Monday, January 25, 2010

the chicken or the egg?

our struggle with not having farm fresh eggs is coming to an end. we were down to two eggs per day and feeding them like we were in full production. we use a custom feed mix instead of purina chicken chow. our mix is based on diverse whole grains. it is a little more expensive but worth it because of our glorious eggs. well, when we are getting eggs.

a couple of weeks ago i ran an extension cord down to the chicken coop and installed a timer. there was little support for my logic until i discovered www.backyardchickens.com/forum. i was having no results and the people there made a few suggestions that really worked. i needed to extend my artificial daylight hours a little bit. then all of a sudden it happened. egg production started to pick up. five, seven, eight, ten, twelve and finally yesterday we got fifteen eggs. furthermore we have a whole group of hens molting, the twelve silver laced wyandottes. once they come out of it we'll really be in the eggs.

yesterday we tore down that old chicken coop.

oh, that thing was an awful eyesore. we will dig up around it and under it and collect the beautiful rich soil to amend our strawberry beds. i doubt that it will dry out enough before our impending wintry weather later this week.

i actually hope for a good freeze since mike will bring his stock trailer across our field this weekend. as the ground is right now it will just make huge furrows. we decided to sell one of our pigs to mike and have both hogs processed at the butcher. we are not ready for a butcher and smoking a bunch of meat right now since i have been working full time the last few weeks. selling one of the pigs will afford the butcher cost and allow us to buy a pig in the spring. further variables contributing to this conclusion are the general lack of freezer space and i haven't built a smoke house yet.

the spring pig will hopefully get butchered by me on our farm. when that time comes it should find us ready to smoke and process it ourselves. having a pig around to eat our table scraps is such a wonderful thing and we really miss it when without. the summer is an especially wasteful time of year having garden scraps left from canning.

this is my last week at my state job and i am looking forward to a small break. we will focus on disseminating our income even more to buffer from further vulnerabilities. i am excited to get these systems in place. even if my state job re-presents itself having these systems in place will be a great comfort.

tabitha can now easily comment on my blog and she is better at follow through. i expect your comments will be addressed more thoroughly. she downloaded chrome browser and loves it. it means that she can remain logged in in her browser and i in mine firefox. she also is switching back to blogger from wordpress. announcement to come.
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