Manu slept the night in his little tin house. He had two bales of dry golden straw in there and has made himself a big warm bed.
This is a rather awkward image but if you look carefully you will see that Manu has a little cat out there in the field. It wandered in under the electric fence and began to share his bowl for a moment.
Molly – up to her usual welcoming tricks. This breed are such jumpers.
Again with this chook. She loves to sit with this tree. In a flock there are always a few who do not fit in. They stay on the perimeters of the group. Safe from the bullying.
The ducks are still winning as the most efficient producers of income on the property. Since I fixed their gate and make sure to wait until at least 7.30 before releasing them I routinely collect fifteen eggs a day. The eggs sell for 50 cents each. Their feed costs a maximum of $8 a week.
If they keep laying right through winter as advertised then they will make a significant contribution.
I need to put ‘Drive Slowly’ signs up as they are a bit of a menace in traffic. They think that the vehicle is herding them and slowly waddle in front of the trucks as they drive into the yard.
Both little herds of cows have a new bale of hay each. So, happy silent munching reigns for a while now.
And we are all set up for another week.
And ahead of the incoming weather which is looking wintry for a day or so. I will be closing up the North doors against this wind they are forecasting.
Oh, and ‘feedback’? I don’t think I get enough. I think working alone makes improvement difficult. So don’t be shy. I need to learn to seek and accept criticism and direction better. So I can do better.
I hope you have a good day.
Here in eastern Iowa we are supposed to get 7-8 inches of snow and lots of blowing. Hopefully you are warmer than that!
We won’t be getting anything like that. Only a little snow and lots of wind. I hope you are all stocked up!!
I am so happy that the ducks are doing well for you! They look great, what are your plans on cycling in terms of age and such for keeping new layers coming in, along with running the older flock? I find that my ducks are so much more welcoming to newcomers then the hens are. However I work with a different breed then you have so I will be interested to see how you find it goes?
Yes – we will see. I am going to start the next tier in the spring and am hoping they will flock together. I don’t think I need to think about culling for a few years yet.
I keep a year round breeding flock of Muscovey’s which lay a lot more then most folks think or I have just breed that in to them by selection pressure over the past 14 years. I did have Appleyard(poor layers) and Swede’ (excellent layers) but poor meat birds. I keep my hens for years with great return yields.. I hope the same for you 🙂
I hope so too!
I watch your breeding programs every year and am thinking about it. I am not sure these Khaki’s are sitters. We will see. But in the interim I will buy more – they pay off the chick price very fast.
Oh yes, we’re all SO well placed to offer you constructive criticism 🙂 I think most of us are totally lost in admiration for how you go about your days and for the well fed, healthy and fulfilling lives your animals lead. I’d like to evolve into a Grumpy Old Pet Pig on the Farmy, please… I think you’re good at giving animals a chance before you decide against them. The ducks are a case in point, you weren’t too sure about them at the beginning when they were so nervous, but you persisted and now look at them!
Yes. I actually offered to GIVE them away at one point. They have certainly met my initial expectations- my planning stage expectations anyway
well said Kate! I agree!
Or does that make it “me three”?
You know Celi it’s so interesting how every farm I know about does things so differently , yet each one is running the way it needs to for that space, those people and those specific animals. I think that as farmers, as long as we are open to trying whatever we can think of to solve a problem, it doesn’t have to be solved the same way for everyone. And honest to gosh, some years the same fix for an issue will not work for the very same thing. It’s ahead scratcher for sure, and I think you are an amazing problem solver!
This is true. And there is always a problem to solve.
Yeah my only criticism is that you are too far away for me to visit and come help you – or just get in the way😁 we had a good thunderstorm earlier and now a nice steady soft rain , what a relief. Laura
Nice steady wetting rain after a long period of dry sure would be a great relief.
I absolutely agree with @katechiconi and @RuitFarmNorth!!!! Who would criticize?? You are so thoughtful of your land and animals. I have a deep admiration for what you do and how you do it!!
Thank you Michelle. Though working in such an isolated field I sometimes wonder what I am missing. What would I do without you all though- honestly.
The colours in your photographs today are simply stunning. That light is a photographers dream.
Yes. That low light through grey cloud does allow any colour to pop out.
I think we all agree that you are such a great carer of your land and the animals are thriving under your thoughtfulness –
Here’s your feedback. Not one single photo of Jude? Hmph!
I hope the ducks continue to lay and produce good income for the farmy. It would be lovely for you to have a crop that isn’t completely seasonal!
I will stalk him today – he is always right at my ankle!
Jude needs his own calendar! 😊
I think you do an admirable job. You do need to make sure everyone contributes to the farm however. Jude will grow big and eat lots, so unless you can teach him to tap dance, would you consider sending him back to the foster hobby farm once he is bigger and can defend himself? Sheila and Wai already reign as resident pigs. Farmery people don’t get upset. Just an observation.
Yes. A good observation too. I hope Jude can go back to that farm when he is bigger. Maybe in the spring.
I have never had ducks eggs; I would like to try some someday.
Haha I think the ducks are their own Drive Slowly sign! Common courtesy -and common sense- to slow down on a private road. You are very good at what you do. You assess, plan, adapt, test, apply, problem solve, and work with minimal staff and infrastructure. Some farming operations simply throw money about with a view to economies of scale and fiscal returns. You farm ethically with care on a shoestring and then look practically to fiscal and non fiscal returns both. That is a lot harder to do. You utilise well every option you have to hand via diversification ie the Air BNB, gardens, eggs, etc plus you do your own marketing, social media and networking, you source inputs such as feed and seller markets for your outputs. My feedback… You Celi, are the teacher. You could go further with teaching other people how to do what you do. You already teach the helpers and woofers. You are committed and passionate about what you do, and generously share via your blog. Maybe some field days, workshops and speaking engagements?
That’s beautiful light!
I have to confess that we had paella on the beach and watched the sun come down over the Mediterranean …but we did keep pinching ourselves, not taking good fortune for granted.
I hope you are black and blue!! Not really- because I hope to be there one day – eating paella right there by the med.
Ha ha – I’m still pinching myself looking at the photographs!
Life can be glorious. You have it right.
Is the cat one of your regular barn cats or did Manu adopt a new one? 😄 It’s nice to have a friend to share a warm bed on a cold night.
It is a new one. He lives in the cottage on the West Side.
When I read your posts…..I worry you’ll burn out. Remember you are allowed to say no, allowed to make decisions that will give you more longevity, allowed to leave the superwoman cape in the closet some days. 😊
I think you are right. About the burn-out.
This is my underlying question as well. Be gentle to yourself at times. You are kind to so many and need to refill your own deep reserves to continue your kindness.
I had to laugh at your ducks being herded – my neighbor has a flock of Runner ducks and she cannot let them free range after a rain when it’s warm out. They discovered that the worms come out on the pavement then and they march in a line right down the road, stopping whatever traffic there may be. I think you do marvelously well keeping all the balls in the air. My main interest is the livestock and the best livestock keepers are those who pay attention. There is so much to be learned about caring for animals simply by watching and reading them and then following through on what works best for them, not so much what would be more convenient for you and from everything I’ve seen that’s what you do.
I agree – often the answer is not convenient!
I am wondering how the ducks survive the deepest of winter. Any concerns there? Beautiful photos today. Love the colors in the hay. Looks healthy!
Just the same as the chickens I guess. They are out sitting on the icy snow covered ground at this moment. Scorning the inside of the barn.
44.50$ every week from duck eggs? AWESOME!! How’s that for feedback, lol
Wonderful photos …smart kitty and chicken 🙂 You work so hard Celi .. my suggestion would be, to have some you time!
Every day is ME time!