One of the main reasons I'm looking forward to farm living is the animals. This is an ongoing list of the stars of the show:

Hemi is an old man. He's a Maine Coon that can hardly push out a croak of a meow these days, but he's the most affectionate, loyal cat I've ever had. I found him as a stray 11 years ago when he was scratching at my front door, looking for some shelter from the cold, and I've enjoyed every moment with him ever since. When he's not jumping into my lap every time I sit down, he's usually hiding from the kids or dogs.

We often refer to Bamboo as The Little Bastard, although he's far from little any more. He's still a rambunctious kitten at heart, as he was the day we adopted him last October. He chews the houseplants, lays in the middle of the hallway when we're walking by and makes a point of terrorizing Hemi every chance he gets. But we love him.

We bought these rabbits as babies from a local breeder in February, looking to breed them for meat, fur, and more stock to sell to others looking to breed them for the same purposes. Some are New Zealand Whites and some are Calfornians. We now have two males and two females for breeding with about 15-20 youngsters growing for meat at any given time.

Napoleon and Pedro
Our two donkeys were left at the house when we got it, so I guess that means they're ours now! We need to get them castrated, first of all, then we'll see what we can do with them.

We got our geese in March of 2012 and they're growing up to be a nice flock. They act as an alarm system for strange animals that might enter the yard, and they poop everywhere.

Our little baby chicks are growing up so quickly, but they're loving their huge barn/chicken coop. They're a mixed lot of large egg-layers, including Rhode Island Red, Barred Rock, Dominique and many more. I could literally sit and watch them all day.

We found Shelby at a local Humane Society shelter and immediately fell in love with her. She's sweet-natured, calm, and even knows some good tricks. Her breed is Border Collie/Black Lab mix, and she's about three years old, they tell us. We really couldn't ask for a better dog.

Smokey is a Great Pyrenees and probably the second coolest dog I've ever known. His hobbies include laying in mud and biting Roy's horns while Roy tries to head butt him. It makes for some good times, but he's a wonderful dog and has kept the predators away from the other animals!

First we bought three goats for milk. Then we loved them so much we bought two more! Unfortunately one of the original three died during labor, but two more were born to make an even six goats so far. There's the billy named Roy, Vanilla, her two babies (yet unnamed), Cinnamon, and Raisinet. We hope to breed and raise many more for their milk to make cheese.

Our two Yorkshire pigs are being raised over the summer for meat, but if all goes well, we hope to get a breeding pair next year and raise more.