I was watching the heifer feeder calves out the kitchen window this morning. What a bunch of horny bovines! They were out in the yard hovering around the electric fence that divides them from the cows and bull, and the bull was on the other side of the fence. It was like watching a bunch of hormonal teenagers at a Catholic school dance. Bully was ready to put some serious moves on those girls and was getting very frustrated at that darned little piece of electrified wire. The girls were acting a little frustrated themselves, and watching them try to act cute – shaking their heads and their rumps (really just like a school dance!) – was pretty funny. I’m not sure where Holey (the lone steer) figures into the mix, but he was right out there with the girls.
When I looked out a couple of hours later nobody was out there. So they either managed to get past the fence, or they gave up (sounds like Matt’s strategies!). The cows weren’t even laying around the bale feeder. The weather must be getting nastier. It was warm the last couple of days, making a big muddy, slushy mess outside. (Boy our dirt lawn is going to be fun this spring!) Then last night we got freezing rain/slushy snow. Now it’s supposed to get cold again.
Matt and I talked about chickens last night. I think we’re actually pretty much in agreement on what to get and how many. I think we’re going to get somewhere between 30 and 50. If we order straight run, then there should be roughly half and half males and females. We keep the girls for eggs, and eat the boys. That should supply us with chicken every other week. Matt thought maybe we should aim to have chicken once a week, i.e. 52 butchers, but wow! that’s a lot of freezer space. We’ll see. We might hit the auction at Carpenter this Saturday, they have a couple of freezers on.
I can’t believe Matt wants to butcher the chickens himself! After all the times I’ve heard him say he hates chicken because of having to butcher 200 a year growing up. Guess I’m going to learn how to cut up a chicken. Not sure how I feel about that. I was all set to let the Mennonites take care of it for us.
We’re going to start the chicks in my garage. So there, we’re getting something out of the money we spent on the thing! Now if I can just fill the basement with started seed and grow lights next year I’ll feel even a little better about all the cash we forked out.
We also talked about the muscovey ducks. At first he didn’t think it would be worth it. They are rather expensive…$3 to $4 just for hatching eggs. That and up for actual birds. But then he thought about how much he spent on fly control last year between dust bags and bug zappers and decided it might be worth the investment. I need to get him some reading material on them to convince him.
Now we just need to decide when we want our chicks delivered and get going on that order. Also gotta get going on laying out the garden, as well as figuring out what dates to start everything on.