Friday, April 29, 2011

Farm Update!

Lots of exciting news from the farm! Here is a picture of our new turkey poults. We started with 6 bronze poults. Unfortunately, we lost one yesterday and another one this morning so there are actually just 4 left. Not sure if it was the food (we were feeding them medicated chicken starter but we switched over to turkey starter today) or just the luck of the draw. Our neighbors had 12 from the same order and they have also already lost a couple. The 4 we have left seem to be very energetic so hopefully they'll be strong enough to make it! For now, they are hanging out in the basement under a heat lamp. We've told the kids not to get too attached as these little guys and gals are destined for the dinner table in a few months.

These are the three chicks who hatched in our coop a month or so ago. Kind of hard to see them through the screen of their temporary coop, but there are two black/white Buff Orpington/Barred Rock mixes and one Buff Orpington/Black Australorp mix. Not sure yet if we have roosters or hens or a mix, but the way the two Orp/Rock mixes fight, we suspect they are males....and destined for the dinner table. We also have (not pictured) 3 "production red" crosses in a temporary holding pen in the garage. When they get a little bit larger we will shuffle them into the temporary outdoor coop and then introduce them into the larger flock.

Speaking of "the flock," here is the established flock we started last summer. A couple of Barred Rocks are missing from the photo as they are in the nesting boxes. One is sitting on a clutch of eggs which should start hatching any day now. The rooster thinks very highly of himself and he's very protective of the flock. The kids don't dare enter the coop for fear of being spurred and pecked and he's even taken to attacking my wife and I as of late. But we're willing to put up with him so long as he keeps his harem satisfied and laying. We're consistently getting 7-8 eggs per day

We got 2 goats yesterday. Our neighbors bought 4 before deciding that 2 was enough. So we bought the 2 extras. The white goat is a female Boer goat named "Willow." The salt/pepper is a female pygmy named "Olive." Willow is supposed to eventually reach a weight of about 150 pounds while Olive will top out at about 50-60 pounds. Right now they are so darn cute with their soft fur and high-pitched bleating. They are still being bottle fed with the goat equivalent of infant formula. Both have little buds that will eventually turn into horns. Behind them are our dogs Ginger and Cole. Ginger is a Soft Wheaten Terrier who just got shaved this wek. Cole is our 6-year old Collie.

Cole is quite protective of his new friends (herding instinct, anyone?) and likes to spend his time right up against the fence so he can keep an eye on his pals.

The goats are temporarily living in the lean-to I built for the pigs. When we get the pigs, we'll have to find other accomodations for the goats. The plan is to have them shuffle between the turkey/chicken pens and pig pen keeping the grass nice and trim.

That's all for now. I'll update again when we get the pigs, any new chickens hatch or if I can manage to shoot a wild turkey back in the woods before the season ends.....

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