There were some questions asked in the comments on my last post, and one was emailed to me, so I thought I would answer them in a new post.
Tina wanted to know why we raise so many chickens. We add to our layers each year. This year we added fewer than most years. Every fall we go out and check to see who is laying and who is not. If they are not laying, they are sold for some one's stew pot. So, every spring we raise up replacements. This year we ordered Rhode Island Reds and a couple of Americaunas. The Americaunas lay green and blue eggs. We like to put at least one of these eggs in each dozen we sell. We try to sell enough eggs to pay for the chicken's feed and the cost of buying new chickens. This way our eggs are free. We raise broilers on pasture every year. They are in movable pens that get moved to fresh ground every day. This way they are getting to eat grass and bugs and they are in the sunshine and fresh air, yet still protected from predators. We are running 4 batches this summer. We just had to add the 4th batch due to a higher volume of orders. We sell many of these and it covers the cost of their feed and the chickens and also lets us have our chickens for free. We like keep enough for ourselves that we can have chicken when we want it and it lasts until we do the first batch of the next year.
Someone who wishes to remain nameless wondered why we dip their beaks in the water. This helps them to know right off where the water is, plus it gives me a chance to count them and make sure we got all of our chicks. If we did hundreds at a time, we would probably not do this. Many of them stand there and take a long drink after I dip their beaks. I think that traveling makes them thirsty. =)
Claudia wanted to know if we were raised on a farm. No, we weren't. Neither one of us were raised on a farm. We were city slickers through and through. We felt that God was leading us in this direction. We got our first laying hens (we shared them with our neighbors) about 10 years ago. Then we got goats about a year later. We got Buttercup, our jersey cow about a year later. When we moved to Ohio from Florida we brought the following with us... 1 dog, 2 cows (Buttercup and her calf), 3 goats, and 4 chickens. =) We felt like the Beverly Hillbillies. =) You can read about our journey to farm life at "Tails" From The Farm
One of our tulips must have survived the freeze. I'll check on it today to see if it bloomed or not.
These next 3 pictures may look like a big mess to you, but it is a HUGE blessing to me. We have friends that live near us. We home church with them and we fellowship with them. Both families that live close have children who like to help and be a blessing. My husband had quite a bit to accomplish last Friday. With the cold snap we were/are having, we needed more wood for our fire and he also had to replace an alternator on our car. Three of the young men from one family and one from the other family came and helped him. They actually showed up because they were bored and just wanted to see if we had anything they could do. In no time at all, they had pulled logs out of the woods, cut them up and then stacked them. While my husband and some of them were working on the wood, another one of them put the alternator on the car. My husband gets so filled with gratitude that it almost overwhelms him. He enjoys their company and we both appreciate their help. They truly bless us greatly.
Here is my sweet man washing the waterer that goes in the brooder. He is such a good care taker of the animals. He spoils them a bit as well. =)