Spring work begins
The new walk-in pen (10'x13') for the chickens arrived so 2 evenings were spent getting it put together. It went together far easier than I had hoped and now the Dominques are settled. Typically, I free range my chickens which is of course healthier for them and for us, but I want to assure some purebred hatching eggs. I have order for chicks, and I want to get the incubator fired up, so they need penned up away from the Plymouth Rock roosters. After 30 days, I will be able to assure that the fertilized eggs are purely Dominque, I'll hatch out the chicks I need, and they will be able to return to their free ranging life.
I will admit, I bought the pen off Amazon. I used to buy a lot from them but chose to reduce my patronage a couple years ago over some of their business practices. I still buy occasionally, but I look at other options first. I looked at buying a couple pens from a local person here, but their price was outrageous, and this pen is better suited and cheaper.
In addition to that work, the baby goats that are sold got their scrapie tags, CD&T shots and the boys got banded. The boys are starting their weaning too. No one in the barn is very happy with me at the moment! They will be ready to go to their new homes next weekend.
Picked up the rest of the recycled wood needed to rebuild the raised beds Friday evening. Now to get it treated and the beds put together. I imagine removing the old beds and replacing with new and moving the fill around will be a weekend's worth of work. The compost piles do seem to be breaking down. Hopefully the compost will be ready to go by the time its needed.
I've been soaking my chicken feed for over a week now. The hens seem to really like it and egg production has tripled. Is it all from the feed? I seriously doubt it, but even if it helps a little with production and reduces use/waste, it's worth the couple extra minutes it takes. Currently egg production is out pacing supply so I'm looking for new customers. One project this coming week is making an EGG sign for the front of the farm. Hopefully it will catch a few eyes and result in some steady customers.
Each project tackled here is an attempt to increase self-sustainability. Am I there yet? Nope, but I'm closer than I was last year and next month I'll be closer yet. Keep striving forward!