Friday, July 26, 2013

Fridays on the Farm

Thought it would be fun to share on Fridays some happenings on our homestead.  Ellie loves to help make banana bread!
Our laying hens have been put behind bars!  Since we bought our farm in December, we have lost 21 hens and 2 roosters...21 of them to a sly fox, and 2 have been hit by cars.  We are tired of losing precious eggs!!  So portable, electric fencing is the fix.  No fox problem anymore!  The fencing is easily moved along with the eggmobile so the hens get fresh greens and bugs all the time :)
Our handsome billygoats are growing!  Jack is on the left and Woody is on the right.  We have separated them from the nannies because they are already old enough to mate, even though they're only 6 months!  Jason and the boys built them a shelter, and Nate surprised us all one afternoon with a feeder for them made from free pallets and an old baby crib railing!!  
 Shy Pongo is starting to warm up to us :)
 This is Jill, our very first goat born on our farm.  She is super soft and gentle with the kids.
 Mocha and girls enjoying their morning hay.
These are our new laying hens...25 of them!  We needed to replace the ones that have been killed.  We are trying a different breed this time to keep track of egg laying.  Since our barred rocks are now over a year old, they will stop laying much sooner than these newbies.  So going with a different breed will help us determine who has stopped laying when the time comes to turn them into roasting hens.  These are called cinnamon queens.  They will be red and they lay 350+ eggs EACH per year!  They are already a month old and will start to lay eggs in January.
Our fig trees are producing a lot of fruit for us, so much so that we're giving some to the chickens!  We've had fun eating them different ways, and one is making preserves.  Very easy...just cut the stems off, cut them in half, cook on low with some honey, lemon juice and cinnamon.  Then give the jars a water bath for 10 minutes...that's it!

We are on our third round of broilers...this meets our goal of 300 this year.  They will be ready to butcher some time in September.  We will have a pre-order discount this time.  Be sure to look for the info on that!
Both of our bee colonies lost their queens!  I have no idea how.  But these creatures are AMAZING.  See the peanut looking casing towards the middle bottom of the picture?  That is a queen cell.  The worker bees are raising up a new queen.  This picture was a month ago.  Last week when I checked both hives they had queens!!  I even saw one of them, and both hives had larve all over the place!
And look at all that yummy honey!!  But we won't take any for ourselves until next summer.  This honey will sustain the colony through the winter months.
Ben actually killed this snake, right by the house.  We've seen several of these in our even got in the house!  Yes, I know, it's a snake we should keep around, but no thanks.  Not where the babies play!
An evening walk around the farm to check on all the animals before calling it a night has become one of my favorite things to do.
 Ellie loves her goats
 Have a beautiful weekend!!

No comments:

Post a Comment