Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Just Another Update

Little meat chicks

Our little meat chicks are growing and learning to stay out of the rain!  It rained yesterday and today without a repeat of last weeks hypothermic chick episode.  (14 nearly died but me, my blow dryer, and 2 hours saved all but 3 of them).

Here you can see the trail the meat pen is making as we move it everyday.

Our layers are doing well and giving us lots of eggs in return for the fresh pasture they get moved to every third day.  We finally got a good system going with all the rotational grazing for them and the cows using poultry netting.  Except for the few rogue hens that fly out every day despite the wing clipping we've done....

Cloudy sky over the egg-mobile today.
See that ONE strand of electric line....
To my amazement, the cows have learned to stay away from a single strand of hot wire.   In the past, they were busting through three strands to get to the egg-mobile.  Bobby V is gone now so I am guessing that he, the ornery holstein, was the instigator there.  Mr. T is still with us and fattening up quite a bit.  We should have him processed in a couple of months. I am looking forward to that grass fed steak! Cherokee Rose still hasn't had a cycle that we have noticed so we are hopeful that she is in fact pregnant.  She is looking so much better now that she is separated from sweet Bluebell and getting plenty of grass and sunshine.

Mr T posing with some wild flowers.

Cherokee Rose

Bluebell is making some progress on the rope halter but has a ways to go.  She is more than happy to come to us and "let us" catch her as long as we have a handful of sweet feed.  I hope she will let us without that eventually!


I guess that's about it for now... we are looking forward to seeing our customers and friends when they come out to pick up their chickens in a few weeks.  Oh!  And we are getting a few new chicks in the next week. ... So I'll be back for an update soon!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Real Cowboys

Something happened today.  We were working with.... cows.  We separated a momma (Cherokee Rose) from her calf then attempted to halter Bluebell (the calf). I thought oh my word.  We're going to have to call some real cowboys to help us!  We'll never catch this thing and now the momma is trying to break through the fence.  What are we going to do?!  Bluebell was weaving in and out between us.  She didn't care one thing about the bucket of feed she loved yesterday.  We were wishing we had built a smaller pen.  Then before I knew it, we had the calf roped. By we, I mean James.  Then I... yes I... put the halter on her.

Doubt started creeping back in when she started fighting that halter.  How on EARTH are we going to get her to calm down.  She is never going to give up.  But before I knew it, she gave me some slack in the rope and was eating from a pile at my feet while I rubbed her head.

I looked at James and said, "I thought we were going to have to call some real cowboys to help us, but we did it!"  We both felt so accomplished.  And tired.  But mostly accomplished. Not bad for a couple of newbies! 

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Cows and Pastured Poultry!

This week we will be picking up our new cows!  We are SO excited.  The weather (rain, rain, and more rain) has kept us from picking them up sooner because we could not get the new fencing finished.  But, as of yesterday, we are done!  The rain has been wonderful.  I'm not gonna lie, I was complaining... but really, we will be in a drought and complaining about the heat in another couple of months so I had to reset my attitude to one of GRATITUDE!  Our pastures are growing like crazy and super green.  Our 2 steers are getting PLENTY to eat.  They are fattening up nicely.  One will be going to the sale barn soon and the other to the processor.  We are really looking forward to having our first ever grass fed beef.  Oh, back to the new cows.  We are picking up two Angus - a cow that is probably pregnant (we have to do some checking...) and her 6 month old heifer.  They are coming from a special family and will become permanent members of our farm family.  The momma is Cherokee Rose and the heifer is Bluebell.  Cute right?  Don't worry, I'll post pics when they get here! 

Other exciting news.  We ordered broilers today.  120 more broilers.  More because we have 25 arriving next week.  Do we have a plucker yet?  No.  Someone needs to get on the ball!  Regardless if we are hand plucking or machine plucking, we will have broilers available for purchase around the first week of June.   These will be raised on pasture and supplemented with a soy free, non-gmo, unmedicated feed.  They are first come, first served, so make your reservations now!  For more info and to make reservations, Click Here

Friday, March 6, 2015

Random thoughts by Kassy

What a couple of weeks we've had!  This Texas weather.... it has been something else.  A couple of days of snow is FUN but when it's rainy and cold and gray day in and day out, we get serious cabin fever!  We have done a bare minimum of outdoor chores to keep the animals happy and healthy.  We are ready for some real outdoor work...starting Saturday with the beginning of our newest project:  A barnyard/corral area.  We will be bringing home our 2 cows soon, a momma and her heifer.  (names coming soon!)
With the abundance of indoor time, we have had plenty of time to think, pray, and do a little planning.  This journey we have decided to embark on can be a little overwhelming, a little scary, a lot exciting.  Those little signs we get that confirm we are staying in God's will are always a relief. 

It feels like we've experienced many losses in the last few years, especially in the last few months.  Last week, we had to say "See you later!" to a dear friend and Christian pillar in our community.  A great loss we were all hoping wouldn't come so soon.  But we rejoice that he is flying on wings as eagles... running, walking.  And we rejoice knowing that we will see him again!

We are looking forward to spring.  To new life. To growth. To flowers. To greenery.  Spring is so refreshing!  Spring chicks. Spring gardens.  What's not to love?  Oh... the springing forward in time this weekend.  That's the only thing I can think of. Ha! ;)

P.S.  See the new tabs above for info on eggs and poultry.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

It's Almost Time!

This cold, drizzly morning.

Ya'll it won't be long until we have eggs!  I can hardly wait!  This journey has definitely been a lesson in patience.  We have had days were we thought, "It would save us a a lot of money and time if we just put all these chickens in the freezer." They go through a lot of feed even though they are pastured.  It's winter so there aren't near as many bugs or as much plant life. 

But, it's almost time.  They should be laying in the next month and spring is just around the corner.  Fresh pastured eggs just in time for farmer's market season.  We are so excited!  Once we get all the details ironed out, I'll post your options for purchasing eggs. 

It's also almost time for our next poultry order.  We plan to start our meat birds as soon as we can get our plucker together. 

In other news....

Our son Henry used his own money to purchase rabbits. He is now the proud owner of a 7 week old lionhead buck and a 4 week old doe.  Don't worry, these are not for eating. :)  They are way too cute and fluffy.  He is considering his options.  He has some research to do but he is thinking of using them for fiber (spinning wool) or breeding for show.  Either way we are proud of this little entrepreneur.  His big brother, Nelson, has made a deal with him to tend to their water every day to earn one of the kits from their first litter. 

Isn't he cute!!

Last of all, we have plans for two new cows at the farm!  A pair from a friend.  We are super excited to have them here because they will be forever friends.... not for the freezer!  It's a momma and her little heifer so we plan to breed them to get our meat.  These boys of ours eat a lot!  We our halving Mr. T with another family and are already second guessing that decision because we can see now that the meat is not going to last us long enough for us to have another ready to butcher.  (It was a good financial decision though for our first time raising a cow!) Just since November we've eaten a pig and a deer... I think we have a couple packages of breakfast sausage and one package of burger left.  Yikes!  But... that is one of many reasons we decided to farm.  To feed our family!