Thursday, October 17, 2013

A bit of an update...

After being here for 10 months, I have now got my oven hooked up and working. It is a real novelty to be able to bake a batch of bikkies in 1 go, rather than over 3 bakings in my little George Foreman benchtop oven.

 Around the farm it is very dry and hot, as it is everywhere at the moment. What happened to Spring? I think we've had about 65mm of rain since about April...I hope this dry spell breaks soon. There is still feed for the cattle, but it is very dry. We are supplementing their feed with molasses and fortifier every couple of days to try and keep the nutrients up to them. So far they are managing to keep their weight on, even though we have 7 ring in steers from other properties over here at the moment. We are waiting to get our laneways built to our yards so we can round them up. Most of ours will go in to the yards for molasses, but we have 4 stubborn ones and the ring ins won't go in either, so we need the laneway to force them in so we can get their owners to come and get them.
Doughboy is happy with his girls, he is such a lovely bull, so gentle and docile, a great bull for first time bull owners like us, hopefully he throws that trait to his progeny, not sure if any girls are in calf, we are hoping so..
 One happy girl hanging out by the chickens
 Hertie Gertie is pretty happy also
The guinea fowl think they own the place, they boss all of the chickens around
I am rebuilding my chicken stocks at this point. I have 17 babies in the chook tractor, they are all about 6-7 weeks old now and off the brooder light. There are polish, marans, blue leghorns and a couple of araucanas. The roosters have been easy to spot for about 4 weeks now, they have such obvious comb and wattle development. The maran boy is also easy to spot by his black feathers over brown.
 At the front here are the maran girls, and then there are the polish and leghorns as well. There is also a lovely brown coloured leghorn as well, who should grow up really pretty.
 At the front here again are the maran girls, you can see they don't have the comb development, and they don't have the heavy black feathering like the boy.
 And these are the polish chicks, I have been wanting some of these for a long time as well, they are just adorable and they are getting very fluffy crests.
Here is Mr Neurotic, he has claimed the rhode island red girls as his own, the other 2 roosters even though they are twice his size don't get a look in.I bought 6 of these girls sight unseen as first year layers - free range - and when they arrived they were so bedraggled looking, feathers missing everywhere, and they really smelt bad. I dusted them straight away for mites, and they are due to be wormed again. I'm just not sure on the ethics of the lady I got them from, I have a feeling they may have come from an egg farm, their beaks seem shorter than average as well, they don't seem to have the sharp point that most chickens have on the end of their beaks, so I am really suss that they were free range at all, so I won't be buying any more from that particular breeder again. At least they do get to be true "free range" girls here and I hope by the end of their first year here that they will look nice and healthy.
 This is the rhode island red rooster I got with the RIR girls, he is a lovely quiet rooster as well. I do make a point of handling my roosters a LOT, I try to make sure I always pick them up and give them cuddles, so that they get used to be being around, I have managed to not have a nasty rooster yet, but I am sure it will happen at some stage.
  This is the sussex rooster, he is a beautiful looking boy, he doesn't really like handling much yet, but I still make sure I pick him up whenever I can
 Here are some of my 8 teenage chickens, I have 2 plymouth rocks, 4 sussex and 2 australorps. They are about 3 months old. They spend most of their days hiding behind the water tanks away from the harassment of the guinea fowls, they just will not let up on these little ones.
I only have 4 guinea fowl at the moment, and I am sure only 1 of them is a girl, so I do need to restock on those soon as well, even though they can be a real pain in the backside to the chooks, they do have really good merits so I definitely want to keep them around. I still can't branch out to ducks and geese though, but I am sure I will get there soon. 
And these are 4 of the ring in steers that I discovered 2 days ago. They don't have any ear tags and I can't get close enough to see if they have a brand, so we will have to wait until we get them in to the yards.The buffalo flies are starting to hang around the cattle again, so we need to get them some insecticidal ear tags to get on top of that before they start to get too bad.
Our house in Brissie is just about ready for the market, we hope to have it put on by the end of next week if poss. It will be nice to be able to just settle and not be back and forth all of the time, even if I am still not sure where I want to be. Most of my new veggies died in the heat while I was away, even though they were flooded with water once a week and mulched heavily, so back to the drawing board there :/ ....again... Anyway, that's the update for now, crossing my fingers for some rain soon, our dam is starting to get a bit  low. We still have water in our tanks, but some rain to refill soon would be great....

How are you coping with no rain? Have you still got enough water/feed for stock?

1 comment:

  1. Hey deb, just catching up on your blog, must have missed a few posts at some stage! Great to seeyou restocking your chickens. Yep it is dry, hate this time of year. My garden survives, just, with shade cloth overhead and lots of cow poo spread around. You will feel so much more settled when your other place sells. Cheers, liz