A family project farm in Montrose, CO.
What the heck is that supposed to mean?
Not much. We decided to make life a little less crazy and not have breeding animals on the farm. We have nothing against breeding stock, but it’s a lot of work, more than we have time for. So we will raise animals on a project basis, whether it be cattle, pigs, sheep or poultry. We enjoy raising them, but not every day 365. That’s too much for a normal life, at least for us.
We’ll do one batch of meat chickens this summer, and probably pigs in the winter of 18/19. Let us know if you want in:)
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.
Fresh water, a snack, and 2 new babies about 1 hour old.
Pigs on pasture. They start by eating the grass, once that’s done they start digging. If you don’t want them to dig move them before they get the chance. You can see the flimsy fencing. But it’s electric, so its very much a psychological fence.
Goats. One thing we learned is that we should have held on to these gals a little longer and sold them at auction. The prices are much better than Craigslist.
The brooder. It’s night time here, the red light is their heat source. I love how they sleep, laying flat on the ground.
Buy another 100 broiler chicks. We drop down to once a day milking on the goats and give the milk to the pigs. We start preserving our harvest for the winter. Lots of work.
The goats portable shelter.
At the end of the month we wean the cattle, which means we can finally use the goat milk for other things like cheese. But it turns out dairying isn’t our thing. Too much of an anchor to the farm. Lots of work.
Oh yeah, we also cut our pasture for hay for the winter.
Perusing the internet one night (tonight), I came across the mention of an curious magazine. I’ve never heard of this particular magazine before. Now I know there are a ton of magazines out there I have never heard of, but I grow things, I read a lot, and never to come across this? Funny.