Saturday, January 23, 2010
We have received our first income for the year, having sold three shares at this point, and the investments have allowed us to begin building toward the season. The first task was to build a brooder for the chicks we will be raising this year. As mentioned before, we have been brooding some of the chicks in Rosa and Micah’s bedroom. You can imagine the troubles created by that arrangement. So, we built a brooder out of wood and hardware mesh. It will be strong enough to keep cats and raccoons from stealing the chicks, and has taller sides to keep the breeze out. We can now start our chicks outside in the garage.
We also purchased pasture seed, which we plan to sown as soon as the winter thaw comes around. We were able to get a locally produced mixture from a small area business. If anyone is interested in sowing pasture, this is what we have found – shop around. Of course, Tractor Supply Company had the most inexpensive mix, but that store is not locally owned, and they don’t have mix in stock until spring. Many seed specialist businesses, whether locally owned or not, are really very expensive. We called the local cooperative as well. They wanted $225 for a fifty pound bag of standard mix. And, last season, when we called a family own seed business I Zeeland, when I asked for an inexpensive pasture mix, I was laughed at for having “crazy ideas” about how pasture should be grown. The dealer also informed me that fifty pounds of pasture seed would cost us $270. This season, we went to Rhino Seed in Bradley, just up the road, and received our fifty pounds for $122. Serendipity baby!
We have money in our account to build the new chicken tractors for the year. This season, we will use PVC pipe instead of wood. I don’t know if it will be less expensive (probably not), but they should last longer. The wooden tractors we made last season, will do well to last one more year.
As an experiment, Jenn and the kids have borrowed an incubator, and placed some of our Americauna eggs into it, hoping they will hatch around the 11th. Of course, Jenn will be in Mexico then, so I will be stuck with the experiment. Fortunately, we gained pretty valuable experience a few months ago after a broody hen hatched a few for us and we had to take over their care.
So long for now, and consider purchasing a share for the 2010 season.