Things have been hectic lately. Kim is such an integral part of this farm! He got double pneumonia, spent nearly a week in the hospital, then couldn't work for several more days. He came back on light duty last week, but it was obvious that he couldn't work more than a couple of hours, then had to go home to rest. Thank goodness for Jake, a high school senior who was here every morning at 5:30 before school, to fill in for Kim in the dairy barn.
Little by little, Kim has been training Clay to do more of the work around here. Clay is really shining! He is even moving the cows from paddock to paddock now. He is also doing nearly all of my picking from the garden since Androo left. And he is picking up more duties in the greenhouse. Clay has really blossomed in his seven years here at the farm.
Goldie's three chicks are learning to go to the Moop to sleep at night. Of course, they need a little help. I put them in a tote with a lid when they bed down in the water tank in the old barn, then haul them to the Moop. Night before last, it was a little too light when Clay and I moved them, and they jumped back out of the Moop. I thought I would have to start the procedure over, but lo and behold I saw one of them jump into the Moop. I checked in the back of it, and there they were, all three of them hunkered down on the floor.
Last night, I carried them to the Moop in the tote, lifted them out one by one and set them on a roost, and they stayed! Hopefully soon they will be completely integrated into the bigger flock. I am pretty sure that Little Susie is properly named and is a pullet. The other two are a breed I am not used to, and it is a crap shoot. I can hope for some hens out of the six chicks that were born here this year. The three that hatched on June 2 should be starting to lay within a few weeks if they are pullets. I have not heard any of them crowing, so I can hope! I'm looking for those first small pullet eggs. In the chicken world, the boys are not so valuable. And since I can't bear to butcher them, I will have to sell them. I already have four roosters, and that is about enough for the size of my flock.
The calves are growing! Scrappy was born in February and is quite big. Big Ben was always big from day one, and he is keeping up with Scrappy. Eddie is a little smaller, and of course Lily is the smallest, a beautiful heifer born the latest.
My business at both Purple Porch and the South Bend Farmers Market are thriving this year in spite of the poor production in the garden. I'm still selling frozen pork from the pig project. So all in all, receipts are up quite a bit from last year. Every little bit counts!
Farming is hard work, but the rewards are great.