Saturday, August 22, 2009

Chicken Broth

When we say clean food we mean .......... clean food. The picture on the left was taken of two chicken soup broths that I canned exactly the same way but at different times. The grey one on the left is one I canned made from a conventionally grown and processed chicken that I bought at the store. The other on the right side is one I canned from a chicken we grew here on the farm. See the beautiful yellow color. This chicken my husband killed and processed himself. Which would you like to eat? The grey color from the one on the left comes from the rinse water that is soaked up by the meat while being mechanically processed. Can anyone say fecal soup? Yuck!!!!

Baby Turkeys

Well we got baby turkeys! They were born on the 18th of August. She had 13 eggs laid and only 6 hatched. Unfortunately she had her nest on the ground and when they hatched they got out of the nest and the ants got all over them. We lost 4 chicks because they had left the nest and had moved several feet from it and were covered in ants before we found them. Danny came running over to tell me that they were hatching and we gathered them up and put them in a box with a heat lamp after we got all the fire ants off of them. That was very sad and tramatic for all of us. The animals were upset as well. The adult turkeys were surrounding the babies with their wings spread flapping and making alot of noise. One of the barred rock hens was so excited she laid an egg right at the door of the pen. She had never done that before or since the turkey chicks were born. The dogs were even standing still and barking loudly. It was a stressful time for all.
We then made a larger box with hay in it and put chicks and eggs in it. The mother hen was not at all sure she wanted any part of it until she heard the chicks crying. She finally got into the makeshift nest and sat on chicks and eggs both. We let her stay there until the next day and to our amazement she actually hatched another beautiful white chick. At that point we realized we lost two of them. A little brown one was still alive but looked like it was not going to make it. We still had three that looked pretty good, a black one, a brown one and a white one. The brown one died fairly quickly after we moved them to the new box. The black one looked like his eyes were shut swollen from the ant bites. I washed his eyes out a couple times each day with a homemade saline solution and helped him eat and drink every other hour. All of us took turns helping each chick learn how to eat and drink. We separated them from the mother at that point and began to care for them ourselves. I knew the black one would die soon if we didn't get some water and feed down him. He was gaining strength and starting to blink a little bit. I was so proud because I really thought the worst was over for him. On thursday afternoon we found him dead. I am not sure what happened. I was so disappointed.
After all that we ended up with two of the prettiest chicks I have ever seen. The solid white one and a beautiful brown chick. The solid white one is already full of energy. He thinks he can fly out of the pen. You can see that in the middle picture. He is trying to get up high enough to get out. The last picture is him trying to protect both bowls. He doesn't want the other chick to have any. The brown chick finally got tired of trying to get some feed so he just walked off. The white one protects the feed bowl like it only belongs to him. He has "mine" down really good. Just like a small child protecting their toy. If the brown chick get a piece of hay in his mouth the white one runs over there and takes it away. He is not allowed to have anything for him self. I reached my hand in to get the water yesterday and today and the white one is pecking at my hand. It is so funny to watch this little chick....he really thinks he is boss!

Monday, August 10, 2009

New farming Intern....yeah!!

The piglets are one month old now! They are eating grass and veggies. They are just like a bunch of puppies, running, jumping and pushing each other with their snouts. Too cute!

Well the heat is back on! Not as hot as it has been though. We are at 100 degrees but a few weeks ago it was over 103 every day. Some days it was all the way up to 106! I have never worried about the weather as much as I do now. I wouldn't have been able to tell you what the temperature was at any given time. Only to realize it was either too hot or too cold. The weather is such a big concern to a farmer that is always foremost in his or her mind.

We got our first farming intern and his name is Danny. Danny came to us from an organization that promotes internships to learn organic farming methods. The individuals stay on the farm and work for an agreed upon time frame. We provide Danny's room and board for the length of his stay. It is a good agreement for both parties. Danny can learn while working and we can teach while receiving a helping hand. What a blessing! We are really excited to have Danny and hope we can share with him the joys of working with the earth and wonderful fun we have caring for the livestock.