Well it is well and truly time for a “down on the farm update”. So here we go.
It has been a very tough season here on the farm. We haven’t had the rain that we usually do and when we have gotten some it has been too cold for the grass to grow. We have even taken to buying in a little hay to keep the stock going.
We had quite a few pigs and they were doing a great job digging up our paddocks so that my husband could sow them down. Now we have about 6 left after butchering 9 for the freezer. We have 3 breeding sows and 1 boar and 2 more large boars to butcher and we will be doing this in a couple of weeks with another steer. We also have 4 piglets left from the last drop and they are around 16 weeks old. We managed to sell 18 piglets which was a wonderful blessing.
Normally this time of year we wouldn’t get a tractor onto our paddocks but not this year, so my husband is going to sow down some more paddocks to oats and wheat. He is not sure whether he is going to cut it or let the stock graze on it, but he will see.
He has already sown down 10 acres to oats and wheat (see photo above) and this has been done for quite awhile and is growing nicely. This crop will be cut for hay and baled into small squares. We have found that oaten hay is a good way to feed grain to the pigs and house cows with roughage.
We have finished lambing now and are about to mark them. Then we will grow them out and sell them before Christmas. We usually keep a few ewe lambs back to keep our numbers of ewes up for breeding.
We are milking 2 house cows at the moment, once a day and are getting over 20 litres each morning. This enables me to make cheese and keeps the piglets, chickens, puppies and cats in milk. We still have 2 more dairy cows to calve too, so there will be heaps of milk around. I am going to start making butter again shortly.
We don’t have any outside vegetables growing at the moment, but the aquaponics is moving along nicely. (update to follow)
We have managed to barter an incubator from a friend and my husband is managing this now and he already has 23 eggs turning and hopefully ready to hatch in another few days. We are hoping to keep this up so that we can build up our chicken numbers. Unfortunately with the weather so cold the chickens aren’t laying too many eggs at the moment but in another month or so we should see the weather turn around.
We are starting to think about our spring garden and get some plans together. We want to build a hothouse for our tomatoes and we will need to start moving on this so it is ready in time, and we can spread the costings over a couple of months.
We are going to put sweet potatoes in beds either in the aquaponics hothouse or the other one, not sure yet, but I am going to get some more potatoes so that I can grow slips from them shortly.
Hope all is going well on your land at the moment.
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8 thoughts on “DOWN ON THE FARM UPDATE #5”
I always enjoy reading about other people’s farming experiences. It sounds like your weather is much like ours. Here in North Canterbury, New Zealand, we’ve had a terrible drought. We haven’t had more than a few inches of rain in the past year, and the grass isn’t growing here, either. We don’t really farm; my husband works at the local small meatworks. We rent five acres for our house cow, two calves, two sheep and a host of chickens, ducks, turkeys and geese, along with our six boys (and two girls!). My one son would like to try an incubator; currently he tries to hatch chicks under banty hens. One hatched five babies a few weeks ago, and another is setting now.
I agree Emma it is great to hear how other people farm and do things. I think the best way to hatch chickens is with a bantam hen, unfortunately ours died in the summer heat. My husband has been doing a great job with the incubator and between him and our 10 year old daughter they are managing very well. I think it is great that you are able to rent some land and have your animals, we are blessed to own our farm but my husband still works off the farm at least 4 days a week. We hope one day he won’t have to but for the moment he is enjoying what he is doing. Thanks for stopping by and sharing a part of your life with me. Blessings to you and yours.
I love these updates.
Oats are a good crop for chickens as well. We plant peas & oats for the chickens to graze it. I love that they can eat the oats a bit into the snowy season–something that can’t be done with other crops.
What a cute little tractor & drill! I know they make small ones and we have thought about buying some for our small (house) stuff, but can’t find any. Can we borrow yours? (I’m so funny, I know.)
I’m jealous about your sweet potatoes too–we can’t grow them here 🙁 .
Looking forward to more updates.
Thanks Deborah for stopping by. Hmm I think it would be cheaper to buy your own small tractor, I think the postage would be a killer. We are only small farmers and we have purchased these tractors specifically for this and we are so blessed to be able to have them. The one thing that would be great would be a front end loader which we don’t have, but maybe one day. Blessings
Front end loader… Does your husband weld? Doesn’t take too long if you can make them yourself…
Shipping?!?! Why no, Friend. I was hoping to wiggle my nose, blink my eyes, click my heals together and hope it [poof!] magically appeared 🙂 .
Hey Deborah, yes he has the skills, but we lack the time and finances at the moment, maybe once the shed has been concreted and the power finished. There’s always lots of things that need doing. You are pretty amazing if you can wiggle your nose and make things magically appear, I’ve got to see that :-). Blessings
Your update is really interesting Terri 🙂 We have two broody hens sitting on a lot of eggs at the moment, so we shall soon see if they are successful! We are considering a couple of goats for next year, but will have to learn a lot more about them first!
Hey Gwen, I hope you get heaps of chickens. My husband incubated 20 eggs and already has 8 chicks hatched and a couple to go. It is so exciting when you are able to do these things. We really enjoy our small farming enterprise with all the animals. I would love a goat but my husband isn’t keen but he has let me get an alpaca so that is great. Kathi at Oak Hill Homestead has some great information on goats so if you get a chance pop over there and have a look. Keep me updated. Thanks for commenting, have a blessed weekend.