March 2015

Spring is springing, and I’m already starting to feel a little overwhelmed.

The chickens have been out on pasture since March 10 or so. They’re doing great, their egg production went way up. I mentioned earlier that certain birds were flying out of the chicken run area every day. That would be certain death if they did that on pasture (fox), so I clipped their wings before moving them to pasture. Gosh, that was easy and I should have done it back in December. To do it, wait until it’s dark but not too late, then go in the hen house and grab the birds who need a trimming. Cut their biggest feathers on one wing. It doesn’t hurt them, it’s like giving a wing a haircut. Now they can’t fly. And since it was done at night there’s no chasing involved (they can’t see, and even the wild ones let me grab them no problem at all). Only one wing, if they try to fly they go in a spiral…

The pigs are almost done digging our vegetable gardens and turning the compost. They’re awesome workers. But I’m not super happy with these pigs. They’re all runty. They’re all almost 5 months old, they should be about 180 lbs each and they’re probably 120 lbs. Let’s just say I will not use this breeder again.

We’re selling at the Montrose Farmer’s Market this year, our first day there will be May 23. Probably meats only. Looking forward to it, but since it’s our first year I have no idea what to expect. One of the things that has us worried is it’s Saturday mornings. That puts a serious crimp in weekend plans for us. And they’re probably missing a lot of customers too. Camping, hiking, life… We’ll see, I’m a little nervous about it all.

I’ll be buying a yearling cattle this May, once the grass comes in. I should have bought it as a weaned calf last fall, but I forgot. This will be next summers beef to sell. I’m buying 2 more calves this fall, they’ll be beef for us and to sell in summer 2017. Beef is definitely a long term project. Our cows will be bred in August and will have their 1st calves in June 2016. That will be something. They will calve in the pasture, nice fresh grass for calving at that time of year. One thing about breeding in August is around here the bulls are up in the mountains for the summer. I might have to have them artificially inseminated. But all of that is stuff for future posts.

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