Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Here Chick, Chick, Chick

On the farm, they raise a lot of chickens. They stay in a coop inside the barn at night, but in the day, they are free-range. They are free to travel anywhere on the farm, which they love to do.  They love to forage for food and find grubs and other treats.

The farm also just got in 35 new chicks. My father-in-law told me that with their first group of chickens, they taught them to come in to eat when they said "Here Chick, Chick, Chick". The chickens associated that call with food. So cool! Hopefully these baby chicks will learn that too. It gets cold on the farm, so they have this heat lamp to keep the chicks warm.
Aren't these baby brown chicks just adorable. I just want to pick one up and hug it!  I can't remember what breed they are, but they are prolific egg layers when they are full-grown.
These white chickens are being raised as "meat chickens", but "shhhhh!" don't tell them that. Gulp!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Grace and Jill, Went Up the Hill

This past week we went up to the family farm, and the first thing we did was greet the family then immediately say "Hi" to Grace, the Belgian Horse, and Jill, the Percheron. We miss the horses so much! I was so excited that I got to feed the horses some hay. They were so into the hay that I couldn't get a good photo, they were moving around so much.
I turned off the flash, here is a better photo of them munching on some hay. 
Here is a close-up of Gracie. Look at that face! Awwww!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Mantis, Meet Mantis

(I posted this on my other blog, so if you follow both, this will be a repeat.)

This year we bought a kiwi green Honda Element.  It was time, our old car broke down on Route 80 once, and it was the scariest experience ever!  We crawled home at 40 mph on a highway that has a 65 mph speed limit.  Grammie named our car "Mantis" because it's so bright green in color! Little did she know that this was an appropriate name for the car.  Continue reading below!
This weekend, we went to out to get pizza at Goodfellas.  The best brick oven pizza!  We order the chicken parmesan pizza.  Delcious!
I was so amazed how big the piece of basil was on the pizza.  Get a load of this!  It was almost as large as a slice of pizza!  Whoa!

After the pizza, we decided to get a beer at the Killmeyer's bier garden.  I love a good German Weisse!
As we were sipping on our beer, this little kitty came through a hole in the fence and hung around enjoying the atmosphere and the live band.  A very chill kitty.
When we left, we got in the car and noticed a huge mantis on the windshield of our car!  This is the first praying mantis I've ever seen in Staten Island.  I told my husband that she must have been attracted to our green car "Mantis".  Our car was like the mother ship calling her in.  She probably thought our green car was a giant plant! 
We had a paper bag in the car, so we scooped her into the bag and transported our little mantis friend to our garden.  We figure it would make a better home here than in the parking lot of some bar!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It's a Pillow, It's a Pet, It's a Pillow Pet!

Sebastian is known for his strange tastes in pillows.  Check out what I found him using as pillow the other day.  If you are wondering what that yellow thing is, it's a measuring tape!   Is that even comfortable? 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Cute Chickens at the Zoo

More from the Staten Island Zoo!  One of the coolest thing about the zoo was that they had a lot of farm animals on the premises, that were part of the "petting zoo" area. They had information about how to raise and care for them. This is not something I often see at the zoo and I was so impressed that the Staten Island Zoo had these animals here so that us "city folk" and their kids could see horses, pigs, chickens, goats, and sheep. These animals maybe common place if you live near farms or on a farm but here, most farms I know are a good 1-2 hours drive away.  I know people who grew up in the city and have never seen these animals in person! Even myself, I grew up in surburban New Jersey, and the first time I "pet" a pig, goat, horse, chicken, was on my husband's family farm, 3 years ago. LOL, boy have I live a sheltered life!  This is one of the bantam chickens that was living at the Staten Island zoo.  Isn't she beautiful?  I love her "hair".  My husband's family has a few bantams and they are so small and cute.  They also lay the cutest little eggs.  I think if we do decide to raise chickens, I would like to try bantams.  They seem very manageable. 
I also pulled some photos from the vault (circa 2007) so you could see my first visit to the family farm.  I thought this was appropriate because next week we are going there for "vacation".  I normally don't like posting pictures of myself, but I thought these photos were pretty funny and decided to share them and share a laugh.  Here I am feeding the pigs for the very first time, but the chickens gathered around me because they love pig feed too.  LOL.
In this photo, I am feeding Grace, the Belgian Horse.  She was a youngster in this photo, just about a year old if I remember correctly.  She used to be my height, but not anymore!  Now she towers over me.  She is so beautiful.

I thought all you cats and dogs out there would love this photo.  Baby ducks and chicks.  So cute!  This sounds so silly, but I had no idea that ducklings were yellow!  I mean, I've only ever seen yellow ducks as toys as a kid or in books.   These are white ducks when they are full grown but the babies are bright yellow. 
And this is what I mean about sharing a laugh.  This is me holding one of the baby pigs.  My father-in-law asked me if I wanted to hold one and I was so excited because they were so cute! He said pigs "squeal" when they are held, it's not because they are hurt, but that they are scared.  Okay, I wasn't prepared for this even though he warned me about the squealing.  This little piggy SQUEALED!!  My face says it all!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Big Lizards

For those of you who guessed Emu in the last post, you were right! Emus are like ostriches but they are smaller and they have 3 toes, whereas ostrich has 2 toes.

Here is another cool animal we saw at the Staten Island zoo. I can't for the life of me remember the name of this big fella.

We were lucky because the staff was doing a presentation with some of the animals and we were able to pet this guy. His skin was super cool. I was surprised how docile this lizard was, it had claws, but he did not scratch at anyone. He also has a forked tongue, just like snakes. Neat!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Talk about Big Birds

More from the Staten Island zoo, we saw this large bird. Do you know what kind of bird this is? It's as tall as I was, at least 5 foot in height. If any of our cats saw this fella, they would RUN in the other direction!

Thursday, September 09, 2010

A Peacock!

For those of you who guessed a bird, you were right! All over the Staten Island zoo there were peacocks roaming freely. It was so cool! They are such gorgeous animals. I really loved the fact that these animals were not in cages and could walk where they pleased. We even saw one hanging inside the kangaroo pen!

These birds are also quite large!! I kept thinking, I wonder if Dante would be afraid of this bird?

The coloring on these birds are amazing. I was hoping that this fella would open up his feathers so we could see him in all his glory. But he didn't.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Staten Island Zoo: Guess What Kind of Animal?

We visited the Staten Island Zoo on Saturday and it was our first visit since moving here. What a great educational place! They also had "farm" animals and a petting zoo. We saw this cool animal walking around freely throughout the zoo. Here is a closeup of the animal. Do you know what it is?
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