Things are still clucking right along on the farm. Production at Farm 1 has been good and seems like it will hold on until the end of the flock in September. Farm 2 on the other hand just never produced like we had hoped. That’s the tough part of this occupation. You are at the mercy of all those that come before you. The flock at Farm 2 came in as wild as any I’ve ever seen. We couldn’t even go in the houses without chickens flying in every direction. A chicken that’s that upset just never lays up to it’s potential. It’s also a sign of a pullet grower spending very little time with the birds. The biggest complaint I have with Cobb is that they make no effort to instill an internal customer supplier relationship within their growers. If I get birds that are healthy and even tempered, but don’t produce I’ll not complain one bit. On the other hand when folks before me make no effort to make it the best it can be for us all, I want to cry fowl.
Enough of my complaints…the kids are doing fine. Madison has been at basketball camp at The University of The Cumberlands this week. There’s been some discussion about holding her back a grade before middle school to give her time to develop her skills more. She’s really serious about basketball and I’m not particularly against holding her back simply because I think it would give her more time to mature before heading out into the world. Of course it doesn’t hurt that we’re Kentuckians and basketball is awfully important to us here in the bluegrass state. Garett has been in the summer enrichment program at school this year. It’s been a really cool program. The kids have taken trips to Mammoth Cave State Park, The Louisville Slugger Museum, The Belle of Louisville,Â Fort Harrod State Park, and Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill. Â It’s so hard to believe he’ll be heading off to middle school next year. Kaylee has a summer job babysitting my brother Johnny’s son JT. She’s kind of been off the radar lately. She heads to the high school next year to join Katie. I’m disappointed that Katie didn’t attend upward bound this year. It’s such a great program and it gets kids out ofÂ their comfort zone and ready for moving on to college.
The farm is bustling with its usual summer work. Haying is wrapped up til fall. Now we’ve started mowing the weeds in the pastures. We’ve also added a new bred cow to our herd. The rabbits have about 15 little ones that are not so little any more. It will soon be time to decide which road to take with them. I imagine some will go to the freezer, some will sell, and some will be kept for future breeding stock. I’m still looking for more mature rabbits. I have a goat ready to go to the processor, but his wife has fallen ill and it appears it may be a couple weeks before we can get him in. I sold all my male goats right out of the pasture this year. That’s encouraging and I have more goat friendly places fenced so I’m really enthusiastic about adding more goats to the herd. We have also tackled the baby calves again. Although this time around we have had horrible luck. I was able to pick up 6 calves for almost nothing. Now I know why they were so cheap. Doesn’t seem any of them got colostrum. Out of 6 I have only been able to save 2. I never had that kind of luck before. I did try one thing different that I won’t do again. I tried the community pen theory. In my opinion that’s a bad idea. Whatever one calf has they all get. We like the bottle babies so I’ve started building a place to keep 3 at a time. I’m also adding on to the rabbit hutch. When I’m done I’ll have accomidations for 27 rabbits.
As if life isn’t hectic enough around here, the past week and a half has been a real struggle. We had a severe thunderstorm with horendous lightning one evening last week. After it was over we discovered the loud pop we heard during the storm was the well house being hit. Evidently the voltage from the strike ran through the phone lines too. When all was said and done we were out a display board on one controller, an egg belt speed control, the office computer and print/copy/scan/fax machine, the control for the well water treatment pump, and the phones. I know it could have been much worse, but it never makes you happy to see a couple thousandÂ dollars worth of equipment get toasted. The most aggravating part has been finding parts for the Pro Terra Intelligro controller. The local poultry supply folks can’t get Pro Terra parts. I finally found a dealer almostÂ 300 miles away. After over a weeks wait the displayÂ board finally arrived yesterday and I installed it. This is the first time I have regretted not using local people to install my equipment. I saved some money by using out of town folks, but it seems parts and shipping are going to be an issue.
Well I’ve got a ton of work to do so I’ll get at it! Thanks for reading. I hope you enjoyed a peek into farm life! As always check out the pics I’ve added to the Flickr site and Facebook. If you Facebook be sure to add us…just look for Combs Farms! God Bless!