The Farm Must Go On.

Well you will have read all about the losses of our layer flock by now. I’ve read those posts a hundred times before they were published. Until you’re farmer, you can’t begin to understand how it irks me (maybe me a little more than others in a psychotic OCD sort of way) when I fail. When you fail on a farm that means loss of real food for your family or worse loss of a life(or 10). When your making an effort to do this for real and it crosses the threshold from hobby to this manure just got real, things get serious serious quick. 

Part of our little Homestead, It’s usually unexpected.
10 out of 12 birds gone. We collected a maximum of 40 eggs. Figuring low, that’s 320lb of organic chicken feed at $25 per 40lb (Again, figuring low because that’s the lower price for layer ration, not the starter/grower.). So $200 in food. Not to mention building costs, purchase price with shipping(about $50), but worst of all time and anticipation for that first egg. Literally the first chicken laid her first egg about 5 feet from me, got up, walked over, and calmly took my food. Then there were lights and an angel choir, etc. So basically, we paid $250 for 40 eggs(that’s $75 per dozen) and plenty of heartbreak(Remember these were my homechooks. I knew their favorite types of cheese and grapes.) Such is life.

So back on the horse… Errrrr… Hen. We have ordered some new little biddies. We use Meyer Hatchery.(Full disclosure:They didn’t pay me for this or give me anything we just really like them.) Meyer Hatchery has the best price for our quantity and type needs and the most reasonable shipping. They also have a pretty sweet program called the ‘Meyer Meal Maker’. Where if you choose to participate they will send you a chick like the rest you’ve ordered(if you order hens you get a hen the same with meat chickens they would send you a meat chicken). Basically you raise it up and use it to feed another family. You would give them eggs or a harvested bird depending on your order. Meyer Hatchery is also an N.P.I.P or National Poultry Improvement Program certified hatchery. Basically meaning that you can get a health certificate with your new flock saying that they come from a hatchery that submits to disease testing.

Remember to only use the newspaper for the first day or so to avoid developmental issues in the chicks’ legs.

We ordered 7 Black Australorps(pullets), 7 Easter Egger(pullets), an Easter Egger(cockerel), and our Meyer Meal Maker. She is a Red Star or Production Red type chicken, she will be an excellent layer of large brown eggs, and she is the same kind of chook as Miss Henrietta Featherbottom and Ms. Minerva Louise Mcgonagall. Funny enough as the “throw in” she is the most curious, friendly, and quickest to come running when she hears me(I seem to be a walking refrigerator to everything on the farm). So I’m pretty excited.

Make sure to dip their little beaks into the water and food to show them where it is.

We are working on our 2016 goals(all very small and attainable) and I will get them published ASAP. We will go over the goals triumphed and missed this year and add them to next year’s list(it’s the farming roll over plan). Our mission with homesteading is to be more self sufficient, to not have to depend on government and massive conglomerates to sustain us. I know some things we can’t avoid purchasing and we won’t bother. In fact we will stock up(Cottonelle anyone? No?). It would be great to eventually produce all of our own meat, veggies, dairy, and some fruit. Then we could work on being able to produce enough to sustain life other than our own. So we will do our best to meet our goals with that thought in mind. See ya soon!


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