Happy February from the farm! A little chilly but dry today. I've never been as concerned about the weather as I have for the past year. What I'm doing on any given day depends heavily on the temperature, amount of rain, etc. I have a whole wardrobe of socks for any set of weather conditions.
Remember when I wasn't sure if we had any girl geese? Now I know! At least 2 I think, the Chinese (all white and a bump on the beak) and the Toulouse (the all brown one - I think that's what she is anyway). I saw them both on this nest that I spied today. I don't know what will come of it. I'm going to have to do some research on how to proceed. They are young geese, but I'm pretty sure they know more about how geese operate than I do, so I'll let them sort this out. I would love to see some little ones but I'm not sure how many more geese we actually need.
The eggs are sizable for sure, 3 times a chicken egg. I was thinking of goose egg references today while feeding the pigs. A goose egg is a big old zero but also a rather considerable knot on one's head. Impressive.
Our little guys are now almost 3 weeks old and have graduated to their new brooder this week. They're looking more and more chicken like everyday. They'll still have their heat light on for another 2 weeks. Chicks like it warm, especially at first. I'll turn the lights on Wednesday for the new chicks and we'll aim for a very warm 98+ degrees for these 2 day old babies.
The slightly older chicks in the outdoor brooding house have an incandescent bulb just to keep them from getting too chilled, but they are very close to fully feathered. They were born Dec 10 so they're creeping up on 8 weeks old. They'll start to lay their first eggs at around 22 weeks if they're early and 26 weeks if they are late.
I planted the last of 75 trees that we got from the Arkansas Forestry Commission - 25 river birch, 25 bald cypress, 25 persimmon. Aaron and his kind parents planted the river birch and the cypress in the boggy bits at the front of the farm. I put the persimmons in today along the long drive way and near the feed silo. I'm calling it the persimmon grove, which has a nice ring to it I think. My dad loves a persimmon tree. There's an old wive's tale that he repeated to us about splitting the seed open to see what the winter would be like. I'm going to stick with checking my weather app, but I think the pigs will enjoy the persimmons.
If you've been watching Victorian Farm, you know that they have a pig of the same breed as ours - a Gloucestershire Old Spot. They are also expecting piglets. It's a real nail biter. This episode they hunted rabbits with ferrets! I know! What! It was fantastic.
I spoke to a really kind person from Driftless Provisions in Wisconsin. Ryan, who makes nice salamis, helped me with some advice on our other project, processing our pork into lovely sausages and cured meats. He's been at this much longer than we have and was generous with his knowledge. Let the sausage stuffer shopping begin!
Have a great rest of the week! Best - HP