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Archive for April, 2008

Grower’s Meeting

Wednesday, April 30th, 2008

Finally got some time away from the chickenhouses this week. Cobb had it’s quarterly growers meeting and we attended. They smoked baby back ribs for dinner and had a feed nutritionist and veterinarian on hand. The vet put on a presentation on “how a chicken lays an egg” and the feed nutritionist did a presentation on “how feed grows chickens”. I learned a lot, even some stuff I’m not sure I need to know. As always there was lots of discussion about grain prices, the economy, and disease prevention too. The apparent recession and grain prices have everyone in this business afraid of tommorrow.

We got part of the garden started this week too. I hope the recent light frosts didn’t hurt the 3 tomatoe plants we set out. I know the potatoes, onions, brocolli, and cabbage will be fine. I would have covered the tomatoes had I known it was going to frost, but I never seem to have time to watch the weather so I didn’t know it was coming. I’ve been really impressed with the power and agility of the 7010. Seems like the more I use it the more I like it. The low low range makes tilling a breeze. With the 6000 I need to make two passes lots of times, but with the lower gears of the 7010 it only takes one. It does great with the 7ft brush hog too.

The grass we planted on the land we cleared last fall is begining to come up in places. I can’t wait to look over there and see a good stand of grass. Hopefully a few years from now that land will serve double duty as both a pasture and a hay field. My long term goals include running 20-30 head of beef cows and calves. On top of that I hope to fence in some of the woodland that butts up to pasture and run about 50-75 Boer goats. With the litter from the poultry houses I should really be able to make grass grow.

The lights in the chickenhouses are staying on until 10:30 at night now. The lights really make the houses glow from outside. All the more reason I have got to find the time to get those trees planted. I have come to the conclusion that I have to hire more help. I can’t be at two places at the same time. I can either be outside on the farm getting that stuff done or inside taking care of the chickenhouse needs. The question is should I hire someone for inside or outside. I could sure use a break from the daily grind inside. So most likely it will be for inside.

As always there is a ton of stuff to do and not much time to do it in so I’ll close for now……………………make sure to check out the pics I’ve added and thanks for reading!

On The Nest

Saturday, April 26th, 2008

Wow! What a crazy couple weeks. We have absolutely been covered in floor eggs. It seems like it may be easing up a little finally. You don’t know what a relief it is to see hens on the nest. After a couple weeks of walking the floor constantly picking up eggs maybe we are seeing some change. The majority of the floor eggs we are getting now seem to be the smaller “commercial eggs” instead of the “hatching eggs” we desire. That usually means a hen that has just started laying. We get a bonus based on hatching eggs sent to the hatchery. Our hatching eggs have to weigh atleast 52 grams. The thought behind walking the floor is the hen will find somewhere safer to lay her egg next time if she sees someone move it. I’ve got my fingers crossed that this will work and we’ll have very few eggs in the floor in just a couple more weeks. The chickenhouses are taking all my time now. The lights are on for 15 hours every day now. Soon it will be 16 hours a day and then finally 17 hours a day. That doesn’t leave much time for anything else.

We got the 7010 back from the dealer with it’s new tie rod mount installed. It appears they have redesigned the mount to be much sturdier. I’m just wondering if the other side shouldn’t be changed. I was glad to see it back! Just in time for this last little cold snap. It has been in the 40′s and raining for several days now. It’s much nicer to put out hay for the cows in that nasty weather when you’ve got the cab. I’m already spoiled by the heat. I don’t like the air conditioning as much as I like the heat. I must just be cold blooded. As soon as summer gets here I’ll probably spend just as much time on the 6000 as I do the 7010.

We finally got the land we cleared last fall run over a couple times with the disc and sewn with grass seed. Now let’s all keep our fingers crossed that it comes up and gets enough rain to grow this summer. I’m hoping this is the last cold snap. This morning there was a heavy frost on my windshield at 5 am. That would not have been good for a young stand of grass. Hopefully everyone had their plants covered here. I haven’t got anything to cover for the first time in years. If I can find the time that will change. I’m hoping for sunny weather to dry out the dirt so I can till a garden spot. Several people have come by wanting gardens tilled, I just have not had the time to do it. I’m chomping at the bit to get the tiller on the 7010 with it’s low low range. It should do a really nice job.

My uncle Ralph sent us several hundred white pine trees. Somehow I have got to find the time to get them planted. I want to use them as a buffer between the log house and the chickenhouse. Well as always I’m getting nothing done sitting here so I better go. Be sure to check out the pics I’ve added.

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