It’s Raining!

First of all, like the title says, it’s raining.
We had some rain last week that really helped, and now we’re in for just about the entire weekend full of rain.
So while I’m frustrated that it makes butchering difficult (got 18 more cornish to go…turns out I can’t count,
I kept missing 2 of them 😂😂😂), I am happy af for rain.
And I’m praying it’s in time to save our pasture.
And our Hay Guy’s yield.
And doesn’t eff up our straw supplier’s harvest.
*sigh*
But rain, right now, is a good thing.
😉

First jars of chicken are ready for the shelf.
Only 85ish more to go.
😂😂😂

This year I’m trying to do them with a bit more stock in them.
Last year they were jammed full of chicken with as little stock as I could safely get away with.
Which was great when I opened a jar for Hubby, but not so great when I opened a jar for the old Calico cat.
Yep, I fed the damn cat home canned chicken.
A. Lot.
But when you’re the feline equivalent of 128 years old, you eat whatever the eff you want…and she wanted home canned chicken.
It always had to have stock with it though and she drove me nuts screaming when the liquid ran out…so this year, a little more juice and a few extra smaller jars of just stock to supplement when the bigger jar runs out.

Before the rains came, I headed into the garden to pick beans (canning those tomorrow) and pull some weeds.
‘Round here not even the weeds go to waste.
First bin of them went to the geese.
They get crazy excited over weeds and cut grass.
They’re gonna be my garden clean up crew this year.
I figure they should do a great job of eating down everything left once we’re done.
I will have to protect a few things, like the black currants, the chives and the grape vine, but they’ll have tons of stuff then can eat and enjoy.

2nd bin went to the turkeys.
It was mostly thistles and those white turkeys sure love thistles!
Thistles are good for liver health, so they can have as many thistles as I can give them.
This year I’m going to try turkey liver.
I hate liver.
Really, really hate it.
But it’s because growing up all we ever had was over cooked, grainy af, vomit inducing beef liver and onions.
And when it was put in front of us, we got nothing else until our plate was clean.
Even if it took days.
I uh, learned to fast for long periods of time…real young.

But now as an adult, who is trying to work a little harder on nose to tail eating (not that livers or other offal were ever wasted…we’ve always found someone who wanted those bits) I’ve committed myself to trying to eat poultry livers.
I have a few duck ones in the freezer from our last duck days.
I just couldn’t convince myself to try them.
Yet.
I’ll get there.

There’s 5 boys, and 1 hen here.
The smallest one just above the Farm logo is the hen.
I have researched and learned that white hens are often kept for breeding purposes in big barn settings.
So I figure I’m going to keep her and see what happens.
Either she’ll mate and lay or she won’t.
If she does, it should add some size and maybe some speed to the growth of poults…or maybe she’ll only add a different colour shade to the next gen poults from her.
If she doesn’t, we’ll send her to Freezer Camp in the spring.
But she’s already doing the sit down and flirt thing with Oscar, so I’m hopeful. 🙂

The boys will all be going off to Freezer Camp soon.
They’re at 16 weeks now and just about the size of Oscar and Dingus.
For reference, Oscar and Dingus are a year old now and are just about 35lbs each.
Yeah so, you can see the whites grow a lot faster.
If we could keep them going, the white turkeys (Nicholas turkeys) have been known to make 70lbs live weight…which is why the toms aren’t kept for breeding.
It’s all A.I.
Yup, someone in the world has the job of extracting turkey semen and artificially inseminating hens.
😂😂😂
Can’t say it’s a job I’d want, but I guess someone has to do it.
How else do ya get those cheap turkeys at the holidays??
But seriously, I much prefer my Narragansetts who do the joyful deed themselves and quite proudly.

Catch Up

So it’s been a while.
Mostly because we’ve been busy.
Chasing after a few hundred birds and keeping them alive and well in sweltering heat and smokey conditions has left us…

Exhausted.

Up at 4am, passed out in the chair by 9pm and up again at 10pm to get all the birds into their safe beds for the night…there is no such thing as getting them to go to the coops before it’s dark.
Birds are assholes that way.

Yesterday we picked up 10 freebie roosters.
They’re in a quarantine bachelor pen until they’re big enough to go to Freezer Camp.

Today we (well, mostly MCFHubby) moved Ripple the Duck and her 5 abducted children out of the meat chicken house (she was sitting her own nest in there with 2 other ducks…1 duck’s clutch hatched before Ripple’s, so Ripple stole her ducklings and abandoned her own nest) and then closed up the front side of the meat chicken house to become the next bachelor pen.
From here on out, as we put chickens to bed at night, we’ll scoop up roosters from the first hatcher group and put them in there. They are just a few weeks away from going Camping, and are starting to crow and enjoy their testosterone…which means their jumping on every hen they can catch, no matter the size. And that means off to the “boys only” area.

Yesterday I had to cull a couple of cornish that had been too badly “used” by those teenaged roosters.
*sigh*
This really is the worst part of raising roosters for the freezer…that line where they are nice young boys to when they turn into horny teens who’ll hump anything is a fine one…and sadly, these 2 birbs paid for me missing it.
But, I was able to save their carcass to put into the crockpot to feed the elderly house cat who shrieks endlessly day and night for her roasted chicken.
At least there is that.

Garden is growing well…

I pulled out the garlic, because the tops had died right back. Not the greatest of crops, but better than last year, so I’m happy. A few more pics here:

And more garden pics here:

And the goose babies are growing like crazy.
Eating garden weeds and grocery store salads from the Loop pickups like crazy.
They come running, singing everytime they see the recycling bin of greens coming.
They did not care for the strawberries, but that’s okay.
The turkeys tried to kill me for them
😂😂😂
Literally, tried to knock me down to get the strawberries from me.
Who knew turkeys would be so…excitable for berries???
Next task is to make a safe yard area for the turkey babies to get some outside time.
They’re growing leaps and bounds and really need to start getting outside. But, their brooder was moved into the turkey yard (where it’s supposed to be) and I have to create a smaller yard within that yard for them to come out and the big birbs can’t be dirty rotten assholes to them. 😉

We have 7 ducklings that were hatched this year that are growing nicely.
2 are still house ducks (Oreo and Poop Machine) but once MCFHubby builds them a smaller brooder for on the deck, that will change.
We also have a smaller coop that was given to us when a friend left her Farm, that we’re fixing up a bit that can become a duckling space.
It’s all the time thing, right?
Hubby is working long hours and it’s hot and it’s hard to get things done…but we’re doing what we can.

And I’m cutting grass every damn place I can for hay.
Last weekend we heard from our Hay Guy, asking if we need for the winter…
Um, yes please!
But the drought here is so prevalent, I am worried af that he won’t have for us.
That means I’m searching for other options and praying that there’s enough money to afford them.

It’s been a scary year for owners of hay eating animals.
Worse than the last few drought-ish years.
Like it’s still July and for us to hear from our Hay Guy now???
Terrifying.
Not even kidding about that.
😥
But we’ll figure something out…It’s not like the nags are going anywhere.
Even if it *were* a possibility, every horse owner in the province is in the same boat, so the only place they could go if we had to get rid of them is to auction…that means a trip to the meat truck.
And that is **NOT** an option.
So we’ll figure something out.

We’re still plugging away on the greenhouse.
Still trying to find someone to come fix our leaking well line.
Still working on the newest garden space.
Working, working, working.