Showing posts with label Turkeys. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Turkeys. Show all posts

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

New Arrivals

What do you get when you cross a Blue Slate Tom Turkey with a Bourbon Red Hen Turkey?  This...

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Preparing for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving arrives this Thursday.  And though I will not have a big group of people to feed (just a mere three), I will prepare all the traditional goodies just the same.  Otherwise is just doesn't feel like Thanksgiving.

The turkey is ready to be the star of the feast. I spent Sunday afternoon doing the necessary, not-so-pleasant part of Thanksgiving.  From the barn to the table the Turkey will go. A seventeen pound turkey was a bit challenging to process, but it all worked out fine. I do hope he cooks up lovely. (I apologize for the turkey photo, for those of you who hate the sight of blood. But it is what it is, and that's how its done.) 

A friend of mine took a different route, and sent her two Bourbon Reds to the processor to be done.  I'm curiously awaiting to hear from her what something like that costs. Not that I would probably ever bother, only because I like the idea of everything taking place on farm. But to each his own.  Neither way is wrong, just a different way. 

Stay tuned for more Turkey and Thanksgiving updates... 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Farm Updates

It looks like the last of the last of the good weather will be leaving the farm this week.  Tomorrow will be in the 60's, and then it dips into the low 20's by next Tuesday.  The heat lamps are going to have to be put into place in the barn this evening to keep the water pump from freezing.  I'm already having flash-backs to last winter's polar vortex frozen hell.

It makes me cringe knowing bigger electric bills are on their way, especially since I neglected to order wood for the winter and call in a chimney sweep to make sure the fireplace was good to go for another season.  But whose fault is that?

Two of the breeding does are due to birth bunny babies sometime around November 24th.  I love baby bunnies.  But then who doesn't?  I love them even more when they reach about five pounds and make a lovely dinner.

Today I called Mahan Slaughterhouse and Trumbull Locker (the packaging company) to schedule a day to bring in the pig for his "big day."  The appointment they gave me is about a month later than I had hoped to have him processed, but due to the large amount of deer processing that Trumbull Locker handles, it was just too booked up for them to take him.  They claim they are the third largest deer processing place in Ohio.  Mahan company slaughters the animals, Trumbull Locker does the processing.  For some reason or another, Trumbull is unable to slaughter.  So Pig's big day is January 2, 2015. It should be a real treat trying to coax him into the trailer...

Sometime before November 16th, two racehorses will be returning from the racetrack back to the farm, for a little break from the racing life.  There are two horses on the farm already, along with the goat, and only three stalls available.  Another stall is going to have to go up fast.

Garlic still has not been planted.  I've been a terrible farmer this year... So I've decided to make sure I get it in the garden not later than October 15th next season (fingers crossed).  I've also discovered I need to plant at least two hundred cloves just for personal consumption, and two hundred more if I ever want to sell any!

On a good note, the turkey-sized, poultry shrink wrap bags arrived from Nadya's Poultry. Now I can  butcher the turkeys and freeze them as I get time.

I'm also considering getting some outdoor lighting installed to light up the round pen so that I can keep working with the horses in the dark of the winter on weeknights.  By the time I get home from work, its as dark as it gets!  I hate letting the horses (and myself) do nothing and get so out of shape over the winter months and this could be my solution to the problem.  I'll check into the cost sometime next week.   Forgive me for all the long farm updates. Happy Tuesday ~A

Friday, September 19, 2014

Little Time, Shorter Days

It has been an entire month since I've last posted. I'm still in the process of canning tomatoes.  I've been strapped with a nasty cold for the past week, and my car was stolen last Friday from the parking lot at my workplace.  But that's not a story for today...

I have not really had time to post because the days go something like this...

Get up (6:00 am), feed animals and myself, commute to work (1 hour drive)
Work 9am-5:30 pm
Commute back home (1 hour drive)
At home, spend time training the horses (1 hour)
Collect eggs, feed animals
Can and/or prepare tomatoes for canning
Eat (if there is any time left)
In bed around 9:30-10:00 pm. 

And the weekends are for running errands, buying feed at the mill, doing laundry, fixing or doing things around the farm, and maybe finding a little time for some relaxation and wine.

But I'm not complaining. Yes I am. I am going to complain a little about it getting darker earlier...but who doesn't?

Anyway, the turkeys are looking rather fine these days aren't they?...

"Stalker"inspects the young soldiers...

I hope you have a peaceful Friday evening.  ~A


Friday, July 11, 2014

Farm Happenings

Summer is rolling right along here on the farm.  Beans, Peas, lettuce and hot peppers are all producing great, and the goat keeps filling up the milk containers for delicious cheese and miscellaneous cooking needs.  The garlic should be ready for harvesting this weekend or next, and then I will replant that area with lettuce and Brussels sprouts (and maybe a zucchini plant?).

Also this weekend I plant to walk down the pond at the back of the property and see whether the elderberries are ripening yet.  I have to try making some elderberry wine this year after reading about all the good medicinal and health benefits of it.  And because I love wine : )

Speaking of wine, a have a few gallons in the basement that will need to be racked this weekend, and fresh water solution has to be put into the air locks as well. 

I might be picking up the baby pig that I ordered for September's pig roast, but I think waiting another week would be wise, in the hope that it is weaned enough and won't die on me.  Speaking of dying, I lost five turkey poults in the last 24 hours, most likely due to ingesting mold spores, and that is all I can figure it was because they were showing signs of neurological problems right before they died.  I hate turkeys.  I think I've given up on them for now.  I swear they all try their hardest to die in some way or another. 

Anyway, the weekend looks to be nice and there is never a shortage of things to do around the farm, thankfully.  Have a lovely Friday. ~A

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Goat Milk, Goats, Gardens and More...

Sadly, Chiba the goat gave birth to a still-born doe on May 13th.  On a good note, she seems to be recovering well, and is producing around two pints of milk every evening.  I've been freezing all of it with the hope of making cheese in June when my Mother and Grandmother visit.

Chiba's milk is on the right.
Around the farm, things are "greening" up nicely and the temperatures are definitely much more pleasant.  The garden is in and things are growing well.  Last weekend I bought a peach, pear, and two apple trees, bringing the total fruit trees on the farm to seven.  Can I declare I have an orchard now? 

The Buck goat was moved outside into a large pen, and the little spotted mare is his pasture mate for the time being.  They seem to get along fine. I'm hoping that being outside will settle him down a bit and he'll become less aggressive to humans.  Time will tell. 

I walked the back of the property yesterday evening, and so far the ticks do not seem to be a problem.  Maybe the harsh winter took care of few of them?

Louie, having a swim...
June is just around the corner and soon farmers will be cutting the first hay of the season.  It's one of my favorite times of the year.  June also means that if I want to have a heritage turkey for Thanksgiving dinner, I need to hatch some soon or buy some chicks.  The six eggs I have in the incubator are due to hatch yesterday or today.  So far there is no sign of anything trying to make its way out of an egg shell. I'm going to be really bummed if I can't hatch my own turkeys each year. I hope all of you are enjoying your spring and weather is good. ~A

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

"Wabbit" Season

A long interval between posts, I know. My apologies.  There is a little, and should be a little more, to post on later this week.  On March 7th the white New Zealand rabbit gave birth.  She was bread to a Flemish Giant, who is grey/blue. I am unsure how many little ones there are buried deep in her nest, because she is a very good and protective momma.  Meaning, I cannot get near the little guys without being viciously attacked by a growling mother rabbit.  Good for her.  She's doing her job. 

Baby chicks are due to hatch this Sunday (March 23).   There are 41 eggs in the incubator, and one turkey egg, but that was due to an intoxicated, "Oh why the hell not?" moment when I felt the need to put the very first egg the turkey hen laid into the incubator.  And because I had one spot open in there, staring at me blankly.  (It holds 42 eggs).

This week and next, I will set aside the turkey's eggs, in the hope of collecting at least 6 to incubate.  I can only assume that between her and the two males, they have figured out what they should be "doing" and that these eggs will be fertile and hatch out.  The plan is to put them into the incubator on March 30th, incubate for 28 days and with any luck end up with come baby turkeys on April 26th.  If it ends up being that I have any males from that clutch, they would be ready to butcher and freeze the first week of November.  It (they?) would be the first Mon Abri Farm born, and raised, Thanksgiving Turkey(s). How freakin' awesome would that be! But we'll see...

Nothing new to tell about Chiba.  She still looks pregnant (or fat?), and yet shows no signs of any babies on the horizon.  As I've said before, I've given up on her for this spring. Maybe next year.

Things are thawing now.  I hope you all have a warm(er) day. ~A

King Roo

The "Fishin' Hole"

The chickens are finally making their way out into the pastures
I wonder what they see?  Spring, hopefully...

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Farm Happenings

Not a lot has been happening lately around the farm, now that old man winter has set in (other than snow).  The turkeys have grown nicely over the past couple of months, and would be ready to butcher in a couple more weeks, except now that we have lost all but two (a tom and a hen) to predators. We will not be eating these remaining lucky birds.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed for some fertile eggs in the spring to toss into the incubator.  A Blue Slate / Bourbon Red Cross should make for some interesting poults, no?

The mother rabbit and her three babies that we acquired back in October appear to be all grown up. As mentioned before, I know absolutely nothing about rabbits.  My husband built them a four foot long box to live and hide in, and he refused to separate the boys from the girls, so I would assume that someone will be having babies soon.  When he goes away for work in January for a few months I will sneak in and separate them, if I can manage to learn how to sex them.  I'm all for a scheduled breeding program! 

Speaking of scheduled breeding programs, I really have to learn more about goat husbandry.  I let the female goat run with the buck all summer and didn't separate them until sometime in October.  I have not idea if she is pregnant or just fat. They had a "date" this past Friday because she was wagging her tail and seemed to be very interested in hanging out with him, but once we let them together he didn't seem so interested in her, or perhaps he just didn't want an audience?  Regardless, she will either give birth in the next couple of months, or she won't.  Time will tell.  And next time, we will schedule her dates with the buck!

The chickens are rather boring right now.  The last time I counted, I had around 42-45, with about 5-6 being roosters. I would think that egg production would be a little better, but as of the last few weeks I am only getting 1-6 eggs per day.  Not much. 

Speaking of eggs, the sole remaining Pekin duck that we were given back in October started laying an egg a day just over a week ago.  I thought she was a boy.  I was most definitely wrong.

And what can I say about the horses?  They are just here, hanging out in the snow, burning through six bags of grain every week (along with hay) and giving nothing back in return.  Yet.  Two are racehorses, and I hope they will pay back their way, and that of the other two, next season at the racetrack.  Otherwise, it will be time to decrease the herd for sure.  Horses are the biggest expense on the farm, and usually do not give back much, other than a fun ride and something to play around with when time allows. Oh but they do look pretty standing out in the pasture, right?  

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