February 2016

We have some live in help for a few months.  His name is Evan, I wish I had a picture to put up here.  He is helping do chores on the farm so we can travel to see family.  He’s also a chef, and is cooking most of our food for us:)  Quite nice.  He recently moved here from Baltimore, but he has lived in Montrose before.  He’s big and hairy, that’s a good enough mental picture for you for now.

It’s lambing season!

So far we have 3 lambs on the ground and healthy, more on the way.  I purchased these ewes with an unknown lambing date.  The previous owners had a ram get loose and who knows when they bred.

Of course, these lambs were born while Emily and I were in Tucson visiting my dad.  To top that off, Evan had plans to have friends over for a nice dinner that he was preparing.  The ewe went in to labor at 4 PM the day he was having all of these people over for dinner!  Nice timing.  Nevertheless, twins were born in to good weather and with no assistance required.  2 days later another ewe gave birth to a single healthy lamb.

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Our hen and pig cohabitation project is still going well.  Which means the pigs haven’t figured out that chicken tastes good.  The hens will be moved on to pasture in mid-March so the pigs can dig under the eggmobile.

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Pigs spend a lot of time snoozing, and there were more laying in the dirt area before I walked up. Looking for a snack no doubt.

5 of the 8 pigs will be butchered around April 1.  The remaining 3 need another month to get big.

This area will be part of our vegetable garden this summer, the animals provide lots of manure all winter long and then dig it in to the soil along with tree leaves and wasted hay from the sheep.  Fun stuff.

Eggs.  Egg prices are going back up to $5 beginning April 1.  At $4 per dozen I don’t quite break even, even when just looking at feed costs.  Add in oyster shell, housing needs (see that plastic cover in the picture?), labor, etc. and eggs are a losing game for us.  People sell them for less around town; if you want cheap eggs get them from someone else.  If you want high quality eggs from birds raised on pasture and fed non-GMO feed, get them from me.

The cattle are doing great.  We’re approaching the patience time of year.  Our pasture is just starting to grow, but we can’t let the animals eat this new grass- we’re robbing the plant the early season energy and nutrients needed to get started.  So the cattle are held in to a smallish area for 4-8 weeks while the pasture grows back.  Once the grass gets to 6″ tall, we can start grazing, hopefully in mid-April.

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