Friday, January 4, 2013

Getting ready for winter breeding

Lots of changes around here this week! Let's recap:
Processed a few more turkeys, all toms not needed for breeding. These toms look excellent! All consistently large with good fat content. We have a few more to go before we retire the processing equipment for the winter. Some turkeys will be available for sale through the winter as frozen.
To facilitate processing we finally put a real shelter over the equipment creating a mostly closed area. Even have a little propane camp heater to warm up by! This makes the experience much more comfortable. I remember three years ago learning how to do this on a card table in the freezing rain. How far we have come!
The turkey numbers are now small enough to fill only one turkey breeder coop. That frees up another coop. We have split the next chicken flock into his and hers living quarters. These chickens were getting much too big to all fit in one! There are 270 or so birds total. Now the hens can mature into laying hens and the boys can fatten up for heritage meat chickens using our soy free broiler chicken ration. These will be our first meat chickens for sale.
We also moved the ducks into the old pig pen. They are easier to protect from predators here, and mostly will stop escaping the pasture and ruining our back yard! Ducks wreck havoc on lawn grass! The smaller area can be lighted so egg production will climb again. Also this area is destined to be next years garden so what the ducks leave behind will be gold to the plants!
Next steps are adding lighting to turkey coop, chicken coop, and duck pen to get egg production going. Also we still need to design some laying boxes for these new pens and get the solar winch rebuilt and working.
Never a dull moment!

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