Since I am a bazillion years behind in my blog posting and I don't know where to start to get caught up again, I will just jump in with this morning!
Today began as usual, with eggs. Our hens are still laying 1-2 dozen per day which our helpful 7 yr old has begun collecting as part of his daily chores.
The table scene at 9am. Although normally at his dad's on the weekend, my teen son is home today for a Scouting event this afternoon. Here he sits reading, Husband and three yr old are discussing a bug on the floor, Farmgirl is snacking on apples, Mr 7 yr old is analyzing a How to Draw Dragons book, and Mr 5 yr old is just hanging around on a chair. Missing from the photo is the baby, who is on my hip ;) , and of course my eldest who, I'm sure, was getting ready for work at her home because, as she will tell you, all she ever does "is work, work, work".
I am cheating with these 2 photos as they were taken a couple days ago. Baby T is a happy, roley poley 6 month old. And how cute is he!?
Good morning, Grendel! Look at all that frost on the deck. The extension cord leads to the chicken coop light.
This rooster was great. He was taking turns crowing with another rooster on the opposite side of the farm. I think they were arguing. "Good morning! This is MY FARM!" they took turns yelling across the land at each other.
It's autumn out there! Shades of brown, and lots of frost.
Good morning Ms. Rabbit.
These adorable tiny buns were all covered up in their mama bunny's fur to keep cozy on this frosty morning. I moved it aside for a quick picture- because I never ever tire of looking at baby bunnies!
The rabbits have been a common topic of conversation around here lately. It's so often said that they are the "perfect homestead meat" because of their ease of care and small space they take up. Those things are mostly true, however, the cost of rabbit feed is getting higher and higher! We pay about $3 more per bag of alfalfa pellets than we did 2 yrs ago. And it wasn't really cheap then... My husband has done the math and determined that the cost of raising pigs and beef cows is quite a bit lower over all than the rabbits. We are able to buy the various feeds for our pigs, sheep, poultry and cattle from neighbors that grow and mix the feeds themselves and we buy them by the ton. However, we are stuck buying our rabbit feed in bags from the store. We do only purchase rabbit feed pellets from Azure Standard as theirs are non-GMO, and we pay $16-$18 per 50lb bag, depending on the cost each particular month. (The regular, GMO pellets from the local feed store cost the same) We go through many bags per month.
Butchering rabbits also takes a lot of time for the amount of meat we get from them. And they're meat is... okay. It's like a chicken breast, just white and not super flavorful. I use the meat mixed into recipes that use plenty of herbs and flavoring- it makes a nice, filling protien, but the flavor is nowhere near the deliciousness of say, lamb or pork chops. Yum.
But enough about rabbits. Look at that cute Highlander calf! He is 3 months old and looks like a teddy bear. His little "moos" are cute, his fluffy face is cute, he is just too cute!
I am feeling dumb about something. Which is normal for us city folk turned homestead bumkins trying to figure out all this small family farming stuff in a world of industrial farming.... I didn't want our calf, Heidi, to have horns. I had some de-horning paste on hand when she was born 10 months ago. Since I felt no lumps, bumps or hard spots the first weeks after her birth I thought that meant she wasn't going to have horns and so I didn't apply the de-horning paste. Well lo and behold several months later, she began growing horns. And here they are. Hmph. Should I have used the paste anyway? On what felt like her normal bare skin? Are these horns normal sized for a 10 month old calf? Should I expect them to grow into big ol' cow horns eventually?
Good morning sheep. Our little flock now consists of 4 un-named females, and Ferdinand, our ram born here in January. Funny story about living in a tiny town- we had our extra ram lamb listed on Craigslist several weeks ago. A nice man came to buy him to add to his flock of ewes he had recently bought from another small sheep farmer in the area. He had wanted to start a flock on his own new little homestead and wanted the ram to be unrelated to the ewes he had already. Well, being that barely anyone lives around here let alone breeds sheep, we all got to talking and figured out that oops, sorry, our ram IS directly related to all his ewes! They all originated in the same place! Oh well. :p
And here is where Teen Son sits now, in his room with his guitar. A fine beginning to any Saturday.
This was some nights ago. The moon was huge, the coyotes were out singing in every direction- a perfect night for s'mores around the campfire! I am so grateful to live this life!