Saturday, June 14, 2008

Ag Update

Time flies when you are having fun. :)
Life is crazy busy right now and I'm increasingly aware that this internet blogging thing is really hard to keep up. So for now my goal is to do an "Ag Update" on a regularly basis a minimum of every 3rd day. I had my expectations set too high on daily goals and that just isn't going to work. If I happen to get on more than every 3rd day then GREAT. you go...what's happening here...

We often are seen picking, by hand, grass for the chickens. We do this by hand if it has been raining or is raining or the grass is too long for the chickens. Is is not a fun job and so I sometime use it as a consequence for complaining of an everyday job. (Complain=extra work...yeah I'm mean.) Anyway, the bottom line is that the chickens love grass and eat it up. It's what helps make their yolks so bright and beautiful. Here I found Nicholas with a long pruner trimming grass for the chickens. (This is the tool we used to use to edge everything when I was growing up, long before weed wackers came along.) I just thought it was so cute how is was sitting in this grass that was well over his head, talking or singing, and cutting grass to fill a bucket.
We have had one of the coldest springs ever! The weatherman says we've broken the record for the coldest start to June which was set in 1917! Needless to say, my garden is not pleased and is having a hard time getting a start. The apples are doing well, I think. I don't know much about apples yet but all 3 of my trees are covered in tiny little apples like this one.

Here is one of my garden beds, bare and cold. Half of it is planted with corn seed but that took over 2 weeks to finally sprout and they are now just barely peeking through the soil. I almost gave up on them. The weekend is suppose to be really nice and I hope to work very hard at getting the beans in as well as more cucumber. On the right side of the picture you can see the tent that goes over my tomatoes. Tomatoes are not well in this weather even with the tent. I have another 10 plants yet in the house that I hope to harden-off over the next week of so.Goats! Kid goats are doing very well. The triplets are now a month old and really looking big. They are so friendly and I attribute this to being bottle fed. We are definitely their mama's. They'll jump into your lap to sit and everything. The twins are a week and a half and will be disbudded today. The 2 oldest bucks will lose their buckiness today as well. Below is a picture of Snowcap and Feta.

Here they are looking for food (in all the wrong places). From left to right...Snowcap (walking away), John, Lefty and Feta, with Brie in the background.
What a handsome boy! This is John.

And another handsome boy...Lefty, chewing on the fence.
This picture is so cute. John on the left and Feta on the right with Snowcap on the stump. The two look so much alike!

On our front deck we have this bird feeder. Which other critters have found and that's alright as it does have sunflower seeds and peanuts in it. Here you can see someone's tail and ears peeking out. Did you find it?

Here we have our friendly farm chipmunk the children have named Pipp (since recently watching the new Disney movie Enchanted). Look how full his cheeks are. When I took this picture he was scared stiff. :)

The egg count is mediocre. I'm trying to figure out why it isn't higher because with 55 chickens I should be getting way more than 25 eggs a day!! It's frustrating actually! I have periodically found the new flock running around with egg shells so my newest suspicion is that they are eating them, being cannibalistic. So to investigate that I'll be collecting eggs many times throughout the day instead of all at once at the end of the day. With our first flock the excitement of collecting eggs was high so the children naturally collected eggs all day long but we didn't do this with this flock so maybe they just are to tempted. I'll keep you posted.

Milk production, on the other hand, is VERY good. Between the 2 goats we get over 2 gallons of milk a day. The kids drink over 1.5 gallons of that. Once they are weaned we will be rolling in the milk and our soap business will begin, not to mention making yogurt and cheese as well.
Kelsey has been working hard at naming our soap products and she has created such things as Feta's Facial Foam and Firefly's From Filthy to Clean Body Wash. :)

Have a great weekend!

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