Sand Hill Stable is not just a home for horses.  Somewhat reminiscent of a working farm, we have goats and chickens, a donkey, and even an emu.

If you have ever driven by the farm you are sure to have wondered what on earth that large bird is.  This is Bob, the emu.  Emu’s are the friendliest of the large birds.  However, they do have strong powerful legs to run away or kick you with if threatened.  Emu’s are native to Australia and are often raised for meat in the U.S.

Bob enjoys watching traffic on 303 and observing the horses and goats from a safe distance.

Sand Hill Stable has over 24 chickens.  We selected the Black Australorps and Buff Opringtons for their large size and friendlier dispositions.  The plan is to use the chickens to spread out the manure in the pastures during the summer following the horses in the pasture rotations.  During the summer months the chickens live in the portable coop that can be towed by the tractor or RTV.

These chickens also produce delicious eggs!  These are free range chickens enjoying the good life.

Goats are able to eat many of the weeds that horses do not in the pasture.  However, we are still working on a manageable way to utilize the goats for this puprose.  The first two goats brought in were dairy does, both which had a single kid in the spring of 2010.  Milking goats is time consuming and a test of patience, but the reward of fresh goats milk is wonderful.  Instead of adding more dairy goats, Betsy decided to try several Angora goats.  In May 2010 four Angora goats arrived.  Three does and a buck.

Angora goats are bred for their fiber – mohair.  They are shorn twice a year, very much like sheep.  The fiber can then be washed, skirted, carded, and eventually spun.  Or the fiber can be sold as locks of hair for dolls or santa beards.  Mohair, interestingly is often used for western cinches that are made of strands of rope.

Betsy intends to breed Angoras on a small scale and sell the kids.  She also hopes to process the fiber and turn it into roving (carded fiber ready to spin) and sell it in that form.

Gus, a miniature donkey, came to Sand Hill Stable at one week old in the fall of 2010.  He was rejected by his mama and needed fed every two hours and monitored frequently.  He was a tough lil guy and he made it!  To socialize him one of the employees brought up a miniature horse to live with Gus and teach him how to be an equine.

Lola’s story goes here 🙂

OK, I know that’s a cow, not a mule… but it was the closest I had photo-wise!