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Archive for the ‘General’ Category

postheadericon Protecting Your Farm with Good Bio-Security Practices

Bio-security is something every farmer or rancher should be aware of. It doesn’t matter if you have 6 pet chickens or 60 breeding birds, 5 head of cattle and 3 pigs. Protecting all of these animals is a priority. The key to keeping them safe is to use common sense and follow good bio-security practices.

 

redbarnblueskies.com Goat Kids Playing Red Barn Blue Skies

 

Ways in Which Disease is Spread

By knowing how diseases are transmitted, you can lessen the chances that your animals will contract any of them.

  • Just like people, healthy animals can become ill from sick ones. The usual methods are contaminated feed or water and actual physical contact. Dead or dying animals need to be removed immediately from common areas.
  • People can be carriers and bring disease home with them. They then spread the germs around unknowingly. It is easy to become contaminated on your person, clothing and shoes, feedbags and even your vehicle.

 

Photo of Julie's green muck boots at redbarnblueskies.com

 

Prevention is Key

Apply basic bio-security measures to every type of animal – whether domestic pet or livestock. It is less expensive and much easier to stop the spread of disease to begin with, than it is to fight it once it’s taken hold. After your animals have been exposed, it is already much harder to play catch up and you may still lose some of your livestock.

  • Good bio-security practices should become a part of your everyday routine. Any employees or visitors to your farm should be made aware of and asked to follow your rules. If at all possible, refrain from outsiders interacting with your livestock. For those deemed necessary visits, disposable clothing and footwear is a simple and useful precaution.
  • Overcrowding is something many people overlook. When you have too many animals in too small of an area, your risk for disease and illness skyrockets. Stressed animals are weakened and more susceptible to anything floating around.
  • Stay aware of local issues. Be sure you know what is happening in areas your animals may travel. This will include your dogs as well as the bull you’re loaning out for breeding. If you are told of any illness or issues, keep them home until it is resolved.

 

Red Barn Blue Skies Pig behind Fence

 

  • A simple precaution that is invaluable is to quarantine new animals. This is also good practice for any of your current animals who may be acting a little off or showing some signs of sickness. Any animals returning home from elsewhere such as a show or that prized bull who went visiting the neighbors should also do a little time in isolation. By keeping them from immediately contacting your healthy livestock, you can stop any disease from spreading if they have become carriers. A thirty-day quarantine is the widely accepted standard for this preventative measure for most animals.
  • Feed contamination can be easily prevented by keeping your feed covered, dry and free of mold. Rodents can’t ruin what they can’t reach.
  • Many other domestic animals and wildlife can be carriers of disease without showing visible symptoms. Keep contact to a minimum. This includes wild birds interacting with your poultry.

 

redbarnblueskies.com hand sanitizer bio-security

 

The Power of Clean

The number one weapon in the bio-security battle is cleanliness. Regular disinfection and having everything neat and orderly is a huge step towards fighting disease and illness on your farm.

  • All equipment needs to be cleaned regularly and disinfected when possible.
  • Regular cleaning is a necessity with ongoing manure and waste removal.
  • Always wash well before and after any contact with all animals. You must avoid the cross-contamination between healthy and sick livestock. Work with any ill or quarantined animals last in order to not carry germs or disease to the healthy ones.
  • Have your own special clothing and shoes to use when working with your animals at home. Don’t wear these clothes away from home and don’t wear your “town clothes” to the barn.

 

redbarnblueskies.com Pair of Oxen for bio-security article

 

Good Bio-Security Practices Should Become a Way of Life

The better educated you become regarding good bio-security habits, the better armed you will be in fighting the onset of disease. Stay on top of learning what illnesses are common or currently making the rounds for your particular livestock and the area where you live.

By taking precautions to keep your animals healthy, you are ultimately protecting the health and safety of you, your family and possibly your livelihood.

postheadericon Bluer Skies, Cleaner Air, and Greener Pastures

Spring Fever has hit us in a much, much different way this year and it all has to do with bluer skies and such. It has been more of an ending to our “winter of discontent” and a beginning to a whole new chapter in our lives. Hubby and I have been plotting and pondering a move for several years now and we are pulling the trigger on it, finally! This will soon become a regular view for us:

Lake Coeur D'Alene bluer skies at Red Barn Blue Skies

Bluer Skies

Hubby and I were born in California and grew up here. We were both also privileged to have spent time elsewhere in our great US of A. He served in the military in Alaska and I lived in Ohio for many years.

Because I worked for an airline I was able to see a lot of our country, both from the air and due to my inherited  love of road trips (inherited from Mom, definitely NOT Dad). Before hubby and I met, we had each returned to California to be near our families and friends again, but found that it wasn’t the same place or atmosphere we had left.

We had seen that green grass on the other side of the fence(s) and wanted to be there!

Bluer Skies at Red Barn Blue Skies Idaho

Cleaner Air

While we’ve talked extensively about different places we’d visited over the years, it wasn’t until we lost my beloved uncle that we found THE DESTINATION.

After a long life in Orange County, he and my aunt had unexpectedly and quickly, moved to Idaho when they retired. We all laughed and gave them 3 months before they’d be back – my aunt had always complained about any temperature below 70 degrees. How wrong we were!

They became firmly entrenched in their new home and community and you couldn’t have budged them with a crowbar.  Even with the unexpected loss of my uncle, my aunt is transplanted and will remain so. Imagine our surprise (as well as hers, I think) to find that she thrives in the wide range of temperatures.

Coeur D'Alene Lake from Arrowpoint Resort. with bluer skies

I fell in love with Idaho when I took my Dad up there for my uncle’s funeral. The super clean air, slower pace and sheer beauty was overwhelming. Hubby had to stay home to work and take care of the animals and ranch in general.

A second, unexpected trip came about a year later when my sister and I took a road trip to visit my aunt. Each time I came home, my discontent grew. Hubby put up with my moping around and complaining about using my inhaler as soon as my plane had landed back in our heavily polluted valley.


Bluer Skies Greener Pastures Idaho Red Barn Blue Skies

Greener Pastures

It wasn’t until last month that the Hubster finally got to understand and feel the pull of the great North for himself. He was in desperate need of a vacation and we had a nice little unexpected windfall land in our laps.

We put together a sight-seeing trek that took us from Portland, Oregon to the Coeur D’Alene, Idaho area. We rented a car at PDX (Portland’s awesome airport) and spent the next five days cruising through Oregon, Washington and Idaho. Hubby admitted that he now understands why I was so miserable coming back to California after each trip up north.

So what this all leads up to is the fact that we have had our bid accepted on a home in Idaho and will be making the move in the next few months to the land of bluer skies, cleaner air, and greener pastures. We can’t wait for this new chapter of our lives to begin.

Boise Idaho Red Barn Blue Skies Bluer Skies

postheadericon The Winds of Change – From MoonCat Farms to Red Barn Blue Skies

Hello fellow meanderers who have blown in on the winds of change… welcome to our old friends from MoonCat Farms and to those of you new to us!

 

horses & mules on bridge for winds of change post

 

I’ve really missed all of you at our MoonCat Farms Meanderings blog. It hasn’t been the same talking about our daily lives as well as sharing the things I find in my own wanderings, it’s been a bit lonely. Because of this I’ve decided to rekindle the fire and start up yet again, but in a new place. I’m looking forward to adding many new friends as well as we move forward with this new venture.

Our new home is here at Red Barn Blue Skies. It will be more of an overall lifestyle and family site instead of just about the farm, although all of the previous posts and conversations are now here as well. The farm has its own actual website now for the heritage animals we’re raising at Forty Five Farm. It got to be a bit confusing for our livestock customers with the two farm names so we went with the legal one and are dropping the Mooncat Farms name.

There will still be quite a bit of crossover with the animals here as they do comprise a major part of our lives, but for the most part this site will be – a little bit about a lot of things and a lot about the little things that make our life wonderful.  I’m continuing to contribute in several other places as well:  book reviews at One Book Shy of a Full Shelf and tidbits about saving money at Centsable Couponing as well as my newest Halloweenistic. You can see I like to dabble and divulge in several areas and enjoy sharing them with others.

 

So, with a little change to the name and format, MoonCat Farms Meanderings will now be Red Barn Blue Skies. Bear with us as we make the change and we’ll be up and running right away.

 

cropped-Red-BarnBlue-Skies.png

 

 

Welcome to the next chapter as the winds of change blow through. I hope you’ll enjoy your time with us and join in the conversations.

postheadericon Nothing Gold Can Stay by Robert Frost – Sunday Selections

Robert Frost is one of my favorite poets. The poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay” below is just one of the many reasons I enjoy his work.
Red Barn Blue Skies presents Robert Frost and Nothing Gold Can Stay
 

Nothing Gold Can Stay 

by Robert Frost 
Nature’s first green is gold,
Her hardest hue to hold.
Her early leaf’s a flower;
But only so an hour.
Then leaf subsides to leaf.
So Eden sank to grief,
So dawn goes down to day.
Nothing gold can stay.
Be sure to check out more of our favorite Sunday Selections.

postheadericon Still Kicking and Clucking

It’s Alive….and clucking.

After a way too long hiatus, I’m back. In a way, a lot has changed and nothing has changed – if that makes sense. It will take me some time and many posts to bring you up to snuff. I appreciate you all still being here.

I am looking forward to getting back into the swing of things and sharing our little world again with you lovely people. I’ve missed you!

Here’s a clue on what I’m still doing….it does have some clucking involved too…

Alive and clucking at Red Barn Blue Skies with the guineas
If you’d like to learn more about Guineas, check out this great book.