Friday, June 7, 2013

Daily Adventures...June 3, 2013

For the last 24 hours, it has rained on and off.   Our rain gauge read 1 1/4" when I emptied it this afternoon.  Yesterday evening it came a gully washer at one point between the constant on and off sprinkles most of the day.  We made the decision to just add feed and let everybody on the pasture stay put.  This way they were able to keep some dry areas.

With the rain, I forgot to gather eggs yesterday.  So today when I went to do my egg collection, I found 7 eggs!  I have been averaging 3 eggs per day for 13 hens.  Not so great.  After talking with our hatchery, we decided to hold back feed.  Our hens are on a diet!  Yep, we're trying to get our fat hens to be skinny hens.  

Let me explain...we are using Freedom Ranger hens that are breed for broilers (meat chickens).  So they convert feed more into meat than eggs.  Once we hold feed back from them and get them to forage more, then they will put more energy into producing eggs instead of producing meat.  It has been working.  I have been getting more eggs, but still not the number that I would like every day.

When we made it out to the pasture this evening, we found 6 chicks out of the electric fence.  We weren't sure how they got out but realized that some of they flew over the fence as we tried rounding up the escapees.  We think some went under the fence.  As the fence was being put up Saturday, it was hard to put the poles in the ground because of how dry the topsoil was.  The rain Sunday and this morning was enough to soften up the topsoil.  This allowed us to push the poles in the ground and block some of the spots that caused the hens to be escapees.

After moving Batch 2 Summer CSA chicks, we realized that the goats would have to be moved.  The goats would have been too close to the pen and would spend most of the day trying to get on top.  In doing this, the goats could easily damage the pen without meaning to...just trying to be goats!  Goats love to climb.  Since we have them chained (for their own safety) we try to make sure they have enough room to roam without getting choked!  This move was for their safety and the pens safety too!

As I said above, Batch 2 Summer CSA chicks were moved today.  This was their first move!  First moves are always the trickiest.  This move was no different...  It took us twice as long as normal with half of the chicks ending up outside the pen after the move.   What happens is the little boogers start moving around, bending down to scratch and peck.  Once they bend down, the pen goes right over them.  They have complete looks of shock when they look up from eating and notice that the pen is gone!

Knox and I started rounding up the chicks.  We had a little help today...Hamp decided to come with us.  I'm not sure if you would say Hamp helps get the chicks rounded up, but at least he getting better at catching the ones that get away from the round up.  We got them in...all safe and sound!

I picked up 1200 lbs of feed today.  This should keep us in feed for the next month or so.  I hate going on a weekly bases to get feed, so I try to get at least a month's worth at a time.  This helps with saving on gas and my time.  It's worked really good for us.  I really wish we had a feed mill closer....   

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