Ranch happenings SOME good some bad
sorry its been so long that I've updated. Its been a flurry of happenings at the ranch with changes in our directions of which I'll explain later along with some exciting additions and some sad losses. So welcome back and enjoy the farm.
Starting off 2021 we had purchased several different breeds of birds in hopes of raising and hatching to help cover our feed costs. I also had a program scheduled out for our goats so that we would be in milk the entire year for cheese making, soap making and just enjoying the milk and babies!... I planned out our garden of which we lost our greenhouse to high winds earlier in the year but successfully planted various squash, lettuce, kale, carrots, and herbs in raised beds and our little salad garden area by the deck. All with high hopes for 2021. Things did not go as planned. sigh
First my new breeder chicks arrived in the mail squashed and in a wet box. Thank you USPS. OF which we never received a reply from them. WE did receive a reply from the hatchery (Cacklehatchery.com) and they took care of us. The surviving birds (cant believe any survived) are now coming on two month old and are moved out to the main coop. We are raising French black Marans, buff brahma, dark brahma, Sumatra, and Americana chickens. OH lets not forget the bobble heads Santana and ZZ Top our Polish bantam impulse buy at the feed store!.. My plan for 2022 is raising some pure bred chickens as we have several pens we can separate into for breeding. The Marans lay a dark chocolate egg I'm so excited for and the Americana lay multiple colours of eggs!....
I also have my own little "herd/flock" of hatchings I created = a mix of Araucana and Lakenvelder. My roo was adopted from another farm and grew extremely aggressive - sadly we made the decision to put him in a pot after several attacks and blood drawn. I have 19 offspring of his!... All are friendly with three roos the rest hens.
Randy has been busy building mobile coops that we can move around pasture so the birds can "free range" as best they can in Central Oregon. We have way to many arial predators and other predators to let them out in pasture. We'd love that but it just doesn't work here. I tested it once again with three I hatched this spring. Three days three GONE to predators.... He's built another enclosure for the turkeys - yup we have 17 turkeys, chukars - yup We'll talk about those guys later.. Not my favourite bird... Another pheasant pen and mobile rabbit cages. I haven't mentioned the pigs... Maybe that's for a later post to.. LOTS happening...
I received my GQF incubator in March. AND WOW! There is no daily checking sitting changing worried.. AND hatch rate is about 95% as apposed to those cheap china styrofoam incubators you have to baby-sit every day. This I just set eggs, turn it on and walk away!.... Since March I've hatched 100 plus pheasants, 50 plus quail, 50 plus turkeys and 25 chickens. NOT a bad production by just collecting eggs. We've sold several pheasants and turkeys so far which helps with our feed bills! AND excited to share with friends and family this year. There is something about raising from start to finish that is just so rewarding and heartwarming. WE raise meat here but as many of you know me I also have my favourites that are pulled out and yup - they become pets... All our animals birds included are treated with kindness but there are always those special ones! We've got a few in 2021 again I'll share in another posting.
And on a more sad note, This year we lost our two original Nigerian goats to complications with birth. Shocking to say the least and I cant hardly believe it. Twisters babies are doing well as one grafted on to one of Twisters babies from two years ago who had just kidded. Marshmallow adopted Dinky and left me to bottle feed Sue (Tsunami. ) Both doing well . I kept them out at the barn after their momma passed. And they are integrated into the herd.
Scribbles only surviving baby from Monday of this week was brought into the house and will be raised with us and the dogs. Some will disagree with this choice claiming they need to be in a herd. I can whole heartedly disagree with you in what we are living and witnessing in this babies first four days. He already knows his name. He follows the dogs like he's part of the pack. He goes potty on command outside. And shows zero interest in the goats when taken to the barn. AT four days old!.... We will sure miss his mommy who was an exceptionally personable goat and in her artistic honour we named him Norman Rockwell .... AKA Stormin Norman. he is proving to be just that.. Very weak the first two days, today he is all full of himself!.... So in great heartache there is always a beautiful silver lining.... GOD bless and more soon..
Just a quick little update on a lot happening!