Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Yes, we did it! Finally finished it. They LOVE it. They love being able to run around the yard now the most. The very first night they all went in and I just closed the door behind them. Wow. It worked. I just hope they stay out of my garden. I may have to fence it off now.
That's me moving ducks to a tractor in the rain yesterday. Ducks are waterproof. They don't get wet under their feathers. Which has brought us to another hard choice. We started processing ducks yesterday and found out that our equipment cannot separate the ducks from their feathers. We struggled for three hours until we finally decided that we can't offer dressed duck for sale. At least not right now. Until we find out another way to dress them, our career in duck is over. (It sounded like a good idea at the time.)
We also moved our next batch of chicks outside to a tractor. I love to watch them in the grass for the first time. They start right away to scratch and peck whatever looks good. They all gang up on one spot. It's so cute. Another order of 100 chicks is on its way to us tomorrow. Gotta get the brooder ready for them now.
Our family of customers is growing fast. God is so good. We are stepping up production as fast as we can to meet the need. Each week at the farmers markets we get more names on our waiting list.
On a sad note, I lost two litters of rabbits in the cold weather. But one litter survived and is doing great! It's my new NZW doe. She had three this first time. They are fat little butterballs. Today I am re-breeding the does that lost their litters. It will be warmer in 29-33 days when they are ready to kindle.
Gotta go for now!
Monday, February 8, 2010
Last week I received a new shipment of 100 broilers plus an added surprise. The hatchery had mistakenly attached my order to another order and it all came to us. 200 assorted bantams were supposed to fly to New Mexico, but they ended up in Florida instead! Oh Boy! I was ready for 100, but not 300!!!! Thank God we had built the 2nd brooder. I divided both brooders in half and bought more feeders and waterers and nestled everyone in. What a day! I've included pictures of our babies. Right now our nursery holds 40 ducks, 100 broilers and 100 bantams. (I was able to find homes for half the bantams.) Can't wait to see what they turn out to be.
Today was our processing day, but it didn't work out as expected either. We started and the birds just weren't up to the weight they needed to be. I think it's the cold weather. They've used so much energy keeping warm that it has slowed their growth. We've decided to give them another week. I guess that's part of working with live creatures. They do what they want despite our schedules.
Bill is standing in front of our latest project. Our Egg-mobile. We got some car wheels at the junk yard and Bill is making a wagon-like structure on top. It should hold about 100 birds. I want to paint it. Maybe it will be pink. ?? Pink is for girls. We'd be able to find them in the field for sure. I'll keep you posted.
I've also included a picture of my RV with it's pretty bonnet. This is what Bondo Bertha looks like with the billboard on top. Even with all the rain we've had, everything inside is dry. I've got a new tent stove from ebay that Bill is going to hook up for me so I can have heat. Bertha's off grid and will probably stay that way. I bought a new oil lamp too. It's starting to feel like a club house in there.