Welcome to MY ADVENTURE OF DAILY LIFE. I have long since wanted and been encouraged to document the plethora of items I work on, learn, and in general tinker with. I travel and experience new things far and wide and love to share what I gain from them. Here I am sharing with you not just the amazing but the every day as well. They may not fall under the category of "daring adventure" but I am usually having a blast doing them. Enjoy!
Murder in the turkey run!
This morning Mr Brawny went to let the turkeys out and we only had 7 come out! He went in to check and see if there was a sick turkey still in the coop and unfortunately it was not a sick turkey. It was a headless turkey! This is such a waste especially since they are too young to have any real meat on them yet and can't be used for dog food.
The first course of action when this happens is to figure out what killed your bird? We can tell that since the bird was in the coop when this happened it must have been a weasel or a mink. Those little skinny critters can slip in thru bird wire if it's big enough and apparently this was.
If the body was next to wire missing it's head and neck then that could have been a racoon. They will reach thru and grab whatever they can and chew it off. So awful right?
If you have a dead bird that is out in the open and nothing is missing or most of it is still there, you probably have a neighbor's dog that is attacking your birds. We had that happen last year and luckily the neighbor was honest about it. He found his dog with the chicken still in its mouth and came to us about it. He tied the dog up for several months but recently we noticed it out and about again. We haven't seen her in our yard so hopefully she has learned a lesson.
Today Mr Brawny is making a door between the coop and the run so if that weasel comes back it won't be so easy this time! Hopefully that will take care of it and we can get back to growing big turkeys.
Money is often the name of the game. It's what fuels the next adventure or the next project around our homestead so we like it when we gain another avenue to surge forward. This is the year that we have become incorporated as an LLC and started selling some of our produce and products. While it helps with a few bucks here and there, the real savings is the tax break. Unfortunately you don't realize the savings until the end of the year.
So when my husband came to me with an idea about how to make a few extra bucks, I realized just how multifaceted owning a farm can be. Our neighbor down the road has a small hilly pasture that he has been raising cows in. He bought them from someone for cheap and they have been packing on the pounds on his land. He was talking about taking the largest one, a bull to the auction, when my husband got the idea of doing it for him.
We know of a restaurant who prefers to buy local grass fed beef. We knew that this bull has been grass his entire life and not sitting in some corn feedlot up to his belly in feces. If we could buy the bull for the price that those poor feed lot cows go for and sell it for what it really is, we could turn a profit.
Here's what we were looking at:
- Bull is roughly 2000lbs
- Owner decides he wants $1900 for him. It's under the market price per pound but not by much and he doesn't have to fool with getting him there or the fuel cost.
- Transportation costs - $150
- Processing Costs - $600
- Current wholesale price per pound for Grass Fed Hamburger - $5
- Pounds you lose to bone, guts, and skin - Roughly 45%
- Estimated profits: $2850!
Not bad for a day's work huh? This of course just gets thrown back in to the farm pot for more buildings and things needed around the place. If we could find some more of these however, it won't take long before we have quite the surplus!
We have too many roosters. How, you might ask, does one come up with this assessment?
When your poor hens have no feathers on their backs, even a year later, you know it's not just a molt. When one pair breeds and the other roosters come running because they have the urge to throw their bit into the gene pool, you can't help feel sorry for those hens.
So today we clean up the gene pool. We bought several chicks in the spring that were guaranteed to be hens. Well so much for that business. We ended up with almost all roosters and now that they are getting too big for their britches its time. Its not fun, its just part of homesteading. Its not something we enjoy but something has to be done. Even if we built a rooster house and let them all live out their days, they would fight and end up injuring or possibly killing each other. So while they are still young and having a great time, there will be no suffering. They will be happy happy happy one second and on to the next adventure the next.
We thank them for their sacrifice and let them know that they did not die to be wasted. Rather they will give us and our dogs the nutrition we need to care for the hens they leave behind. We are sorry that it turned out this way but its time to complete the circle of life.