Little Farm in the Big Woods

a good kind of crazy...

Thursday, January 23, 2014 1:53 PM

Good grief it has been a wild year so far!  We have been busy, busy, busy!  Of course the new year started out with Frosty having her sweet little boys, but since then, it’s just been non-stop craziness.  

The same day that Frosty had her babies, we butchered our rooster.  We had been thinking about butchering several of our older chickens anyway, and then he started attacking us, so...  off with his head!  We really weren’t sure whether or not we would be able to go through with it, but we all handled the whole process just fine, and had him for dinner the next night!   Since we did so well with him, we went ahead and set a date for the rest of our older chickens.  They were almost two years old, and not laying very well.  We processed all eight of them in about three hours, and now we have a freezer full of chicken.                                                               

We also managed to finally switch the bedding in our chicken coop over from pine shavings to sand.  We’d been wanting to do that for a while, but just hadn’t had the time and opportunity.  The sand is better for a number of reasons, but that’s a post all it’s own.  ;)  Also, since we were so successful in our butchering venture, we ordered thirty-nine day-old chicks to come in February.  Eighteen of them are meat birds, four roosters, three broody hens (to sit on eggs), and the rest are layers.  We are hoping that between the roosters and the broody hens, we’ll be able to hatch some of our own little chicks.  Yay!

In the last post I wrote that we were hopeful that Jessie was pregnant, but unfortunately, the  pregnancy tests came out negative.  So, right now, she is down with a buck again, and we’re hoping that they will get this business taken care of!  So far she doesn’t seem too interested....   :(    I really like Jessie, but I don’t know how much longer we’ll be able to keep her if we can’t get her bred.

We got our little baby goats disbudded (horns removed) and in another week or so we will wether (castrate) them.  They are getting bigger and more playful every day.  We are having so much fun with them, and it’s going to be awfully hard when the time comes to sell them!

Before Disbudding…. immediately after…. five minutes later

Once the babies were two weeks old, we were able to separate the babies at night, and milk Frosty in the morning, so now we have fresh, raw, creamy milk in our refrigerator once again!  

Woohoo!!!  Pretty soon I’m hoping to be able to start collecting cream to make butter and cheese.

I also started canning this month.  I tried it once several years ago and, while it worked, it was not a very satisfying experience.  I think I was just too intimidated by the whole procedure.  I really wanted to have someone teach me, but as the years have gone by, I realized that is just not going to happen.  So, thanks to the internet, and my canning books that I bought way back when, I was able to successfully can some home-made refried beans, and a whole bunch of chicken stock made from one of our own chickens!  I am feeling pretty good right now!

We’ve also been sprouting like crazy and feeding the fresh, green sprouts to the goats and chickens.  We’re sprouting a variety of different seeds, beans and grains, to try to give them as fresh and varied a diet as possible.

Anyway, I know it’s been a while since I’ve written a post, but maybe now you understand why.  I’ve been so busy living our homestead life, that I haven’t had any time left over for writing about it. ;)  I know there are a number of other things that happened in the last couple of weeks, but I can’t even think of everything right now!

I hope you are having a beautiful year so far!  I would love to hear what you’ve been up to.  :)