The Blog of Heidelberr Farms

Random Musings, Observations, and What-nots

Cayuga Ducklings are the Most Adorable Things Ever to Ever

Cayuga Ducklings are the Most Adorable Things Ever to Ever

(Warning: cuteness alert.  Brace yourselves)   These ducklings are being offered at $10 each. The Cayuga duck is a heritage breed originating in the Cayuga region in New York state. The Cayuga duck is prized as a gourmet quality meat duck and is the only duck listed on the SlowFood Ark of Taste. If meat ducks aren’t your thing. And let’s be honest, they are amazing to look at so they’ve got that going for them. Plus, they lay amazingly funky eggs. The Cayuga egg starts out black in the beginning of the laying season and then lightens to a beautiful marbled gray. Cayugas, and many other ducks in general, are active foragers and do an amazing job of ridding your property of unwanted invaders.  Sorry, I know what you’re thinking and they aren’t much help against annoying neighbors.   (p.s. I also know what you’re thinking. Yes, it has been a small eternity since you’ve heard from me last.  I have many plans for updates in the works.  I also know that you’re thinking you’ve heard THAT...
The Day the Alpaca Lifestyle Nearly Killed Me

The Day the Alpaca Lifestyle Nearly Killed Me

WARNING: This post will deal with semi-graphic events of a farming nature which may include references to animal mating instincts, alpaca-on-alpaca violence, and fantasized violence towards an alpaca by a human.  If you find this disturbing, join the club.  Now that you are warned, you can decide for yourself whether or not you wish to proceed.   Hey there.   I know.  It’s been awhile since my last update and I’m sorry.  A lot has happened since my last post.  There have been some pretty cool things.  Sapphire and Fiona gave birth to a boy and a girl, respectively.  Heidelberr Farms has two adorable little alpacas spronking around and causing adorable chaos.      Oh, and then there’s also the little teensie issue where I posted this a few months ago but forgot to change the setting from private to public.  Once you finish through to the end, you will see how this is not at all surprising.   I digress. (Oh! If you could read this while pretending that it’s still October, I’d appreciate it. Cool, thanks.)     In a rare turn of events, I was present for both births AND I caught both of them on video.  Someday when I get some extra time and can figure out the editing software, I will post the videos. Someday.   In between daily chores and random projects, each day is actually fairly predictable and kinda boring.  Don’t get me wrong, I actually thrive on it.  Now that I think about it, I probably should use the word pastoral instead of boring.  Also, it’s peaceful.  Yes, that’s it.     You might not...
3 Surefire and 1 Unreliable Way to Tell if you have Fighting Alpacas

3 Surefire and 1 Unreliable Way to Tell if you have Fighting Alpacas

3 Surefire (and 1 Unreliable) Ways to Know if you have Fighting Alpacas   If you have spent any time at all around animals, you understand that all is not always peaceful in the kingdom.  You’ve probably heard well meaning people wish that people were more like animals so that the world would be a more peaceful place?   Tripe.   Tripe and lies.   Now alpacas are great.  As a species, they are fairly laid-back and peaceful.  Alpacas aren’t inclined towards human aggression, although I always espouse caution when working with any animal, alpacas included.     If you work with animals long enough, weird things happen.  Occasionally, even the most patient and kind family dog or “bombproof” horse will have a bad day and someone will end up hurt.   Inter-species aggression is common to many creatures and alpacas are no exception.  Most cases of aggression occur between intact males.  Sorry guys.  I’m not hating on anyone here, but a consistent factor across creation is the fact that dudes have a tendency to fight.   Back to alpacas. If you are seriously considering getting into alpacas then  you need to make peace with the fact that if you have more than one male, they will probably get into a physical altercation at some point.  Know this now and have a plan for how to address fighting when it occurs.  If you have two easy-going boys, they may never get into an argument.  I suppose it could happen.   Fish gonna swim.  Critters gonna fight.  Most often fighting occurs between the male of the species, but not always....
Blame it on the Rain

Blame it on the Rain

In this case, it, can be just about anything. The lack of hay in our hay shed. The increased tempers of the boys that have spent too many days in close quarters. Hulk-sized mosquitos with Hulk-sized appetites. The fact that it has been too long since I’ve updated the blog. It’s all the rain’s fault. As you most likely know (I’m just assuming here that you either a.) already know me or b.) are related to me) we have been getting a boatload of rain.  Lots-o-rain, to be specific. It’s quite ridiculous, actually. You’re probably thinking that a lot of rain is a good thing.  I used to think so too.  However, too much of any good thing usually ends badly. Except for chocolate.  One can never have too much chocolate. The moral of the story, kids, is that the rain has delayed just about everything.  Slogging through inches of water only served to double the time needed for daily chores. Things are slowly getting back to normal.  The rivers and creek are back down to reasonable levels and the basement is slowly drying out.  The garden is still squishy and the weeds have really benefitted from this time.  Yay! I do have two happy updates.  Okay, so maybe three. UPDATE #1: Elwood continues to improve. In our last episode, you will remember that Elwood had developed an icky-gooey abscess on his ear.  He has shown tremendous improvement as you can see from this picture taken two weeks ago.                 UPDATE #2: Heidelberr Farms lives up to its name. I may have had to...
When Kinda-Bad Things Happen to Kinda-Bad Alpacas

When Kinda-Bad Things Happen to Kinda-Bad Alpacas

It is a fact of life that, given enough time, things are going to happen. I would like to say that this is especially true on a farm, but I think that’s a bit of an overstatement. A farm is no more susceptible to bad things happening than any other place, whether the workplace or the homeplace. (A homeplace is a thing, right?) Anyway, back to bad things happening. I have come to accept that there will eventually be sickness, injury, loss, and death on the farm. After all, there is sickness, injury, loss, and death everywhere else. This is one of the consequences of living in a fallen world, this lovely blue marble of planet earth. Do you follow me so far? Good things happen. Bad things happen. ‘Tis all currency in the game of life. Now just because I know that injury will happen. And just because I am semi-okay and/or resigned to the fact that there is no escaping it forever, well, that doesn’t mean that I like it. Especially if it’s Elwood. A common theme running though my head at random times when, in my mind’s eye, I see the potential for damage is please don’t let it happen to Elwood. And then it happened to Elwood. He recently developed an abscess on his ear. He could have been bitten by some various insect. This year has been horrible for biting flies and other various bloodsuckers (political and non). Then again, Elwood’s temperament often lends him towards mischief with the other boys. He can be one to push and push and push until one of...
Here There Be Dragons

Here There Be Dragons

I nearly died yesterday. Now that the adrenaline has died down, and my hands have stopped shaking, I can finally tell you my story. It was a giant dinosaur. It was a rabid wolf. It was a screaming freight train. Fine, it was a broody hen. You happy now? Death-by-hen, while extremely cool-looking on a headstone, is a terrible way to go. Compounding the problem is the simple fact that I was heading off not one hen, but two. Yes, we have two co-mamas sharing a litter(?) of six chickies. Three chicks were naturally hatched and three incubator-hatched chicks were introduced to the Hens-of-Death (HOD) in a daring 3 a.m. ninja chicken raid. The past 21 days while the HOD’s were brooding their nest, and even in the day after the little hatchlings hatched, they were content to play a game of strict defense. Puff up. Growl a bit. Hunker down and protect the chicklets. Maybe it was adding to the team ranks. Maybe it was rabid dinosaur wolf DNA infused into the incubator chicks during incubation. Whatever it was, the game play of the HOD’s switched from defense to take-no-prisoners-burn-the-thatched-roofs-and-rip-out-their-faces offense. I assure you that there was much flapping, and thrashing, and screeching, and the HOD’s were also making a fair bit of commotion too. Oh sure, you can laugh now. But I can assure you, if you ever face the wrath of the HOD you will be screaming, flailing, and doing whatever it takes to survive too. Just be sure to stay away from the edges of the broody area. Here, there be...
Welcome to the Journey

Welcome to the Journey

Hello world! Thank you for finding your way over here to this small piece of the interwebs. There is a lot of pressure in crafting the perfect first blog post. A lot of pressure. However since I don’t know that there is such a thing as a perfect blog post, then I suppose I will be happy just to have a first post at all. I will resist the temptation to divulge too much right here and now. Slow and steady, my friends. There is a long road ahead of us on this journey and there is no race to the finish. Instead, let’s just enjoy every step of the way. Picking the dandelions as we go. Feel free to bring a...