Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Brooder Pic's

We got our chicks, all 104 of them, from Meyer Hatchery on April 29th.  We lost about 8 of them in the brooder, but I didn't realize it till a few weeks later as the dead would be covered up with wood chips, only to be discovered as I was stirring them up... but regardless, I thought I'd show you guys some pictures, those are always fun!

*I had about an inch between the lights and the boxes... please don't bother telling me about fire hazards, as I could hold the light by the aluminum reflector without burning myself... I wasn't worried about the boxes catching fire.

The chicken nipple gaskets leaked, so I built a catch basin underneath.  I emptied it once or twice in 2 wks.

My neighbor let me borrow this thing.  It has a 250W heater element underneath and worked great!

There wasn't an overabundance of heat, so I cut these boxes to help insulate a smaller space for the chicks.

Looking in on the chicks in the half box...

I need to find some better feeders... those are nice, but don't work as well at 2-1/2 wks old...

The trash can held feed...

Table scraps... they went crazy over that stuff!

Hope you enjoyed them!

Two weeks yesterday!

Well here's the big announcement... today, we have had 3 lambs on property for one week two weeks now!  (It's taken me a while to make the time to write this post.)

The 3 newest members of the team!

I typically make a better effort to observe memorial day, but I also think I remember the cost more regularly then most people... but on Memorial day this year, I drove about 2 hours to go look at some Katahdin lambs.  They were being housed in the basement of an old barn on some of the most beautiful land I've seen in Ohio... it reminded me of the Lexington/Georgetown Ky area!  But after learning what I could, I bought the most expensive flat of vegetables I've ever bought, and the owner gave me 3 little lambs... okay, maybe I paid for the lambs and the veggies were free...

Since then we have spent a good bit of money on apple cider vinegar for their water, Redmond salt for trace minerals and salt, and we are getting ready to spend a whole heap of money on another mineral kit from Advanced Biological Concepts.   A guy nearby raises sheep, hogs and some cattle and uses their products and is real pleased with them.  So now I'm still trying to figure out if I want to buy the complete kit or just pick and choose what I want... if any of you have any experience with these products, please leave a comment letting me know how it's worked for you!

The basic idea on the minerals is that if the animal is deficient in a certain mineral, they can go get some of that specific mineral.  No sense consuming an entire generic salt and mineral block just for that one limiting element the animal is missing!  The goal is that the animals would then be healthy enough that they wouldn't need so much attention... keep in mind, I'm trying to be lazy here!

94 broilers out on pasture!

So now in addition to the 3 lambs, we are down to 94(I think that's where we are) chickens.  Two of them ended up with a broken leg, I assume it was due to them not moving when I moved the chicken tractor.  It's a little frustrating, but it's probably my fault somehow.  Anyway, they graduated to the compost pile.

 So one thing that we tried when we first got our electro-netting from Premeir1supplies, we tried putting the chickens in it... it worked great, until they walked underneath the bottom electrified wire... doh!  Later on when I called Premeir1 to report a problem with my purchase I mentioned I was frustrated with myself for not realizing the poultry netting version of what I had ordered was only 10$ more.  The nice lady on the phone informed me that I could send the first netting back within the first 30 days and they would refund my purchase.  Then go buy the poultry netting!

Wow, that's great!

So I ordered the poultry netting, a gate for the netting (that was a complete splurge, but will probably be worth it in the end) and some support posts (the poultry netting is heavier, so it can use a little more support.)  I've yet to move the chickens in with the lambs, as the tractor is in the back of the yard... but it on the next move for the lambs, I will be sure to pull the tractor into the paddock and fence it off with some poly-twine and some posts (to keep the lambs out of the chicken tractor).  That's the plan anyway...

The birds (Red Rangers) will be 7wks old this Friday... butcher in one month, hopefully I have enough feed to make it that long!  Hopefully if I let them out into the paddock during the day they won't need as much.  Anyway, after we butcher then, we'll be able to something like this once again, as we ran out of the 60 birds from last year a few weeks back...

I call it 3 Bird Soup

3 Bird Soup

Take 3 of your pastured chickens and put them in the pressure cooker and cook at 15 psi for 45 minutes.  Take all the meat off the bones, saving the water/juice/fat (worth it's weight in that yellowy golden gold!) and throw it into a stock pot... add sauted onions and other mics veggies and fruits (tomato's and okra for me) and some spices and praise God for good food :)
Here's a few more pic's for your viewing pleasure...

Cooking in progress...

I have come to appreciate the flavor of onions

 I can't believe I hated onions growing up... but it's true!  The last thing I did was can about 7 quarts of this stuff... that should come in handy some day...

Okay, I'll see if I can't put together some reviews for the fencing stuff I bought.  Till then, take care and God bless!