Welcome to HighTail Farms, LLC! We're a small farm located in Greensboro, North Carolina. We are dedicated to providing people with ethically raised and humanely processed pastured poultry and sheep, fresh eggs, and raw meat for pet food. We are currently not producing any products for sale.

Please follow the links in the top bar for more information on our products and their availability. Continue reading below for our blog where we detail the adventures of raisin' animals and whatnot.

Monday, March 5, 2018

Lamb Surprise

It's been a heck of a long time since I posted anything, but I thought I would jump right in with a little story from this morning on the farm. My mother is currently visiting. She came out to give me a hand with morning chores this morning. I was wearing Elliot on my back since he's just old and mobile enough to cause himself great bodily injury if left unattended in the house for more than five minutes

We'd taken care of the mule and all the goats that live up front by the house. We were out at the barn, and mom had gone out back to let the birds out when I heard a weird sound. It was the call of a sheep in distress or discomfort. I wheeled around and immediately spotted a sheep on the ground. A closer look revealed that it was Emily, one of last year's lambs, and she was pretty obviously in labor. I could just see the white tips of a newborn lamb's hooves peaking from her backside. This was a real surprise because we were pretty sure we were done lambing for the year. We figured Emily was just a bit to young to catch during breeding season. Apparently we were wrong.

As I watched, she got up and laid down again, alternately pushing and resting. I could just see the two little hooves and a nose appearing and disappearing again as she pushed. I called mom to come quick so she wouldn't miss this lamb being born. We stood and watched and waited, but momma wasn't making any progress. The stuff hanging from her backside looked suspiciously dry, like she'd been pushing quite a while. She was looking very tired, and I was pretty sure we would have a dead lamb on our hands if it had been stuck as long as I suspected.

I decided to intervene. It was pretty obvious that this lamb was trying to come out with its front legs tucked back. It's front legs and nose were trying to emerge at the same time which jams up the shoulders and makes it a lot harder for them to pass through the birth canal, also called an elbow lock. I'd seen it before in the goats. I got Elliot out of the carrier and handed him to Mom. I knew I would have to chase this ewe as she was one of our least tame ladies, and I really didn't want to stress her any more than she already was. I moved slowly and after a short chase, I was able to grab a back leg and then the rest of her. I carefully and gently laid her down on her side and used a knee to keep her from getting up and running off again.

At this point, Emily had sucked that baby back up and almost out of sight. I waited a few seconds for another contraction for the feet to emerge then slowly pulled one leg and then the other forward. It took quite a few pushes for the nose and mouth to emerge again. I hadn't felt any resistance or movement from the lamb as I pulled so I was sure we were dealing with a stillbirth at this point, but to my surprise and delight I saw that wet little nose twitch and the little tongue move! It was alive!

Momma pushed and I pulled those legs with one hand while carefully pushing back her vulva with the other. That baby was stuck but good! It took what seemed like forever, but eventually little eyes then ears emerged then the whole rest of the lamb sprung free! Momma laid flat out and closed her eyes, totally exhausted. The lamb hadn't even fully cleared her back end, but she did not care. I let her rest for a bit while that wet bundle of limbs that was the newly born lamb flopped around in the dirt trying to get it's bearings in this giant new world.

Eventually Emily came around and started talking to and cleaning her baby. Once she was on her feet, I got her and the lamb penned up in an enclosed area where no one could bother them with some fresh food and water. It was only after all was said and done that I thought to check the sex of the little one. It was a male, and a pretty one too. Dark brown with a mottled white face and small splotches of white on his body. We decided to call him Finnian. It wasn't long before he was on his feet and looking to nurse. We left mom and baby to do their thing.

That evening little Finnian was nursing great and hoping around like little fool, and mom was happy to get some extra grain and hay for all her hard work.

It occurred to me that this not the first or even the second birth that Elliot has witnessed in his short life. This kid is going to grow up knowing exactly where babies come from in very graphic detail, and I think that's pretty cool.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Currently not in business ...

For those of you who may be looking for holiday turkeys or other products, we are not currently offering anything for sale.  When we relocated to North Carolina we scaled down our operations and will be staying relatively low key for the time being.

If you are looking for a locally produced turkey or other produce, I highly recommend using Local Harvest to find a small farmer near you.  If you are in Louisiana and searching for something, I would recommending contacting Hollygrove Market.

We wish you the best of holidays!

Monday, April 3, 2017

Swim fetch fun

 After expertly moving all the sheep and goats out of the back pasture, Rialey got to play some swim fetch in the pond.

Then the thought occurred to me, what if something went wrong, and I had to go in after her. Rialey's a great swimmer, but there I was standing there with a 7 month old strapped to my back. Although Elliot has been taking swim classes, I'm not sure he's quite ready for an inter-species water rescue. I guess we'll stick to dry land play for a while.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

North Carolina Sheep Day

This Saturday we decided it was high time we had a "sheep day." This is a day where we gathered up all the sheep for health checks, get weights on the lambs, and just generally make sure that all is well with the flock. This is something we did weekly at our old place because there seemed to always be at least one sheep or lamb who was doing poorly and needed deworming at the very least. Since we have moved to North Carolina, the sheep have been doing so well that we didn't feel the need for such hands on care. Still, we have 8 lambs on the ground now, and it was time to get our hands on them. 

First order of business was to figure out which lambs belonged to which mommas and get them marked for easy identification. Anthony then checked the color of everyone's mucus membranes around the eyes to make sure no one had any serious issues with parasites. They were all nice and pink!

Anthony's sister Theresa was in town visiting so she helped us get weights on all the lambs. I'm excited to report that the lambs are thriving in their new home so far. They are far and away outgrowing last years lambs. The real test will be in a few months when they are weaned and eating on their own. In previous years, this is when we have run into problems with the lambs. I'm hoping the milder temperature and far better pastures up here will help protect them in that stressful period.

Fred and Rialey are still BFFs. He stole an opportunity to get some snuggles in while Rialey held the sheep in a corner of the barn for us.

Once we were done checking the sheep, we decided to go for a walk around the pond and down to the lake. We moved the sheep into the back pasture to let them graze the lush, untouched grass that is growing back there.

The weather was beautiful and Elliot was enjoying the fresh air and sunshine from the safety of the carrier on my back.

The lake is so beautiful with clear waters and everything turning green all around. 

And apparently we have beavers!

Monday, March 20, 2017

Saying goodbye to Piro

Early on Sunday morning we said goodbye to Piro, my sweet kitty boy. He was only 10 years old.

Back when I was working for the library, I was helping host a meeting of a local amine club. I remember we were watching a show called Kanon. During the show, one of our regulars, a girl probably around 10 or 12, came in with a couple kittens. She'd found them on the side of the road in the local neighborhood. They'd basically been left in a ditch. She was going to keep one and give the other to a friend. 

Eventually anime club ended, everyone left, and the library closed. We were cleaning up when there was a pounding on the back door of the meeting room, a door no one ever used. I opened the door to see the girl standing there with one of the little fluff ball kittens. She thrust the tiny thing into my hands, said, "My mom won't let me keep this!," and ran off. I was left standing there with a confused look on my face and a tiny kitten in my arms. I took him home with me with the intention of finding the little guy a home with someone else. I decided to call him Piro after the kitten in the show we were watching that day.

Well, as you can probably guess, the little guy stayed. Luna fell in love with him and adopted him as her own. He took to eating raw like a champion and clawed his way into our hearts. 

Piro grew up to be the sweetest cat. He loved being scratched around the head and neck and would fall over sideways while rubbing his face against your hand. He must have had some Persian in him because he ended up with a huge, puffy coat that I would sometimes shave down, leaving him a lion's mane and fluffy tail. He would snore when he slept. He also had chronic mild urinary issues that resulted in him peeing on anything and everything left on the floor. No rug, dog bed, or dirty laundry was safe. He taught us the hard way to keep the floors clear!

More recently he and Rialey developed the sweetest relationship. They had a morning ritual. He would jump up in the bed just about every morning and clean Rialey's head, licking carefully around her ears and nibbling on her ears. For her part, Rialey would hold perfectly still not even turning her head if we called her name. We said Piro was giving her a case of cat paralysis, and she loved it. 

Of all my animals, it was Piro who there for me when I most needed him. Unusual for a cat, he would sense when I was having a hard time and just be there with his furry little paw on my knee or shoulder. When Anthony and I first got together, Piro would climb up onto his chest, put his front paws on either side of his neck, and look him dead in the eye as if to say, "You hurt her, I kill you." 

The last month or two his appetite had been dwindling. We went to the local vet, tried antibiotics, fluids, anti-nausea meds. We also tried some natural remedies, oils and homeopathics. We did bloodwork, xrays, and ultrasounds. Nothing seemed to help, and the vet wasn't certain of the cause. He just wouldn't eat. He lost a little weight, but generally seemed ok. As a last resort, we tried steroids, and he just crashed. The weight melted off of him until he was skin and bones. He was desperately thirsty and still eating poorly. One more trip to the vet for more testing, and she concluded that we were looking at large cell lymphoma, a fast acting cancer that seemed to have spread to most of his major organs. She recommended euthanasia and sent us with pain meds and fluids. 

Even though it was a couple months in total, it felt so quick. He was doing ok, then he just wasn't. I wish we could have done more, but if it was cancer I guess there wasn't much else to do. 

I'll miss my little man. My tuxedo clad pee monster. My sweet headbutting fluff ball. He was one cool kitty cat.   


Monday, January 30, 2017


Ran into this weirdness while out running errands. Better pictures here.

Sunday, January 29, 2017


All along I've said that Elliot is a very middle of the road baby. He's not the kind of easy baby that sleeps through the night and endlessly amuses himself during the day. On the flip side, he's also not the kind of baby who required endless rocking and walking the floors.

With him, it almost always boils down to just two things, gas and naps. As he's gotten older and I've learned what in my diet causes him issues, the gas has become less and less of a problem. I mean he still toots like a grown man on taco night, but the gas doesn't cause the same kind of pain and suffering for all of us.

This just leaves naps. From the beginning, Elliot was not a great sleeper. He's not terribly difficult to get to sleep. If the timing is right, few minutes of walking and bouncing and singing boring songs usually does the trick. The problem is that he doesn't stay asleep. If left to his own devices, during the day he will nap for about half an hour at a time. My mother has solved this problems by spending many, many hours holding and rocking and soothing him into sleeping for 2-3 hour stretches. This has the advantage of getting him the hours of sleep he should have, that he needs but the disadvantage that little boy has never learned to sleep on his own. Plus his Mawmaw won't be around forever. Pair this with the fact that he was sleeping snuggled in the bed with me at night, and we have a baby who just cannot sleep on his own.

We've started working on it. During the day, we are trying to put him down for naps and at night he is sleeping at least part of the night in a pack and play next to the bed. Night time is working pretty well (I'm slowing recovering from baby snuggle withdrawal), but so far he cannot nap for more than about 20-30 minutes without waking and crying. The pediatrician says this is a very common time for sleep regression anyway. He says no matter what we do, things should get better in the next couple months. For the sake of our cranky kid and my unfolded laundry, I sure hope so!