Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Some Musings on Future Endeavors

Potential Projects for 2008

Animals

Cattle: I would like to get a couple of 18-month-old steers next spring to graze our pastures. They would be slaughtered in the fall.

Chickens:
  • Layers: This year's hens should really start producing a lot of eggs in the spring. I would like to build a hoophouse green house for winter poultry keeping, so that I can have more than twelve hens. I'll also be buying another batch of chicks.
  • Broilers: Since I actually have the pasture pen finished now, I'll go ahead and get a batch or two of Cornish cross broilers. I'll also probably get the next batch of layer chicks straight-run, so that the cockerels can also be used as broilers. Perhaps I'll also attempt to caponize a few of them.

Ducks: The ducks will be the advance forces in the war against brain worm. I need to look through the duck breeds and see which are the best foragers. I also plan to get Muscovies to keep the fly population down near the goats.

Goats: We'll continue with the Boers, hopefully getting a good kid crop in the spring. I will be keeping all of the good-quality doelings for future breeding. I'm also looking for a dairy goat this fall to provide milk starting in the spring.

Pigs: While Paul is gone, pigs will be in the garden area tilling the soil and eating weeds. I will be planting oats behind them in the summer for winter forage and to keep weeds to a minimum.

Turkeys: Turkeys have been such a disaster this year that I'm not sure I want to try them again so soon. I'll have to make that decision next summer.

Structures

Fencing: I want to finish the perimeter fence around the forest next year. I also want to divide the forest into paddocks so that I don't have to use the electric netting out there. I'd like to save it for the dairy goat on pasture.

Poultry House: With the addition of ducks to my flock, I'll need more space than the brooder for winter housing. I'll probably get a hoophouse kit to build a combination poultry house for the ducks and layers.

Water: I plan to dig out a very small pond at the base of the spring run-off and put a second storage tank nearby. The tank would provide water to the forest paddocks so that the other tank can be used only for the pastures.

2 comments:

Tracy said...

Those are some pretty big projects. We probably have some similar ideas, but we are heavily held back by financial restraints. It might be several years before we got a lot of ours going. There just isn't any "extra" right now to spend on building or buying anything to further our goals..... at least not while gas is $3 a gallon or more.

Mel said...

Yes, normally we would have the same problem, but we'll be taking advantage of the extra income from the deployment next year. I want to get some of the big basics taken care of while we can afford it. The fence will be the most expensive, since the forest area is about six acres or so.