Tag Archives: Ponies/Horses

Spring 2016 Update

Hi!! We prayed and hoped and dreamed that we would be busy at the farm this summer; busy enough to feed and shelter all these lovely beasts and ourselves through another Minnesota winter. I’m no accountant, but it looks like we are on our way!

herd, pony, llama, sheep, cow, cattle, angus, highland cattle

We’ve now hosted several field trips from Cook, Little Fork, International Falls, Hibbing, Nett Lake, Tower, Bois Forte, schools and organizations. THIS is why the farm has been opened up to the public–we believe it is important that children know where their food comes from. We also think all people should know their farmer and where at least SOME their food comes from. When was the last time you ate an entire meal that was grown or produced within 50 miles from your home? That is pretty tricky in this part of the world!

field trip class

 

Farmers’ Markets are a great resource for local food, by the way. We are excited to be a part of the Cook Farmers’ Market. Laura also participates in several craft shows and expos during the winter to spread the word about the Cook’s Country Connection and the Farm Store, where we sell our own handmade items and consign those of other local artisans. This coming Saturday is the first Market Day of the year. See you in the park downtown Cook (by the gazebo). Hopefully, we will have time to sell at other local Markets this summer, too.

travelling farm store

Did you hear that the Junior Prom was here this year?? There are a million great photos on Facebook, and we have TWO weddings booked for the summer.

prom

Click here to see the Prom Album.

Most Thursdays, Mike Hanson will have his team of Haflingers giving wagon rides around the property. He charges $3/person and it is worth it!

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There are lots of new babies to meet this year including bunnies, a baby goat (nickname Totes), and baby birds.

white bunny

Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest. SEE YOU AT THE FARM!! Now, let’s unplug and go outside! It’s supposed to be a gorgeous weekend, but this rain has made the zoo area wet. We have lots of extra muddy boots to lend  if you forget.

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KD Images

Who knew Kathy Duame of Cook was such a talented artist?? We didn’t, until she sent us a lovely card with a hand-painted black Angus cow on it. Lois just had to give her a call about selling said cards in the Farm Store. Kathy had several of the originals scanned and printed on postcards, which sell for $2 at the Farm Store at Cook’s Country Connections. The plan is to make them into greeting cards, too. Someday! Also, the originals are for sale, too, for just $7.95 each.

Here’s a sampling:

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Shearing Day 2014

Today was Shearing Day at Cook’s Country Connection! Marty Hofmann of Integrity Shearing and his “Head Man” Eric were incredibly efficient and gentle with all the creatures getting haircuts.

 

First, let me start with this; a picture of a shaved alpaca.

alpaca, shearing, cook's country connection, cook, mn, petting farm, pajari,

Welcome.

And below is Molly, my faithful camera assistant. She made sure to drool on my camera strap and nuzzle my pockets for goodies. 400 pounds of helpful, this one.

cow, angus, cook's country connection, cook, mn, petting farm, pajari,

Softer than cashmere and warmer than wool, alpaca fiber can be knit or woven, depending on it’s quality and intended purpose. Here is a wiki link to everything ELSE you ever wanted to know about Alpaca Fiber.  

Next year, we hope to have a seminar or field trip coincide with Shearing Day.

First, the animal is caught and trussed up like a Christmas goose. This keeps everyone -including the animal-safe. Here’s a video of what that looks like:

One, Two…THREE!

alpaca, llama, shearing, cook's country connection, cook, mn, petting farm, pajari,

The front legs are pulled forward, the back legs backward, and just like that, it’s time to shave a llama.

alpaca, llama, shearing, cook's country connection, cook, mn, petting farm, pajari,

This is Maddox, one of only two spitters today.  By the way, “spitting” is kind of inaccurate. It smells bad, and is more like projectile vomiting. Luckily, they only do this when all their other body language is ignored, and people are scaring them. I am guessing it tastes as bad as it smells, because he made the craziest “ew” face for hours afterward. (See that first picture??)

alpaca, llama, shearing, cook's country connection, cook, mn, petting farm, pajari,

Steve’s dad Leo did a great job his first time as official Gate Man.

alpaca, llama, shearing, cook's country connection, cook, mn, petting farm, pajari,

Jill was the only llama not to get the royal treatment today; she has a heart defect and is a Gramma Llama, so Lois didn’t want to stress her out.  She didn’t recognize her herd-mates until they breathed at each other a bit.

alpaca, llama, shearing, cook's country connection, cook, mn, petting farm, pajari,

Itchy (The Very Naughty Pony) was equally confused.

Here’s a video of that…the look on Itchy’s face just cracks me up when he sees that shaved llama. (You should probably just subscribe to our YouTube channel now. Chop chop.)

And THIS is as close as anyone will be getting to a llama for a few days, which is why we take this opportunity to vaccinate, de- worm and do pedicures at the same time.

alpaca, llama, shearing, cook's country connection, cook, mn, petting farm, pajari,

 

 

GusGus

Our dogs and cats are our personal pets and not “exhibit animals”.  That doesn’t mean you won’t see them bopping around the farm but interactions with them will be unlikely.

GusGus is quite the character.

halloween costumes2011 008He never really liked his role at the Cook Dollar Barn.

GusGus and BigGuyHe is much happier as a farm dog.  

He and Walli are half siblings and are Pembroke Welsh Corgis.

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Corgi’s are herding dogs and this is one area where GusGus is superior to his sister.  He absolutely – positively – LIVES for chasing Feta back into the pasture. And squirrels into the trees.  And naughty ponies away from the fence.  He is the talker of the bunch….sassy even.  He has a bark that makes my ears bleed.

All his flaws aside, he was one darn cute puppy!

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Itchy – The Very Naughty Pony

Itchy  is another of the miniature horses on the farm.   He came to us spring of 2007 as a new foal.  Talk about a little cutie!

Itchy has a way of always getting himself into trouble.  I would have to say he is the naughtiest animal on the farm.

pony, cook's country connection        Itchy

Over the years he has managed to nearly cut his leg off, had a big round hay bale dropped on himself, ended up under the neighbors deck, singed his behind on a bonfire and spends equal time in and out of the fence.

singed ItchyA singed pony behind….

Over the years Laura (and her kids) and Jill (and her kids) have spent more time retrieving this horse than any animal past or present.

itchy, pony, cooks country connection

Laura spent most of an afternoon one summer tromping around the pine hill looking for him after a call from the neighbors asking if we were “missing something”.  She ended up with so much pine pitch in her hair she had to have it cut out.

Meanwhile, Itchy  was back in the barn acting as if he had never left the farm – little imp.

itchy, pony, cooks country connection

PS:  Phone calls that start with “are you missing something” are never good when you have animals – especially if it’s from the sheriff’s department….just sayin’.