Thursday, April 30, 2009

April Egg Tally

Things are really picking up!

626 eggs, 845 for the year, out of four Rhode Island Reds, one Silver Laced Wyandotte, and approximately 35 Black Australorp pullets. Wow, that's a lot of eggs. I have sold some, but most of the eggs are pretty small. I have them available at a discount, but most people want large eggs so I'm mostly keeping the small ones for our own use. I've frozen about 10 dozen for future use, and done lots of baking and cooking: sponge cakes, pudding, citrus curd (lemon, lime, and key lime), and meringues. There are still plenty to use up, though!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

We're Now Goat Breeders

Natalia had two kids today. These are the first kids that we've actually bred ourselves. They are healthy, although a bit small. The doeling was 3 pounds and the buckling was 3-1/2 pounds. They were a bit confused at first, since they thought Balto (the dog) was their mother. They both tried to nurse from him that first day. We moved Natalia and her kids out to the main pasture so that she could get more to eat than is available right now in the forest. Also, I remember from two years ago that young kids are very difficult to move to a new pen, since they don't know the routine and they will neither follow nor be herded. They'll also be easier to tame out in the main pasture.

The buckling is already promised to the son of one of my friends. He's named him "Max." We'll be keeping the doeling for our own herd. There are at least two more does that look bred, so I'm looking forward to more kids this year.

#61 Hang water gate.

Installing gates is easy; the only reason this gate has been waiting for over a year is because stretching the fence wire was a prerequisite. I could have installed the other gate at the same time, but I need to recharge my drill batteries first.

Friday, April 24, 2009

#59 Stretch back fence in main pasture.

It took a couple of days of work, but I finally got all of the remaining woven wire stretched and nailed down in the main pasture. I started building this span of fencing in the fall of 2007, so it's very nice to have finally finished it.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Alas, Poor Ben, I (Hardly) Knew Him

Back in January, I mentioned that I had found an actual organic market in Steubenville, Ben's Health and Harvest. Unfortunately, I stopped by there today and the store is now a curtain shop. Now I'm back to square one for finding bulk grains and nuts.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Chicken Pictures

Australorps on Pasture

It's a Tough Life, Being a Duck

Compost Pile == Smorgasbord


New Rooster: Ameraucana?

Check Out Those Spurs!

Tentatively Named Jacques

New Bantam Rooster

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Scarce Chicks?

Until Mary Cate blogged about it, I hadn't realized that hatcheries have been selling out of chicks this year. She wrote,

"Poultry chicks of all kinds are selling like hotcakes with the economy screwed up like it is. All the hatcheries aren't taking personal orders till May, and the ones arriving at the McMinnville store are being snatched up the day they come in."

I checked my hatchery's website, and sure enough they don't seem to have any chicks available through online ordering. We ordered this year's pullets last summer instead of waiting until spring, a decision we've been happy with so far. Now I'm really glad we did it that way, so that we weren't competing with all the people trying to buy chicks this spring. I had planned to order another batch of Rhode Island Reds this summer, but if the frenzy keeps up I'll just breed my own replacement layers. They'll be mixed breed, and I'll no longer be able to tell the age of the chickens by their color, but at least they'll be layers. I'll probably put leg bands on them instead, if it comes to that. I guess it's time to set up some breeding pens.