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Old 10-25-2012, 06:26 AM   #40
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Re: Farming/Homesteading October Chat Thread

Originally Posted by missc View Post
(first, let me apologize for this long, drawn out answer!!) We haven't raised meat chickens yet, it was on the list but for a few years we were stopping by our property 2x/day for feeding and then with building this past year, there just hasn't been time! (do you have any tips for butchering? we need to butcher some stewing hens, 2 ducks, and 3 turkeys soon!)
This is the 2nd year trying turkeys. Our first year, last year, we had 6 poults and 12 chicks and something (I think a combination of a raccoon and neighborhood dog) came by and got all of them. We decided we couldn't have any more babies out here until we were living here or had something to keep predators away. We looked at electric fencing, but we didn't have electricity, lol.
Sorry, I got totally off topic! We have 5 Bourbon Red turkeys, 2 toms and 3 hens. They are ok; I can't figure out if they are just super curious or stupid or both. My daughters have to carry sticks outside when they play because they get a little too close, and their gobble gobble peckpeck is a bit intimidating. They are memory makers; when we first moved out here they would peek in our windows in the morning or roost on our vehicles. Lately they've gotten a bit territorial against wild turkeys that come across our land - its hilarious to watch! I'm sure we aren't raising them to be the most efficient meat animals, I don't really have many tips on that as ours are 100% free range, but it's been fun and I can't wait for Thanksgiving!
Oh my goodness, I want a milk cow so bad! Maybe when ds is a little older. The transition from 2-3 was actually ok, he was such a good baby...(he still is, but I'd love for him to sleep through the night like his sisters did!) How did your garden go this year? I want to garden, but the only year I've done all right was the first year I tried! I got the Vegetable Gardeners Bible last year for Christmas and am reading it to prep for this year. I love that book!
I totally need to borrow your motto, if that's ok I tend to throw new things in with eachother and see what come out on top
Thanks for the kind words about OTs, I really enjoy it. I worked private peds therapy for while, and good for you for seeking out programs and outpatient for your son! Are you doing ok with the constraint induced? I bet it's hard to watch
Do you have an EZ-Plucker? If I were going to butcher chickens/turkies consistently I would look into owning or borrowing/renting one. That would be my tip! haha. Hand plucking can be a little tedious (getting all the tiny feathers off, that is). No clue about turkies, but I imagine you'd have to have a very large pot to dunk those into! Some ladies on here use the cone method, others the axe. We just cut off the head. We only did a few ourselves and then took the rest to a poultry butchering place near us (a Mennonite couple own it and use the cone method and are very clean). They only charge 2.25 to butcher, process, and bag it and since DH was busy with crops during that time, we felt it was worth it! We butcher our cow ourselves and DH prefers that to butchering chickens. haha.
I had to laugh at the image of a sweet little girl beating a giant turkey off with a big stick! We were too worried about barn cats and the like getting our meaties so we had a portable pen we moved 2x a day. Plus the Cornish X are sooo stupid and need protection from the rainand everything. Next year I want to switch to Freedom Rangers (a more "normal" meat bird). I hear they are much heartier.
How wonderful you will feel at Thanksgiving! I'm jealous in a nice way!

Yes, our milk cows are very nice to have (we have 2 jerseys right now and one just had a heifer). This year was the year of learning how to make dairy products! (that was my new to-do this year. ) It's nice to have an unlimited supply of butter, buttermilk, yogurt, sour cream,, mozzerella, and milk. Cows are amazing. I wish DH would let me start milking once a day (and he the other time), but he wants to wait to teach me until our youngest is 3 yrs. old (then all the kids could wait in the milk parlor... DH used to have a bunch of dairy cows, but sold most and upped the number of angus... anyway, so we have a dairy barn). Now the issue is figuring out if she'll be our last baby so I know if in another 2 years I'll get to help! It's his bribe to me to lean me over to the "being done" stage. haha.

Garden did better than last year, but definitely could use improvement (which was the goal). We went on vacation during the hottest/dryest) spell of the year and our green bean plants died a terrible death. I didn't manage to can much of them. We are fairly basic in our garden (nothing exotic). Tomatoes, bell peppers, zucchini, cucumbers, rhubarb, some strawberries, beans, corn, etc. I was able to can tons of zucchini, tomatoes, and then peaches/apples from the orchard near us... next year, I need to improve on green beans (the kids eat tons of them), pumpkins, and potatoes.

Constraint is intense. When we go back to regular OT, Aquatic therapy, and gymnastics it will feel like a vacation! And yes, it is kind of hard to see and so much work. He was my traumatic homebirth and thus injury and this time (esp. last week) triggered a lot of emotions for me. The other 3 were c-sections and they are all healthy and I feel so blessed by that! We go to one children's hospital for therapies and another for his specialists. We are blessed to have 2 great places in our state!

I better get. I need to talk to DH about digging out our hog cauldrons to clean for rendering fat into lard before he takes off on the farm for the rest of the day.

Oh, is your house finished? Are you decorating? I imagine that is hard to do with 3 littl ones!

Oh, I Homeschool my oldest as well! He is 5... we use My Father's World. Nice and relaxed! We took a break for this month because RIghty is out of use. The other kids are 4,2-1/2, and 1.
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