If You Build It, They Will Come…Part II

By the end of April, 2014, the barn progress was moving along nicely!  The chicks and ducklings exploded in size and were enjoying Spring in Michigan. Our lifelong dream was truly becoming a reality!

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My daughter truly loved the adventure of climbing to the top of the barn.  I think she enjoyed my panicked face, when I would notice her waving arms from above!  To this day, even as a high schooler, she enjoys hanging out, in the barn, with the animals.
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Let the upstairs begin!
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I spy, with my little eye…ONE BIG BARN!
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Babies, of all kinds, grow up so quickly.  This photo makes me teary, knowing how time sure flies! These two were pals from the beginning…

The chickens and ducks were settling in nicely, so it was time for a few more new friends…goats!  Most assumed we would milk our goats, but this was not the case.  Our goats are all castrated males, saved from becoming “goat sticks”.   Some might see this as a waste and ask what is their purpose on the farm!?  That answer is easy…comic relief!  Spend 5 minutes with a goat and you will be head over heals in love, for all eternity!

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Meet Diny…short for Houdini!  It is probably not hard to imagine how he was given his name! Diny is a true escape artist and a pygmy goat!
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Meet Oatmeal…one  very cute, yet stubborn pygmy fellow! Oatmeal loved to climb on everything!
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Diny and Oatmeal were best friends from the start!  They ate together, played together and even escaped together!
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Discovering that the baby goats had escaped, once again, became a weekly event.  It was always easy to find them… on the deck, outside of the kitchen.  They so badly wanted inside with their humans!
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Who wouldn’t want to escape to the pool, for a few hours!
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The goats also loved to play on the large dirt piles, left by the construction team.
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Progress on the barn continued, although it felt like it would never be complete!

During all of the excitement, about 18 weeks from the day the chicks arrived, we were given the gift of our first egg!  It felt like we had done ok as chicken mamas!  Keep in mind, neither of us had any farming experience.  Wifey and I loved to garden and had years of experience growing anything and everything, but other than cats and dogs, farm animals were a new addition to our life!  Thank goodness we both loved to research!

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Goats were not the only new addition!  If we were going to have a barn, we would need a few barn cats!  Meet Leo, Bartholomew, Buddy and Pumpkin!  (Can you tell the kiddos helped with the naming of the kittens?!)

As the goats and kittens were exploring their new home, it was time to prepare for our next big addition…horses.  This meant we needed pasture fencing.

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I took this photo from the top of one of the large dirt piles!

Our goal was to have the horses delivered by 4th of July weekend.  Although the barn looked almost ready to go, we still had stall mats, bucket hooks and hay feeders to purchase and install.

 

Everything was falling into place.  In just a few short weeks, two beautiful creatures would enter my life and change it forever…

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“I’ve heard it said, that people come into our lives for a reason, bringing something we must learn and we are led, to those, who help us most to GROW if we let them and we help them in return…”

~Wicked the Musical

Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…

Roda

If You Build It, They Will Come…

For almost half of my life, the first of August meant back to school. I would spend the entire month setting up my room, writing curriculum, purchasing supplies and most importantly, playing flash cards with my students’ photos, so I was able to call them by name, the first time they entered my classroom.  (They thought I was magical!)   Three years ago, all of that changed.  Although I loved teaching, I had another dream knocking at my door.  After 22 years of teaching elementary education, I decided it was time to close that door and open a new one.   I had dreamed of having a farm, ever since I was a little girl.   Wifey had the same dream. In March of 2014, we broke ground for the barn and Indigo Acres became a reality…

 

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Our farm t-shirt logo…
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Our blank canvas…
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Time for some trucks!
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We live on 13 acres, but due to woods, wetlands and a natural pond, our open field was the best location for building the barn.
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Cement time!!
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Foundation progress…
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I was surprised to come home to this little yellow box of sunshine, in the field!

While the foundation of the barn was being built, we were busy doing some building of our own!  It would not be a farm without chickens and ducks!  Thank goodness the under garage/workshop was heated! March can be very cold, in Michigan.  We immediately started to design and build our chicken and duck houses. We constructed and painted them in pieces, so they could be easily carried out to their permanent locations, for assembly.

Chicks and ducklings were ordered!  I was like a kiddo waiting for Christmas morning!

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There is nothing better than picking up this box, from the post office, filled with chirps and quacks!!

I spent a ton of time with the baby birds.  And yes, I talk to our animals!

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Before we could move and assemble the houses, we had to set up the bird runs. Although the birds would free range during the day, they needed a protected place for night time  We dug down about 18 inches and lined chicken wire underground to help with digging predators. This was a time-consuming task. A great big thank you to the individual that invented zip-ties!

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One never knows what the weather in March might bring.  Not even a late snow could stop us!  We were determined to stay on schedule, knowing the birds would grow out of their brooder, in the under garage, quickly!  We were machines!  To this day, I am not sure how we made it all happen!

The Duck Run

The Duck House

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The Chicken Coop

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The Original Flock of 12

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Over the weeks, the chicks changed quickly!  Unfortunately, we only have two left from this original flock.  Both Tico and Comet are farm favorites and are enjoying life in the geriatric chicken condo!
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Let the digging of the well begin!

Process on the barn continued, but as with any construction project EVERYTHING took longer than planned.  Reality hit, as the walls started to go up! Indigo Acres was really happening!

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One wall at a time…

 

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When the workers leave their toys unattended…

Watch for Part II of “If You Build It, They Will Come…” tomorrow!

Love Yourself…Embrace Yourself…Just Be You…

♥Roda

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Note: Are you wondering what the Geriatric Chicken Condo is all about?  Here is the link!

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https://growingself.blog/2017/03/08/the-geriatric-chicken-condo/?iframe=true&theme_preview=true