I thought I’d do a quick “farm status” post for those folks who are interested in that aspect of my life. As you may know, this Winter was a rough one. We had temps down to -18 I think was the lowest. Surprisingly, all our animals (three sheep and 18 chickens) pulled through! The worst thing that happened was that the pump in the barn froze pretty much daily which made making sure everyone had enough water a real chore!
It’s amazing when I think how far my life has come. About four years ago, I turned to my husband and told him I wanted to be a farmer. He laughed and chalked it up to one of my fancies. But here I am today, a year into owning livestock and I love it. In fact, on the anniversary of us having chickens for a year (heck yes I’m keeping track of that!) I went out and bought MORE chickens.
I currently have a few types of chickens, namely Buckeyes which are an Ohio Heritage breed. These here are Buff Orpingtons and some “Easter eggers” thrown in for good measure. They’ll lay pink, green, and blue eggs! I know my egg customers will get a kick out of them! This brings our grand total up to 28 after I dispatch the roosters to “freezer camp.”
Unfortunately, after a year of keeping chickens with no issues, this past weekend I had three “chicken issues” come up. One hen was clearly limping, I isolated her and am watching her this week, hoping it’s merely a sprain. Another hen is clearly very um. . . popular with the roosters to the point where she has gashes on her back from their zealous mating. I also isolated her and treated the wound and finally I have decided that I will no longer keep roosters as they are more trouble than they are worth. Out of the three I have, two are mean as hell and you really have to watch your back when you’re in the henhouse, so I’m going to take care of the problem this weekend with the upside being that we won’t have to buy chicken for a few weeks. Sad but true.
I had big, big plans for farming this year, which originally included dairy goats, a large garden, meat birds (chickens and turkeys) and beehives, but my husband and I actually OWE taxes this year for the first time in my life of paying taxes and so a lot of plans got shelved unfortunately. This year the push is more egg layers, which actually end up paying for themselves, and growing a few extra of the things we eat a lot of, veggie wise.
Finally, our big barn clean up is going down this weekend so I’ll have to post pictures of before and after!