Thursday, September 14, 2017

For Sale: Blossom,Jersey Family Milk Cow

It is with mixed feelings I write this blog post; partly I know we are making the right decision for our farm, but partly I will miss Blossom when she leaves.  Yes, it's time for old Blossy to find a new home.  She has been a great milk cow for almost nine years, but I want to keep her daughter from last year in addition to Buttercup (her daughter from 2012), so someone needed to go.

AJCA Registered (grade) Jersey Milk Cow, bred to A2/A2 Bull

Asking $2,200
Video at bottom of page.

 Blossom is an excellent example of the old-fashioned Jersey cow.  She is well-built, medium sized, and has a perfectly even, very strong udder.  Her feet are (and always have been) excellent.  Temperament is fairly calm and steady, though she is the top cow in the herd and will put the others in their place if necessary.  Usually very easy to handle; always submits to people.  Stands perfectly for milking.  Has nice long lactations of 18 months - 3 years, depending on how quickly she's bred back.  Generally she produces 2 or even 1 1/2 gallons per day when she first freshens, then levels off to 1 gallon - 3/4, depending on the grass.  Her milk is extremely rich and it is not uncommon for there to be 25% or 50% cream per gallon, especially in the spring.

Saturday, August 26, 2017


Fiona is our latest addition to the farm.  She is a gorgeous chocolate (or red) merle, ABCA Border Collie puppy from Hill Top Farm in IL.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Introducing: The Knights and Lady of the Round Table

We have PUPPIES!!!

For pricing, more pictures, puppy contract, and other details, please visit Sandspur Ranch Border Collies

I am ecstatic, excited, overjoyed, delighted and thrilled to introduce our first litter of purebred Border collie puppies!  Sorry for the crossed out list of adjectives...  They all came to mind when making this announcement.  :)

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Of Cats and Dogs...

Ever since we got our first dog, Mama has periodically wished for a cat which would like dogs.  I used to have a hard time believing all she said about how her cats and dogs loved each other because my only experiences in that line involved excited Schnauzers, my stressed out, deaf kitty, and (later on) our whip-thin black cat, Flavia, who hates dogs, and Kep, who loves chasing cats.

Then Flavia retired from working and the rats (which are always more or less present on a farm) began multiplying way too fast, so we finally got two young kittens.  They were six week old brothers from Shepherd's Hill Farm and are the most wonderful cats.  They are sweet to each other and people, and I think they will be great ratters.  (BTW, there is one kitten left from this litter who needs a home!  Contact me if you are interested in adopting him.)

Dickon (left) and Chauncey (right)

The first time one of the dogs (Flossy, I think) walked up and sniffed the new kittens, they both totally panicked, as several scratches on my hands testified.  For a while they would spit and fluff up every time one of the dogs came nearby, but Flossy has the gentle-giant nature of her Great Pyrenees mama (Inez) and the curiosity of her Border collie sire, Duncan, so she didn't mind the fluffing, hissing, spitting, and swatting, and would just walk over to the kittens lick them until they were too soggy to spit and fluff.

So eventually, they gave it up.

I think Flossy thinks the kittens are her personal pets.  At any rate, she has trained them to be friendly with dogs, and because we never allowed the dogs to chase them at all, they have all accepted them as part of the family.

Even Kep seems to have been finally cured of his cat-chasing proclivities and has fully subsided into his role as Farm Grandpa, even providing entertainment and exercise for the kittens by wagging his tail obligingly.

"Well, what are you staring at?  Haven't you ever seen a cat hone its pouncing skills?"
But, though all the dogs are fine with the cats, Flossie is the one who really enjoys them, and they even seem to enjoy her (well, most of the time.)
Today it is raining, and everyone knows that rainy days are the best for napping.  Apparently Dickon and Flossie agree.

"See you later!"

Monday, June 26, 2017

ChickenScraps Shop has a new section: Live Plants!

Antique Lafter Rose

I am happy to announce that I am now offering live Lemongrass and antique rose plants on my Etsy shop!  Currently I only have a couple of Lafter roses available, but I am going to try to get around to rooting some Thousand Beauties (a light pink climbing rose) and Rev d'Or (a light yellow climber); possibly also some Old Blush.  These are all antique roses, which means they are old, hardy varieties which are disease resistant and grow on their own roots.
I also hope to add mint in the near future.

Visit my shop to purchase or for more information!

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Raising a Family Milk Cow Series, Pt. 3: How to Train a Heifer or Cow to Stand for Milking

     So, you have a young heifer, or a cow which has never been milked before, and want her to be your family milk cow. You grab a bucket and head out to the barn to do some milking, and, lo and behold! she kicks you over and tries to break out of the stanchion the second you touch her udder.  What went wrong?

Thursday, May 25, 2017

March and April Through My Lens

Well...  here I am making apologies again.  You can tell when I am staying busy farming, and when I am just writing about being busy, because when I'm truly busy, I don't post on my blogs!  Anyway, thankfully I usually have my phone on me and take lots of pictures, so these will give some idea of what we've been up to.  Enjoy!

March and April were filled with:

Trying to get good advertising pictures of Buttercup (so we could sell her heifer.)

Spending time with younger siblings.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

February (and some of March) here on the Sandspur Ranch

For those who are interested, here is a pictorial, high-speed description of the month of February.

I got to experience what having a pack of four high-energy dogs is like when I "puppysat" a couple of my sister-in-law's Aussies.
(They are great dogs!

Monday, March 6, 2017

Hello again!

Hi Everyone!
Sorry I have been away from blogging for so long.  It seems like over the course of the last few months I've been so busy doing things that I haven't had time to write about all I've been doing.  Well, it's good to stay busy, but it is also good to keep up with my blogs, so this week I have tried to focus on sewing and computer work.  So far, this is the first computer work I've done, except for a little writing on my current book, but hopefully I will be able to pile quite a few more languishing computer projects into the next few days.

If you have subscribed to my newsletter, you are already aware of what has been going on in our lives; it's been a lot!  Two siblings have been married, two calves have been born, one goat is due to kid soon, and Cleone is ready to be bred for her first litter of puppies, to name a few!  If you are not subscribed to the newsletter, you can sign up now via the form on the right hand side of this blog.

Below are a few pictures of life on the farm.  Enjoy the update!
Warning:  There are a ton of pictures in this blog post, so if you are not interested in looking at a long pictorial record of our month, then you may want to stop reading here.

If you are game for an update:  Welcome to January!

The sun rises on a new year...

Fenella (hopefully) enters a new level of training.

The dogs work the cows, and cut several more notches in Buttercup's ears.  (I am trying to work with them to keep them from using so much bite...  They are getting better!)

The goats enjoy their first taste of homegrown cabbage, and decimate the patch a few days later when they get loose.

I work out in the back pasture with my younger siblings to spread mulch.  We got a lot done, and hopefully this will help our grass grow thicker.

A goat's version of a roadblock...

Sunday afternoon walk with friends; some two-legged, and some four-legged.

"I'm not biting Frieda, Missus, just exercising her."

We spent an afternoon hiking in Gothe State Park, and I took a ton of pictures of the dogs (and siblings) in the beautiful scenery there.

My handsome pup.

 Discounted, really big calf/ goat sweater, anyone?

Chicken yoga.

(This one requires some explanation...  Inez surprised us with a litter of pups after I thought she had gone sterile.  Sadly, all but one died.  The last one was barely kept alive by our best efforts, blessed by the Lord to save her life.  Now she is fat and healthy, though still about a week behind her actual age.)

That's it for January.  More coming soon!

Friday, September 23, 2016

FOR STUD: A2/A2 Jersey Dairy Bull

We are offering our very nice naturally polled Jersey bull for sale or stud.

He is from Shepherd's Hill Farm's closed milking herd of Jerseys from registered lines.  Almost all of their cows are A2/A2 and excellent milkers.  Barbacoa is a great bull; calm, medium sized, well built, polled, and a great example of a Jersey.
I have A2/A2 test results in hand, and will be happy to email them upon request.

Stud fee will be $50 per cow, if she does not need to stay overnight or be milked by me.  If she stays overnight or needs milking/ other special care, we will discuss further terms.

Contact me at 352-745-3576 by call or text for more info, or send me an email at

This is one of his calves; our beautiful heifer, Bayberry.  She is polled and A2/A2, from our horned, A1/A2 cow, Blossom.  (Blossom is horned, but carries a recessive polled gene.)