Welcome to Belly Acres Farm, where we are fortunate enough to have a variety of animals, and they seem to enjoy their lives with us. Our animals have great bloodlines and good dispositions. It is obvious to everyone that visits our farm that we love our animals, and we are one big happy family.
We have always had Golden Retrievers most of which have been rescued, but we do have a couple full bloods that gave us 6 puppies in March 2010, so our family became a bit bigger, but only briefly. It was a wonderful thing to enjoy. After much prayer we placed these puppies with wonderful families, each of them special in their own way, each finding the perfect home to fit their personalities. Fortunately we have become friends with the adopting families, so we get to see the puppies and what wonderful pets that have become.
Cats have always been apart of our farm as well; and they are each so unique in looks and personality. We have rescued and spayed more cats than I care to count, but each has been a loyal friend and worked to keep the place free of rodents. What more could you ask for?
Thanks to Tuffy and Ruby Chambers, we started out with a few easy chickens back in 2003, but they quickly grew to over 200 birds. Now we focus only on our favorite breeds so our flock has dropped to about 100 birds. Sarah loves the Buff Brahma Bantams and did well showing them in 4H for several years but we no longer raise them. Paul likes the Marans, so we purchased eggs from Belinda Moss of Jackson, LA. We have the Feather footed: French Black Copper Marans, Wheaton Marans, and Salmon Marans. Belinda also got us started with the Lavender Orpingtons which quickly became Sarah's chickens. Belinda then added Black and Blue English Orpingtons, so we did too, thanks to her. My favorites are the Blue and Black Ameraucanas. We purchased our eggs from Cree Farms in Seabeck, Washington so we could get great genetics and disposition. Lisa and Gary Cree have been very helpful and so kind in working with us to get a great flock started. Then I found a local source for Blue Laced Red Wyandottes, so we are raising a small flock to enjoy.
Sarah showed Boer Goats for 8 years in 4H and open shows, and thanks to KC Farms, she has been very successful. We purchased our Boer goats from the Strecker family and have had great times going to shows and even kidding and raising our own babies. We even purchased an Ennobled/Sire of Merit Buck "Aragorn" from Tangletree Farm. We had grown to a herd of about 40 Boer goats, but weaned down to about 16 and started focusing more on the dairy goats, when Sarah started college. It has been a great opportunity for our family to work together toward a goal and see the success. Sarah has learned so much from the animals and the people. She is finishing up with 4H shows because she is attending LSU, but you will still see us at some of the local ABGA shows. We purchased a nice full blood Boer buck named "Vengeance" from Coni Ross in Blanco, TX in Oct of 2011. We are excited about his genetics and are excited to see how his kids improve our herd.
In February 2009, we purchased 3 La Mancha Dairy Does from Mississippi. They were all bred and when they kidded we started getting fresh goat milk everyday! We then added a few Nubians since Sarah chose them as her favorite Dairy Breed. With the help of Lisa Cree we were able to purchase some excellent Purebred Nubian goats from Scott Jenkins. I am so grateful he shared some of his animals with us; his goats have such wonderful genetics, milk production, and milk stand manners. They were an exciting addition to our farm. We added a few French Alpines, to round out our herd and could be the best volume milkers we have.
We have enough milk to make cheese and share with our animals. We have had a lot of interesting soft cheeses to eat and want to try our hand at the hard cheeses this year. So far we haven't had any complaints on the cheese, from friends and family. Guess it is hard to complain with your mouth full! The Dairy Does have changed our lives in ways we never thought possible.
In 2011, we decided to add a Livestock Guardian Dog to protect our growing farm from predators. We were lucky enough to get a Great Pyrenees from Coni Ross. We named him "Bones" and loved him from the first day. We enjoyed him so much, that on our second trip to visit Coni she gave his half sister, and we named her "Yetti". They are thick as thieves and are so very protective of their goats and their people. Bones has a wonderful smile when he greats you, and Yetti is as white and fluffy as snow. We couldn't ask for better guardians and companions.
Our Koi ponds are for the few moments we get to relax and enjoy nature at its best. We built two 5,000 gallon ponds in 2007, and after that education we dug a smaller 1,200 gallon pond at our front porch in 2009. Joe and Ron Smith have helped make these ponds a success. We raise standard fin and butterfly koi which are growing nicely. We enjoy growing the hardy, tropical and night blooming waterlilies. We also raise a few varieties of Lotus.
We plan on adding a few bee hives to our farm this year and look forward to enjoying our own honey. We have so many things we want to try, but it seems like we don't have enough time to get to everything. As you can tell, we are busy and like it like that! If you are friends or family, you are always welcome to join in our fun and visit us at BELLY ACRES FARM. Watch for new ideas and endeavors in our future.
Paul, Helen, & Sarah
Zachary, LA 70791