Saturday, April 7, 2012

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

Little Clover is doing well! She is growing, and looks healthy and strong. Very, very pleased with my first goat baby! I am watching Star very carefully for signs of imminent birth, so I can put her away safe when it is getting close to time. I have to be so careful around here... there are just so many birds of prey. I lost another chicken to a raven yesterday. It's been better the last few months, because I am home and out in the gardens a good chunk of the time. The ravens are smart buggers, though... they watch, and when the dogs and I go inside, they swoop down to steal eggs or whatever they can get. Bastards. As a result, I have been letting Lily and Clover out into the little field on a daily basis, but ONLY when I am outside for an extended period. It is so adorable watching Clover jump and hop and skip around! She does need a playmate, though! Can't wait for Star to have her baby(s)??

I hatched out a bunch of chicks last month. Then decided I really had no place to put them, so I put an add up to sell them. I asked $2 each for them. I had no idea what to ask! Anyway, they sold in about 1 day.... I had one lady call me to tell me they were too cheap!!! lol! So, I guess next time, I can ask $4 a piece for them... who knew? I like the $4 price wayyyyy better:-)
Currently, I have the 'bator filled with Dorking eggs. I just candled them, and there were 5 that were infertile. The rest look good so far, though. If all goes well, they should start hatching on Thursday. I can get $7 a day old chick for those. I need a bigger incubator!! However, this is my third 'bator, and the first one that actually works, so  am going to stick with it for a while!

I am getting eggs like crazy right now. Last year, I couldn't seem to get enough eggs to save my life, and I lost most of my regular egg customers. So, this year, I have eggs coming out the ying yang. Eggs EVERYWHERE! I am not complaining.... I just have to find a way to start selling more! I am scared to do too many shares, just in case production goes down again, so I have put them in a cooler at the end of the driveway. I sell 2-4 doz a week there. I am getting about 12-14 doz a week, however. Hmmmm.... I need to come up with a plan! Would be nice if I could actually either make money or break even on the damn chickens for once. I have considered cutting down, and getting rid of most of them, but I so enjoy having them around! We'll see what happens....

Before Lily had her baby, I was letting the goats and the chickens out into the garden/yard for an hour or two a day, to eat weeds and grass and bugs. The deer had already eaten everything in the garden, so I decided it would be safe. It was a double edged sword. On the one hand, the chickens did an amazing job in the garden... I think they ate almost all the slug eggs! I am not getting swamped like I did the last few years. YIPPEEEE!!  The bad part, is now that I have started planting like crazy, the chickens just fly over the fence, and go into the garden, and eat my seeds and scratch up my newly planted seedlings. GRRRRRR. I am trying to dissuade them from doing this... I really, really want to make money on my gardens for once! Without everything being eaten by deer, slugs, chickens or dogs! That is my biggest dream for this year. I am still doing my CSA program, but I have only sold 2 shares this year. I think I have been feeling down lately, so haven't pushed or advertised them like I did last year. I need to get on it. I've been having a hard time lately, dog boarding is not busy this spring like normal.... I think it was so mild, no one felt the need to fly to Mexico and leave their dogs with me. I have a free consultation with a new business coach next week. I am hoping she will help to inspire/ encourage/ and help me find new and better ways to promote my product. When I go through these harder times, I try very, very hard to pretend everything is good. I try very, very hard to be positive, and know that things are going to get better soon. Some days I fail in both these areas. Anyway, I am working on changing my attitude again so I can start generating more sales, and maybe even start to make a living....

Flooded Driveway

Flooded Driveway
Too much RAIN!