It *WAS* a Trap!!

I knew it!
I just…knew it.
That nice weather last week was lulling us into a false sense of security.
Mother Nature said “oh, yeah! Go right ahead and plant out your tenders…your tomatoes and peppers and pumpkin starts…I promise, I’ll take care of them!”
And here we are.
Shivering because I’m too damn stubborn to turn the heat back on.
It’s currently +3c with the wind it feels like 0*
So had I planted like I really, really wanted to, my tender plants would be toast.
😂😂😂
Nice try Mother Nature.
But not this year.
I fought myself for a few days and then said “Wolfie, honey…it’s only the 3rd week of May. You are gonna get frost. Be. Patient.”
Well, glad I listened to myself, because, here we are.
Frost last night, frost tonight.
But my carrots, peas, and beets are planted and I’m ready to go on onions, radishes, greens and a few other cool weather crops.
Then I can look towards the warmer days/nights ahead for the plants and the beans and corn.

I am still waiting to hear from the local greenhouse to let me know when I can pick up my plant order from them.
Though, with the cooler temps. I’m happy to let *them* baby my plants a little while longer!

So my food production for today included putting 40 turkey eggs into the incubator.
To go with the 19 I set last week in the small incubator.
The eggs in the small one though, are being split with another farm.
I think mentioned this already, a friend had Sweetgrass turkey hatching eggs, and I set them to hatch. Well, I also had 7 of my Narragansett eggs ready to go in, so all in they went.
Our deal was to split whatever hatched from the Sweetgrass, but I figure the whole set is fair to split.
Since I have extras in the big ‘bator, I have no issues whatsoever counting my 7 Narragansett into the split deal.

My hope is, as always, for an abundant hatch.
Of the eggs in the big incubator, all the hens will stay on for eggs/hatching.
Any boys will have the most excellent of life before going on to Freezer Camp.
I hope that of the ones going to Freezer Camp there will be enough of them to offer a few for sale (after we take care of family and friends).
We still have people interested in well raised, home slaughtered birds, and I would love to have more to offer for sale.
And that’s why hens are staying on…our two toms Oscar and Dingus need more girls (5 hens to 2 toms is not ideal!) and welp, food is not going to get cheaper or easier to get. Especially well cared for, well raised, happy food.
I want to be you #HappyFoodTastesBetter dealer.
😂😂😂

And my other food production thing today was the finding and very much enjoying Les Stroud’s website for his latest project:
Les Stroud’s Wild Harvest

Les had a show years ago called “SurvivorMan”.
He was dropped off in remote locations, just him and his cameras, for 7 days.
And he had very, very limited tools to work with.
I really enjoyed the shows.
Now he’s exploring foraging, hunting and using all that he finds.
I’m telling you, it’s one more piece in the puzzle, foraging is.
So I’ll be binging that for a while.
Testing recipes where I can.
Soaking in the knowledge.
Trying to stay warm for the next couple of days.

Meanwhile, Ruby just wants a nap…

So. Tired.

Can’t say I blame her.
😉
Happy Wednesday y’all!

Turkey Observations

I’ve said it a few times, this is our first year with turkeys.
So far, there are a few things that I feel like I wish I had known about them.
I don’t know about other people experience with them, but our experience with them has been a steep (losing 8 out of 10) learning curve…

My observations on how to do this better next year include:

1. Definitely start them with chickens.
Turkeys (especially the white broad breasted we have) seem to be dumb. They need to have other poultry with them to teach them what the food and water are.

2. Definitely feed them 28% protein food…or higher.
We’re using Masterfeeds (one of the Big 3 feed companies in our area) game bird feed. Turkeys need that protein to grow, and they grow fast! They’ll be bigger than the chickens they’re with in no time.

3. Once they’re off the heat, put them in a pen separate from the chickens.
We didn’t do this. We should have done this. Next time, we will do this.
Once they don’t need the heat, the work of the chickens is done.
Let them grow out with their chicken pals and let the turkeys live together without the chickens.

4. Turkeys are to meat chickens what draft horses are to ponies.
This was my Kid’s observation.
Yesterday, we gave Turkey and Lurkey some hard boiled eggs.
Hard boiled eggs are like magick food for poultry.
Got a sick bird? Got a bird failing to thrive? Got a chilled bird?
Give ’em a mashed up hard boiled egg.
You can even mix in electrolytes if you like.
So yesterday, we give the turkeys hard boiled eggs to eat…that was the fastest we’d seen them move.
Ever!
So our theory yesterday that the cornish were eating all the food and leaving the turkeys hungry seemed to bear fruit.
Turkeys are slower moving, not quite as voracious eaters as cornish.
Cornish will strip the feeders bare in seconds and still tell you they’re starving.
Turkeys seem to think and ponder about their movements.
Cornish go like stink, safety be damned as long as they get the food.
Turkeys = Draft horse
Cornish = ponies

Which tells me that even though they seem dumb when they first arrive, they aren’t.
They just think slower. Move a little slower.
And don’t fight as hard for the food as the cornish do.
So it’s best for them to be in an area where the chickens aren’t gobbling down all the food, leaving the turkeys to starve.
I will *not* let that happen again. 😡

At the end of the day, I’m glad we’ve taken the time to learn about the differences, though I wholeheartedly wish we could have done the learning without the losses.
And we’ll definitely be growing turkey poults again next year.
We’ll take what we learned this year and utilize it to make for a much happier bunch of birds.
(My kinda luck, next year’s poults will be the exact opposite of this year’s…but a separate pen is no bad idea even if they are!)
And then I might consider adding a breeding pair…
We’ll see.
😉

Hello turkey!

 

Monday Morning Round Up ~ May 11th, 2020

Things have been fairly busy on the Farm.

We moved the 43 first hatchers from the brooder to their transitional home in the poultry yard.
They are almost ready to move into the bigger meat chicken house.
That will happen this coming weekend.

We hatched out another 40 some odd chicks…lost a few due to my forgetting to plug the 2nd heat lamp back in.
100% fail on my part.
😥
I haven’t made that mistake again.

We brought home 10 turkey poults on the 28th…

Hello turkey!

Almost a week old here, and nearly a full pound in weight already!

With the turkeys we brought home 50 cornish x meat chickens.
We timed the hatching perfectly, so that the meaties and the turkeys are in the brooder with the hatchers.
We find that meaties learn how to “chicken” from the egg layers so that we don’t have eating/pooping machines. 😉
It gives everyone a better life that way.
And the turkeys…
Yeesh.
So much attitude, so ugly they’re cute, and doing very well.
Fingers crossed they continue to grow well.
They’re broad breasted whites, so they’re like the meat chickens of the turkey world.
Bred to grow big, fast.
I’m hoping the do just that.
🙂

And on May 1st, we refilled the incubators with 64 chicken eggs and 3 duck eggs.
After this hatch, we have 3 more we can squeeze in before our hatching season ends for the year.

Hubby went a did a welding job for a friend.
I tagged along to take pictures.
As usual.

Not so easy to take daytime welding pictures.
I’ve asked him to do some night time ones with scraps so that I can capture the full lightshow.
Looking forward to that.

In other Hubby news, he went back to work today.
His work is set to reopen fully on June 1st.
His dept. is part of the crew getting ready for the regular line workers to be able to do their jobs.
So, they started 3 weeks ahead of everyone else.

I am torn on it.
I wanted him to go back to work, because money. lol
We have a lot of mouths to feed here, several very large ones…running on short income gets hard to do.
But I also enjoyed having him home, working here.
And of course, he gets the call just as things are drying up enough here to be able to work on building projects that need doing.
*sigh*
No surprise.
At the same time, I do also have a bit of anxiety about all this.
It’s hard not to.
6 weeks of doom and gloom and terror tactics used by govt and media to instill fear over Schrödinger’s Virus will do that to the most sound of mind people…let alone those of us who live with anxiety in the first place.
Hubby has been the one doing the bulk of the supply runs and being in contact with the world at large anyways, so how much I actually need to worry?
I don’t know.
But I am tired.
Tired of being told to stay home to protect others, being told that if I go out I could kill people because no one really knows if they have it or not (hence Schrödinger’s Virus) and I am tired of the hearty helping of fear created by those who have our “best interests” in mind.
When people are afraid to leave their homes because of what the govt and media are saying, that is straight up using terror tactics to control the public.
No matter how you feel about this virus, that is bullshit.
And I am tired of it.

In garden news, my tomatoes are huge.
Ready to plant.
So are my peppers.
I’ve collected all the seeds I want for this year…
Still need a few more plants though.
The greenhouse in town was open last week, so I made a trip through there.
Bought some extra tomatoes and peppers (because I can never grow enough of either 😉 ) and some pansies.
I’ll go back as we get things into the garden and get more of each, plus look for some johnny jump ups (violas) just because they’re edible and they draw pollinators.

I’m still planning the expansion for next spring.
Found a source for the berry shrubs/trees I want to add out there.
Now I’m looking for a large piece of black plastic to create the large permabed area come the fall.
We have a few dairies around us that use silage plastic, so we’ll see if we can take away some from them once they’ve used the bales.

And then before the end of April, I took a few early morning pictures of the horses…because I can.

Ruby shaking off the after effects of a nap.

Sable having a lovely nap in the straw pile.