Friday, March 18, 2011

Pigs Have Hearts Too

Please be patient. Spring is bursting through the front door, and I feel like i'm still shoving Winter's undone laundry in the back of the closet so that "company" won't see it. By the time Summer comes knocking i'll have caught up with my to-do list from March.

Tilling the garden this weekend, building the livestock trailer, printing, printing, printing, and finalizing plans for the new layer's coop. Full steam ahead.

Anybody got a traveling trailer spa complete with a hot tub, unlimited Prosecco, and a minty facial scrub? You've got a scruffy looking client in Hancock County.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Pot Luck

Our orphan goat, raising the bar for cuteness like it's his full time job.

Can anyone tell me what this flowering bush/ branch is? Dad thinks
it has a marriage term in the name of it....

Sunday evening looking bleary eyed and empty tummied into the refrigerator abyss I spotted a tupperware I hadn't noticed yesterday. Hmm, pulled pork? Did Brad go buy pulled pork today? I'll just take a nibble of it, see if that's where my taste buds are at. Hmm, that's not pulled pork. That's almost like pot roast. Another nibble. Hmm, that's not pot roast. "Hey Brad, what's in that tupperware, is that roast beef or something?" "Oh no, you didn't eat that did you?"

And that's how one goes about eating raccoon for the first time. I guess anything that stays in the slow cooker long enough looks like just like anything else. I'm not going to lie. I didn't hate it. I didn't eat any more of it, but I didn't hate it. How crock pot raccoon got into our refrigerator is a whole nother story.

If the apocalypse does come in my lifetime, raccoons might want to start looking over their shoulder.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Ca commence: Chapter 1 -- Farm Fowl

When caller ID tells you that the U S Government is calling at 7AM on a Tuesday morning it can only mean one thing. Your baby chicks are at the post office! And sure enough the voice on the other line confirmed it, "You hear that peep, peeping? You've got chickens waiting on you to pick 'em up." So, into the car and towards the great metropolis of Sparta we headed.

Walking in to the lobby of the post office and being able to hear the chirps coming from behind the wall of P.O boxes is just about as giddy as I get. Brad and I have been working for the past few weeks building a brooder, securing a reliable source for all natural feed, and cramming our heads with chick raising information. For our first non-hobby laying flock at TCF, we decided to get 40 Buff Orpingtons, 25 Silver Laced Wyandottes, 25 Ameracuanas and 11 Black Giants (101 chicks, I can't resist a good Disney reference). I held the box full of peepers in my lap as we made the drive home from the post office. This was a big moment for us.

We put the shavings in the brooder box, got our feed, waterers and grit ready to lay out and then one by one, the chicks entered their first home. (we decided to use grit from one of the creeks on the property because of the higher natural mineral content and the diversity of particle size... for anyone who decides to go this route, carrying a bucket full of wet creek bed is a two man job). The first night was a little nerve- racking. Would the brooder box hold in the necessary 90 degree temperature for our ladies on a 35 degree night? We laid a blanket on top of the heat side just for a little extra security. It's day 3 and so far so good. We've had a few casualties but that's just a part of this whole process. Another big bite of learning curve; sure tastes good.

Brad on the heat lamp side of the brooder.

The nourishment side of the brooder

The Boom Boom Room

Old reliable, our temperature controller.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Sneak Peep

There is a cute baby animal pictures alert for the next 24 hours for this blog. I got 'em coming in spades.