Ruffled Feathers and Spilled Milk

Farming with ducks and dairy goats, chickens and children.

Slimming Down.

Posted on | February 24, 2013 | 8 Comments

Nope.  Not about weight loss.  Surprise, surprise.

But even if we aren’t trimming calories, we are cutting back on the chores.  It’s always fun to have new projects and new additions.  But after a while, you have so many things going on that the daily feeding and watering creeps up from 15-20 minutes to 30-45 minutes.  When you have to stop at the barnyard gate, picturing all the separate pens in your head and reviewing whether or not everyone got grain and fresh water before you can go inside, it’s a real drag.

So it was a relief to let the Welsummer rooster and hens out of the back pen where they’d been confined, laying purebred Welsummer eggs for me.

And Thunder and his Silkie girls got out of their pen, too.  Which is good.  Because one of the hens is no longer laying as she is trying go broody.

Now the Silkies and the Welsummers are back with the rest of the free range flock.  No more need for laying pellets and feed troughs in the big barn.  No more need to rinse and refill water buckets or gravity waterers in pens.  Just one big free ranging flock that gets a few handfuls of scratch each day and has an automatic waterer in the chicken coop.  Easy peasy.

Of course, all that extra effort was worth it.  We set 56 Welsummer eggs and 51 Silkie eggs into the incubators.

Incubators. The ultimate in home decor.  A must-have conversation piece for the dining room.

Chicks are due on March 17th, people.  Easter chicks!

There’s no special care needed in the kidding barn, either.  You remember, of course, that the piglets have been moved to the garden.  Since they managed to turn their pen into this….

….in just 5 days, we moved them to a new spot in the garden.  We also doubled the size of their pen and figured out a way to move it that did not involve loose piglets.  Since they have plenty of fresh forage now, they won’t need any extra feed for a week or so.

Although they greatly enjoyed the scraps I brought home from work yesterday.  Thanks to BF for all the yummies!

I’m bringing some fresh spinach to work for you in exchange for the scraps.  Fair trade.  The system that worked before government subsidies and big agriculture.  What’s old is new again, people!

But the piglets aren’t the only ones out of the kidding barn.  Charlotte and her kid, Cassie, are running with the rest of the goats so we don’t need to feed and water them separately either.   Charlotte turned out to be a completely competent mother—-she doesn’t allow anyone to hassle her kid, she’s a great nurser, and she staked out a nice private, warm, fluffy spot by the hay roll to bed down each night.

Tonight the chores were back down to a manageable 15 minutes.  Which means I’m losing right where it counts.  As a matter of fact my barn BMI looks so good, I believe I’ll have time for $5 movie matinee on Tuesday.

Life is good, people.  Life is good.


8 Responses to “Slimming Down.”

  1. Sandy Livesay
    February 24th, 2013 @ 5:35 pm

    Sounds like you did really good trimming back!

    Love the pictures of all of your critters.

  2. Practical Parsimony
    February 24th, 2013 @ 10:43 pm

    Everyone should be so lucky to have incubators for dining room decor! All the animal pictures are so peaceful.The mama and baby look content.

  3. sherry
    February 25th, 2013 @ 4:45 am

    My feeding and watering chores are even slimmer. My kids do it all. Love the animal pictures as well. Keep up the good blog. I always look forward to reading it. Thanks!

  4. Jill
    February 25th, 2013 @ 5:31 am

    4 cats look pretty manageable now. “Mining” out 4 cat boxes every day is a drag and there are never any cute chicks or kids… I love visiting your farm and reading the blog.. I guess we both have what we can manage… Best to you and yours. And give Charlotte a pat for me. Good mommys are hard to find if you believe the news.

  5. Tanya Lam
    February 25th, 2013 @ 8:05 am

    Grant can’t wait to see the eggs in the incubators

  6. Jocelyn
    February 25th, 2013 @ 9:41 am

    Gollee, but my name should be Charlotte, as your description of her fits me perfectly.

    I’m pretty much in love with every post of yours I read, you know, so I shall stop typing now, lest I creep you out with gushing about eggs and how I love the word “broody” in any context and the way I saw movable pig pens being used as a technique as a kind of field-clearing “plowing” one time.

    See me stopping now?

  7. Rose
    February 25th, 2013 @ 11:49 am

    Your blog almost has me convinced to get pigs again this year. Almost… Maybe…. We’ll see. Good luck with the piggies! Keep up the good work!

  8. brenda jay
    March 21st, 2013 @ 4:00 pm

    wow! I found a diamond 🙂

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