Friday, April 13, 2012

Spring has Sprung

We are weeks ahead of what would be a typical spring. Right now we are experiencing a cold snap for several days that will slow things down a bit and will likely drastically reduce the number of peaches our trees will produce this year. This was our pasture a few weeks ago just as spring had "officially" started. We set the cattle to begin grazing last week and the sheep will start grazing in less than two weeks. They will be up the road on a new piece of pasture trying to repair it and control weeds. This new four acre pasture had horses on it for many years. Horses are very hards on pasture and when they are not managed very well on top of that, you get a mess.

Our pastures are never this green on March 24th

The other thing we have been getting ready for is the first of our 2012 chicks. We had 206 broiler chickens arrive yesterday and we have been racing to finish off their new accommodations. In the last three weeks, we have finished the dividing wall in the building, painted the brooder floor, covered the walls with a washable barrier, caulked the floor gap live and between the panels, trimmed the windows and door, built the brooder cell dividers, and cleaned the place up. We think this new set-up will make a big difference in helping us move past the health problems we have had in chicks for the last year and a half.

First Chicken Batch of 2012

 First Brooder Pen Running

Quick Brooder Tour

The next batch of birds will arrive in less than two weeks. The next batch will be 100 Buff Orphindgton female layers. They will take 6 months to reach maturity and start laying eggs. We will keep you posted as the first batch progresses. 

Hazel keeps getting bigger and more used to being outside. She moves very well over uneven ground and is used to being around sheep and chickens, but she is still kinda scared of the Great Horn Owls hooting near the house at dusk. The picture below has Hazel sporting a dress Janice made for her.

Hazel feeding the chickens popcorn after church on Easter

Stay tuned as we move into the production season. We have a customer newsletter to put out and we will be fully grazing soon. I will try to be more diligent with blog posts as I more forward this year. It has been hard to post every two weeks while working, but I will try to improve on that. Until next time, take care.