Yesterday we had 60 new little arrivals. That’s a lot of newbies here… Well, I guess it’s not, compared to the incubator years. It’s a lot for *this year*
First we have 25 white turkeys, 10 Lavender Orpingtons, and 10 Jersey Giants. The turkeys are, obviously, summer vacationers only. These are fast growing and fast into the freezer birds. Still, tons of fun to raise. 🙂
The chicken chicks are to help rebuild the flock and the breeding program with dual purpose birds. Both breeds lay well, and the roosters get to be a good size for the freezer. Orps average 10-12lbs, Giants 12-15lbs. Slower growing than meat chickens, better foragers, hardier birds over all. That’s what I want in our program. So this year we’ll see how many roosters we get of each and decide how many of them to keep for next year’s incubations.
5 white geese. Geese are so dramatic. 😂😂😂 Drama all the time with them…but they are funny as hell, and tasty too. I’m hoping for a breeding pair out of the 5 of them.
10 pekin ducks. They’re a meat breed, but do lay well too. Once they’re fully grown, we’ll see how the muscovies take to them…muscovies are elitists assholes. 😂😂😂 They tend to not like other birds (tho ours do have their “pet” turkey T.D.) and will shun them (at best) or try to kill them (at worst). So all the pekins may be Freezer Campers, or we may keep a trio of them for breeding. We’ll see how that goes. 🙂
We’ve had 2 major storms in the past 2 weeks. We now have more snow on the ground from those 2 storms than we did all last winter.
We picked up a load of pumpkins at the beginning of the month, so I’m smashing bunches open at a time for seeds for me, and feeding the pumpkin itself to the animals. We got our hay. We got our straw. We finished butchering drakes just this past weekend. Now, butchering is done for the year. Unless Hubby gets a deer. He’s going out Thursday/Friday for that. Fingers crossed.
We have spring plans underway. We need to build an entire yard just for turkeys, plus another coop for them. The low coops that work for ducks don’t work for turkeys. Turkeys like to be up high as much as possible. Even if that means standing on each other and squishing each other. Because turkeys is stoopid. 🤦♀️🙄 So we have to re-jig that yard for ducks and move turkeys to their own space with a bigger/taller coop. But first! The greenhouse. Snow hit before we got more than the 4 walls done. Yes, yes, the fall was a long and lovely one, but there was soooooo much else to do. But, the second things are melted, up it goes!
I’ve saved seeds from a bazillion and 2 things. I’ve jumped into a couple of seeds swaps and gotten seeds from plants I really, really wanted to grow! I think the only thing I might have to buy seeds for in spring is carrots. I’m not 100% certain until I go through my seeds.
I started the garden expansion to go with the greenhouse. In cleaning out the coops when we brought straw home, I had some really nice, composted, chicken poo rich dirt…and a metric eff ton of boxes…hey, that Loop program provides more than feed for the animals!! Boxes to layer to start new gardens too!
So in the spring, I’ll build some simple board sides to keep the dirt where I want it, and then using t-posts and stucco wire, protect the space from the asshole birds, and plant my plants. Every year I can/will expand it.
Tarp did not get pulled over the garden. As I said, too much to do, and not enough time or us to do it. In the spring, I’ll take a bunch of that straw from the horses (because they’ll explode their bales effing every damn where and shit in it) and layer it over top the last plants that didn’t get pulled out. Then, I’ll plant into that. Voila! Mulch and weed suppression, whilst feeding the soil with the urine/shit soaked straw. Worked effing beautifully this year, and I suspect it will work effing beautifully next year too. And there’s no tilling, just soil building. I call that a win/win/win! ‘Bout time them horses did something other than eat money. 😉
So now we just have to get everyone through the winter, so we can start building and expanding again in the spring. Because spring means??
17. That’s the number of roosters…full sized boys…who went to Freezer Camp this past weekend. Whew. That’s a huge chunk off the feed bill. Add that to the 5 geese we did last week. And that’s more than 10lbs of feed *per day* we’re saving. And we’re eating good this winter.
17. Gave me 7 packages of breasts for the freezer. Supper last night and 2 lunches for Hubby. 8 2lb bags of ground for the freezer. Plus, today and tomorrow are carcass roasting/bone broth making days. So that will give us another 10ish meals. And bones will go either into the fire (ashes go into the garden) or ground and into the garden. Depending on my energy levels. lol
I still have 4 full sized boys to do. A really good amount of younger boys (who are the size that we’d normally do them…the bigger 1st hatch guys got left too long), a bunch of older hens, plus the turkeys. The plan was to do turkeys, but they’re huge and I have to find bags to get them in the freezer with…huge. Like pretty well the 5 white boys are at the 30lb mark live weight, and the hen is pretty close to 20. Huge.
It seems we have hay. There was a quick text conversation with our Hay Guy on Saturday that ended with him saying “okay” and us saying “thank you!” and yeah, we have hay. Thank frickin’ Epona. That’s a load off the mind. Plus we have straw…now that our line is fixed, I can figure out where to put stuff and start getting in on the yard. I say “we have it” but until **we have it** we don’t really “have it”. If that makes sense. But we deal with amazing, honorable people. So when they say “you have it” I can pretty much say “we have it”.
Thank goodness for those last rounds of rains, because I’m sure that’s what made it so that we’d have hay. It saved our pasture, for sure! And it’s been letting my garden continue. The weather is good, we’ve passed the couple of sketchy nights and it’s looking good for the next 2 weeks. Good. I’m busy with birbs, so I need the garden to effectively tend to itself for a bit. We’re in the rhythm of Fall… Butcher, process, roast and can. Lather, rinse, repeat until all done.
Afterwards, maybe I’ll have a chance to take my camera out for some work. Maybe. If I’m not sleeping. 😂😂😂