Friday, January 2, 2015

Vlog Updated: Ponies & Barncats

20 Comments:

Blogger Michelle said...

I have an indoor/outdoor cat and am also thinking about getting some barn kittens this spring. In my opinion, cats are happier outdoors. Mine goes out all night and sleeps inside all day. Yes, we have predators here but it is going on two years and she has been fine. If one does get her it will be a sad day BUT... I will know she had a great life while she was here. As for vlogs, I wouldn't mind a primer on pigs, goats and sheep. Run us through housing, fencing, and feeding needs etc... Maybe how to dispatch a chicken. I had to dispatch one a few weeks ago (my first) and it was NOT pretty. It seemed to take too long and I felt badly about it. So, yes, a chicken processing vlog please. :)

January 2, 2015 at 4:57 PM  
Blogger Janalynn said...

We have really thought a lot about the whole indoor/outdoor cat thing. I grew up on a 40 acre meadow with indoor/outdoor cats. They were cats at their best. They could hunt, and be pets - really be the best of themselves. I loved smelling the pitch on their cold paws when they came inside, knowing they had just scaled a tree, and tiptoed through the snow. Where we live now, there is a mountain right behind us, but a city in front of us. We also have very hungry eagles and ravens. So my husband and I decided that even though we would like them to be outdoors, we felt too responsible for their lives (and the hearts of our two young children) to allow that in case the worst happened. So when we adopted our 2 cats, they became indoor kitties. It has gone really well. They actually are not at all unhappy or bored. They have 3 levels of our house and two kitty trees to play on. And they love to play with us and eac hother. We are so relieved that at least for our cats, being inside was the perfect choice.

January 2, 2015 at 5:48 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

We feed our barn cats daily, but they are responsible for finding their own shelter. In the summer months it's not uncommon to see them stretched out in the heavy shade of the trees. Winter usually finds them curled up together in the warmth of the hayloft. Our cats wouldn't have it any other way. They love the freedom their outdoor, farm life offers. There are trees to climb, rodents and birds to hunt, and since we are in and around the barn for a big portion of the day, there is almost always a lap to sit on, or a willing hand to scratch those ears.

As for volg ideas, we want to see more about Merlin, archery, and hawking. Also, I would love a video tour of your farm and the property/woods. Make that happen.

January 2, 2015 at 6:35 PM  
Blogger mdoe37 said...

regarding barn cats:

We have a rescue/shelter here that does have feral cats who are looking for barn homes . If you need outdoor mouse patrol, those are the way to go. They're fixed and they have a home that provides some shelter and food. Win-win.

I have Buster who shows up twice a day like clockwork for dinner. The best I can tell, he lives at a barn a half mile up the road. Clearly, as often as he shows up, he does not get fed there. Folks around here think that cats can hunt and don't feed them. Ya, well folks its Michigan and the snow gets deep. I've been feeding him for well over a year, he will still not allow me to get closer than two feet without hissing. He does leave me an occasional mouse in his bowl as a tip.

The other two cats. Remington (Farty) is about 4-1/2. He showed up at the stray kibble bowl several times one week. He was probably 8 weeks old and not prepared to be out all winter. I figured I'd take him in, clean him up and well....after neutering, he now rules the house.

After I had the dog put down (shelter pooch and 17), Remmy was hugging the dog's ash urn, so I turned to another small rescue and got Benelli (Tooter). Benny is now probably 7 months old (and fixed as well)

Remmy did go out occasionally but only with close outdoor supervision by me....he had to go out with the dog. Without the dog, he doesn't do this anymore. Benny has never shown interest.

I think cats work best indoors, unless you have ferals. The shelter you provide a feral is better than being on its own. Mine are both polydactyl....and the extra claws did not retract. My other half needs to be careful about leg and foot injuries, so both were declawed after they hung themselves on knee skin. No claws means absolutely no outside.

January 2, 2015 at 7:19 PM  
Blogger Hooves and Hounds Farm said...

I would like to learn more about your Bunn oven, what and when do you cook, is it more of a heat source than a cooking source? I own a farm and work in town, I am looking at outdoor wood fired ovens my husbands loves to twitch fire wood and I love to cook. We own 3 Belgians

January 2, 2015 at 8:19 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

My neighbors all had outdoor cats until last August. These cats were all killed and eaten by a cougar that took up residence. My cats are always indoors by dark, and stay inside until the next morning. I had a close encounter with the cougar, right outside my sliding glass door. He was hunting for my cats. That said, barn cats have a much shortened life, due to many factors.

I would love to learn about making hard cider. Maybe your method for bread in the wood stove. Do you do any crafts? Books you recommend, unusual things that happen to you, gardening, storing food.

You are brave to post about hunting and showing the rabbit. I legally hunt game, and on New Years Day, I did get an Elk. However, I don't know about putting it on my blog....my know how followers can be.

January 3, 2015 at 12:01 AM  
OpenID celiaeboracum said...

I think the question of indoor/outdoor/barn cats is pretty complicated. It depends on the individual cat, as well as the environment we're talking about. Certain cats are just not cut out to be outdoor/barn cats, at all. Likewise, some cats are either truly feral or else just not cut out to spend their life in a small space. Some do not enjoy human companionship, which is often the primary role of an indoor cat. Additionally, the environmental circumstances need to be taken into account. Larger predators are a risk, yes, but they are a risk to many of your other animals as well. That question is part of the balance of your farm with the wild at its doorstep, and one that only you can answer. Cars are my bigger concern; I personally would find it hard to keep an outdoor or barn cat if I were in close proximity to a busy road. However, I think barn cats have an important place on the farm for pest control if the other factors aren't prohibitive. I don't think it's inherently wrong, it just has an attendant risk which must be weighed and considered based on your particular circumstances.

Right now, I have 3 indoor cats, and all are much happier that way. I don't have any barn cats, since a new property is in the 3-year plan, and I don't want to be moving them and couldn't leave them behind! On the new property, though, we'll be looking for something secluded and private, away from the road, and barn cats are definitely part of the plan. They'll be selected with that life in mind. They'll be spayed/neutered, fed, sheltered, and taken care of, but their role will be different from the cats we already have.

In terms of vlog topics, I'd be very interested in seeing more of your work with Italics! What kind of training goes on when you're not hunting? How does he spend his days? What are your priorities with him at this point in your life together? I could even see this being a recurring topic, since I'm sure the answer changes with the seasons - I'd be very interested in a periodic vlog (or blog, if that's easier) on this subject over the coming year.

January 3, 2015 at 8:14 AM  
Blogger English sheep gal said...

Well, I'll stay out of the cat discussion - will be your new cat - you'll have to decide whether its indoor/outdoor.....

Of course I'd love to see some vlogs about the sheep, how many in the current flock, which were born on the farm, where the others came from. As you are looking for snow day projects, how about one covering your musical instruments? You have such a variety of musical workshops, and the dulcimer webinar is something I always go back to when I dust mine off and start trying to play it again. I know some of your instruments have sentimental value, and have been with you in multiple homes in different parts of the country, who taught you, why did you pick that particular instrument, which have you ad the longest, your favorite books to learn with etc. For example I loved the photo and little mention recently of the design you had put onto your drum.

Maybe something about your game nights, with the boards set up, of your most popular ones, and a little run through of the main aim of the games.

Any new books? fiction or homestead type manuals that you've read recently and would recommend?

There are a few ideas, I'll keep thinking of vlog topics suitable for snow days.....

Happy New Year

January 3, 2015 at 11:25 AM  
Blogger Becca Bledsoe said...

Gardening - prepping for Winter food storage
Sheep,Chickens - raising, sheering(goats only of course! lol), precessing for meat
Goats - Milking
Beekeeping
Book Writing - crazy process or natural affinity?
Life on a small farm

January 3, 2015 at 1:59 PM  
Blogger Jenna said...

Thanks for comments and suggestions! I have to apologize to Kate and Dana, their recent comments were deleted by accident. please repost!

January 3, 2015 at 5:18 PM  
Blogger Karen Rickers said...

I'd love to see a walk round the farm, looking at all the animals with a bit of discussion on where they're at in their life cycle. How did you get your chickens ready for winter, what's egg production like in winter? Is there anything special you do to care for pregnant goats? How are the pigs (if they're still alive) and when/how will you slaughter? I would have loved to see a video on how you skinned and cut up the rabbit you shot (rabbit is one of my favourite meats, and something I'd like to raise in the future). I agree with another reader ... a video on the most humane way to slaughter chickens, and then how you process them for the freezer, would be fabulous. Generally, I'm interested in the care of the animals, I guess, and how they make it to your table. Thanks!

January 3, 2015 at 7:00 PM  
Blogger Dana "Aurora" Johnson said...

No worries! Gave me a chance to expand on it lol.

I've lost too many cats to the road to have indoor/outdoor feline companions anymore. I guess I would consider it if I lived away from a road, but there are always predators too. A barn cat who's sole purpose is rodent patrol is different I suppose.

My folks are taking care of my cat while I'm away and she ventures outside once in a while, but stays very close to the house. She was an indoor only cat for the first couple years of her life, and she has a healthy fear of the outside world. Their other cat is outdoor savvy (he was originally my uncle's cat) but he's got many battle scars to show for it. He's around 12 years old now. I had a cat growing up that was outdoor savvy too, and lived to be 15. I'd call them lucky. We lost five others.

Then there are those who will mention how outdoor cats kill huge amounts of wildlife, but unless you have a lot of endangered species around I'm not sure how huge an impact they really have. Depends on just how responsible you want to be I guess.

As far as blog posts go, I second the idea of chicken processing. Might be graphic for some folks but educational and informative too. It's part of farm life, for sure.

I'd also love to hear about the writing side too. How to get published and all that. But I understand if you're trying to keep things farm-focused only.

January 3, 2015 at 8:41 PM  
OpenID bethybeard said...

I would like to know more about your garden prep for this upcoming spring. What are you anticipating planting this year? What kind of prep work do you do with starting seeds and getting the beds ready?
Thanks!

January 4, 2015 at 8:59 AM  
Blogger Fr√łydis said...

I'd put a reflex safety collar on an outdoor cat. It helps with cars, at least.
Otherwise, I believe that if I would let a child play outside alone, or walk alone to school, I would let a cat out too. Nothing is risk-free, and you can't protect everyone 100%. After having had several indoor cats myself, my conclusion is that forcing a cat to be inside when it doesn't want to is its own kind of cruelty.

January 4, 2015 at 9:15 AM  
Blogger Stacey Lunsford said...

I would agree with what mdoe37 said. There is usually someone around with outside cats that have been rounded up for spaying/neutering. They are accustomed to being outdoors and adapt well to a new territory outside. Although this won't be a popular thing to say, I have noticed on my parents' farm that the one male feral cat that they weren't able to neuter (too skittish to catch) survived the longest. He had tremendous musculature and defended his territory ferociously. That said, I don't advocate not spaying/neutering, just an observation. Good luck!

January 4, 2015 at 1:09 PM  
Blogger Alison said...

Re: cats, I think you know the pros and cons already: happy, short life outside vs. restricted, long life inside. I grew up with "barn cats," and now have a 99% indoor cat, and in my opinion cats don't suffer at all from being strictly indoors--as long as they get enough attention and exercise.

You have to decide whether your new kitten's job will be mouse patrol or companion. If both, then indoors at night, outdoors during the day, knowing that its life will be shortened (only one of our barn cats lived past 5 or 6 years, mostly due to cars).

January 5, 2015 at 9:53 AM  
Blogger Lilly said...

Free-roaming cats and indoor cats allowed outside have a HUGE impact on native wildlife. They kill upwards of 3.7 BILLION birds a year, and possibly as many as 20 billion small mammals a year. Yes, there are lots of reasons wildlife populations are declining, but this is a big one. Sure, mouse control around the chicken coop is great, but cats are not part of the natural environment and reducing their impact on that world is just as much a part of responsible pet ownership as taking care of the pet. Here's one article on the topic: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/01/29/cats-wild-birds-mammals-study/1873871/.

January 5, 2015 at 10:53 PM  
Blogger Mary Niedenfuer said...

I'd love to see a cooking video (along the lines of Food Wishes.com) where you demonstrate recipes using your veggies and meats as they come into season.

January 6, 2015 at 11:03 AM  
Blogger Heather Knoll said...

I'd love to hear more about your geese. What is their role on the farm, have you had success getting them tohave goslings, have you raised them for meat?

Another topic I'd love to hear more about is your experiences with rabbits. Why you moved away from fiber rabbits, recommendations for newbies. Recommendations and pointers for people who are thinking of getting a couple sheep . Any shots of yourfarm are also fun. I love that it's scrappy ;)

January 6, 2015 at 11:04 AM  
Blogger Mary said...

For vlogs, I'd love to see videos that take you around your house and the farm.

Also, I love all the suggestions above!

January 6, 2015 at 5:09 PM  

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