Miller Farm Friday

18 11, 2022

Duck Ears

By |2022-11-14T10:31:11-06:00November 18th, 2022|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

Roosters have the reputation of being the noisiest birds on the farm. However, the ducks on Miller farm are really loud. A friend told me it sounds like they are laughing. I try to remember that when they annoy me.

The amazing thing is they seem to know when I open the back door and they start “laughing.” This gets the chickens started causing quite a cacophony at 6:00 in the morning.

I was wondering aloud if ducks have ears when Beekeeper Brian informed me that ducks actually have good hearing. This explains the effectiveness of duck calls in the hands of hunters. It makes perfect sense.

So then, I wondered what a duck ear looks like. I had to look at pictures because the ducks were not cooperating when I tried to examine their heads.

  I saw nothing resembling ears.

So I did what any tech-savvy person would do and googled “do ducks have ears?”  Up popped the article “Understanding Waterfowl:  The five senses.”

According to this article “Waterfowl ears lack external appendages and are located slightly behind and below the eyes. The ear openings are covered with soft feathers, called auriculars, which offer protection and help muffle the sound of the wind when the birds are in flight.”

Very interesting! Now that I have learned something new today, can I go back to bed?

4 11, 2022

New Challenges

By |2022-11-01T19:41:29-05:00November 4th, 2022|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|2 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

Life has presented many challenges over the past few years, the most notable being the COVID-19 pandemic.  Teachers had to rethink everything they did to protect themselves and their students from an unseen virus.

The current challenge also deals with protection, this time from threats of violence.

Schools across the state are being required to implement new security procedures including various drills to prepare for different dangers.  In my school, we have had all the doors fitted with crash bars allowing them to be opened from the inside while remaining locked on the outside.  This required that all the locks be replaced.

Since all doors are now required to be locked at all times, teachers are carrying multiple keys.  While I understand the rationale behind these measures, it makes getting around the campus a little more difficult.

I now carry five keys: one for the sanctuary where I teach, one for the teacher’s workroom, the office, the cafeteria, and the room where I hold choir rehearsal.

I also have an Allen wrench to keep the door unlocked during morning assembly so students can enter after eating breakfast.

It is a little complicated and somewhat overwhelming.

Once we are safely in our room, though, we can sing, move, listen and play to our heart’s content, forgetting, if just for a moment, that the world is becoming increasingly scary.

28 10, 2022


By |2022-10-28T08:10:27-05:00October 28th, 2022|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

Every year at Halloween I think about the costumes I made when we lived in Mexico.

Catherine was 5, Rachel was 3 and Matthew was almost 2. In a moment of creativity, I made crayon costumes and I was the box.

Now the crayons have left the box.

While it is sometimes sad, it is also fun to watch their colors grow brighter as they find their way into adulthood.

21 10, 2022

Guard Chickens

By |2022-10-16T13:28:40-05:00October 21st, 2022|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

We recently put a lock on our gate into the backyard after we found it open. Fortunately, Max had not gotten far and he knows he has a good deal here so he came right back.

No one knows who opened the gate but no one can open it again without a key.

This is slightly inconvenient for the city workers who need to access our backyard for various reasons. There is a power pole that needs to be replaced and it has required multiple visits from multiple entities including the gas company and the power company.

One of the men who came to the door asked if it was safe to go into the backyard. I assured him we would keep the dogs inside. He explained he was not concerned about the dogs. I figured he was asking about the bees which were also not a threat.

It turns out he was most worried about the chickens. I almost laughed and then I realized we did have this sign in the window:

I promised him the chickens would not bother him. It’s good to know our sign is effective – at least as far as the gasman was concerned.

7 10, 2022

Chicken Tree

By |2022-10-06T10:04:09-05:00October 7th, 2022|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

I watched our neighbors’ chickens recently.  I also fed their dog and cats but the chickens were the most interesting. They tend to wander the yard until the dog goes outside.  Then they run for their lives!

Rosie caught one while I was on duty and it was not harmed at all.  I think Rosie just likes to play chase.

The chickens have learned that, while Rosie is fast, she does not have wings.  They fly up into the tree to safety.

Our neighbors have a chicken tree!

23 09, 2022

Plugging the Hole

By |2022-09-22T20:59:10-05:00September 23rd, 2022|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

We had some pretty windy days in August. We also have some mostly dead trees in the backyard. This combination has led to falling branches, some landing in the “duck pond”.

It didn’t seem to bother the ducks except it made it a little crowded so I faithfully removed the branches.

When I cleaned out the pond/pool I discovered one of the smaller branches had pierced through the bottom of the pool.

It was tightly wedged in the hole, keeping the water from leaking out.

It made me think of the story of Hans Brinker, the Dutch boy who plugged the hole in the dike with his finger. He stayed until someone came to fix the hole and was hailed as a hero who saved the town from flooding.

Unfortunately, I don’t think anyone will come to fix the hole in our duck pond. And, although the weather is still good for swimming, the stores have replaced swimming pools with Halloween decorations.

I guess the stick will continue to plug the hole. Meanwhile, I’ll watch the curb for discarded swimming pools with no holes.

16 09, 2022


By |2022-09-15T17:29:31-05:00September 16th, 2022|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|0 Comments

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

I’m pretty convinced that Cooper is part kangaroo. That dog could jump several feet straight up in the air.

While it was entertaining to watch, the neighbors were slightly concerned about him jumping over the fence. To quell their fears, Rachel attached several feet of chicken wire to the top of the fence in the corner next to the neighbor’s backyard.

Although Cooper has been gone for more than a month, the extra wire is still there. I noticed this week that the morning glories have started climbing the wire.

 It reminds me of the time with Cooper. It also reminds me how persistent morning glories are.

Both memories make me smile.

9 09, 2022

New Order

By |2022-09-08T18:32:16-05:00September 9th, 2022|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

Now that Cooper and Penelope have been gone for a month, Max and Coco have settled into a new routine.  Coco has returned to her slightly obnoxious, bossy self without Cooper around.

I suspect she considers herself the “dog in charge”.  This suspicion was confirmed by a recent interaction involving Coco’s bed.

Max was laying in it, resting peacefully – until Coco wanted it.

Although Coco is much smaller, neither she nor Max seem to realize that.  She didn’t even bark at him.  She just stood there until he moved.

Soon the new order was established.

Before you begin to feel too sorry for Max, he does have his own bed.  Coco’s was just closer.  I feel like we have small children once again.

2 09, 2022

Egg Hunt

By |2022-09-01T19:30:12-05:00September 2nd, 2022|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

It has been quite a while since I have been challenged by a game of Egg Hunt.

In fact, I didn’t even know the chickens were still playing until Beekeeper Brian found eggs in the brush pile at the back of the chicken yard.

I wasn’t quite sure how the chickens managed to lay the eggs there. Then I caught a chicken in the brush pile.

Perhaps she was expanding the Egg Hunt game to Hide and Seek. If that is the case – she is the champion!

Of course, now that I know her hiding place, I can also find her eggs.

26 08, 2022

A Good Year

By |2022-08-26T08:50:55-05:00August 26th, 2022|Friday on the Miller Farm, Miller Farm Friday|1 Comment

A Blog by Chicken Wrangler Sara

I have to follow up on last week’s post about being encouraged by the amaryllis.  Here’s the picture from the blog:

This week we have had rain which has been wonderful.  It waited until after all music and PE classes finished each day which allowed the students to be outside.  Even more wonderful!

Today, 10 days after the first amaryllis picture, I took these:

The first plant has more flowers and two more amaryllis plants have bloomed!

I’m going to take that as a sign that this will be a good year.

Perhaps even a very good year!

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