We wanted to take the time to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. We would also like to thank all who have supported us throughout the year. We truly appreciate our customers and try our very best to produce quality produce and meats.
We are looking forward to next year as we have big plans. We plan on more corn and chickens and we will be moving the beans and pumpkins closer to the house to save them from the animals. Our beef herd in growing and with the introduction of the Lowlines, we are looking for great things in the future from our herd. We will be farrowing our own piglets next year, 6 litters, hopefully in April/May. Our layers should be taking off in March. Our 18 starters are laying steady right now and our 100 new birds have grown very well. I just finished their hoop house and am ready to move them in this weekend. We should be laying full capacity in May. I am expecting about 7-8 dozen a day, but am not positive of the ratio of hens laying each day. At any rate, we should have lots of eggs! I am hoping to find a good early corn (I have yet to find one in the last 5 years) so we can get an early start to the sweet corn. We will have the Harris 1001 for sure as we were very pleased with it (and so were our customers). Meat chickens will return in May- probably just before Memorial Day in case anyone wants to barbeque!
I have a couple fence projects to finish up in the early spring and will be seeding a couple fields down so we will have more pasture. We will also be building the mobile hen house in the spring to get our girls out on the grass this summer.
Yesterday I began to put up a new hoop house for our 100 up and coming layers. The hoops and plastic are up. Now we just need to reinforce the bottom to keep out predators and put a front on. Next weekend I should be finished and have the chickens in just after Christmas. Our pigs are still enjoying the weather outside. The cows are outside as much as in. They have taken to the new arrivals very well. The 100 layers should begin laying in about a month or so. The hoop house should make a great wintering area for them until the spring when we can get them out on pasture.
Things are winding down for the year. We delivered our pigs to the processor 2 weeks ago. We will be taking the "three that got away" tomorrow and then our feeder pigs will be gone. We have 5 more feeders to finish off in Feb. That will be it for the year of hogs. We are hoping to breed 5 sows/gilts to farrow next spring/summer.
Our steers will be going in January then our harvest year will be complete.
The barn project is winding down as well. I just have a little block work to finish, then we will be done with that. I must say, the barn is working out nicely. We have been able to catch our animals to work them without much problem. The breeding process has been going well. I have bred 6 of our animals with 5 left. Starting next week, I will get to see if I got them or missed. If they come back into a heat, I will have to try again.
The chickens will be getting a new home this weekend as well. I began their hoop house last Sunday but ran out of daylight. I should be able to get to it today. This house will be able to comfortably host our 100 up and coming layers for the winter until next spring when we can get them out onto the pasture.
We are also going to get our Christmas Tree today. We will be going to Sanford's Trees in Youngsville. It is great to be able to support local businesses at this time of year. One of my reasons for refusing the use of an artificial tree. The Sanfords work all year to provide some beautiful trees for us. It is only fitting we help them out during their harvest. I would encourage everyone to support a local grower during this holiday season.