Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Farm Update For May 24, 2015

Alas, I am behind on the farm updates.  Things here have been busy.  What do you expect? It's spring!  We are trying to get everything done in between speech and debate tournaments.  It has been a cool spring, so that has at least given us some extra time.

Here's what's going on...

The bourbon red turkey poults are thriving.  They have a poultry fence around the brooder house, that doesn't even slow them down.  They are amazing fliers also.  They fly up to the top of the brooder house (about 10 ft) to roost.  They are such a tight bunch.  There are 11 poults in this group.  You never see one that you don't see them all.  They peep  continuously.  I find it a happy sound.

The girls built a raft to go on the pond.  They used a well built fence section that they sanded down and varnished with 4 55 gallon vinyl drums that a farmer gave them.  They tied it all together and it works very well.  Everything but the rope was repurposed.  Even their pole is an old shower curtain rod.

The frogs are all alive and well.  There is lots of croaking in the evening and most of the night.  We have lots of tadpoles in the pond.  Did you know that bullfrog tadpoles take two years to become a big frog?  We like the frog music.

Life on the farm is peaceful.  We did learn something new this week.  We learned that turkeys can swim.  Our turkey hen was sitting on her nest in some brush, when the dog discovered her and chased her.  She took off running and then flying.  She, unfortunately, only got enough air to make it half way across the pond.  The children were out there and were afraid that they might have to go rescue her before she  drowned.  Instead, she swam duck style to the edge of the pond and went on her way.  

This is another of our projects.  We are inoculating these logs with mushroom spawn.  We are going to try and grow our own shiitake mushrooms.  You can see the wholes drilled in the logs and the tags on the end.  Once they start 'fruiting' you should get crops for about four years.  We will keep you updated.

This is our crazy hen.  Her theme song could be the old song, "Don't Fence me in".  She does NOT like hanging with other chickens.  She roams the farm by herself all day long.  If she gets lonely, she goes and visits the turkeys.   They don't especially like her company either.  Sometimes she flies in and sits with them on their roosting poles.  The turkeys promptly fly down and go outside.  If she eats from their feed they give her fully half the feeder, and the 19 turkeys eat from the other side.  She is a bird without a flock.  We have tried putting her with the other chicken flock, but as soon as she is loosed, she flies over the fence and beats us back to the house area.  Oh well.

We had a lovely bunch of irises this spring.  They looked so lovely.

We also had our first little batch of honey berries this spring.  They are off some bushes we transplanted from the old house.  They may be called honey berries,  but they were not very sweet.  They taste a bit like a blueberry, so I am sure they are healthy for us, we just need to have a few more. They all got eaten. LOL

The lilacs smelled heavenly this spring.  These are tight outside the kitchen windows, so their lovely aroma wafted into the house.  So nice.  Lilacs are one of those things that remind me of my grandpa.  He always had well tended lilacs in his yard.  He had a number of different colored blooms.  I still think of him often, especially in the spring.

Elizabeth feeding the broilers.

The broilers are growing well.  They are getting close to that 4-5# mark that we need them at before we put them in the freezer.  Anybody who wants to come help butcher is welcome.  We will be putting them in the freezer on June 9th.  We do have a plucker, so the worst of the job is done for us. Let me know if you are interested.

We only give the broilers food at night.  They free range all day. This is what it looks like when we put the food in the feeders at night.  It is a real frenzy.  On Saturday, the broilers almost got drowned out.  They are penned up in the back field at night.  We had about 6 inches of rain in a couple of hours time.  When we went out to check on them, they were sitting in several inches of water.  Ever wonder where the saying, "Madder than a wet hen"  came from?  We have some ideas.

We stop almost every evening and watch the sunset. It is so beautiful and peaceful.  The frogs are croaking, and you may hear a few insect noises, but all the animals are settling for the night.  It is such a nice time of the day.  We thank God for the farm and for His beautiful creation, as we stop and admire it. They are never the same from night to night.  
God is so good!

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