Up With the Chickens

Raising children and chickens on a little buffalo farm

Now This is Cool…

For months now I’ve been trying to convince Hal we need some fainting goats. I think they are a hoot.  He, on the other hand, does not think hilarity is a good reason to invest in livestock.  And he has a point.  After all, I’m not even sure we could show these at the county fair – I’m fairly certain judges deduct points if your animal pitches over during the judging.

Oh well.  It doesn’t matter because I now have a different criteria for choosing livestock.  I have discovered the American Livestock Breeding Conservancy,  and I am fascinated.  This is a nonprofit group that is dedicated to, “ensuring the future of agriculture through genetic conservation and promotion of endangered breeds of livestock and poultry.”  In other words, the ALBC encourages farmers to raise animals that are at risk of extinction.  Their efforts help to ensure not only America’s agricultural heritage, but also genetic diversity in livestock and poultry.

It’s a noble cause and you can read more about it on their website.  The animals they feature are some of the most beautiful and interesting (and just plain cute) livestock I’ve ever seen.

There’s the adorable Poitou Ass


The comical Dutch Belted cow  


The gorgeous Hackney


and the aptly named Large Black pig


Honestly, I could spend hours on their website just browsing and reading about the dozens of cattle, sheep, goats, horses, pigs, rabbits, and poultry they promote.  I haven’t joined yet because technically we are not breeders of rare livestock.  Bison have long since been removed from the endangered list.  But we have chosen our next rabbit breed…

The beautiful Silver Fox


Isn’t he stunning. This is a gentle, larger breed known for the unusual the silvering it its fur.  We hope to have a trio (two does and a buck by spring).  We will be raising them to show and sell, and as usual, I’ll post pictures.  Wish us luck!

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7 Quick Takes Friday…

This is my first 7 Quick Takes Friday post, so I hope I’m doing it right.  The way I understand it is that all that Catholic bloggers of all stripes can link up to share posts each Friday at Conversion Diary.  Anyway, I’ve already discovered several terrific blogs by Catholics since I’ve been perusing around over there.  Some blogs are very Catholic – apologetics, homeschooling, theology.  Others are cooking, parenting, photography blogs. And to my happy surprise, I even found a couple of homesteading blogs.  Well, without further ado, here are my 7 Quick Takes.

1. Four down. Two (hopefully) spared

Just when I thought we were out of the woods, Hal got sick.  I think he must have picked it up at work since it had been a week since any of the kids had it.  Still I’m doing everything I can to Avoid the dreaded tummy bug.

2.  School starts Monday.  

Ugh!  I love teaching one semester courses.  It is fun to get a fresh start mid-year, and I get to know more kids that way.  But after two weeks off, much of that time spent tending to sick children, I am not feeling the first-day-of-school enthusiasm I need to greet my new students on Monday.   I think I’ll go to my Pinterest board for teaching ideas and see if I can get inspired.  I think I remember pinning some fun ice-breaker games.

3.  It will be time to start breeding our rabbits again soon…

but ummmmm we gave away our buck.  In retrospect that was a bad idea, but we were coming off our big Reserve Grand Champion win at the fair high, and we felt like we needed a buck more worthy of our prize winning does. Now we can’t find another breeding age Flemish Giant buck, and  I’m worried our does are going to be old maids.

4. I’m switching to red wine.

I don’t sleep well after drinking white wine.  I don’t know why. I’m hoping red will be better.

5.  I guess I’ll start a diet Monday.  

I wonder if the eight hour diet is a good one.

6.  We butchered a buffalo last week…

When I say “we” I mean Hal, my dad, and the boys.  We’ve always had our buffalo professionally processed, but due to new regulations we aren’t able to get a USDA inspection sticker unless the label contains specific nutritional information about bison meat.  The slaughter house we use won’t do that, so we are out of the buffalo meat business – at least for now.  But butchering our own was a great experience for the boys. Between the deer they’ve killed this season and this, they are really learning what it takes (for the people and the animal) to put food on the table.  It’s a great lesson.

7. I am planning my Miss American Party

Stay tuned for a future post, but the basic premise is that each woman represents a state. Everyone dresses in a state costume, hat, or other getup and brings a food or drink to represent her state.  There’s more including cash prizes and money raised for charity, but I will post more about it when I have pictures!

So, that’s it.  My first 7 Quick Takes Friday post.  That was fun!  Now I’m off to check out more new blogs.