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Tuesday, May 13, 2008
Still Here Busy as Ever
Yep, you probably thought I had fell off the face of the earth but not the case. You see, I don't know what happened.... There was the baby goat, BIB, then came the second kid, Bambi, and then I just got so busy out here that I didn't really want to blog about all the little things that were going on. I don't know why, I just really wanted to come in and spend time away from the computer at night. So thats what I did. But I will catch you up on the great things that are going on here.
First things first. Once again, I hate the goats. Yep, I'm a fair weather goat fan and right now I just wish they would run away... But they are so dang cute roaming around the place...They just keep roaming into places that they have no business going in and eating seed, dried molasses, and getting into the pig and chicken feed. They are relentless. However, when all the spring seeding and spreading is done, they will have nothing to get into. But I still wish they would run away.
The cows are doing great. I am particularly pleased with the Red Brangus we purchased almost 2 months ago. They are extremely efficient and looking better and better each week. Even crazy #707 is in full swing. They are currently rotating on our 40-45 paddocks. Pete the bull is very laid back but I haven't seen him working his magic yet. Maybe he waits till no one is watching. I look to have 5-10 beeves ready by end of the summer so that is exciting.
Pigs are really enjoying life and getting bigger and bigger. Lucy and Ethel were pregnant, Lucy had 10 piglets last Saturday night, and Ethel's rolls are still in the oven. She looks miserable. Her heat cycle falls 4 days after Lucy so I figure she should have her piglets in the next couple of days. Lucy is a great mother, just overbearing to Ethel now but I guess that is expected by sows. I remember walking up on some feral hogs when I was a land surveyor and the mother of the piglets chased us up a fence. We had to sit there for 2 hours. So I figure letting them live in their natural environment brings out nature in them. Our stocker pigs are really filling out. They look awesome. I have 3 that will be ready in about 4-6 weeks I think and then I have 3-4 others that will be ready by end of summer. One of the stockers, I am going to keep for a breeder sow, she looks great and has converted feed much better than any of the others. We'll see.
We officially have chickens coming out everywhere. We are currently getting about 30 eggs daily but that will change in the coming months. Of my 300 layers we purchased, 9 have died, only 4 were natural deaths. (I had a rampant mother hen get inside the brooder ring and she went to killing my other chicks looking for her lost one that got in there. I was pretty mad at her for that.) I have been very pleased with Ideal Hatcheries chicks. However, I have hatched about 60 of our own chicks and have 3 hens setting right now. I figure we have the room, why not let them do it. I mostly allow my bantams to set since they are such great mothers and I am the only one that usually eats their eggs. They are pretty small. I am going to be moving about 325 layers onto pasture tomorrow so they will officially be out of the brooder house. To think confinement chicken never get to look forward to roaming on pasture. (Next we get our broilers and turkeys)
Our pastures are looking great. Its amazing in just one year the difference. Not only have we put out seed for our cool and warm season grasses, but implementing Managed Intensive Grazing has changed everything. By rotating each day, aggressively grazing then allowing to rest for approximately 40-45 days, our grasses are awesome looking. This is kinda funny, but in one week, we had someone from Conroe TX send a letter saying that they wanted to buy our property and soon after that, someone called from Houston TX and said they wanted to lease it for their cattle. If they only knew how much has went into this place. It is nice to know though that people are beginning to notice the place when they drive by.
Plans are in motion for our new office building equipped with a fully operational kill room for our poultry. More on this in the near future.
So this is what is going on. I can't promise posts everyday like before because right now, it is so busy, that at night, I just want to relax at home with my girls. However, I will be more diligent in keeping this blog updated. I love farming, its my passion, but I don't really love typing on a computer... but it is a great way for me to document the things going on at the farm. More pics will be on the way. Thanks for checking in and reading about our lives.