The Critters

It wouldn’t be a real farm without lots of critters:

The dogs:

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Casper (b. 10/11/09) Brittany loves to be outdoors hunting or sitting by the woodstove

Brittanys are high energy dogs with loads of personality. These two are quite a pair since Wednesday is the boss and Casper tests her authority daily. Their favorite run is the trail through the woods behind our house where the scents and sights are exhilarating. At home, they love to play tug-of-war with their rope together.

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Wednesday (b. 5/21/04) Brittany born to hunt and snuggle

Game birds are their quarry of choice however, we had a terrier once who taught our Brittany to hunt snakes and rodents in the woodpile and each successive generation of Brittanys has taught this skill to the next. Chipmunks, squirrels, mice and voles are all fair game to them.

The pigs:

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The Pig Whisperer

Katie, our source of all things farming at the Barn Store, says that in order to successfully raise pigs you need to whisper in their ear. These piglets arrived on May 11th and are in hog heaven in their woodsy paddock. I am trying not to get too attached to them since they are going to end up in our freezer. I’m not sure that I have the fortitude to raise my own meat yet so Ron is doing the pig raising. I’m not planning on becoming a vegetarian and I would prefer to eat meat from animals that I know lived a good life. So I’m easing into the whole process with a open mind and heart wondering what we should be whispering in their ears.

The horses:

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Barbie (Ledyard’s Princess Astro b. 05/07/09) is a Morgan trained in natural horsemanship and Becca who patiently answers endless horse questions over the phone

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Preacher (Smart Playboy Doc b. 05/08/02) is a quarter horse formerly used as a rodeo pickup horse

Ron has dreamed of having a horse at home for several years now and these two are his dreams come true. Barbie and Preacher have been living at our daughter’s home in New York State until the barn and pasture were ready and moved here on May 2, 2013. They are adjusting well to their new home and Preacher has stepped up to be the boss much to our surprise. We are training them using natural horsemanship and enjoying learning the ropes right along with them. Living on a dirt road in the woods gives us lots of trails and quiet roads to test out our equestrian skills.

The “Barn” cat: 

Chester

Chester

We looked long and hard for a barn cat. Our neighbor mentioned that his daughter was looking for a new home for her cat and we rushed over to have a look. One look was all it took and Chester came home with us that day. However, he spent the next two weeks hiding in my closet and hasn’t been into the barn yet. But he is very lovey and gets along with both the dogs.

 

The chickens:

Three Red Stars

Three Red Stars

These three Red Star layers moved with us from Maine. In the winter, they live in the “Egg Plant” in the barn. Then in the spring, these working girls spend their days in the vegetable garden eating bugs and scratching up weeds. We added six new chicks, three Delawares and three New Hampshire Reds on April 29, 2013. After their stint in a brooder in the garage until they were old enough to join the flock.

Delaware

Delaware in foreground and NH Red in background

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