Category Archives: Frazer Family Mini-Farm

End of November Update

Before I have to flip my calendar page to December, I’ll take a few moments to give a “before the Christmas rush” update. Since our trip to New Brunswick at the beginning of September much has taken place, though a lot of the activity doesn’t get caught on camera.

There was a family trip to the Village d’Antan. Taking a step back into the past was fun and interesting.

Evelyn and I continue helping a friend with her horses. I had the joy of seeing the horse I helped to train go to a good home.

More bunnies were born and some are now sold.

The lambs are looking more like sheep than lambs now.

Now who is the hunter?

The kittens are growing up too.

Will someone give me a good home, please?

Evelyn has started hand quilting her quilt. I’m almost to that step on mine.

Daddy and Mommy took a couple hikes, including the difficult Mount Katahdin. It was foggy the day they hiked, but the following day revealed a beautiful outlook on the mountain.

And at last, after years of hiking in the White Mountains, they sighted not one, not two, but three moose!

In October, we took Nana (Mommy’s mother) out for her 90th birthday.

The cousins have been over to visit multiple times.

Since the family keeps growing new family photos were in order!

Sometimes the candid shots are the most fun.

Stephen didn’t know what he was getting into when he invited Elizabeth and Keziah onto his back…

Perhaps he should start a new pushup challenge for 2018!

Mid-November saw us heading down to the VA FEW conference. Yes, it snowed on route, but there was no snow in VA. It was a incredible time of Christian fellowship and refreshment in the Lord.

With December around the corner, the “Christmas rush” has actually already begun with a few cookies made and frozen and the FFF&F written, printed, and getting ready for the mail! We look forward to what the Lord has in store for us in the next month!

Calves

As mentioned it a previous post, our cow calved at the end of August. However, unlike other years, we haven’t posted any pictures. That is because the calf didn’t survive the birth process. It was a malpresentation: tail first! We had to help Hershey out by turning the calf around and pulling it out back feet first. By the time we accomplished that, however, the calf was dead. 🙁

Nevertheless, we do have a calf. Actually, we bought two: a Jersey and a Jersey/Holstein. Toblerone (named for the triangle shaped marking on his face) has always been a very lively calf.

But he’s practising posing!

Roast Beef, on the other hand was never quite so active, though he did try out the wading pool.

Though at first it looked like he might pick up and do well, we were mistaken and he died too. So we’re left with just Toblerone who makes up for the two lost calves with all his energy!

Lambs

The lambs are growing up, but they are now all bottle-fed. Sadly, we lost Ice Cream. However, the three orphans are doing fine on milk replacer and have become very friendly. Raspberry came to visit the residents at the Grace Christian Home. She was well liked!

Always curious, they love checking out new things. The cat wasn’t too sure…

… and for a time, enjoyed being lap lambs!

Now they are getting more active and harder too photograph unless they’re lying down!

They are also getting to be little escape artists – sneaking out the door the moment it is open! Thankfully, they come back quite readily.

“For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.” I Peter 2:25

Newcomers in the barn

Ice Cream appears to be a prolific sheep. She had three little lambs Wednesday – two ewes and a ram.

As can be seen, there is quite a size difference between them. The largest and smallest – both ewe lambs – weighing 8.5 lbs and 4.5 lbs respectively. Here they are side-by-side:

Unfortunately, however, whether it is that she is too stressed to let down well, too on edge to eat enough to produce lots of milk, or simply not a good milker, Ice Cream appears not to have enough milk for her lambs.  As a result, we’ve brought the smallest lamb indoors to be bottle fed. The ram, likewise seems hungry, but we’re hoping that an extra bottle now and then will keep him going enough to contend with his sister for Ice Cream’s milk.

The littlest lamb is great fun. She already looks on us as “mommy” and was taken outdoors this morning to be photographed. I have to admit that this aspect of raising sheep was one of my reasons for wanting to do it! 🙂

Mommy, where are you going?

Spring happenings

After a rather odd winter of next to no snow, March hailed several “good” snowstorms and it kept coming even into April. We may have received much less snow that usual this year, but the amount left on the ground at present is certainly more than other years.

Many spring birds are returning and some winter ones have left for the north. I was excited to have an opportunity to photograph one of the Eastern Township’s winter sojourners not long before they left for the summer. Snow buntings are quite striking.

A recent snowfall created the perfect opportunity to do sugar on snow. Everyone enjoys this, but somehow the kids seem to love it most!

In the barn changes have occurred. We sold our faithful cow, Mocha, last month, and butchered Coffee Crisp not long after. With increased space in the barn, our thoughts began to go toward another farming enterprise. The rabbits moved into a larger, better pen at the far end of the barn, and a stall was constructed to contain… sheep! We bought three ewes two weeks ago. It was quite an adjustment for them to go from a big farm with lots of sheep and very little handling to our little “mini farm” with lots of people visiting. They are getting more friendly by the day, though, and have learned that people carry grain! Yum! The kids enjoyed meeting the sheep.

Chipit is the youngest and most inquisitive of the three and has only been through one lambing before. She’s supposed to be expecting for July or August.

Maple, according to the farmer from whom we bought her, is somewhere around 4 or 5 years old. She is hopefully due to lamb in May, but she isn’t showing it yet. Though very wild at first, she is becoming much less timid and loves back rubs.

Ice Cream is supposedly about the same age as Maple. She’s the shyest of our ewes, but being far along in her pregnancy may explain that a bit. She is due to lamb anytime now. Does anyone want to take a guess at how many lambs she’ll have and what gender it/they will be?

Oh, and while we on the topic of baby animals… Smokey had another batch of kittens last month – 11 this time, but one died. The 10 remaining ones are now weaned and for sale.

I’m looking forward to having lambs as photography subjects!

Busy times

Well, I guessed correctly that I wouldn’t have time for an update before Christmas. But I didn’t expect to leave this much time between posts!

Our Christmas chalk talk was presented several times. Evelyn joined the chalk artists this year which turned out to be very providential as she ended up having to take over on drawing David’s part in one presentation due to sick girls in his family.

Christmas this year was very unique. Since the 25th landed on Sunday, we decided to postpone our usual celebrations until the 26th and had our regular Sunday meeting and fellowship meal Christmas Day followed by a fun time of games in the afternoon.

Our own Christmas celebration was a quiet, pleasant day with our traditional turkey diner. New dining room tables called for elegant dishes to match.

The next event was a New Year’s Eve party with the M______ family. Skating, sliding, and Christian fellowship made for a wonderful afternoon.

Several of the S_____ family also joined the New Year’s Eve celebration and came to spend a day with us afterwards. We had an enjoyable time with more skating and pingpong.

The year had hardly begun when we undertook the HUGE project of cleaning up the house from top to bottom… or rather, from bottom to top. We started with the basement meeting room: sorting all the fabric and boxing them neatly, doing repairs that materialised as we organised, throwing out junk that had accumulated, and generally straightening everything up. As soon as that was done, we tackled the workroom. We call it the workroom, but the truth was that it had turned into a “catch all,” storage place. It hasn’t been thoroughly cleaned in a VERY long time. Usually we say that during cleaning, a place looks worse before it looks better, but I’m not sure that was the case this time! The end results were a radical improvement. We can actually do some woodworking now! Evelyn and I did some reupholstering on some broken chairs that had been awaiting repairs.

Other projects came up as things broke down. The faucet in the bathtub began leaking, necessitating not only a new faucet and shower, but also a new tub surround. We are glad for the pressure sensitive valve that was installed! The heater in the same bathroom needed changing not long afterwards.

And in all the busyness, the buttermaking kept on with an output of about 20lbs a week…

… until the mixer broke down!

Thankfully, it is fixed now. But it wasn’t the only thing to break down… We woke one Saturday morning to find that the fridge was “operating” at room temperature. Though the repairman managed to get it running again, he said it won’t last much longer. A new fridge was in order.

On the “mini farm” side of things, the rabbits are multiplying in leaps and bounds (pun intended 🙂 ), the calves are growing nicely and cows are giving lots of milk… too much, so we’re selling Mocha. It looks likes she’ll have a nice home on a beef farm where a little family cow is wanted for some milk. And while I was out taking pictures of Mocha for the “For Sale” sign, I shot a few of the other cows just because I like photographing animals!

Aren’t I cute?

Oh, and of course the cat. She had to sneak into the blog post somewhere!

So, that is what has been going on in the Frazer home!  Well, no, not quite all that has been going on…  An update wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the little ones! But photos of them would make this post rather long, so I’ll give them an entry all to themselves! 🙂

Fun with Sausage

As usual with one-day-old calves, we took Sausage out on the lawn on Wednesday. She is much less energetic than some of our calves and stood still beautifully to pose for the camera!

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She does have some energy, and like all calves, enjoys running. Her “high speed” is more of a lope than an out-and-out run, making her the easiest calf yet to get in focus even when in motion. Well… the photographer has learned a few things too… 🙂

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Oh, and of course, the inspector had to come by again! What is farm life without cats around? 🙂

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And one final photo:

Sausage making!

Actually Sausage was already made, but she was just born today! At 6:00 this morning, I thought Mocha might calve that evening, but she was still looking pretty much like her normal self. So I was taken quite by surprise to find that at 10:00 she had her calf!

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And of course, the inspector had to drop by to check out the situation!:)

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Sausage is the first calf we’ve had that is such a light colour. And she is even lighter now that she’s dried off! We’ll try to post more pictures later.