Sunday, August 2, 2009

Quick Update

I have not kept up with the pace of the posts as promised. Since the tractor has arrived, I have not done much with it. I am still working through things like the fluid levels, adjusting the brakes, and replacing the exhaust. It is going to be just a little bit before those things get squared away.

We have had a lot of trouble with our first batch of turkeys this year. The second batch arrived on July 22nd and has come along much better. We have just lost a handful of chicks and they continue to grow. We have about a week and a half left of the critical stage and then another two weeks where they need only moderate babying. After that, they are off to the races. The surviving 26 turkeys from the first batch of 74 turkeys are outside and doing pretty good. I have two birds in that group that still have poor legs, but they have improved considerably since going outside. I have included a picture of this batch. I do love turkeys for their social behaviors and their outgoing and curious personalities, but I will admit that this first batch was quite trying.

Our other birds look good. We continue to struggle with low egg production in relation to demand. We are working on it, the girls can't grow any faster. We have spring laying hens started in mid-May outside in a chicken tractor (portable pen with an open bottom) and they look great. I have included a few pictures of the ladies for your viewing pleasure. I have been working on my last consulting work in the pipeline and will then be able to swing my attention back to farm items (fence building, building repairs, tractor, updating business books, and some customer correspondence). I have been reading Comeback Farms, a birthday gift from my father-in-law, by Greg Judy. I have got to see this man's farming operation. Greg has me even more focused on growing out my sheep herd and looking toward the acquisition of some cattle along with doing custom grazing. We did put a deposit on an RR trait 100% Katahdin ram lamb. The RR trait is important because it allows me to bread to a Scrapie resistant flock. I got the ram from Sharon Krause in Booneville, IA. She has a very beautiful farm and a very nice looking flock of sheep. She has several other RR trait rams available that I would encourage and producer to investigate. That should bring you up to speed and I will try to keep in touch soon.

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