Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Barn

So as we may have mentioned before, Scott and Kerry have a quite impressive agriculture going on in their property. Basically we are talking about getting all the milk and eggs that you need from your backyard and also some meat. We have seen it takes a lot of work to do and we've been happy to help whenever we can with the animals they take care of. And we've got some great experiences out of it!

In the barn there are two henhouses.

In the first one live the younger chickens with Owen the Rooster and five ducks. There is also a quail making funny whistling noises.

In the second one live the older chickens with Henry the Rooster and also a bunny called Frenchie. The hens and the ducks provide eggs, usually around 10 per day.

For taking care of these animals you gotta change and add water and add some food. Also collecting eggs is a very important task. Getting them inside the house without breaking is another thing...

Then there are five does, two of them provide milk at the moment.

To have goat milk you have to have kids (baby goats), so at the moment there are four fast, friendly and curious kids.

Here a video of the goats and chickens in the barn! :)

Milking the does happens in the morning time, and on Sunday we were brave enough to try that.

It took time to realize when and how to press but I think we both figured out at the end. I'm sure we will have enough practise to be professionals, like Scott is, eventually.

And video of Scott doing it and, well, Piia trying, really hard!

Two of the does will have kids soon and then the milking starts to run every morning and evening. Maybe we book our milking in the evening time, since waking up 5:30 sounds like night, not morning :).

The goat routines include changing the water and adding hay.

In the evening the kids are separated from the does so the does will have milk in the morning. And in the morning the kids are released back to the does.

It's a fast show!

Sometimes we find one of the kids out of their stall and standing in the hay bucket, they seem to be very good climbers though they are pretty small!

In the "smelly barn" there are two bucks. For Julien they smell like goat cheese. For Piia it's still just smell. For them we also change the water and add hay. And from the hay barn we get more food for the does and kids.

The cleaning is easy since all the floors are compost floors so no need to change the straw or other bedding. You just have to add straw and the older straw under will decompose little by little.

Occasionally we also see a boreal owl in the hay barn :).

It's a part of our Alaskan experience, and we are pretty amazed ourselves! :)

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