Happy Tuesday from Porch Swing! Drying out from a soggy weekend on a warmish day here in Bigelow. Tuesdays are a shorter day for me on the farm since I run off to teach after the morning chores are done. Lots can get done though! New leaves added to the chicken tractors to prep for fertilizer for the spring gardens, pulled out the next set of seed to get started (spoiler alert: cucumbers!), prepped the brooder for the new hatchery chicks coming on 2/7. A productive morning for sure. Aaron often asks how does one eat an elephant. One bite at a time...
Still no piglets so stay tuned to the Eleanor - Maybelline mama drama.
We do have some more local babies on the way. Here are the beginnings of a new batch of chicks. At 7 days at 100 degrees in the incubator, you can start to see the veins of the new chick inside. We have some chickens of specific breeds separated from gen pop that we save eggs from to refresh our hen community.
This little guy will be a Whiting, a breed of color egg layers developed at the University of Arkansas.
I have 39 eggs in the incubator right now, due to hatch February 7. I'll keep you up to date with what we end up with. We'll take another peek (candle them again) at the end of the week and see what else is growing.
The geese are warming up to me, after 2 months. I swear - the deer is friendlier. More deer discussion tomorrow! Bribery really is the way to win them over. We're so close to being pals, after much corn.
They are such troopers in the cold. They have a lovely, straw lined goose house but, instead, everyday I come out to serve breakfast, they are out on the pond, paddling about, sometimes with the pond frozen up around them. They will have a little swimmy circle unfrozen. I wish I was so tough.
Most days, I drive the 4 wheeler with my little trailer out to carry feed to the feeder pigs. Right now, we have a pen of the last 2 litters of Large Black/Old Spot crosses. About 20 pounds ago, they were shy and reserved, keeping a good distance between us. Nowadays, they weigh about 50 pounds each, and they are losing all those fearful thoughts. Pigs, I'm learning, are a mostly fearless lot. They operate more on a curiosity imperative, always wanting to poke their noses in new stuff, with little trepidation about harm.
They are also lovers of the morning sun. These guys slept in this morning, solar heating while their siblings had breakfast. Not a bad morning.
We've gotten the soil sample info back from the Cooperative Extension office and we're looking into adding some lime to the front pastures to improve the soil quality. A bunch of the books we read early on told us that we are really all just grass farmers. Silly, we're egg and pig farmers. Actually though....that grass is needed to keep the land intact and grow stuff for the animals and absorb the rain and on and on. We have a ways to go, but we're getting started on it. Back to that poor elephant...
And off to tomorrow! XO - HP