homeschooling / homesteading

From home to homestead…

I wanted to title this post, ‘we’re having a baby’, but that would be disingenuous. We’re having thirteen babies!

How to make a home a homestead? Add some critters. And we are doing that in a bakers dozen this week.

An unexpected surprise added to our world, a dog baby. To decide on a dog breed is a job itself. So many dog-people personality match quizzes, consideration for three acres of wild mountains, four sociable kiddos, chickens & critters to corral and protect. I’ve been taking my time settling on this one.

I know how much work puppies are. And being the passionate perennial person that I am, I’ve been reluctant. 😬

It has to be a large guardian dog, a total learning curve of an animal. But these dogs protect against wild creatures, like the cub that’s visited twice..

Cougars are known to visit the neighbourhood.

Osprey, eagles & crows, oh my!

Whitetail Deer that are gorgeous (but my mortal enemy: aforementioned passionate perennial person). I’ve tasted deer. Yum, yum…

A skunk family has lived under the verandah.

We need a dog.

I haven’t owned a dog for years, yearssssss. Which means I am about to spend a lot of time loving a baby.

Great Pyrenees are a large guardian breed, originating in the Pyrenees mountains, bred a long time ago in the era of King Louis. They instinctively protect critters and their kids.

https://www.akc.org/dog-breeds/great-pyrenees/

http://dogtime.com/dog-breeds/great-pyrenees

http://www.milkandhoneyfarm.com/dogs/training.html

(And FYI if you happen to live in my area, there are still a few available.)

Deciding on this little one was a two hour challenge…a solid hour and a half longer than expected. Bringing kids to decide which of the litter we should choose might not have been wise, but was it ever revealing.

The youngest daughter was eager for the perkiest, loudest, most rambunctious puppy (also the puppy that jumps through slats in fence boards and playfully bites at the chicken, and doesn’t lay on the ground for a minute). Oh yes, quintessential puppy, but oh no! Quintessential puppy 😬

Our youngest, our son, most eager for the quietest, contented pup. She sweetly sidles up for a kiss. Um yeah, I can get into her.

After much collaboration, and much prodding from our middle daughter to agree already, we settled on a puppy with playful, but not aggressive traits, one that whines only ten minutes of a two hour drive home, that rapturously listens to the kids’ banter about puppy names, and curiously didn’t bark at all last night.

Now to name the pup. Violet? Olive? Cleo? Mia? Harper? Genevieve? Cassidy? Sweet names for a sweet puppy.

That little puppy girl had some of us spending all hours of the night outside.

Literally sleeping outside on this cool, rainy night.

Our guardian puppy arrived just in time for twelve other critter babies, chickens! This afternoon!

We have chosen six types of birds…

Ameraucana

https://www.backyardchickens.com/reviews/ameraucana.10835/

Speckled Sussex

https://www.raising-happy-chickens.com/speckled-sussex.html

Barred Rock

Rhode Island Reds

http://www.roysfarm.com/rhode-island-red-chicken/

Light Brahma

https://pethelpful.com/farm-pets/Raising-Light-Brahma-Chickens

Blue Cochin

https://www.onehundreddollarsamonth.com/raising-backyard-chickens-blue-cochin-chicks

And in true farm form, we have experienced loss before we even picked them up. Six of our 12 didn’t survive the transport.

We may have a more colourful mix at the end of the day than expected.

I was so looking forward to Blue Cochins and Speckled Sussex. That will wait till June.

Instead, I’ll bring home a Caramel Queen

https://truenorthfarm.ca/products/caramel-queens

And a Light Sussex

https://truenorthfarm.ca/products/light-sussex

It’s a big week for the homestead.

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