Monday, December 31, 2007

We've had some very cold mornings here on the farm, in the upper 20's. I go out for chores and the ground is frosty and hard and the water source is frozen. This means that I am carrying buckets of water from the house to the animals, three buckets. The animals don't seem to mind this cold. They come out of their shelters every morning in search of their corn scratch and treats.
I don't really have much to say. We have been REALLY busy all week with the festivities of the Nativity so I have gotten out to do farm work very little. I did work on my coop a little on Friday and on Saturday we harvested some firewood. The neighbor downed a big tree he wanted for firewood and in the process downed several smaller trees. He graciously has given these 3-4 smaller trees to us! What a blessing. We just might have enough wood for next winter with those trees and the 2 we lost on our own property.

Happy New Year to you all! I'll have more frequent updates after the New Year!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Egg production is up!!!!! I’m so excited! It is not because the new chicks are laying eggs but because I finally got a clue! J No really. I stopped buying the commercial feed that has all the important vitamins and minerals that are necessary to their growth and production. Why did I do this? Because I could get “wheat screenings”, Organic wheat screenings, for ½ the price of the commercial feed. Wheat screenings are what is screened out of the horse feed/grain as it goes through the grain elevators. It’s what’s left over that isn’t really good enough for horses or cows but good enough for chickens. BUT, it lacks the minerals that they need. When I decided to do this I knew that they needed the extra minerals and salt but didn’t know to what extent it would affect them. I purchased the minerals and salt and would throw a handful of salt and minerals in now and again. The switch from the commercial feed took place about the same time we started to lose light. Chickens need a minimum of 14 hours of light for production. Well, all of a sudden by the end of September we were WAY down on production. Some days as few as 5 eggs a day! This is down from an average of 16. I thought it was because of the light but after I put a light inside the coop to extend their daylight it never really increased. We went 2 ½ months like this. I finally purchased 2 mineral feeders but not really expecting this to make too much of a difference because I was throwing handfuls of the minerals in with their feed. But after the feeders went up and they had free reign on controlling their own intake (apparently they are pretty smart when it comes to knowing what they need), the egg count has gone way up!!

YEAH! I’m consistently getting 10 or more eggs a day. Every once in awhile I’ll get 6, 7 or 8, but for the most part it’s 10+! So, I’m very thankful! My ability to sell eggs is back!

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Friday, December 21, 2007

Morning has broken...

I decided to grab my camera yesterday morning as I went out to do my "barn" chores, as I have gotten to call them. This is how Firefly greets me every morning...
See her hoof up there on the edge of the door. It is so funny. She will jump up on that door non-stop till I let her out to milk. Then she goes running into the other side of the barn and jumps up into her stanchion for milking. Butter just stays put as she knows her grain is coming. Hopefully soon, we'll start training Butter to take her grain in the stanchion as well, so she gets used to being in there and having us touch her.
Here are Butter and Firefly checking out my camera. And waiting for their grain. Wet Cobb is what it is really called and the reason they like it so much is because of the "wet" part. It is grain mixed with molasses. It's like candy! And must be stored safely away from them as they will eat it to their death! It can make them sick if they overindulge.

These are the new chicks! Yes, indeed they have grown enormously....they look like miniature chickens now instead of fuzz balls. They are 7 weeks old, only another 10-13 weeks before we start getting eggs out of them. James has next week off, the whole week and unless it pours rain the entire time, they will be in their new coop by weeks the New Year.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

New items on left.

I have added a couple new items to the left. First, you'll notice that I changed the "Egg Counter" to an "Egg Counter and Milk Production" where you can see our previous day egg count and the number of pounds we received from Firefly. Just in case you were wondering there are approximately 8 pounds in a gallon.
The other is a countdown to Firefly's due date if she is indeed's very hard to tell if a goat is pregnant. If she doesn't go into heat again in 3 weeks she is probably with-kid. This countdown is based on the date she was with the buck and did their little "dance". If you'd like to read about that day check it here....I blogged about it on the other site before this was up and running.
Thanks for visiting.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Welcome to our Farm!

After some thought I have decided to create a farm blog for St. Brigid Farm. I've been working on it for quite awhile and have finally completed it. This will be a place where you can come read about our farm. Here you will find everything farm related. If you are interested in watching us grow and learn about our little farm, visit often. My goal is to post at least a picture or 2 each day or updates on what the animals are doing, how the garden is growing, etc.
Some features you will find along the left sidebar are a daily Egg Counter(this, of course, will list the count for the previous day--it will be fun to see it grow drastically come March), Inspirational and Helpful webpages/blogs (these are sites I frequent either for farm/animal help or just for inspiration), our Library (which is where you can find books we LOVE and if interested you can click on them and buy them from a LOCAL bookstore at the same time supporting our little farm), and finally my Cafepress site (I've created a logo for our Farm and you can purchase merchandise with the St. Brigid Farm log on it)!
Thanks for visiting, if you find it fun and interesting come often!!

If you want to read about how we started out I'll post links to archived posts from my other blog later.