Life of a Farm Blog

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State of Cobb

Had the opportunity to get away from the farm a bit this week and attend a Christmas dinner provided by Cobb. They have this every year and it’s called “State of Cobb”. Growers gather to hear about the business; how it’s doing, what to expect, and where we’re heading. It was good to hear that in a bad economy business has stayed pretty flat. Cobb hasn’t lost any business and in this economy that’s a plus. To stay flat the company had to gain market share and that we have done. Hopefully when everything starts picking up that market share will translate into sales gains. The leaders of this company are pretty ambitous and I for one like that. There are some pretty lofty goals set. Plans for a new complex in Tennessee are moving forward as scheduled. There is talk of building a feed mill that will be company owned and operated to supply some or all of the complexes. Expansion in Kentucky is on the way with Cobb building a new QA facility in western Ky.. At one point there were plans to build some more farms here at this complex, now all that’s kind of up in the air waiting to see how growers develop in Tennessee. The Tennessee hatchery will be close enough that we could see some building of farms here to supply that hatchery if growers don’t develop in Tennessee. There were some negative things this year. The biggest of which was loss of birds to disease. We lost a substantial amount of money and production, but contrary to reports there are plenty of Cobb chicks to go around. Cobb is begining to offer some training to growers. Next year Dr. Anthony Pescatore from The University of Kentucky will be hosting classes in everything from Embryology to Industry Facts and Infastructure. I found it really interesting we got a letter in the mail fom Cobb telling us we could not take pictures of Cobb birds or inside or outside our houses. I feel like this was directed right at me. The best part is a few weeks later Cobb had it’s own company farm on America’s Heartland.

The kids are all doing good. Kaylees’ cheer team qualified to go to nationals in Myrtle Beach S.C. again this year. They actually had the highest score of the whole competition even edging out the Coed team from here. Garett is really taking to shooting his bow. I hope he stays interested in things outdoors. I was afraid he was gonna be an inside person. Madison won her division in the Miss Snowflake pagaent she entered. I think these pagaents really boost her self confidence. Katie is kind of struggling with school this year. She’s a freshman and it’s a whole new world for her. I’m trying to take a laid back approach for now. Her math is what’s really getting her. She has the same teacher that BJ had in college. They both say she’s not much of a teacher. More like show you once, give you the assignment, and you’re on your own. I remember my grandmother telling me that when she taught she felt like if the kids didn’t learn it wasn’t their fault it was hers. Sure wish we had more teachers like “Granny Ball”.

Just as soon as I said the weather wasn’t much like winter we got a nice little blanket of snow. It got kind of nippy too. I had to scramble and get some of the fans covered with plastic at the chickenhouse. We cover about 6 of the fans in the coldest part of winter to regulate the temperature. I noticed during this little cold spell that one of the cows is getting really slow. I knew she was getting old, but hoped to get one more calf from her. If she calves before spring I’m moving her on. I should have about 5 calves to sell this spring. My plan is to sell the calves and buy back cows. Hopefully in a couple years I can have about 15 or 20. I would also like to get back into the rabbits. I’m looking for New Zealand Reds. Madison and Benji (our help) have been trying to get me to get some more pigs. This time around they want to raise piglets. My objection has always been you feed them more than you can sell feeder pigs for, but maybe with cull eggs and spilled chicken feed to supplement we can make a go of it. As fast as the colder weather came it’s gone. That meant high winds and rain. The wind blew the top off “the pig mansion”. The kids named it “the pig mansion” because they said it was too nice to be called a pig pen. Farm I is back together now. They disinfected this week and will be placing shavings soon. Chickens come December 23rd. Guess that’s my present. We made a few improvements to the older houses. We added doors to access the feed bins, reinforced the slats, replaced any slats that were damaged, and added a drain in the scalehouse of house 1.


While traveling to watch Kaylee’s cheer competition we ran across a Druther’s restaraunt. I haven’t seen one of these in years. Bj and I reminisced about the old Druther’s here in town and it’s Andy Dandytale Meal we used to get as kids. The one here started as a Burger Queen, then became a Druther’s, followed by a Dairy Queen, and finally a Long John Silvers and Kentucky Fried Chicken. Sometimes I wish time would have just stood still so I could go back to all the things that made my little world go round when I was a kid. Life was so simple then. No responsibilities, no bills to pay, no kids to hurry here or there, grandparents that adored me. Of all that I miss my grandparents the most. They were truly spectacular people who I try to model my life after today. Katie was the only one of my children who was old enough to remember Granny and Pap. Garett was just a little guy when they passed.

Well I’ve written longer than I had planned. Lot’s to do and not as many hours to work with these short days so I better close. Check out the pics I’ve added here. As always thanks for reading!

13 Responses to “State of Cobb”

  1. Hillbilly willy Says:

    Merry Christmas – late and Happy New year from Hillbilly Willy.

    10-4 Willy

  2. admin Says:

    Hillbilly Willy,
    Late Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from one hillbilly to another!

  3. hereford maid Says:

    Enjoyed reading you blog. Anything new on the farm?

  4. admin Says:

    Hereford Maid,
    Thanks for the comment! There’s always something new on the farm. Just had 6 baby goats hit the ground this week. All in the middle of a snow storm. Plus Farm 1 got chickens back. 7 eggs today, there will be hundreds by the end of next week. COLD here!

  5. Jimi Jones Says:

    My wife stumbled onto your blog a few years ago. I was raised in Pine Knot Kentucky, along with my 2 brothers. Your narratives bring me back to a simpler time and remind me how much things have changed. My great aunt Velma Ball taught school for many years in the McCreary County system, as does her daughters now. I don\’t get back much but I miss the beautiful country side. Keep up your posts as they are very informative. My wife is curious as to whether your raising fryers or chickens soley for their eggs?

  6. Jim Says:

    wow what happend to your tracktor that looks like your cab unit well its jim in ohio weve had lots of things going on too but were still doing so so we been looking at putting in a hoge barn will house about 24oo head lots of pigs for sure well looks like yall are doing well im very glad bjs doing better also very glad you are still posting though im not able to get on line often lol well have un man good luck

  7. admin Says:

    Jimi Jones,
    Glad to have you reading! Lots has changed in Pine Knot as years go by, but then again not so much. Seems the faces change, but other than houses popping up there’s still not much here. Your great aunt Velma also happens to be my grandmother. The picture in the post is of her and Virgil (papaw) the day they married. Yes Susan and Julie are teaching still, but I expect Susan to retire soon. These chickens are strictly for hatching eggs. Cobb has a hatchery in Monticello and the eggs are transported there and hatched or sold all over the world. Please comment often!

    Wondered if any of the longtime readers had lost me since I took a little break. Glad to know your still reading. Think about it long and hard before you make the leap on the hog barn. Once your in you don’t have much choice but keep your nose to the grindstone and make it happen. Keep me posted on how your doing. Thanks for the comment!

  8. Farm Blogs Says:

    I am enjoying your posts. It was really nice to read the way you honored your grandparents. My grandpa was the one who made me catch the farming bug with his stories of growing up on the farm when I was a kid. Keep blogging and telling those those farm stories. People are hungry for them.

  9. admin Says:

    Farm Blogs,
    Thanks for the comment! Hope you’ll be a regular!

  10. Jim Says:

    a thats what he was telling me once you got them your stuck with them lol. ya im still reading.looks like your tractor got way to hot. im glad to see your still farming. im on face book now too and got rid of the web site was too much to keep up with the truck the farm the web site and m dr appts after the wreck. well good luck glad bjs doing so well as well.

  11. Mike Says:

    Still admiring your trailer with stock rack. Wondering how much it costs and if your ready to sell it to get the stock trailer your wanting?

  12. Robert Says:

    A great blog ! Stumbled on it at the Mahindra website while looking for implements for our 3015 HST. We\’re in the California Sierra Nevada foothills and working a 20 acre former sheep-ranch for the last 7 years. Currently we only have 4 dogs, two cats and 3 horses… but the tractor has been invaluable for digging fence-posts, leveling some of the hilly terrain, and pulling trailer loads of firewood. HOPING to get some chickens started this spring.

    Hope your Mrs feels better and the kids keep doing well.

  13. admin Says:

    I paid a little over $2000 for the trailer and an extra $750 for the racks. I got some options that added a little to the price so I’m sure you could get it down a little. Now I’m looking for a horse trailer for Mattie, but I’m planning to keep the utility trailer for hauling square hay. Thanks for reading and for the comment!

    Thanks for comment! I love the 3316 HST. I started looking at the 3015 and watched it evolve to the 3215 then the 3316 before finally pulling the trigger. NO REGRETS!
    You planning on buying day old chicks or trying to find pullets? I used to love raising the day old chicks. Most of the time we bought ours from Murray McMurray Hatchery.
    I hear the Sierras are beautiful. You should start a flickr page so we can all see some pics from out there. Strangely enough it has always been my dream to live on a true homestead somewhere in the middle of nowhere! Not sure how I ended up farming, but I like it too. Maybe when I retire I’ll start a homestead somewhere.
    Check back soon!

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