Thursday, May 31, 2012

Filling Up

It has been a busy 6 weeks since my last post. My wife's blog has hit many of the high points over that time. Our first batch of broilers is getting pretty close to done. They will be processed on June 8th and will be ready for distribution the following week. We finally have a schedule for 2012 processing days and customer delivery days. I hope to have that information our to our customers and on our website by the end of the weekend.

In the past 6 weeks we got a dog, Solo,  to help protect our laying hens, again see my wife's blog. Although he has not prevented all predation incidents, he has greatly reduced them.

Our livestock continue to do well. The new brooder makes chores faster and our chicks are coming out of it much healthier. We have our second batch of broiler chickens out there (two weeks old) and 100 replacement hens for our flock (5 weeks old). We have placed an oder for turkeys to arrive in just over three weeks. Our mature layers are struggling to supply even our regular chickens, likely because many of them are over 2 years old and the simple fact that mortality and foxes have us down around 20 hens since February. The new hens should start laying in September, but until them egg production will be touch and go.

I am also working on selling two of my four year old ewes and one of their lambs to help pay the bills. The ewes have always twined and have always easily accepted their lambs. I just want to cut back my sheep heard even more and send these two and the lambs are ready to go. IF you have any interest in them, drop me an email.

Registered Katahdin Dorper ewes for sale

The big project that got worked on around here is dealing with the wet spot between our house and the outbuildings. We started by taking down fence, pulling some posts, locating utilities, and moving several bushes. Next we dug a lot of trench line. It is about 175 feet of 6" drainage tile and about 175 feet of  of 4' line connected to it. That got followed up by tearing apart the well pit, pulling the pump, having the county fill the well, and filling the rest of the whole with sand. I got a lot of help from Michael in Ames and Doug from work. Janice helped by watching Hazel and making several amazing meals using our grass-fed beef.

Tiling the 6" main line

Tiling the 4" lateral lines

After the trenches had been filled in and coarsely smoothed out

The well shaft waiting for the county to fill with gravel and bentonite

After the county filled the shaft, we brought in sand to fill the old pit

All that is left is to build a frame for the extra sand so Hazel can have a sandbox

It was a big project, but most of it was done in 3 and a half days of work. I am just glad to have it done and I hope no to have to worry about water issues in our yard so much.I will try to get information out to our customers soon now that this projects is off my chest. Check back again to stay up to date with all the crazy challenges and projects ahead.