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Got eggs?

Colonel's Blog, Earthdate 2 Feb 2023...

Hey Y'all!

Happy Thursday! Another cold one this morning. It is a bit of a pain to drag the milker back and forth, but not having to worry about it being frozen makes it well worth it. We worked tax prep yesterday and tried to make yogurt. This batch didn't quite work out. We ended up boiling the milk over on the stove and then forgot to put in the starter culture before putting it in the instant pot. So, the end result was warm milk that the pigs are going to love! We made a couple of trips to town, one to deliver products and one to visit the eye doctor for our annual checkup. We both ordered new glasses, although neither of us had a major change in vision. I will say that having vision insurance reduced our bill for glasses by 75%. Well worth it for us. The beef cows were excited to get fresh hay for breakfast, as were the sheep. We are feeding hay at an unsustainable rate if all you consider is the cost/benefit as feed for the animals. As far as the benefit to regenerate the pasture, we think it is well worth the cost. We asked our mentor how much hay is worth, thinking only about the feed value, and he replied "whatever you paid for it." He meant that the benefit to the pasture from a regenerative perspective is worth the price of the hay, let alone using it for feed. The pic is one of our ewes showing off the amazing insulative properties of wool. Her body is completely protected from the cold as is shown by the cold being completely protected from her body heat.

In case you haven't noticed, we are having egg issues...well not us personally, but globally. In October 2021 Avian Influenza broke out and is still running rampant. So far, over 140 million birds have died or been exterminated worldwide with over 58 million in the US. 2022 is the US's deadliest outbreak of Avian Flu in history. Last December, egg prices were up 60% and inventory was down 30% from the previous year. In December, the average cost for a dozen Large Grade A eggs was $4.25 while it was $1.79 the year prior. The real cause of the price increase is a combination of factors to include the bird flu, feed costs, transportation costs, etc. There is some hope as prices have started to decline in the past few weeks. On our farm, egg prices haven't changed! While many in the homesteading arena are reporting loss of production, most likely due to unreported changes in feed, our flock continue to lay. We see the normal reduction for this time of year due to less daylight, but our birds continue to produce. We have put some thought into why and what we come up with is that our local non-GMO feed mill hasn't changed the formula, and continues to produce a high-quality feed. That feed combined with our practice of fermenting the feed gives our birds warm high-quality feed daily. The fermented feed has a high water content which ensures the birds are getting plenty of hydration. The feed is also warm from the fermentation process, giving the birds a bit of a boost in their body temperature. At least that's what we think. We are excited to continue to bring eggs into the house!

Shelley posted another YouTube short. Check out 'Pouring Milk' and subscribe to our channel.

Local Farm Report for 1 Feb 2023...


22 Chicken eggs

6 Duck eggs

5 3/4 Gallons of milk




Rich & Shelley

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