Sorry for the long delay everyone, I was busy coping with the fact that our old blog is no longer with us. Good bye old news, but now for some new news.
I am pretty sure we are done lambing for awhile, with the exception of one of our Cheviot ewes Nancy, who insists on being stubborn in every aspect of her life. She is a first timer, so its easy to see that her udder is beginning to develop, but all we can do is sit around and wait to see if anything comes of it. We didn't do as well as we had hoped with lambing this year, but buying a new flock can be a gamble. I am hopeful that once they are settled in and we get to know them (and they get to know us) we can have a better future together. Maybe. For now the ewe lambs that have yet to lamb are out during the day enjoying the grass while the ewes and their lambs, ranging in age from 3.5 months old to 5 weeks old, are frolicking around behind the silo soaking up the sun. We are hoping the weather stays warm and the grass will keep growing then everyone can be out grazing in no time.
Our first cow due date is Friday. We split our herd between fall and spring calving for a number of reasons. I'd be happy to go into details about it if you are interested. We are expecting 9 cows to calve between now and the beginning of May. Three of the cows are first time calf heifers, so we will be watching them closely to make sure there are no problems. Their udders are beginning to develop well which means babies on the way. The others are all cows that have had calves before but 4 of them have not had calves since we have owned them, because we dont know what to expect from them we will be watching them closely too. Then there are Thelma and Louise, our resident belties who gave us beautiful bull calves last year who we hope will surprise us with the same once again. The steers and heifers born last spring summer and fall are growing well and enjoying playing tag and basking in the sun. I must say thank goodness for good hay!
The first two batches of meat birds have arrived! One is headed out to our newly converted chicken tractor mobile. Its sort of a chicken tractor and eggmobile hybrid. You'll have to see it to believe it. Basically its just an old horse trailer that will eventually be a eggmobile for laying hens but is now being used to house our free ranging kosher king meat birds. First batch is expected to be ready for your table mid May. Memorial day barbecue chicken?
Speaking of layers, ours are laying quite well! Some days we are getting 10 dozen a day from our 1.5 and 2.5 year old hens which are now being joined by our 6 month old pullets. The three hen houses are still in the cow pasture, giving the hens plenty of seeds, bugs, plants, and whatever else they want to enjoy. The days of not having eggs at the farm are long gone. Come get some of the islands best eggs! (no seriously, they were voted best in an island wide blind taste test...)
Pigs pigs pigs pigs! Very soon we will be up to our ears in pigs. Giovanna, our resident pure bred large black sow has just welcomed the first litter of piglets this year. She and her partner Wilfred, our large black boar had 8 piglets all of which are doing quite well. Mariah and Carey, our Berkshire sows are due any day now and we are hoping they provide us with oodles of healthy piglets like they did last summer. Mariahs daughter Gertie has also been having slumber parties with Wilfred and we think she will welcome her first litter around the end of June. Looking for piglets? We will most likely have some for sale...
Come by and see all the critters! Never a dull moment on the farm.
Priscilla the duck.