Friday, January 6, 2012

Winter Survival the Sustainable Way

Sustainability is something we strive for here on the farm.
We want to leave this land a little better than we found it...
that is, we want to keep our footprint as small and as lightweight as possible.

As a way of achieving that goal, we try not to waste a thing.
We recycle just about everything.

Our manure is used on our hayfields and gardens as mulch and fertilizer.
Our kitchen scraps are fed to the chickens.
Nothing goes to waste.

Unfortunately our goats are picky eaters.
They sift through the hay picking out only what they want
and let the rest fall on the ground.

Try as we may, we cannot get them to eat the hay on the ground.
(As many of you know... hay is a precious commodity!)
Luckily, the chickens like to pick through these droppings for tasty treats.

Chickens, you may also know, are NOT picky eaters!

Once the chickens are through eating their share,
we clean up the rest of the hay and it becomes the footing for the chicken yards.

Chickens will very quickly decimate their yard and completely clean it of every
blade of grass and weed until that yard becomes a barren dust bowl.
Covering this space with hay keeps mud to a minimum and provides a soft footing 
for the chickens (not to mention better traction in ice and snow for me).

You might have noticed that our Christmas tree is in the goat pen.

Pine trees are a favorite amongst the goats.
They clean off every last needle and strip the bark before they are finished.
After the tree is stripped, they use it for a scratching post.

I have often thought that our horses would make good roommates for the goats...
in that they eat every last piece of hay they can find on the ground.

Nothing wasted in the horse lot!

Oh, and in case you were wondering....
This winter's fashion forecast is:


lots and lots of thick wooly fur.

Everyone around the farm is wearing it!

No faux furs around here!!

I often get the question of how our animals survive the cold winter....

Fur coats!
And extra portions of hay.

Three days later we have....

little baby radish plants.


  1. I Just love to visit and see all the animals and what all you have been up to.....brightens my day very much !

  2. The furs all look so clean and luxurious. I love our chickens. We call them the inspectors because they cover every inch of the property and evaluate every project after completion. Cute post.

  3. If I don't shave my legs I may be joining the fur troupe. It's funny how I get so lazy during the winter. Maybe I'm thinking it is going to be a cold winter, lol! Love all your fur babies!

  4. Fur, Heat Lamps and lots of TLC...Even the radishes respond!!

  5. I just want to dive into all that beautiful fur! So luxurious!!!

  6. What's that old saying...
    "A house with out fur(pet hair) is not a home."
    You certainly have a home! & a ginormous heart!

  7. Bless those little chickens, they do such a great cleanup up beneath the hay racks!

  8. The goats are finicky eaters that's for sure. Around here the geese like to pick through for all the good tidbits the geese leave.

  9. I think the pigs have the right idea

  10. Never knew goats were so finicky. Now I know where to take my christmas tree.. to my neighbors goat farm. I love those fur coats.

  11. What a wonderful life all of you share on the farm.


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