Delaware Chickens

Well, I found some locally, but they are pricey: $5/chick!  That’s if we pick them up and that would be at least an hour and a half trip one way, if not, they are $8/chick.  As I expected, Wally vetoed it.  I don’t blame him.  Chicks are fragile.  We don’t have state of the art facilities here to keep them in.  I’ll either have to choose a different breed or go with hatchery birds that may not have such good genetics.  I might get some Freedom Rangers, Red Rangers or maybe some so-called “Heritage White” chickens and see how they do and just stick with my generic miss-mash of laying hens, which we sort of like because we get multi-colored eggs.

Eggs!  We have the eggs, but as has been the case in the past, now that we’ve got them, no one wants them.  We’ve had customers that every week when we don’t have a lot of eggs want them, but now that we are swimming in eggs, they don’t want them.  Oh well.  Rose (or livestock guard dog) loves eggs.  I can boil them and feed them back to the chicks and chickens.

Six of the nine rabbits in the tractor escaped yesterday afternoon.  Several months ago, Wally bought a large fishing net.  It was one of the best $10 he’s ever spent because we’ve used the crap out of that net.  Caught them all and put them back up.  Where we have the rabbit tractor has fabulous grass and clover, but the ground is uneven.  I’ll move them out of there today.  I didn’t draw my lines on the yard well enough and Wally mowed areas that I wanted left unmowed for the rabbit tractor.

Speaking of rabbit tractors, we are going to try a version made from a cattle panel.  We’ll cut it in half (to make it shorter, then we can make two tractors out of one panel), cover it with small-holed wire and then figure out how to put a top on it.  They will be circular and there will be less room than what they have in the eight-by-four foot wooden version, but it will be a lot less expensive to make.  No wood means no rotting or chewing.

I lost the Chin doe that I mentioned yesterday was not doing well.  I don’t think it was food related because she was not bloated.  In fact, she was emaciated, no diarrhea.  I may have been told a lie about her age and she may have been an older doe and the stress of raising nine babies and then being moved was too much on her.  The babies seem fine and the other doe is fine as well.  From now on, I’m going to stop buying rabbits unless they are pedigreed.  My “herd” is now extensive and except for adding at least one Creme and one Silver Fox doe, I don’t need any more rabbits.  In fact, once the babies belonging to the four Californian/New Zealand X does are old enough to wean, they’ll be put into the 10 x 10 chain link pen to live in a colony.

The fresh ham that I cooked in the crock pot was FABULOUS!!!!  I can’t say enough good things about it.  Oh, it was good!  We’ll eat it again tonight.  I can see I’ll get good use out of the crock pot, especially during the colder months.  The only problem was that it smelled so good all day, I was perpetually hungry!

As I write this, Buckwheat and Birdie (two kittens born here last year) are curled up on top of the sweatshirt I took off because I got too warm.  Drinking coffee again this morning.  It’s going to be relatively cool today so it will be a good day to finish up that fresh ham stew that I made yesterday.  I put the crock pot bowl into the refrigerator so all I’ll need to do is to put it back in heating element to warm for supper.

There’s a chance we may get back a Jersey bull that we sold last year.  The man that bought him is now afraid of him so he asked Wally if we wanted to buy him back.  Wally is going to go and look at him this evening.  If we get him, we’ll put him in the pasture for a few months to eat the beautiful green grass that’s growing out there and then have him processed.  I’m going to use May’s Meats this time so that I’ll have the option of selling the meat at the Farmer’s Market.  A couple of months ago, we got a young calf that had been raised on chemical milk.  I don’t know that he’s going to amount to much of anything, at least not this year.  He may grow off enough to be big enough to butcher next year.  Also, if there’s any chance that Gwen is not bred (we haven’t had her pregnancy checked) then the Jersey bull will be plenty big enough to breed her.  I’ve been contemplating getting a Jersey bull calf from the dairy, but right now, I don’t feel like having to bottle feed.  I’ve got way too much to get done every morning as it is.  I should have Gwen pregnancy checked, but I just haven’t.  I feel quite confident that she is bred, but …

The goats: they have been on browse patrol in the swamp that surrounds the pasture.  I’m surprised that they are willing to go through the swamp, but they do.  They’ve now found a way around the electric fence.  Late yesterday afternoon, they all turned up out of the pasture.  Oh well.  It’s getting so that we don’t have to feed the dairy hay to anyone other than the rabbits and that’s only when I don’t go out to harvest grass and weeds for them.

Well, here it is 7:00 and I’m still sitting at the computer.  You all know what I need to go out and do.

Until later …