If you ever find yourself bored with nothing to do, get a farm. We have, by no means, been short of anything to do. I’ve been wrapped up in a house remodel, which has been more like an extreme make-over. We’ve added three calves and 100 broiler chicks. The kids have to be tended to and Katie assures me that the laundry doesn’t stop.
When I first looked at the rental cottage, I hoped that I could get away with just patching up the floor, replacing the paneling, and painting the ceiling. Now I’m just glad that I didn’t have replace all the plumbing. It turned out that every floor joist was rotten, and every wall had some termite damage. I’m sure no one want a play by play, so to sum it up, I basically had to partially rebuild the house from the ground up.
|the glow of the brooder in the early morning
Almost a month ago, we took delivery of 100 broiler chicks.Well, actually, it was 102, but the hatchery add a couple of extras just in case any should not make it in shipment. 102 made it, two expired later on. Why? Couldn’t tell you, but I’m just tickled that we ordered 100, and we still have 100. I’ve been told to expect a 10% loss.
We got them from S&G Poultry, who specialize in heritage breed chickens. So, of course that means we did NOT get the mutant hybrid Cornish X, which is what all the commercial producers raise. Instead, we got the Heritage White, which is comparable. At first I had thought that we’d be processing them in December, but I must have skipped a month when I was flipping through the calendar, so instead we’ll be processing them November 19.
Finally, that brings us to the calves. I struck a deal with a friend of mine from church, he’d buy some cows and then I’d take care of them for a share. Well, he showed up with some five day old babies off a dairy. So what do you feed week old calves? MILK right? If you don’t have milk, it’s milk replacer (like formula). How do you feed them? With a big ol’ bottle. And how often? 2X’s a day, every 12 hours. While I could say plenty about the ethics and culture of taking calves less than a week old from their mother, need to be up at 5:00 in the morning to feed these things.