Wow! So hadn’t paid much attention but the last month has flown by. I didn’t even realize it had been almost a month since my last post. Well obviously that means its been busy.
For those one or two interested lots has been going on. DUH! right its spring. I am finding myself with spring fever wanting to be outside more and more wanting to stay home and do farm stuff instead of going to work.. Chicks are hatching, hens are broody, calves are dropping (being born, not dieing), plants are growing and on and on.
So first things first. I have 5 hens broody. Not a bad thing unless you look at egg production. I went from 8 or 9 eggs a day down to 3. So here is the break down.
1. Light tan hen – Sat on and hatched 7 of 7 eggs. They hatched last weekend the 13th of April.
2. Dark Tan hen – Decided immediately she wanted to brood another batch (this would be her second) ok fine by me. She is sitting on 3. Should hatch 11ish May
3. Banty (Size of large pigeon) – sitting on 2 should hatch 4ish May.
Now that generally wouldn’t be a problem, but now I have 2 more that decided they wanted to join the mama club but I have no eggs to put under them. So I have to break them of their broodiness
4. Buff Orpington – Sitting on nothing but air
5 Sex Link – Sitting on nothing but Air.
So how do we break them of this. Well we put them in wire bottom cages sitting on cinder block so that the air can get up underneath them. So I have been told. Lets hope this works. I need my eggs back. Next year won’t be much of an issue as I will have around 30 Hens laying so production won’t be hurt to much if I have a few wanting to lay on eggs. I fully encourage this as its my preferred way of replenishing the flock and the layers.
In fact now that I have a Americana Rooster, I am planning on letting them set as often as they want next year as this will also be my way of restocking my freezer. Crossing the Americauna with my Buff Orpingtons I am hoping will give me large enough breed of bird that I will not have to buy my meat birds but rather raise them from my own stock saving me about $2.50 per bird which in turn will reduce my selling price. I doubt they will be the 5 or 6 lb bird but they will be just as tasty.
The last batch of Orpingtons are now 2 1/2 months old. It will still be another 2 month minimum before I see any egg production out of them.
Garden is going good. Everything is coming up. Here is a list of the small garden this year:
- Asparagus – Won’t see any harvest-able till next year
- Yellow Squash
- Tomato (Beefsteak and Cherry)
- Garlic – Hoping to try keeping these going so I don’t have to plant new ones every year. I know it can be done just have to try and see
- Swiss Chard
- Lavender – Not edible I know but smells good
I have two more beds being composted right now so they will be ready for next year. I also bought to Orange tree (Blood and Valencia) to see if I can get them going up here. It’s a little cold but oh well. The Goji Berry bushes are growing well and should see fruit next year.
Now that everything has finally sprouted I installed the drip irrigation system this weekend.
Calves are starting to drop (again, being born, not dieing). This year should be interesting as the calving will be spread out over the year unlike we normally have. Normally all the calves are born in the spring. This year due to the cattle being spread out over the fall and winter we will now see some calving in the fall and as late as November.
Gordo, the new steer is looking very good for Possible January butchering. We left all the calves on their mamma’s longer this year and they are all looking much bigger. So we will start doing this from now on. Typically we have been weening them at 6 months. This year we did a test and left them on for 8 months. Huge difference.
We are still always looking for new grazing land so if you know anyone with some decently fenced of property in our area that needs weeds mowed let us know. It needs to be 5 acres or more. Fencing doesn’t have to be perfect as we can take care of maintenance. Irrigation is a plus but not necessary.
Alright well I think that’s it. This was kind of a long one but that’s what happens.