The animals are all out and about. Ross the Ferrier was here to give the donkeys a pedicure, the goats are hopping, the chickens are chickening, the little roasters are downstairs growing by leaps and bounds, the tomatoes are loving the grow room and the turkeys are laying a bunch of eggs! Still looking for pigs, but it’s still pretty early.
We have a pretty good handle on the “cycles” of the Nigerian does. April won’t just be known for April Fool’s Day (Both my father’s and BIL’s birthdays) and tax deadline day, and, I guess, Easter. It will also be JAZ Farm goat breeding season. First up will likely be Cumin and Dozer. After that, we may wait awhile for the others in order to get them on a spring kidding schedule. If it takes, she will kid at the end of September (155 days).
In the picture above, Cumin is the one on the ground.
Above: My fave. Dozer
When we raised our first turkey flock, it was with the intention of hatching their eggs and using them to provide a meat source. I’d have to do way too much infrastructure work to have cows, and we aren’t trying to feed a multitude. Ground turkey is quite good and has made a great addition to our pigs, and chickens. In the last 6 weeks or so, the birds have been getting their turkey on. We get a few eggs a day and we have been scrambling them. Tasty! We held off on incubating them because they were eggs from very young birds and an, ahem, inexperienced and clumsy Tom. Now that they seem to have their groove thing going, we are collecting eggs and will be putting them in the incubator this coming Sunday. That way none of them will be even a week old. They are supposed to be viable for up to 10 days, but anything longer than seven days and things get iffy. It would be fun to let the hens raise their babies, but we have found, and the literature confirms this, that their motherly instincts aren’t too strong.
Of course, if we have a new dozen birds hatch at the beginning of May, we need a place to raise them once they come out of the brooder.
I did a stupid thing last night. We went out to dinner at our local taco joint. Because I’d been working pretty hard, I downed a couple of large glasses of iced tea. The caffeine kicked in and I lay in bed not being able to sleep. Zina wanted to know where and how we would raise the new birds up. It was exactly that that my mind latched onto and I spent the night trying to figure it out! (Obsess much?). That’s my thing. Thinking things over and over until it’s perfect in my mind before a single board is sawed or screw driven.
Fortunately, we figured it out. When all is said and done we will have 4 different coops and a chicken tractor. This time the answer will be made of dog kennel chain link panels and a hog shelter we already have.
I have once again been working myself to exhaustion. It must be spring. I have been meeting my Fit Bit steps goal without any trouble. All is well and this spring is FAR wetter than last so the gardens will have a fighting chance vs the severe drought we faced last year. Plants will get planted. The orchard will get developed. The broiler chickens will get raised. The goats will be bred. The layers lay with epic volume. The donkeys do their donkey thing, and the farm will do everything we have hoped it would do when we drove the first post to make a dog run 6 years ago.
Of course, we are expecting March snow this weekend.
This orchard will be interesting; but it is not planting season. Do you intend to plant canned stock? I will be planting a plum and an apple only because they were left over from the bare root stock at a local nursery. I either plant them late or dispose of them, so will go with planting them late. The last think I need is another apple tree, so will be planting it in a vacant spot at work and hope it will be maintained when I am gone. The plum is not a variety that I would have selected for my own home orchard, so will be another nice addition at the shops at work. I am none too keen on plums because they are only good fresh. Besides, they are not one of the traditional fruits that were grown in the Santa Clara Valley. The prunes that grew here decades ago work nicely for drying and canning (for those who do not loathe canned prunes). We got grape vines to plant too. One of the vines I needed to prune rooted where it lay on the ground. It is for eating fresh too, but I can not just toss the rooted bits. I suppose when they get growing and climbing all over the place and making too many useless grapes, tossing them will not seem like such a bad idea.