Wednesday, April 17, 2019

What A SHAME!!

I purchased some wyandottes threw a breeder before I changed my mind. She shipped them out yesterday and I got a phone call from the post office that they were in and that they can see at least one dead in the box, I went and got them and as she was bring the box out you could smell it yep death and the boxed looked like it had a rough trip. Besides being smashed and you can tell it was flipped around because the heat packs was on top of the majority of chicks.

I dont believe this happen at the post office I believed it was done at the sorting facilities. Out of all my years of ordering chicks this is the second occurrence. Some of their workers just dont care and it seemed they will get handled better since the cost of shipping live birds went up. 9 out of 20 survived and the breeder is refunding me back for the 11 and filing a claim. All this happen overnight.
Inside the Box

Inside The Box

The Survivors of 20 

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

Days Like These

Unlike most blogs that only show you the good to raising and hatching chicken/waterfowl and livestock. I also show the bad side. Lately I have been feeling very overwhelmed. I have lost 8 ruen ducklings, 2 Egyptian goslings, and I only had 2 sebestopol gosling hatch out of 8 that was suppose hatch this week the rest died in egg and I lost a ewe and lamb during birth. Am I a novice by far no I have been raising, hatching animals for over 10 years, But this year is really testing me and my love for this farm, No lambs and this time last two years I had lambs by now. Farming at any form is not for the faint of heart. You have days you just went to give in and I have had those days, month and year but wow this year is already only 4 months in is really testing me..... So I sit here and cry, Yes I am crying because I am lost........

Sunday, April 7, 2019

Ann Arbor Farmers Swap March 30th 2019

Was set up at a local farmers market/poultry swap it was a rain and windy day.. Alot of vendors and alot of costumers considering the day but most of them was their for the animals not much for the market. Of course I didn't have much of my items I made out but that will be different come April 27th the booth is going to be filled with 2 more tables and all my items. I just wasn't prepared for this one.  

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

New Read -- The Woman Hobby Farmer by Karen Lanier

The Woman Hobby Farmer

Hobby farming is alive and thriving in semi-rural, suburban, and rural areas across the country, and female farmers have been cited as the fastest growing sector within the farming community in recent years. With more than 1 million women in the United States and Canada describing farming as their primary source of income, and many more for whom hobby farming is just that—a hobby—the time is right for a publication dedicated to hobby farming from a female perspective. Written for women, by a woman, this insightful volume is packed with stories and advice from women hobby farmers and looks at female-specific farming challenges as well as issues that all farmers face.

Inside The Woman Hobby Farmer:

•Discussions on the who, what, why, and where of hobby farming

•Deciding on your farming goals and making a plan

•What to expect in your new endeavor

•How to decide what to plant and prepare your planting sites

•Advice on feeding, caring for, and housing different types of livestock

•A look at “agripreneurship”—running and marketing your hobby farm as a successful business

•Stories, quotes, and advice from successful female hobby farmers

As a woman hobby farmer this book caught my eye at work(TSC) on clearance. So the price was right and I was think why not. I notice they have questions in every chapter to help you evaluate what you want out of you farm and how you going to get there. So since I am not really good at blogging I figured I will read each chapter and when it comes to the questions I will put the questions and answer them on here. As some sort of little farmer blog dairy. So lets get started !!!!

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Springtime Chore Checklist for the Homestead

Springtime Chore Checklist for the Homestead
by Krista Lawson

Although it’s only February, spring is already in the air in some parts of the country. With spring comes new baby animals, starting seeds, and getting the garden ready for planting. One of the most crucial aspects of a successful homestead is organization. This Springtime Chore Checklist will help you make sure everything is running smoothly during the hectic time of year on the farm.

1. It all starts with a plan and a list.
The first thing you need is a plan. Make a map of the garden and decide what goes where. Will you be adding new animals to the farm this year? How about new fencing or other infrastructure? Walk around your homestead and see what areas need attention. Putting it all down on paper will help you prioritize, so you’re not just jumping from one task to another without any sort of plan. Once you’ve decided what needs to be done, make a priority list to help you stay on task. List the most important things first and work your way down to the things that can wait a little while.

2. Figure out when you need to start your seeds.
If you’re anything like me, this is one of the most anticipated of homestead chores. Some seeds, such as artichokes and celery, will need to be started indoors as much as twelve weeks before your last frost date. Pull out your calendar and use an online seed starting tool to help you figure out when to start your seeds. Of course, your planting zone and last front will be the deciding factor on when you actually need to start your seeds.

3. Get your greenhouse ready for seed starting.
Winter can be hard on greenhouse plastic, so check carefully for rips and tears. Get your seed starting equipment cleaned up and ready to go.

4. Expand your flock.
Now is the time to decide if you will be expanding your poultry flock this year. Are your incubator and brooding area ready to go? If you plan to incubate your own eggs, it will take around three weeks or so for the eggs to hatch, depending on type and breed of the bird. If you plan on purchasing day-old chicks, you should place your hatchery order early. Some hatcheries will set out of the most coveted breeds early. Remember, your pullets won’t start laying eggs until they’re around six months old, so you’ll want to plan accordingly. And, if you plan to let your hens raise up some chicks, you’ll want to make sure they have comfy nesting boxes and brooding areas.

5. Prepare for lambing, calving, and kidding.

Calving, lambing, and kidding hit us full force during the springtime, so it makes sense to get ready for birthing and milking early. Have your birthing kit ready to go and set up your birthing stalls. Know who you’re going to call if you need advice or things go wrong. If you have dairy animals, make sure your milking stations and other milking equipment are clean and in good repair.

6. Get the barn and other animal shelters ready for spring.
As the weather starts to warm up, it’s time to do a deep cleaning on your barn, chicken coop, and any other animal enclosures on the homestead. Remove any winterizing equipment, such as heat lamps or plastic coverings. While you’re at, do a thorough check to see if any repairs are needed and add them to your list.

7. Get your poultry and rabbit tractors in tip-top shape.
We use tractor style enclosures a lot for poultry and rabbits on our homestead. It’s a great way to practice rotational grazing but still provide protection from predators. It’s also the easiest way to keep your birds from destroying the garden but still give them all the benefits of free ranging. Our young poultry and rabbits go in the tractors as soon as they’re old enough and the weather cooperates. Early spring is the time to build any new tractors you’re going to need and make sure last year’s tractors are in good repair.

8. Repair your fences and outbuildings.
If you live in an area that gets a lot of snow in the winter, you’re really going to want to inspect the roofs on all of your outbuilding and make needed repairs. This is also an excellent time to check your fences and repair as required.

9. Maintain your equipment and machinery.
Now’s the time to perform necessary maintenance on all the equipment and machinery that you’ll be using this spring. Give your tiller, tractor, mower, ATV, and any other mechanical equipment a good going over. Change oil, replace spark plugs, sharpen mower and chainsaw blades, and perform any other service that is recommended by your machinery’s manufacturer.

10. Repair your raised garden beds.

If any of your raised garden beds are damaged or rotten, now’s the time to do repairs. If you’re planning to add more raised beds to the garden, now’s the time to do it.

11. Get your in-ground garden ready to plant.
Remove any old plant material that’s left over from last year. Prepare the soil for planting by adding compost or manure and tilling it in. Lay black plastic over the rows that will be planted first to help warm the soil.

12. Get ready for harvest season.
It’s time to clean out your freezers, root cellar, and pantry to get ready for the new harvest. Toss anything that’s no longer safe to eat and move older items to the front so you can eat them up first. It’s also a good idea to take inventory of what you have and what you used the most of to help you plan out what you need to grow this year. Make sure your canning jars and equipment are in good repair, too.

Of course, every homestead is different. You may not need to do everything on this list, and there may be other things you need to add. The important thing is, don’t put your springtime chores off until things get busy. Now’s the time to start checking things off your to-do list.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Farming & Polar Vortex

As the sun set here on the farm this Tuesday night you can feel the cold sitting in, went out with the boys to make sure the animals have plenty of straw and all the shelters are accessible. I even open up the hay barn so our muscovy ducks which free range all year long can get out of the on coming extreme negative degree windshield coming Wednesday. The schools have shut down and most business, even the "Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night, stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds." USPS is cancelling mail carrying. They are saying that just 10 minutes out their on uncovered skin can cause frostbite, But for us Farmers we know we have to adventure out there to care for the things we love and worked for. We cann't call in or cancel work for the day it has to be done.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Angora Babies 1-28-19

Our beautiful Fluffy (white angora) and Dusty chestnut english angora blessed us with 6 little beanies, something I have been waiting for since I got her given to me. A friend of mine gave me her and her mate back in early spring 2018. I had her with her mate with no successful pregnancy. Then in early fall her mate had a seizure and pass away leaving her alone. So I went on a search for a cute male bunny for lonly little Fluffy, I posted a add on facebook where some responded to her having a cute 6 month old english chestnut angora Dusty so 31 days from us getting Dusty, Fluffy blessed us with 6 little naked beans.