Saturday, May 9, 2009

Animal Update

Before we get to the animal update let me say that I've sold various tomato, pepper and eggplant seedlings the last 2 weekends.  It was a test.  Both venues were not ideal for my product but it did teach me a lot about markets and consumers.

I love to interact with customers- I learned that.  The revenue for the amount of work was really not there so I'm thinking of a new approach for next year.  I love to grow things.  And growing only my own seedlings doesn't give me enough to germinate.

So next year I'll offer to make flats of seedlings personally for you.  You tell me what you want and I'll grow it for you and put it into a nice flat for you to pickup or for my husband to deliver to you.  So I'll be thinking about that model next fall.

But, on to the animal update:

Tadpoles, tadpoles in the pond-- I love to watch them grow.

Those of you with the blog for a while know that we started out with 16 ducks, 2 suffered untimely deaths, 2 were sold and now they are free range ducks.  Well, we have a fox and he's helped himself so that we are down to 6 ducks.  The 4 ducks pick on the 2 other ducks in the background.  And the Blue Swedish is the lead of the gang of 4.  I do go out and feed them and I chase the Blue Swedish away so that the other 2 can eat.

We have wild geese also in the pond.  The other day, the parents took their gosling for a walk around our property.  I was not here to see it but Mike and the kids took photos.  Adorable.

Mike is practicing managed intensive grazing for the cows and steers.  The calves can still get under the wire so they run off and play by themselves as moms eat.  Look carefully at the picture and you'll see the line where the fence is located.  It's right where the green grass and yellowish grass merge.   The tan calf, Clark, is the ringleader and always getting the rest of the gang into trouble.  You know they are saying, "Clark, don't go over there.  Our moms will get mad!"  In about 4-6 weeks the cows and steers can be together on the back pasture and Dudley can be with his ladies.  This will put them at March calving.  I've decided March is good for lambing and calving.  February I still don't like but March is good.

The guineas are getting big.  About time to let them free range as well.  Their job will be to eat all bad bugs including ticks.  They love ticks.

We also had another lamb.  This really should be the last one.  I do not like the mother and I really want to make mutton out of her in a few months. And the little ram lamb should be good to eat in 6 months as well!  (there is no way I'll ever be a vegetarian-- I've confirmed it time and time again)

Last but not least, our 3 little piggies...  they are Red Durocs and are purebred.   They are likely 55-60 lbs by now so they aren't little.  They still really make me laugh.  We're thinking whole hog sausage for the first victim.  (again no vegetarian in my future- I look at them and I think about breakfast sausage and bacon-- horrible, just horrible).

I cooked up the feet and necks as well as the carcasses from 2 of the barred rock roosters and made chicken stock.  Oh my goodness.  The pot looked weird and I didn't take a picture but probably should have.  Feet in the pot look funny.   I have never made such wonderful chicken stock.  Oh my goodness.  

And the 2 carcasses from the barred rock roosters----- wow.  They were too skinny to eat normally but the meat on them was so tasty that I'm salivating thinking about it.

In the next 2 weeks we'll be processing more of those roosters as they'll have more meat on them.  Let Mike know if you are interested in any of these chickens as you can come that afternoon and pick them up.  If the flavor is even close to the skinny ones I used for broth then this is flavor you do not want to miss.


SteveandAlina said...

Happy Mother's Day!
Great to see all the pictures. You guys must be soooo busy. We can barely keep up with mowing the lawn.

pleintexasgirl said...

I am like you, I raise these animals to feed my family. I was a single parent raising 2 children by myself, it was imperative that we grew our food (I did not go on welfare). The kids grew up taking care of the animals and showing in 4-H. Today, they are good, productive adults. Although my daughter still brings up being traumatized by me having our 200 lb sow "Violet" butchered. I remind her that she was fed well for another 6 months. Nothing wrong with that.