Saturday, April 24, 2010

Increasing the Herd

top bar beehive art cow
Got a couple black and whites that we added to the milk herd.
top bar hive cow art beeOooo, looks like that one has some Vermont genetics.
top bar beehive cow art honey
Yup. Any guesses what they are?

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Piglets and Dragon Head Fish

I am the proud daddy of 9 piglets! Not really, but I did AI the mum, and was proud to see a healthy litter. They are my grandmother's pigs. She is quite happy with them. They look cute. I have dibs out of each litter. We have really good sow lines, and I want to keep the best to carry on.

I got one hour of work in on the house today. I spent most of that trying to find the two foot square- finally I took every tool out of my equipment trailer, reorganized it. I think it was misplaced when we were all working on the house last time. I haven't had any other projects so that is all I can think of. Anyways, moved the boom, and Friday finishing that wall.

Went to Boston for a day trip over the weekend. Best friend N and his gf hung out with me for the day. We walked everywhere. We had a blast. I bought some dragon head fish for us to try. I opened the pack in their car- and it smelled to the high heavens. No one tried it. I brought it to work today and J. took it. She said she loved it. I tried a piece. It smells odd, but is crunchy and flavorful. We demonize foods to quickly if they don't fit into our cultural norms.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spring Spring Go Away- Come Back Another Day

I am not ready for spring. I am behind with work, and trying to get caught up during my mornings and my weekend day. The baby chicks are no longer baby chicks, and now completely utilize the barn stall. They need space- but do to a barn cat my wife loves..... Solution- I am going to quickly put up a portion of the tomato house from last year for the chickens. Then cut through the wall between the two barn stalls and give the pullets both stalls. Problem one done.

Problem two- not going to have time to cut out brush along field before everything leafs out. Solution- Wait until leaves fall year.

Problem three- Need to work on that house project.

I did get into two hives on Saturday before we headed down to CT for a wedding. I smelled like smoke for a pleasant four hour drive. My hive is doing wonderfully. Full of bees, plenty of brood started, a lot of pollen stores, and tons of honey in the two deeps, and an almost completely full medium super. I am going to take the medium off when I get my new bees and give them a head start with it. I reversed the brood box on my hive. Then went over to neighbor's house and checked out his hive. His is also strong- Italians. I had a mixed hive, but a Carniolan Queen. I reversed his. He had a lot of burr comb. It took a while to pry apart the two deeps.

Baby bunnies galore. Need to keep breeding them. Rabbits are getting into a better/more humane/loving settup. I am glad I tried the community pen, and will revert back to that later.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Dude, what the hay?

We belittle animals way too often. As much as I think I get my cows, and understand what they want- I can't help but realize how often I just get it wrong. I went up overhead to the hay loft for a bale. I had been grabbing nice big bales, but the cows have been picking through them. They hay was pretty good. I grabbed a smaller bale that had a lot of fine grass in it, and the cows started inhaling the new hay.

Well Duh! If you sat down for dinner what would you prefer? A small plate of something delectable or a large bowl of something acceptable? Why the heck would we think any different for our animals?

Now with that said, we're feeding our animals what they should eat. Rabbits get hay, and grains (without distiller's biproducts mind you!) pigs get whey, soured milk, grain and whatever, chickens get grain, compost pile and 15 acres of field, but why are we farmers stuck into this silly mentality that it is good to give a lot to the animals?

I was just grabbing big bales because I thought they'd like to eat more. But in the end the cows are like me. They'll eat a lot, but they want to eat a lot of what's good.

Now with that said we're short on hay so they are getting whatever I throw down, but I would just like to note that I do not think that they really are any different than me in a lot of ways.