Ruffled Feathers and Spilled Milk

Farming with ducks and dairy goats, chickens and children.

Question Of The Day.

Posted on | January 28, 2014 | 4 Comments


Does the nutrition in the kale chips and fruit salad cancel out the fat and calories of the deep fried donkey balls?


Who the heck cares? Read more

Chicken Necklace.

Posted on | January 18, 2014 | 11 Comments

I bet you are waiting with bated breath to hear if the dead chicken necklace stopped Bella from killing chickens.

"Doesn't this dead chicken match my eyes perfectly?"

The answer is no.  And yes.

It’s true that the chicken necklace was a great hindrance to her usual romping and wrestling with Bruno.  Her speedy race to the pond to bark at vultures was more of a clumsy waddle as she stumbled and tripped over the carcass around her neck.  She got snagged when squeezing through the cattle panels to nestle amongst the hay rolls.  Plus, no one was interested in giving lots of puppy love to a puppy wearing a dead chicken.

But I also saw her curled up comfortably on several occasions, using the dead chicken as a nice, fluffy pillow.  Several afternoons I caught her gnawing contentedly on a chicken leg.  And once I saw her spinning around gleefully and then happily chasing the feathers that flung loose and floated down through the air.

Seemed like the chicken necklace was not as traumatic as it was portrayed to me by other farmers.  Rather it seemed like a combination of good and bad.  And the results remained to be seen. Read more

It’s That Cold.

Posted on | January 9, 2014 | 6 Comments

Yeah, I know it’s colder where you are.  I realize you get snow every year and temperatures below zero.

Well, bless your heart.

But around here, we don’t do single digit temperatures.  It’s just not done. It’s considered vulgar.  In bad taste.

The schools called a 2 hour delay just at the thought of single digit temperatures.

No snow, no ice.  Just cold enough for us to be swooning and havin’ the vapors.  Nobody can learn under conditions like that.

We can’t turn on the radio or the television without being warned to keep a close eye on our elderly neighbors and outdoor pets.  Which I also find vulgar and in bad taste.  How old exactly do I have to be before I get lumped into the same category as “outdoor pets”? Read more

Out With The Old.

Posted on | January 8, 2014 | 7 Comments

Well, I got lots of good stuff for Christmas.  But no one was able to find a replacement for my barn coat.  Oh, they tried.  But how do you replace this?

Ah, the perfection of a broken-in barn coat.  It always has a piece of twine tucked somewhere in case of emergency.  There’s always a stale treat hidden in its folds to lure a loose animal back inside the fence.  It can be used as a rag to wipe things or a plug to stop leaking things.  No matter how many times it is washed, it envelopes you with the comforting smells of hay and manure, woodsmoke and wet dog, fresh dirt and buck funk, curdled milk and dried egg yolk.  (Do not put stray eggs in your barn coat pocket.  Do not. You will not remember them until you have broken them.)  The rips and stains stand as testimony to a full life and a long barnyard to-do list. Read more

A Christmas Gift.

Posted on | December 27, 2013 | 8 Comments

Well, it’s all over except for the tree burning ceremony. Since no one has watered the tree since we put it up (just like last year)(and the year before)(and, yeah,…you guessed it), I’m expecting the fire to be even brighter than the Christmas lights.

This year The Other Half managed all the Christmas shopping.  Including shipping, handling, and hiding.  And on the big night, while I was at work dealing with drunken domestics and brittle diabetics, he was up late reading Christmas tales to the kids, wrapping the presents, and arranging the stockings for Santa.  By the time I got home in the morning there nothing left to do but sip coffee and watch the annual display of shock and awe. Read more

Keepin’ It Real.

Posted on | December 20, 2013 | 2 Comments

I took the truck to get hay.

So The Other Half and Middle took the ‘85 Sprint and headed into the woods.

Which meant that when I heard them honking in the driveway, I came out to see this:

Yep.  Carried that buck all the way home strapped to the front of the Sprint. Read more


Posted on | December 13, 2013 | 3 Comments

I know some of you went for the “one and done” philosophy of parenting.  Which is smart, if somewhat obsessive.  After all, what is the point of worrying endlessly over 1 child when you could be trying to ignore 4 children equally instead?

Since we have 4 children that had to pass through the same rituals of walking, speaking, potty training, first day of school, etc, we never felt very finished when Big accomplished one of these things.  It just didn’t seem that celebratory to say, as we were putting away the potty seat:
“Sweet!  Only 3 more kids and 9 more years of diapers to go!”

Just like it doesn’t feel that encouraging now that he’s close to getting his braces out to think:

“Awesome!  Only 3 more kids and $10,000,000 in teeth extractions and orthodontia to pay for!” Read more

The Calm Before The Storm.

Posted on | December 11, 2013 | 1 Comment

Brianna was one of our very first goats.

She and Carmen arrived together.

Read more

The Good Thing About Pigs….

Posted on | December 8, 2013 | No Comments

….is that even 11 days after Thanksgiving.

Long after Timmy, our Elf on the Shelf, has appeared….

and the onset of December’s freezing rain has forced me to pull out the winter clothes and put away the summer outfits.

When we can’t avoid getting out this stuff any more….

Read more

Role Playing.

Posted on | December 6, 2013 | 6 Comments

We all have a role to play.  No one’s contribution can be underestimated.

Last weekend, someone around here forgot their role and I refuse to be held responsible for it.

After all, everyone knows I am the animal hoarder manager and it is my job to snatch up the adorable…

and the ridiculously ugly.

Read more

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