Saturday, September 10, 2011

Size Matters??!!

So, I just have to mention this. I find it really quite extraordinary. Goat balls are HUGE. I actually had to call the breeder to see if what was hanging underneath poor Trouble was normal or not! Seriously, goats must have the biggest ball to body ratio of any farm animal I've seen yet. I keep thinking he has an udder back there. Must be hard to move, with all that flopping about.

Just sayin'
I mean, seriously... LOOK at those things!

Friday, September 9, 2011

Crazy Weather

Oops... I can't believe it's been over a month since my last post. Sorry, folks! August has been super, super busy. I know I sat down several times to write, but immediately got distracted with something, and never got anything typed.

The weather is crazy this year. Personally, I've liked it. We had a few odd days of rain, which helped immensely, but the nights never actually got warm. The days were perfect... not too hot, not too cold. Funny thing, though - as soon as Sept hit, we are suddenly having a heat wave! Nights are balmy and warm, days are hot enough that I have to turn the AC on for the dogs in the afternoon. Heat doesn't really bother me, but when the dogs are starting to pant indoors, I will turn it on for them!! This was when I expected it to 'cool down'. Mother Nature, keeping me on my toes!!

The farmgate stand is doing.... ok. It was never going to be my 'get rich quick' scheme, so I knew going in the sales wouldn't be phenomenal or anything. My goal is to sell $10 a day for each of the 4 days a week I am open. Two weekends ago, I made it! It was awesome. A few people came and emptied out the fridge. Then, last weekend, no one stopped by. I didn't even see anyone looking! Sigh. I know it will take time to work up to a point where it actually pays for itself. So, last weekend I went to the Crofton Farmers' Market. It was the first time I've gone to any market. The market itself is the suckiest one EVER, but it's local, and my goal was to try to raise awareness for my little stand. I made a whopping $54. Whoohoo. But, I got to tell quite a few people about the stand, so hopefully it will start to catch on. Then, this week, I went to the Chemainus Farmers' Market to check it out. It is much, much bigger, and it runs on a Wednesday, so easier for me to get to. I put in my application for next year, and my plan is to go there every week. Gotta plant lots of veggies!!!

I had a very pleasant surprise when I went out into the field today to feed the chickens and goats. I kept hearing a lot of cheep-cheeping from over the little stream. When I peeked over to investigate, there was one of my easter egger hens (a light sussex mix) with a big brood of chicks! There are at least 10 that I could see. So, if these babies can be raised without getting eaten by the frickin' ravens, I will have the start of a self-perpetuating flock of chickens! Which means I won't have to buy any more chicks again!!! Super exciting. It also explains a lot, though. My hens haven't been laying well at all lately. My egg collection has been very, very inconsistant. BUT, if some of the hens are brooding nests, it would go a long way to explaining where all my eggs have been going!

Both my MamaDucks are brooding nests right now. They are such good girls! They both laid their eggs in the shelter  I built for them... the one that the ravens so far haven't figured out how to get into. MamaDuck1 has only 3 eggs under her, but MamaDuck2 has at least 10 eggs. So, I should hopefully get one more batch of ducklings before winter sets in. I will have a great start to the breeding season next year, and will be able to sell lots of the drakes for meat. I actually have a waiting list for them! I really enjoy my Muscovys. There are easy and friendly, and quiet and they forage quite a bit on their own, so don't cost me a bundle in feed. My first batch of 5 muscovys have been loose in the field now for about a month, and doing awesome. The females (there are 2) are pretty much fully grown, and the males look super healthy and will be come dinner sometime before Christmas for me. The second batch of 10 are in an ex pen out in the field, and are growing like crazy. They are just starting to get their adult feathers, and as soon as they do, I will let them out to forage as well.

I have recently become foster mom to 3 Indian Runner ducks. They fell off someone's truck last week, and the SPCA didn't have any way to deal with them, so they are staying here for a while, until either someone claims them, or I find them a new home. Worst case scenario, I keep them, and sell their eggs. Although, I have no idea if I have males or females, or some of each. Apparently they are prolific egg layers.

Flooded Driveway

Flooded Driveway
Too much RAIN!