Monday, June 26, 2017

ChickenScraps Shop has a new section: Live Plants!

Antique Lafter Rose

I am happy to announce that I am now offering live Lemongrass and antique rose plants on my Etsy shop!  Currently I only have a couple of Lafter roses available, but I am going to try to get around to rooting some Thousand Beauties (a light pink climbing rose) and Rev d'Or (a light yellow climber); possibly also some Old Blush.  These are all antique roses, which means they are old, hardy varieties which are disease resistant and grow on their own roots.
I also hope to add mint in the near future.

Visit my shop to purchase or for more information!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Raising a Family Milk Cow Series, Pt. 3: How to Train a Heifer or Cow to Stand for Milking

     So, you have a young heifer, or a cow which has never been milked before, and want her to be your family milk cow. You grab a bucket and head out to the barn to do some milking, and, lo and behold! she kicks you over and tries to break out of the stanchion the second you touch her udder.  What went wrong?

Thursday, May 25, 2017

March and April Through My Lens

Well...  here I am making apologies again.  You can tell when I am staying busy farming, and when I am just writing about being busy, because when I'm truly busy, I don't post on my blogs!  Anyway, thankfully I usually have my phone on me and take lots of pictures, so these will give some idea of what we've been up to.  Enjoy!

March and April were filled with:

Trying to get good advertising pictures of Buttercup (so we could sell her heifer.)

Spending time with younger siblings.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

February (and some of March) here on the Sandspur Ranch

For those who are interested, here is a pictorial, high-speed description of the month of February.

I got to experience what having a pack of four high-energy dogs is like when I "puppysat" a couple of my sister-in-law's Aussies.
(They are great dogs!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Hello again!

Hi Everyone!
Sorry I have been away from blogging for so long.  It seems like over the course of the last few months I've been so busy doing things that I haven't had time to write about all I've been doing.  Well, it's good to stay busy, but it is also good to keep up with my blogs, so this week I have tried to focus on sewing and computer work.  So far, this is the first computer work I've done, except for a little writing on my current book, but hopefully I will be able to pile quite a few more languishing computer projects into the next few days.

If you have subscribed to my newsletter, you are already aware of what has been going on in our lives; it's been a lot!  Two siblings have been married, two calves have been born, one goat is due to kid soon, and Cleone is ready to be bred for her first litter of puppies, to name a few!  If you are not subscribed to the newsletter, you can sign up now via the form on the right hand side of this blog.

Below are a few pictures of life on the farm.  Enjoy the update!
Warning:  There are a ton of pictures in this blog post, so if you are not interested in looking at a long pictorial record of our month, then you may want to stop reading here.

If you are game for an update:  Welcome to January!

The sun rises on a new year...

Fenella (hopefully) enters a new level of training.

The dogs work the cows, and cut several more notches in Buttercup's ears.  (I am trying to work with them to keep them from using so much bite...  They are getting better!)

The goats enjoy their first taste of homegrown cabbage, and decimate the patch a few days later when they get loose.

I work out in the back pasture with my younger siblings to spread mulch.  We got a lot done, and hopefully this will help our grass grow thicker.

A goat's version of a roadblock...

Sunday afternoon walk with friends; some two-legged, and some four-legged.

"I'm not biting Frieda, Missus, just exercising her."

We spent an afternoon hiking in Gothe State Park, and I took a ton of pictures of the dogs (and siblings) in the beautiful scenery there.

My handsome pup.

 Discounted, really big calf/ goat sweater, anyone?

Chicken yoga.

(This one requires some explanation...  Inez surprised us with a litter of pups after I thought she had gone sterile.  Sadly, all but one died.  The last one was barely kept alive by our best efforts, blessed by the Lord to save her life.  Now she is fat and healthy, though still about a week behind her actual age.)

That's it for January.  More coming soon!

Friday, September 23, 2016

FOR STUD: A2/A2 Jersey Dairy Bull

We are offering our very nice naturally polled Jersey bull for sale or stud.

He is from Shepherd's Hill Farm's closed milking herd of Jerseys from registered lines.  Almost all of their cows are A2/A2 and excellent milkers.  Barbacoa is a great bull; calm, medium sized, well built, polled, and a great example of a Jersey.
I have A2/A2 test results in hand, and will be happy to email them upon request.

Stud fee will be $50 per cow, if she does not need to stay overnight or be milked by me.  If she stays overnight or needs milking/ other special care, we will discuss further terms.

Contact me at 352-745-3576 by call or text for more info, or send me an email at

This is one of his calves; our beautiful heifer, Bayberry.  She is polled and A2/A2, from our horned, A1/A2 cow, Blossom.  (Blossom is horned, but carries a recessive polled gene.)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

CEA Test Results for Duncan & Cleone

In breeding Border collies, my first goal is to produce quality puppies, rather than quantity.  Thus I chose my two dogs from reputable breeders who breed healthy working dogs.  To make entirely sure though that Cleone and Duncan are free from the dreaded collie eye anomaly, I sent in blood samples last week to a lab in Tallahassee.
Today I got the test results and they are both normal, non-carriers!
To view results, click here.

Friday, August 5, 2016

VIDEO: Border Collie in Action! (Cleone herding Barbacoa the Jersey bull).

Have you ever tried to herd a 16 m/o dairy bull?  It can be interesting, even when he is comparatively mellow, like Barbacoa.  Any bull that is sexually mature is potentially dangerous, and the closer they get to 18 months or two years, the more dangerous they are.
Now, if you have to somehow move that beast from one pasture, past a 5 month old heifer, through the yard, into another pasture, what is the easiest way to do it?
You call a high drive Border collie!

Yesterday I tattooed our bull for permanent ID before we sell him, and had to get him into the milking stanchion.  While we didn't get the dragging him into the stanchion adventure on video, my 10 year old brother, Justice, did get some neat footage of Cleone moving him.  As you can see in the video, she is no expert, but that is my fault, not hers.  I simply don't know how to train a herding dog to the high level of skill that many reach, so while she is a great helper for me around the farm, she would never win any trials.  But she loves to work cows, so for moving the cows from one pasture to the other, or taking them to my brother's house 1/3 mile away, she is great.
Enjoy the video!

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

FOR SALE! AJCA Jersey Heifer Feldman Family Pansy

Feldman Family Pansy

Pansy is a beautiful heifer with a great temperament.  She is well built, and in perfect condition.  She has been very healthy her entire life, and has been kept on a good regimen of milk, free choice kelp based minerals, grass, and alfalfa hay.  We do not practice feeding grain to our cows, as we feel that grass is their natural food, and the milk is much healthier if they are fed exclusively grass.
Pansy is used to having her udder handled quite a bit, and allows me to "milk" her without much fuss at all, if any.  She also picks up her feet, and leads okay.  (I am working on improving her leading training, and also teaching her to tether.)

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Fenella Yearling Pictures

As of May 2nd, Fenella is now officially a yearling!
She is a very pretty little horse with a great temperament.  Spirited, yet very friendly and easy to train, she will make a great horse someday.  Recently my brother has been doing a lot of shooting in the back pasture, and she has become quite desensitized to the sound of firearms- to the point that she either ignores his invasion of her pasture, or comes over to fellowship with him and observe his target practice.  This has been encouraging to me, since I have considered training her for mounted shooting, or at least laying the groundwork for someone else to do so.