April 2014

As usual at this time of year, things are starting to get busy.  It’s also an exciting time of year to be a farmer.  Farmers all over are looking to buy animals, sell animals, and get things growing.  Our irrigation season officially started on the 15th.  It’s a good thing, the grass was getting thirsty and the animals were getting hungry.  However it’s just one more chore to add to a busy schedule.

Our goat Cedar kidded to twins on Apr 4.  She did this mid-day, when both of us were home, and did it on her own without assistance.  Much better than doing it in the middle of the night in a freezing rain storm.  Alas, a few weeks later we sold all of the goats.  We got them about 1 yr ago to provide milk for 2 steer calves.  Then we kept milking them and gave the milk to the pigs.  We tried making cheese, we tried drinking the milk.  We learned that dairying is not for us- at least not now.  It’s too much of an anchor; twice a day milking, everyday.  At a minimum it’s once a day milking.  It’s hard to have a life that way.  So we decided back in the fall that we were going to sell the goats in the spring.  It was hard, we love those goats.  At the same time, we’re glad to be out of the dairy business.

We got some broiler chicks at the end of the month, as well as 30 layer chicks.  Some of the broilers will be kept by us for our own use.  Others will be sold.  The layers will start supplying us with lots of eggs  around Oct 1.  At that time we’ll finally have lots of eggs to sell.

Brooding chicks is fun most of the time.  If the weather is warm it’s hard to beat.  If the weather is chilly it isn’t any fun at all.  Our brooder is an old tack room in our barn, its weather proof but not very warm.  So when the weather turns cold we have to bundle the chicks in with temporary walls and blanket roofs.  No fun for them and worrysome for us because we have to keep the temperature right- starting out at 98F 24/7 and working down gradually to ambient temperature over 3 weeks or so.  Sometimes fun and easy, other times not so much.

Our pigs also went to the butcher at the end of the month.  These pigs were great workers for us all winter long.  We gave them Thanks and some fun treats, now they will provide for many families all summer long.  More pigs will arrive in June for early November harvest.  Let us know if you want some excellent pork.

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