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Incubating




Colonel's Blog, Earthdate 20 Feb 2023...

Hey Y'all!


Happy holiday Monday! I was curious about President's Day so I perused the History Channel's website for some...well...history. This particular holiday was the 5th nationally recognized bank holiday, behind Christmas, New Years, Fourth of July, and Thanksgiving. It was obviously the first holiday in recognition of a single person, George Washington. In fact, it was designated Washington's Birthday and was originally celebrated on his actual birthday, 22 February. Federally, it is still recognized as Washington's Birthday and the push to call it President's Day was driven by retail stores' desire to have a name for their sales. The shift from Washington's actual birthday to it's current 3rd Monday in Feb observance was signed into law in 1971 as part of Uniform Monday Holiday Act, an effort to give the American worker more 3-day weekends. Anyway...the farm animals are great today and didn't even notice it was Washington's Birthday. In the hog pen, one of the guilts is coming into heat and is acting-the-fool. We have no in-tact males, so no worries there, but she is certainly disturbing the peace. None of the other hogs are happy about her desire to ride them while they are trying to eat. Holly, the orphan calf, is doing better and better! She only kicked at Shelley a couple of times and then without having to be forced, drank an entire 1/2 gallon bottle. We worked on the bar yesterday and got the frame in place. I was unable to get the masonry bit deep enough into the concrete floor to properly seat the concrete screws we had on hand so we will buy some shorter ones today. We should be able to get the plywood on the face and the oak top put into place today. The top pic is me happy to be using the tractor again to pick up a bale of hay. Today we will continue working on the bar, deliver tax info to the accountant, and make some things with milk. We are also going to move the guardian dogs around. They are bored with their current situation and that leads to fussing; so we are going to give them something else to think about. We got our 4th goose egg this morning, which meant we had enough to have a scramble to taste. They are delicious and are very similar to duck eggs but way bigger.


Our big group of layer chickens are about 16 months old. Hens typically start laying less and less around 18-24 months, until their production drops to about 50% of their peak. They do not eat any less during that time. The end result is you have to feed them the same amount of food but are getting 50% of the eggs. Thus, most folks with layers will replace their flocks in the 18-24 month period. Some just turn them loose, some process them for 'stew-hens.' We think we will most likely move their chickshaw into the pasture with the cows and let them forage for the majority of their food. We also have a smaller flock that are only 9 months old but there are not enough of them to produce the amount of eggs we need. So, we need to begin the process of replacing our big group of layers. As we were talking about it yesterday, we remembered that we had 3 incubators sitting in the barn, never used! Since we have roosters with our hens, we have the ability to be self-sustaining in the layer department. We got out the incubators, selected a mix of light and dark eggs, and started them cooking. Not really cooking, but where is the obvious place for incubators full of eggs? In the kitchen, of course! The bottom two pics are the incubators on our countertop. In 21 days, we should be hatching some chicks. Shelley reminded that "Just because they are in the kitchen does not make them pets!" as the greetings of "Good morning, eggs!" echoed in the kitchen this morning.


Shelley's YouTube Short today is: Orphan calf learning to drink a bottle.


Local Farm Report for 19 Feb 2021:

Harvest:

31 Chicken eggs

2 Duck eggs (Stupid crows keep stealing them!! Where's the guard goose?)

4 3/4 Gallons of milk

Sales:

N/A


Cheers! Rich & Shelley

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