Thursday, September 29, 2011

Off to butcher

These guys went off to butcher today. I had to work and couldn't be there, but LJ promised to take lots of pics. We've really enjoyed having these guys around over the last few months, and feel that we gave them a pretty good life. They had woods to root and play and sleep in, a muddy wallow that LJ dug for them (which they enjoyed immensely), and lots of sunshine and treats. We've already grass seeded the area around the wallow that they had reduced to dirt, and the pigs have trampled in the seed over the last couple days. I'm sad to see them go, but I'm also looking forward to ham, bacon, tenderloin, and more from pigs that had a happy life. :)

The mobile slaughter guy came out to the house this morning. He was apparently really impressed with our pig pen (about 1/3 acre or so of woods) where they could root and frolic (yes, pigs really do frolic). He said it really showed in the pork, and that for such large pigs (Pretty sure they were well over 300lbs), they were tight and lean and not as fatty as he'd expect them to be at that size. Best part? He said that they were probably the best hogs he'd done all year! :) How cool is that?! Considering that this guy was booked nearly a month out when we called to make a slaughter appt. and was recommended by our butcher, I'm going to take that as a big fat compliment. Woohoo! Can't wait to get the meat back from the butcher!

I'll see what sort of pics LJ got, and try to post on the slaughter process this weekend.

Hope everyone's having a great week!

Monday, September 26, 2011

I'm gonna miss (most of) our turkeys

They are such handsome (stinky) boys. Friendly birds, they always have an eye on us when we're outside, and they come struttin up when we go out to the pen. They make all sorts of interesting sounds/calls, and will gobble back at you if you gobble at them. I especially like hearing them drum. Silly showoff boys. While I'm probably gonna jump up and down, applaud, AND cheer when the heritage birds go in the freezer (stupid, getting out all the time, breaking the chicken run heritage jerks), I'm going to be sad when we butcher the broad breasted boys.

Aren't they handsome?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Sneaky sneaky chickens

Little Goldy, cornered outside the pen. Dunderhead the rooster looks on, waiting to attack me for daring to harass one of his ladies.

So, we have two habitual escapees. An ameraucana and a maran. They jump the fence (4' netting, with both their wings clipped). The maran isn't as graceful as my little goldy ameraucana, and often fails to completely clear the fence... Her feet catch, and she somersaults over... And lands on her head. One big ball of feathery coordination.

One of the buffs likes to lay an egg each day under the ferns in their pen, instead of the nest boxes. So, we figured it might be a good idea to look around and see whether the escapees were doing the same. Oh yeah. They were. We found the ameraucana nest, with two pretty little green eggs in it. The maran nest was well hidden under ferns and blackberries. It is pretty deep, and she'd taken the time to line it with feathers and leaves. In her nest, we found a DOZEN eggs. I think she knew we'd found her secret hidey hole, because today, her egg was way on the other side of the yard... In the ameraucana's nest. :) Sneaky sneaky chicken...

The maran's nest

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Still alive, and goats are GONE!!

Lana, I'm still alive, and appreciate your concern. :)

Goats are gone gone gone. We got rid of Lyle about a month and a half ago, as he kept jumping the fence. Annnnnd, he ate a couple of my fruit trees. Just about a week ago, Cletus, my favorite goat, learned that he could walk over the electric netting. Then he taught the other three his neat trick. $200 worth of new fruit trees were destroyed. $&@&&$@!!!!! Very very angry owners. Like, "can we just shoot them" angry. So, I posted free goats on craigslist tonight. Within 1 hr of posting, they were gone. A nice gal about 10 minutes from us came and took them. She's a local 4H leader, and definitely knew her stuff.

The goats did a great job for us. They could clear 1/3 acre of brush and blackberries in less than 10 days. I'd rather have my fruit trees, though we're gonna have to pull out 7-10 trees and replant. :(

Problem animals don't have a place here. We're probably gonna butcher the two heritage turkeys tomorrow for that very reason. Though their wings are clipped, they keep getting on the chicken run, and have collapsed a couple sections. It's all a learning experience, eh?

Anyhoo, still lots of work to do. Will try to check in. Gotta tell about bird butchering, pig butchering (soon), eggs, garden, and more. Hope everyone is doing well!