Sunday, May 1, 2016

Happy May Day

Welcome to May!

First we have a question for all of you.  Does anyone hang Mayday Baskets anymore?  I know Kevin’s relatives remember doing this well into June with June Boxes.  What fun!  

Ready for a farm update?  

The pigs have made a second move in their portable pen.  Now there are 2 crop circles east of the house. To move them, Kevin hooks onto the their hog hut with the tractor and slowly tows it to it's new location.  The fence is attached and follows along with the piglets inside, with assistance from a couple of us spotters.  As soon as the piglets hit new grass, they want to stop and eat.  Kevin thought they would root up the pen area in about a week and then he would move them again.  It’s more like they are rooting it up in hours, but they sure have fun doing it.  They are very impressive excavators.  There is no way this fence will work once they get bigger so Kevin has his thinking cap on for a new fence design for these guys when they move out to the bigger field. 

This was taken this evening.  They just moved to this location yesterday and have really been digging!
All the oats is up and turning the fields green.  Kevin was a bit worried about the hull-less oats rotting with the wet and cold, but it has come up just great.  Now we are just waiting for the last of the frost days before we go ahead and plant the rest of the crops.  The end of May will be real busy, including our inaugural Saturday at the Aitkin Farmers' Market at the Butler Building.  We hope you locals stop by to see us there.

The little goat lads have really gained weight and size.  Beginning last Monday, they spend the night in a big straw-filled crate.  I milk the does in the morning and the kids get the rest.  Vinca and Echo have plenty of that rich milk for them and for us as well.  I’ve already dusted off the cheese kettle (sadly, that is not a metaphor) and made a batch of mozzarella and another of chevre – that soft spreadable goat cheese. Tasty stuff! 

The view from the milking stand - the woods are just getting touched with green
Vinca’s buckling #1 has a name now.  His new owners visited and decided that he is Phillip.  Since he will be a breeding buck, he will be registered as Flowers Ole Lake Phillip.  His brothers, Stewart and David, have a very different future as pets, so they were banded today and will be wethers. 


Things are happening in the chicken world.  The second batch of eggs in the incubator started hatching Friday afternoon.  This hatch resulted in a few more chicks than the last; 17 little fluff balls are installed in the brooder in the Winter Coop.  There are also 2 stragglers in the house that hatched today.  It’s pretty iffy if they will survive; if they do, they will very lucky little birds and I will share that story next week.
There is a little variety to this bunch
One of my hens has gone broody. I relocated her from the hen room to the chick room where she is sitting on 10 eggs and glaring at the gawky chicks from the first hatch.

At 3 1/2 weeks, chicks are just not all that attractive...
Never a dull moment!  Until next time, be well folks.   

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