Over the last few months, we find ourselves with quite a few new animals who warrant formal introductions. And so, we are pleased into introduce:
Heading back from a winter classroom visit this march, we stopped into H.C. Summers to admire their baby peeps – and ended up taking quite a few home! Made up of Barred Rocks, Buff Orpingtons, and Speckled Sussex, our little flock is just darling. Our ladies even squat to be loved whenever we pass by. And if we keep walking, we are sure to have all ten chasing behind us, demanding chicken scratch. Recently, they started laying eggs – but not in their nesting boxes as Scott so beautifully crafted for them. Instead, they lay eggs in the hay, in the stalls, and even on the tractor seat! This independence and creativity is just one reasons we love our girls.
This May, the men working on our Homestead barn spread rumors of a pregnant cat…and then reported hearing the yowls of kittens in the upstairs of the barn. With great excitement, we went in search of these kittens, only to find one very hungry little boy. Despite spending the first 3-4 weeks of his life unpeopled, he immediately started purring when Joy picked him up. Noting his warpaint streaking out across his face, we christened him Kappinn, the Icelandic word for warrior. Just a few weeks later, he made his first visits to the Head Start classrooms and even got to meet Miss Joyce’s class pet, Spike. Since then, he has become our feisty and proud barn cat.
To counterbalance the addition of a cat to our farm, we also made welcome nine foxhound puppies for the summer! These little darlings are the children of Barnacle, another foxhound who grew up here at Stoney Lick Farm. Each puppy is named after a food that begins with A – the first initial of their mother, Artful. The boys are named Artichoke, Angus, and Altoid. The girls are Acorn, Almond, Allspice, Agave, Apricot, and Apple. These puppies received lots of love and affection from our visiting children from Head Start and the summer camp at FCC. Currently, they run wild through the fields and woods most days on their walks, making sure to romp in the stilt grass and devour all the manure in sight.
With our cow, Hope, approaching her first birthday this month, she wished for a bovine friend to share her field with. Asking around locally for any unwanted calf, we came across Effie, whose tiny stature and refusal to grow made her a less-than-ideal dairy cow for a working farm. Instead of becoming veal, she arrived at Stoney Lick Farm and made fast friends with her much bigger companion. As testament to their closeness, they now moo belligerently whenever out of each other’s sight. Having spent the first few months of her life living as a working dairy cow would, she is not used to the touches and cuddling of people. We are most definitely trying our best to get her used to some loving!
Most recently, a new horse has joined our herd! His person, with whom he has been with for 15 years, is moving to California and needs to get settled in before shipping him out to be with her. In the meantime, Fleet is adjusting to life amongst Icelandic horses, goats, and our cows. His person, Lorren, has been making nearly-daily outings to our farm to reassure him and go on adventures down our lovely trails.