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!
We just can't seem to stop attracting more animals to this homestead!
This gorgeous gentle giant is Brutus. We don't think the name suits him at all but it's what he came with, so we will keep it for now. Brutus' owner couldn't keep him any more due to a divorce. We have a fun loving pack and lots of land. Sounds like a great match right? Well so did we and so he arrived this past week. Brutus is a Great Pyrenees and they typically make wonderful livestock guardian dogs. Unfortunately for us, Brutus is scared of even the newly hatch chicks, so we won't be counting on him for too much. He is 6 and just looking for a place to live out his old years. He is a great cuddler and very sweet, so we don't mind that he wouldn't guard a fly.
We also got ducks! Ducks are great for slug control! I have seen a few videos of people with berry farms who say they couldn't do what they do with out them. These are Mallard ducks (in with chicks shown here) and I am hoping to get a few Muscovy quackers later on in the spring. I think ducks are incredibly cute so I am hoping these guys work out well!
Looking at this picture here, does that black one remind you of any children's stories??? Only time will tell!
It's been 9 weeks and our meat birds are HUGE! They far outweigh those poor things you pick up at the grocery store and I think if we left them to grow to 12 weeks, they would be turkeys!
They have been living a very happy life enjoying the outdoors, scratching around for bugs and soaking up the sun rays. However these are not layers. They have one purpose when they grow that big, that fast and unfortunately it's to end up in our freezer.
They are a hybrid that can not reproduce and their bodies can't keep up with the rest of the growth. It's the first species that I have run across that is actually more humane to kill than to let live. Just yesterday we had our first heart attack victim. We have heard that eventually their legs break under the weight of their bodies. Very sad actually.
So while they are still feeling good, while they are still enjoying life, before the pain sets in, we will thank them for their sacrifice and process them for dog and human consumption. This is not an enjoyable part of homesteading but a very necessary one. With the blow to the chicken world announced on Monday, I would think that chicken meat and egg prices will be going up at the grocery stores. We will have to be very careful where we get our next batch of chicks from and they will always be kept separate from the layers by more than a couple of acres.
So after this week, this pen will be empty... Until the next batch comes in.
Mama had her babies FINALLY!!!
On Friday March 27, 2015 at 8:05 pm the babies started to pop out. She delivered 10 which is really really great for her first litter. However the first one was a still birth and two got stepped on in the first couple of days while she was getting the hang of this mother stuff. We have 7 healthy babies left and are giving Maybelle lots of privacy. I am being told that after day 3, everyone should make it. They should be very mobile and she should have a good grasp on what to do and where not to step. Next litter should be even easier!
I also hear from my Uncle who used to work for a pig farmer back in the 1950s that you should put in a lamp inside of where she is birthing. The babies will automatically go to the light and stay out from under her feet while she is still giving birth. We will have to try this next time I suppose.
We were lucky enough to grab the babies as they were coming out and get to rub them dry before placing them by her teets. It takes them a little bit to get their bearings but now she can't get a moment's peace!
Here they are just under 48 hours old.