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1 Down, 10 To-Go!







Colonel’s Blog, Earthdate 17 May 2024…

Hey Y’all!


Good morning and happy Fast-Jet Friday from Air2Ground Farms! The fast jets today are the Mighty-Mighty F-15E Strike Eagle, both flying low in Wales this week. A quick update on our resident F-15E pilot, Hannah “HAIL” Slayton…she is doing very well and is half-way through her 4-ship Flight-Lead UpGrade (4-FLUG). The weather has been warm with multiple rain storms passing through. I’d venture to say it’s almost perfect grass growing weather. The beef cows are moving around the farm quickly, only staying in a pasture for a couple of days before moving on. The top pic is our resident Taekwondo warrior immediately after receiving her Black Belt this past Saturday! Congratulations Makaylah!! She has spent 5 years working towards this achievement, even starting over from the beginning when we moved here 3 years ago due to it being a different style here than it was in Maryland. We couldn’t be more proud! The next 3 pics are of our layer hens and ducks. We try to find efficiencies in our daily chores, especially as things get busier this time of year, and we decided to try letting the layers free-range. The process went sort-of like this: we’re tired of the ducks, they destroy the area they are in; we’re going to get rid of the ducks and tried to give them away but the lady that said she wanted them wouldn’t return our texts; ok…I’m going to turn the ducks loose and see if I can use them to train the livestock guardian dogs to leave the birds alone and then maybe we can turn the chickens loose; loose the ducks and the dogs totally ignored them; that went great…I’m turning the hens loose; next morning a guardian dog is messing with a hen and I gruffly said NO; next morning a couple of the dogs are chasing hens and I gruffly said NO; now the dogs ignore all birds; that worked so well that one morning when the inside Bluetick Hounds howled/screamed at me AGAIN (straw that broke the camels back) I turned them loose also (we’ve been afraid to ‘loose the hounds’ thinking they would either chase everything or just leave); nothing happened—they just hang out like the rest of the dogs. Life is MUCH easier and quieter now. The last pic is our chicken processing set-up.


We processed Batch 1 of the 2024 Beef Chicken Season this week and Mrs. Auntie Fiat helped on processing day (THANK YOU!). Batch 2 and 3 are on the pasture, Batch 4 is in the brooder, and we are about to go pick up Batch 5 from the Post Office (oh...and we have 4 turkey poults that are a week old--we're raising a few for ourselves this year to see if we want to raise turkeys for sale next year). We processed Batch 1 on Wednesday, which put them just shy of 8 weeks old. Overall, we are very happy with the Cornish Cross birds we got from Murray McMurray hatchery. The birds remained healthy overall, although as is common for the Cornish Cross, we were starting to see signs of heart issues this last week. With the Cornish, we are limiting their feed to 12 hours per day once they move onto pasture (helps regulate their growth rate so their legs and hearts can keep up) and will process them NO LATER than 8 weeks old. Of the 50 birds we received, we processed 43. We lost 5 to the flood, 1 in the brooder, and 1 to heart failure the day prior to processing. Now for their weights (all weights are of processed birds—no heads, feet, guts, feathers)—Largest bird was 8.0 pounds (YES, that’s the weight of the bird ready to eat!), Smallest bird was 4.1 pounds (it was a hen—we buy all roosters, but sometimes a hen gets in the mix), 3 birds were less than 5 pounds, 10 birds were more than 7 pounds, our total weight for the 43 birds was 273.1 pounds, and our average weight was 6.35 pounds per bird. We packaged 10 of the smallest birds whole in shrink-wrap bags and parted the remainder into cuts. We made boneless breasts, leg/thigh quarters, and wings. We put the breasts and quarters into vacuum sealed bags 2-per bag and they all weigh approx 2 pounds. YEP, each breast weighs a pound, so each chicken yielded 2 pounds of boneless breast! We put anywhere from 4-8 wings in vacuum sealed bags. All of the feet are currently dehydrating to be sold as dog treats. All carcasses, livers, hearts, and gizzards will be ground together to make raw/frozen pet food. The entire process went very smoothly and we are excited to keep it up for 10 more batches over the next 20 weeks (Shelley just said "OH--MY ACHING BACK!!)! 1 Down, 10 to-go!


Thursday’s Dust’er Mud podcast was about the New Mille Food Coop story I blogged about a few weeks ago. We delve into the details behind Wyatt’s dilemma and the events that led up to his time in JAIL! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nxwsL8lnRuY&list=UULFNqaipbTwMJVyld1tmsaCkA&index=1&pp=gAQBiAQB


Cheers!

Psycho & Shelley

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rcgable
rcgable
17 de mai.

Awesome job on earning the black belt Makaylah! My girls had been taking here locally but they recently closed.


I have questions about the chicken processing. We bought a plucker machine that was rated well on reviews (Murray was sold out when I went to buy the EZ plucker). We had some issues where the skin tore and some where the wings were separated. Any advice on how to limit this?

Curtir

Auntie Fiat
Auntie Fiat
17 de mai.

Congratulations Makaylah!! Way to persevere!

Curtir
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