with a little hoof having been birthed.  I immediately called Eric to give him the exciting news!!  By the time he reached the barn, I realized we only had one hoof and a nose, not two hoofs and a nose as it should have been.

Yes, you guessed it, we had to intervene and help Fiona out.  We waited a bit to make sure she needed our assistance before scrubbing up and going in.   After pushing and making no progress we made the decision to assist.  I was a bit frightened because the little calf's tongue was hanging off to the side of its mouth and I had never seen this before. Of course, I was assured by our friend Bob, who is a dairy farmer, that this was perfectly normal!  Whew!   After some careful reaching around, I finally was able to feel the calf's other front leg.  I carefully pushed the other foot and head back so I could realign the two front feet along with the head so birthing could go smoothly. Once that bit of help was done, Fiona pushed on her next contraction and we had a baby calf on the ground!

Wednesday, May 18

Meet Gavin

We started our small farming efforts in 2010 here at our homestead in Northwest Florida with 6 tiny poults.   A month or so later we added 3 Californian/New Zealand rabbits to the mix and really from there I have sort of lost count and track of what animals have come and gone!   We went from just a few hens to supply our table to a large flock that now feeds not only us but many families who are seeking more wholesome clean food options.   Over the last few years we have had some loss to our flocks along the way.   These are the realities of farm life, as hard as it is sometimes.

We went out to the barn one morning this past month to find 7 of our beautiful plump meat birds slaughtered and laying all over their pasture - from corner to corner was carnage.   I was livid. I work hard to raise good clean meat for our freezer, for not only us but also our grown children and their families.  To have this kind of loss was unbelievable and made me heartsick.    Through the years of farming here at Erilyn Farms we have had to increase the strength of our fences, with a smaller mesh so predators were deterred; we even had a beautiful guardian dog at one time.  He was one of the sweetest, most loving dogs you would ever hope to meet.  He was not really concerned with guarding however. So soon we found that it was necessary to rehome him.   We have been without a guardian for our flocks since.  

In order to keep foxes, coyotes, and opossums etc away we made the decision to seek out a candidate for that job!  We found him!

Meet Gavin White Hawk, isn't he gorgeous?!  Eric and  I went to meet Gavin a few days ago, and surely we fell in love with him at first sight!  Today we brought him to his forever home, here at the farm.

Tuesday, May 17

Days of May at Erilyn Farm

Today as I did a walk about here at Erilyn Farm, I took my macro lens along with me and snapped a few pictures here and there. It is a lovely time to get some macro shots with so many things in bloom!  Our veggies are finally putting on fruits, the weather had been so strangely cool that the poor plants didn't know if they should grow or not.

We have some not so pretty news, but hopefully the allure of these gorgeous blooms will help balance it all out!  We recently moved our meat birds into one of our vacant pastured areas. All was well. THEN one morning when we went out for feeding, over half of our meat birds were all over the area... So all of that to say we found ourselves in need of some type of guardian for our farm.

We started our search for a donkey for Erilyn Farm and within a few weeks of not finding anything, I posted a LOOKING FOR post on a few groups on good ole FaceBook.  Within just a few hours, I had a response.  We are having the pleasure and privilege of taking in a beautiful gentle donkey!  More on him later!

We have a lot of exciting news that will be coming at you right here, very soon.

Sunday, May 8

On the Farm...

Yeh. Yeh. I know. Time has eluded me once again!   I do desire to be here, to write and record, if only for my own record. I will soon have some sweet things I am going to want to record and share on a regular basis.   So... once again I am trying to engage and stay as I once did years ago, writing the story of our simple every day lives and the adventures here at Erilyn Farms!

Since I last made an entry we received a large shipment of baby chicks in the mail; 12 of which were our yearly order of meat birds (jumbo cornish rocks).   Sadly last night we lost 7 of them to some beastly predator.  You cannot imagine my saddened state when I entered the area to feed the meat birds early this morning.   I collected them up and swore off ever getting another animal to raise here on this farm.  Of course that was, hogwash.   We are now on the hunt for a young donkey to come live out his/her days on the farm as our predatory protector of the creatures who call this home.

Eric has been working incredibly hard for the last week or so getting everything in order for our milking parlor, refrigeration of milk etc.  He rewired the whole barn since he was working with the electrical he decided to go ahead and get everything up to code and proper.   Soon Fiona, our Guernsey will give birth to her first calf, we C A N hardly wait!