Monday, March 14, 2011
I ordered our birds for this spring and they should be arriving mid-April. We ordered what is called a Frypan special which is 50 heavy breed cockerels. In the past I've always raised Jumbo Cornish Cross but the price on them went up considerably and because of their growth rate they need a high protein feed. So we decided to try the heavy breeds for our meat birds this year and see how they compare to the Jumbo Cornish Cross in terms of taste and feeding costs. I'm hoping the price of chick starter has not gone up too much. Starter is the only grain besides oyster shells for our egg laying chicks that we buy for our animals. Luckily, we're able to grow the majority of our feed from our little homestead or through the sharecropping we do with friends.
We also are adding to our turkeys this year. We lost several last year to a fox and one who visits occasionally but now lives with the wild turkeys in the area so I've ordered 3 Bourbon Reds and 1 Narragansett. We have had very good luck with these breeds. They are friendly (almost too much so!) and have been good about laying and hatching their eggs.
We decided to bring back ducks and geese. Mainly because they eat bugs and it's barely showing signs of spring and our house is being invaded by these little Asian Beetles.
The years we haven't had ducks and geese, we've sprayed the house. However, that means leaving the house for a day or two because of the pesticide. Does anyone know how to keep these bugs away using a natural remedy? Because right now I'm combating them with the broom and vacuum. The birds will take care of this problem but it will be a couple months before they are roaming the barnyard.
I ordered a barnyard special which consists of 1 pair of geese, 1 pair of ducks, 2 turkeys, 10 pullets, 1 rooster and 10 assorted rare chicks. With this special, we do not get a choice of breeds. Typically in the past the rare chicks have been exotic birds which are not good meat birds and lay smaller eggs but they are fun to have around because they are pretty unique looking (i.e. the kids love them).
We're having a rough go at lambing this spring. I went out to the barn tonight to do chores and one of my sheep had triplets but I found all of them had died. It looks like they just got too cold and got too far away from their mama. I told DH that next year I was going to bring them into the garage when they starting lambing where I know it'll be nice and warm and I won't have a problem getting out to check on them. He didn't disagree with that train of thought...
On the homeside of the homestead, my daughter again gave me the, "You're the greatest mom ever" award today for letting them do this...
They love to paint and painted for almost two hours today!
I'm linking this post.