Sometimes my own experience on a tour is so positive and it encourages me to keep hosting. Most of my guests are friendly and super interested but this family was so invested in the animals - it was heartening to watch the very intelligent kids engaging with the animals, asking great questions and enjoying their tour. These kids make hosting so worthwhile and give me hope for the future. Thank you.
During a recent tour I was presented this charming portrait of 2 of my dogs, Tea and Toast. Kya, age 14, captured their smiles and energy. It was a fun morning and I enjoyed watching the kids come alive as they engaged with the animals. Thank you Kya for the special drawing. I love it.
A recent visit with Eleanor and her family was a remarkable one. This young lady gently tamed the timid alpacas, who were literally 'eating out of her hand' in a few patient moments. she quietly earned their trust and well.... her smile says it all. This makes hosting so worthwhile. I love seeing the silent communication with the animals as they intuitively know when it's safe. Ellie and her brother, Owen became trusted caregivers in no time. Thank you Ellie and Owen and come again soon.
One of my favorite goats, Bert, was rescued when he was just a tiny baby. He still had the umbilical cord and was the size of my cats. He spent the first 8 weeks of his life in my house, joining us on the sofa for movies by the fire I'm sure he thought he was a dog. Always curious, playful and of course, wanting to be the center of attention, Bert is everyone's favorite. Here he is investigating our load of wood we are bringing in for winter. He is so social and loves to get scratches and pets. I really love him.
During a recent tour, I was so struck by this small boy's fascination with the alpacas and their fascination with him too. The silent language of animals is alive and present. I love to watch this kind of interaction.
Our pigs are the beneficiaries when the seasons change and we harvest the garden. Here they are munching on some zucchini plants and pumpkins. Our boar has some serious choppers...Nothing goes to waste! the circle of life.
We welcomed 3 new kittens this fall to the farm! They are curious and anxious to explore the farm. We are keeping them safe until they are a bit older. Jack & Jill and little Bob are the newcomers. We love kitties and these have already captured out hearts.
My Sally, a Kune Kune heritage breed pig became pregnant. I tried to calculate the date of her birth, as pigs have fairly reliable cycles and she was just on time. we were so excited to wake up to discover 5 babies in her birthing house. We had installed a "creep" a wooden separation with a heat lamp for the babies. This way Mom doesn't roll over her babies - they can get out from underneath her. Watching her tender caring for the piglets and seeing them growing, playing and scampering about was endlessly entertaining. I had to tear myself away more than once. Even more endearing was watching papa, Jethro talking to his offspring through the fence. Jethro is also a heritage breed - American Guinea Hog. We combined the 2 breeds to produce stronger, healthier piglets. When we eventually permitted him to join mother and babies, no father was more caring than my gentleman boar. He went into teaching mode - it was incredibly sweet to see the small family together. The family were eventually permitted to free range, eat acorns and forage. They became healthy, sassy and active. My pigs have a beautiful life. I do butcher them and take solace in my avoidance of products produced on factory farms. The lifetime of neglect, cruelty and fear is not something that I can support. My pigs have a beautiful life and one bad day. Eating home raised pork has changed my cooking and eating habits. The lard made from the pig fat is amazing to cook with and the flavor of the meat is incredible. The process of accepting animals as food has been educational and has forced me to stretch and expand my personal philosophies. I have also started to process chickens using the same ethics and practices. This has been life changing.
It's shearing time....
When bad ass Stacie Payne showed up to shear my new alpacas I had no idea what to expect. Stacie and her team expertly captured my 2 old girls and got them sheared in record time. The process was fascinating and they showed incredible expertise and care of my animals. on an especially warm day, they got to work and the precious fleece was shorn and gathered. I only regretted that I/ didn't have more time to get to know the crew and Stacie. It was an incredible experience and I'm sort of looking forward to next year. Of course the night fell with unseasonable cold temperatures. We quickly turned 2 fleece blankets into makeshift blankets for the newly shorn alpacas so they wouldn't get cold without their fleece. What an experience. Thank you Stacie!
It's never a dull day at the Kitty Hotel. Springtime means new arrivals & births, eggs hatching, coats shedding and seasonal preparation for summer or winter. Fall brings harvest, canning and winter prepration. We are always entertained by our many animal friends.