Monthly Archives: July 2014

Wherein The Pajari Girls (and Danny) See a Man About a Camel.

Can you tell I just read A Girl of the Limberlost again?? All the chapters have titles like this. 🙂

So, yeah. My sister was introduced to this guy named Wally, who is in the petting zoo business and was downsizing. (Thanks a lot, Sheri Nukala. lol) Lois, Jill, Jill’s Spawn, and even Lois’ husband Big Guy have met this Wally character and visited his farm near Bovey, MN. But I was always too busy, too sore, too whatever to go. A couple of weeks ago, Lois needed to go there yet again to pick up some coin-operated feeders for Cook’s Country Connection. Danny was home, and we had no plans, so we decided to ride along. We are both so glad we did!

My hips were crying before we even started the one hour drive in Lois’ truck, but the pain was soon forgotten as we drove into his yard and saw this:

camel, petting farm

I mean, I knew intellectually that this Wally guy had a camel boarding at his farm, but seeing said camel; touching it, smelling it, standing next to it…that just boggled my mind. All I could do while visiting the other animals was mutter, “A %^(@*$ camel. In northern MN…” Even today, I am having trouble describing this experience. Which is why it’s taken so long to get this post done, and why we keep having to explain that, no, we don’t have our own camel… Yet.

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This is my sister explaining to Wally why this bull calf is NOT going home with us today.

This is Wally’s gorgeous barn. His grandpa built it in 1940,

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and it was Wally’s mother’s job to add all these little lines to the mortar. (She was a little girl then.)

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THEN….we met Thomas.

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You can kind of get a sense of scale by the chicken that almost comes up to his knee.

camel kisses, petting farm

It looks like Thomas is kissing Wally, but that is how animals in the CAMELID family say hi. (Llamas and alpacas are in the same family, btw.) It’s sort of like dogs smelling each others’ butts, but nicer and much more sanitary. Camelids say hello by smelling your exhales through your nose.  It can be intimidating to have these creatures stick their face in yours immediately upon meeting- especially when they are infamous for spitting- but do it anyway. In my experience, llamas and alpacas only “spit” -it’s really closer to projectile vomit-when they are frightened. And they give plenty of warning signs before they spew, but that’s another post.

camel kisses,

This is my youngest Spawn, Danny. He and Thomas seemed to really “get” each other.

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I had no idea there was an empty spot in my heart that only a camel could fill. Wally has raised several up here, and when we asked the USDA inspector what would be required to add a camel to the petting zoo, we were surprised that it wouldn’t take much. He would need a six foot tall fence and tall shelter that would be warm in the winter (and food and water and vet care and and and…)

Now if I could talk Mr. Wonderful into letting us put a camel in our basement…just for the winter.

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A Pajari Girl can dream, right?? It’s tall enough, it’s warm enough, and it has a sand floor. AND THERE WOULD BE A CAMEL IN MY BASEMENT!!!!! Omigod it would be GREAT. He doesn’t even smell bad. I checked. Kind of dusty, but that’s about it. And my sister knows a lot more than she thinks she does about Camelids. And Dr. Rathji (sp?) already comes to see the llamas and alpacas.

While I was busy figuring out how to talk Paul into it, Danny followed Wally and Lois into another barn.

“Um, mom? There’s a zebra in here.”

“That’s nice..what the hell??” Sure enough, a zebra and a donkey were sharing a pen in the hopes of producing a zonkey.

zebra, donkey, zonkey

And around the corner from THAT? Fallow deer.

fallow deer, red deer

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And these are Suri alpacas. Lois really needs some of these, because she already has Huacayas. (Madelyn and Maddox.)

But I keep going back to a camel. Thomas in particular. He is so friendly!! The perfect camel for a petting zoo! Hmmmmm.  If you could just mention it to Mr. Wonderful, aka Mr. Clean, aka Larry, aka Paul, that would be great. 😉

Loveyabye!

PS: I read an awesome blog post recently by  Kate, who always wanted to touch a cow’s nose, and then one day got the chance. You should read it. Chop chop. It’s a very happy post! And her boyfriend Gabe is quite the snazzy dresser. 😉

POO!

This was my first official blog post, almost two years ago. Please check it out. It tells all about why you can Google Queen of Poo and Lois shows up. 🙂 Oh, and fun facts about fertilizer are also included. Welcome! Loveyabye

Pajari Girls

Don’t be scared…it’s only fertilizer.

So my sister and I were sitting by the bonfire tonight, talking about all the by-products we use from The Funny Farm (now Cook’s Country Connection), and naturally the talk turned to poo.  Her critters produce a LOT of it. And since we are both avid gardeners, this is a good thing. The trouble is, all poo is not created equal. Thus, I decided to share an overview of the poo we fertilize with, and why. (Please note: NPK is the amount of Nitrogen, Phosporus, and Potassium in fertilizer. Most synthetic fertilizer is 20, 10,5. However, we prefer the organic, homegrown type that comes from all the critters. It takes a bigger volume of fertilizer, but it’s worth it. And free. And we have to something with all that poo!)

  • Horse/Donkey Poo: Little Bit, Itchy, Squirt, Toby and Jack eat a LOT. Horses are less-efficient at digesting than other farm…

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More trouble with chickens….

This farming stuff is tricky business.

I like having my chickens free to do as they choose during the day.  They eat bugs and seeds and they look kinda cute bopping around the farm.

The problem with chickens being loose, is that a few of them have it in their heads to lay their eggs outside of their nest boxes.  This makes every other day a bit like Easter.  We have enlisted the help of local kids to stalk the chickens like little ninjas to find the day’s haul.

Once the nest is located it is best to put a “dummy egg” or two in the nest .  Chickens are dumb, but they aren’t that dumb.  If they go to lay a second egg in a nest and find the first egg gone, they will move on and find another spot to lay….this results in more  ninja neighbor kids stalking chickens…  You can see the problem.  For crying out loud, I have a zoo to build….I can’t keep hunting down dang eggs every day.

Most of the summer we have had a chicken with a cozy nest spot in the corner of the old root cellar nestled in my lilies.

Gus Egg 001

 

Lately though the dummy eggs were coming up missing…what the heck?  Is there a fox stealing the eggs?  Some other predator?

Sissy and her trail cam to the rescue!  Within minutes we had our perpetrator.

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That fuzzy little butt looks awfully familiar….GUSGUS!!!!!

Remember what happened to the chicken caught eating eggs….

chicken in the pot

The trouble with chickens…..

For months now we have had a Rhode Island Red chicken eating eggs.  UNACCEPTABLE!  I have chickens so I can eat the eggs.

I promptly Googled how to stop chickens from eating eggs.  One recommendation was to fill an empty egg with mustard.  I did it and it worked….for a while.

Another was to place a golf ball in the nest box. Tried that, too.

We even tried using the trail cam and critter cam to catch the guilty party.

Nada. Nuthin’. Bupkiss. Goose egg (haha).

chicken in the pot

This method will work for longer than “a while”.  Done negotiating with chickens.

Turkeys

How on earth did we end up with turkeys??  I am discovering “that these things just happen.”

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I don’t know anything about turkeys.  I have never had turkeys.  I like turkey on the grill.  I  like roasted turkeys.  I have never in my life met a turkey.

Turns out turkeys are pretty cool.  I really like the noises they make.  Henry makes this  weird sound that is really more vibration than noise.  And “the girls” chatter and coo.

They certainly add to the farm.  And as a matter of fact, we might just try to hatch some baby turkeys.  Why not?

A warm welcome and howdy-do to “Henry and the girls”.