Our Old Place Farm didn’t start out as a farm; it started with one horse and some barn cats! The barn cats had kittens before I could catch them and that is when the growth began. One kitten remained and has grown into a beautiful adult plus the two original farm cats. One day a skinny stray showed up. Then another and another. We were regulars at the Veterinarian for a while! We figured that everyone could stay as long as they were fixed and got along. The last cat to show up was a starving calico. She was so skinny that at first I didn’t realize she was pregnant. Despite showing up hungry and scared she was a fantastic mother. Eventually she learned to trust and has remained at the farm with one of her kittens. We never have to worry about mice!
A Once-Skinny-Stray Charlie
Next came chickens! Our flock started with eight Buff Orphingtons. They were the only ones for a while, until a Plymouth Barred Rock showed up as a stray in our neighborhood. When no one claimed her, she joined the flock. At four months old, one of my original Buff’s started to lose her eyesight. By the time she was two years old, she was completely blind. Several people told me that she couldn’t be blind because she wouldn’t survive. Many others asked me why I would keep a blind hen. I always said, “Why not?” I like to give my animals more credit than that! Being blind hasn’t bothered her much at all. We had to make a few adjustments for her, but she figures things out and is thriving! She even lays an egg once in a while. Just last week we added another blind hen to the flock! She was advertised on our local Craigslist. A woman had rescued her after being starved and pecked nearly to death. She got her healthy and wanted a safe home for her with other chickens. She is doing fabulous and it looks like my two blind hens will be the best of friends!
Then came a second horse. He has some special needs and needed a lot of time to be rehabilitated. Thankfully I have a stoic senior Quarter Horse gelding who has done the majority of the work, just by being calm and being a horse. The new guy had lived a high pressure lifestyle full of stress. He was nervous and didn’t know how to relax or be a horse. They are now buddies and can spend time napping side by side. These days, the younger one is a comfort to his friend as he gets older and doesn’t hear or see as well.
Two years ago we added goats to the farm. Pure joy! They really do seem to enjoy everything that they do, especially when they happen to escape from an area. Then you can see the joy as they are running away with their tails flashing. You can also hear the excitement as they baaah the whole way! The fun thing is that if you turn around and act uninterested in their antics, they turn to follow you back to where they are supposed to be!
This year, we brought a Livestock Guardian Dog (LGD) to the farm. We learned about the breed and this dog from a Russian friend. She had been raised in the city and had never seen livestock. When we brought her home, she took everything in stride and has been working ever since. She loves when the chickens follow her in from the field and her favorites are the goats! Surprisingly, they accepted her quickly and look to her for comfort and guidance if something scares them.
Our Livestock Guardian Dog
As the number of animals grew, so did the times that I referenced it as a farm! The farm term stuck and I thought that it should have a name. One day my husband sent me a text as he was driving past our first house. He said, “Just went by our old place.” I really liked the sound of that. Then one day, I applied the term to the farm and it worked – Our Old Place Farm! We love things with a history and that are classic and vintage and that have a story. Just like our critters. Many of them are rescues and have quite the stories. I share about them on Facebook at Our Old Place Farm.
My name is Lisa. I have loved horses for as long as I can remember and learned to love animals early in my childhood. I grew up in the country. My first horse was the best gift that a girl could ever ask for! I have been married for almost twenty years to the love of my life! In recent years, we have been trying to simplify our lives and get back to the way our grandparent’s used to do things. We want to know where our food comes from and how it was grown. We cook more and more from scratch and eat our meals together at the table. We are making changes all the time and are loving the results! Thanks for joining us on the journey!