Homestead Diary February 12 2022

Cool day today, but not as cold as yesterday! Still cool enough to need a scarf.
The big horses were all wearing a layer of snow. Did you know that if a horse has a layer of snow on their back, it’s a very good sign that they are staying warm and not loosing body heat. If they were loosing body heat through their furry coat, the snow would melt. All our horses have great coats each winter! The big horse in the right foreground is actually jet black, and here he is looking a bit like a snowman.

Each morning when I let the miniature horses out of the barn and into their paddock, the big horses always come over to say hello. I joke that the mini horses are their entertainment. Like us with tv. They love to stand and watch everything these little horses do.

This stray who showed up on our homestead last fall, decided it was going to be a friendly day.
This cat is kind of weird. Some days he loves me, other days he runs away and hides from me as fast as he did when he first showed up. He can’t quite decide if he likes humans. He had made up his mind that we were NOT likeable, until I realized to win him over I was going to need to bribe him with some good stuff. I started bringing him out a bit of cream each morning. He loved that.
So now some days he talks up a storm to me, and lets me pet him and love on him, even if I don’t have cream. Other days, he forgets that he likes people and avoids me like the plague. I’ll share a video of him from this morning on my fb page.

Today was a good people day. Today he liked me, and apparently Levi the barn dog too.
I’m pretty sure he changes his mind about the dog on a daily basis too.

Here’s our pretty boy barn roosters, our bachelors. And a couple of our barn cats. The calico cat is also a stray. She’s super sweet, and a fantastic hunter. Right now she’s on the prowl keeping watch for a pure white ermine. If you’re not sure what that is, it’s an animal that is basically a mink/weasel. I think these animals are super duper cute! BUT, back in BC we had just ONE mink take out a whole bunch of our chickens. They are NOT a good animal to have around a farm.

We’ve never had any issues with weasels since moving to this homestead 9 years ago, so when my daughters saw a tiny one in the barn last night, it was a surprise. From what they described, it had to be a baby ermine, which causes me to wonder if we have a family of them in our barn… or possibly more realistically, our farm dog found a nest some where on or near the property, brought this one to the barn and it got away from him. He was trying to get at it in the barn, but it was too fast and scurried out the door into the snow.

I have a difficult time believing that we could have a family of these critters living in our barn alongside our barn cats. Riley, the calico, is especially good at hunting and I just don’t think she’d allow it. lol

If my daughters could have caught the baby ermine, I know they would have… and we’d likely have a new pet.

This is Missy, she’s currently our oldest hen, and our smallest, a bantam. She’s almost 9 years old and one of the first chickens we got when we moved onto the homestead in 2013! She was still laying eggs last summer, the smallest roosters in the photo above are her babies. Every egg of hers that I have ever incubated has hatched! She’s an amazing little hen. I really love bantam chickens, and if everyone loved small eggs, I’d have a coop full of bantams but unfortunately most prefer large eggs, so I just have a few. The very first chicken I ever had as a child was a bantam. They are super friendly and gentle, really a great chicken for small children! I’ll always have a couple so that if kids visit, I can count on having a couple of friendly hens who will obligingly be held in a child’s arms. 🙂

I took a few videos this morning of the different animals, and I’ll share those on my fb and on my tiktok, if any of you are also on there! On fb you can find me at and on tiktok just search for HomesteadEmporium and you’ll find me there!