Monday, May 2, 2016

What's new?

It's spring, and it's wet here in the Great Black Swamp!  So wet the garden isn't tilled, and won't be until things dry up some.  So no produce yet, and no produce until about a month after we're able to till.  That's ok though, there's other project working here on the homestead.

I have rats and mice!  What started as an additional protein source for my raw fed dog has expanded enough that I have extras available.  I almost always have rats and mice available.  I have plain feeders, and I have fancies.  Sometimes the fancies are feeders, too.  The joke is that I'm feeding my cats caviar rats when they get red eyed devils, harleys and silvermanes.  Call me or send me an email if you're looking for feeders for your reptiles or another protein source for your raw fed pets.  My pack of predators love their rats and mice.  

I also have hedgehogs!  It's the only critter around here that doesn't multi-task as a predator or food animal.  I have two 3 month old hedgies available right now.  A pinto male, and a badger female.  She might be a chocolate badger.  I also have a lovely girl who is a retired breeder.  Let me know if you're interested.  I'm working on getting some pictures uploaded, but that could take a bit of time.  Squirmy critters are difficult to photograph well.  

I've added a trio of Champagne d'Argent rabbits to my American herd.  They're a nice, solid meat rabbit with good personalities and very nice pelts.  Breeding stock and fryers of both will be available in August.  

Chickens!  I have Buff Orpingtons, Speckled Sussex, an Ameracauna and 2 dozen Isa Browns in the brooder.  I have extra Isa Browns, and those will be available as started pullets later this summer.  In the meantime, I have a half dozen production reds free ranging with a white Jersey Giant roo named Clyde.  They're keeping the tick population in check, and slurping up worms when it rains.  They've had a lot of worms lately.

Depending on how well I do selling rodents at the reptile show this weekend, I may be coming home with quail.  So exciting!  Quail are great, sustainable, and very prolific.  I'll have to choose between jumbo brown, white coturnix (Texas a&m) and Italian.  Decisions, decisions ...

My favorite homestead project right now though is my pigs.  Ginger and Curry have been enjoying their fermented feed, lawn and field clippings, and produce scraps when not rooting everything they can reach.  Curry is scheduled to head to the processor around the 4th of July, and I'm debating whether or not to keep Ginger to raise up her own batch of bacon seeds, or if she's going to keep Curry company on that trip to the processor.  Curry will be whole hog sausage unless someone speaks up and wants to buy a half hog, in which case you'll get to fill out your own cut sheet.  The current plan includes raising another batch of pigs, probably 4, that will be ready in the fall.  Lots of flexibility in this plan, it'll depend on a lot of factors, including demand for pork.  I love sausage, but can only eat so much of it myself.  

I hope your spring is treating you well!  Let me know if there's anything you're interested in, and I'll see you at the Fort Wayne Reptile show and Defiance Farmers Market!

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