Friday, February 12, 2010

More winter work

We’ve been getting some things done this week. Jenn is off in Mexico, and Scot has taken the week off from work to be with the kids. What an opportunity to get farm work done. We have already completed the new chicken tractor frames. As mentioned below, we are using PVC pipe this season instead of wood, and we altered the design in other ways as well. All that is left to do is get the frames outside, reassemble them, and add the chicken wire and tarp roofs. Our first broilers should be ordered in April.
March 8 is the date that we will pick up the layer hens. We are getting Black Australorps this season, a brown egg layer and heritage breed. Jenn picked out the breed. As for the new hen house, we were lucky enough to save over $200 by finding the portable garage that we favor for housing chickens on Craigslist. Scot was very excited. We now need one more, and are waiting for it to show up on the same site. They normally cost $360.
We have made contact with the person we are purchasing lambs from, and will probably go with the one-year-old ewes in May, and then add a ram and a wether later in the season when it is time to breed. Along with the lamb project, Rosa and Micah are preparing to buy their own chicks when they arrive ate the farm store. Incidentally, we have decided to make our feed purchases from a local chain store, Family Farm and Home, instead of through the local cooperative. As we have mentioned below, we would rather purchase grain grown locally, but the folks at the coops around here are just plain unfriendly toward us. At FF@H, we have developed relationships with the employees, and the grain comes from Armada, Michigan, over in Macomb County. There was a third choice, Floyd the Feed man, who is very friendly and the least expensive, but he sells Purina Brand feed, which is far from being a local product.
This First Day is Micah’s birthday, and he will get a cake, and probably get to pick out a present at the farm store. As you can tell by the picture above, taken last year, Micah is partial to the John Deere equipment he sees driving along our back roads all year. While we could not ever use such machinery, we did get a used John Deere riding mower, which Micah likes to drive around on with Scot during lawn mowing days. He then rakes up the grass and feeds it to the steer. By the way, this is not an endorsement of John Deere products :)