Friday, January 04, 2008

January Newsletter

January Newsletter

Now that I am retired from the USPS I will have time to farm, time to get my business act together, and time to get all the jobs done around here that my Dear Wife Sheryl has seen me put off.

I hope to make at least one entry per month in my blog as way of a newsletter just to keep all of our great customers up to date on what we are doing around here.

Here are some highlights, good and bad.

Last Sept we lost 146 chicks within two weeks of arriving from the hatchery. They were replaced but due to decreased sunlight and lowering temps the new birds are STILL with us.

All of our chicken customers for October are STILL waiting for their birds and by now have probably given up on us. Having the birds for so long I just do not know how they will be for tenderness, it has been entirely too cold to process them as our processing area is outside and open air.

Everyone may have to wait until this spring to get their birds but we will post more after we find the weather and time to process some and try them out. If they are not up to our standards I will not sell them.

Perry the Boar is killing piglets, I just figured that out and really it guess I should say I THINK he is the one doing it. The piglets now over 3 months old have been turning up dead in the new paddock.

I had tried to move them out of the new area which does not have electric fence and into the area (the rest of the farm) that does. All we have had is escapee piglets and many times chasing the little oinkers to get them back in the steel fenced paddock.

We have lost at least 5 in about a week.

Both Olive and Pearl are laying on their babies and killing them.

So I have made a purely business decision: I will take Olive and Pearl to the sausage factory with much regret. I had so wanted to keep both of them until they died here, but their grain cost is just nuts if they are not producing and or are killing their babies. Both girls are 7 or 8 now, so from a business point it is way past time.

Perry will either be sold or turned into boar sausage.

This spring I will travel to buy a new boar and perhaps one or two new sows.

Perry in the meantime will be visited by four sows from two different farms not to mention getting back with the ladies here.

We gave away our ducks, at least most of them, we have about a dozen flying around here now and the rest went to another farm, I just could not kill them.

2008 will see us focus on Pork and chicken, we will do turkeys only for our family and then decide if we want to do them in 09.

Julia from Cedar Meadow has been in touch with a man who says his Bourbon Reds get up over 25 pounds, he claims it is all about genetics, so Julia will be buying eggs from him, hatching them and we will buy some poults from her to see how these work out.

Our Ct Dept of AG Viability Grant work is done except for the final touches on our feed bins, we didn’t realize we had to have a audit done on our receipts etc and have found out it will cost around $200.00 for that. Next time I will figure that in to the grant.

We will apply for a grant again at the end of the year as we want:
To get water lines to all pastures for water spigots
To irrigate all of our pastures
Increase our egg production to 100 dozen per week
Buy two hoop houses, one for the layers and one to start a new project: Mushrooms.
To construct steel fence in a big pasture instead of the electric fence so as to be a “graduation” paddock between the piggery nursery and our normal pastures
To purchase a walk-in cooler so our customers don’t have to be inconvenienced in picking up their orders, and to allow us to hold more sausage and bacon.

Having the new road is the BEST part of the grant, it sure makes life easier for me as does the feed bins, no more trips to Manchester (3 hours out of the day) for 1500 pounds of grain.

We have to ask for an extension for our SARE grant, with lack of help and a full time job last year we never had the time to get the Chill System done, we only hope that the SARE folks will understand and allow us the time to fulfill our promise.

I’ve got lots more to say but time has come to get out side and do chores.

One last thing:





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