Animals. We love them all here at our house. No farm is complete without animals, it would be quite boring around here without them. And boy do we have plenty.
At the moment we have:
8 cats...and 3 babies
Others call our farm home at different times of the year as well. I sometimes have up to 200 meat chickens through the summer. 4 sheep came to live here during 4-H season last year. And there is always a few little "pets" kept in an old aquarium...the last being a baby snake (shudder!)
So a bit about the cats who live here.
Our cats are not only pets but play a very important role on our farm. Mice and rats are a fact of life on a farm, especially when there is a plethora of grain for them to munch on. Fields of corn and beans surround our house and grain bins are in our back yard. Pair this smorgasbord with a couple of old sheds for them to hang out in and we could have a rodent explosion! The best way to control the vermin population is with cats. Everyone knows that cats love to chase mice. And boy are they good at it!
But even though the cats are pets, we don't spoil them. They make their home outside wherever is comfortable and warm. They do get store bought food but not everyday. It may sound bad, but if they are always full, they would never go hunting. And believe me, our cats are not malnourished!
We also made a rule a few years back after a bad spring of dead kittens. We saw that a mother was just starting into labor and made her a bed in the garage. We thought this was a nice idea at the time. But this led to very tame kittens that didn't know to be scared of the pickups that pulled in and out of the driveway each day :( Ya, like I said, a bad spring that year. So we leave those pregnant mamas alone now to choose where she would like to have her babies. They eventually will warm up to us but not being around us 24/7 will help them to have that healthy fear engraved in them.
So here is a few pics of where we found the latest bunch of babies. Very unexpected since it's November and not the best choice of month to be having babies. We found them the day before and decided to surpise our youngest who hadn't seen them yet.
Hmmm, what's in here?
Oh my, she's in heaven now. What little girl doesn't love baby kitties? There are 2 more gray fuzzballs in the box.
They are just starting to open their eyes. This tells me they went undiscovered for about a week. How that happened I don't know. We usually notice right away when a mama kitty is running around with a saggy belly. The kids are then right on her trail to see where she has hidden her new family. We were even lucky enough to watch a mama give birth one year. That was an amazing thing to see and a wonderful way to teach my kids about just how animals are born. It's so much easier just to see it than explain HA!