Thursday, October 29, 2015

Turkey Reservations

We are getting down to the tail end of our turkey reservations. We usually are sold out by this time of year. Even though we have a few less birds this year than we did last year, sales are a little slow. I know why - we don't have the BIG turkeys this year due to the failure of our double breasted flock.

And now this might be rude, but I am going to do it as I keep getting reservations for large birds. WE ARE SOLD OUT of the big birds. Big, this year, meaning 18 pounds. Our big toms are spoken for, and my fingers are crossed that they will even be 18 pounds. I am having to send emails to folks who are reserving large birds and disappointing them that they are sold out. We are looking at the 12 pound and smaller range. (Hooray for you if you want a small bird! We have lots of those!)

An option if 12 pounds is just too small is to get 2 smaller birds. You can cook them side by side, or you can cook them with different methods! Roast one and smoke the other (yum) or deep fry one or put on on a rotisserie on your grill. ALL YUM!

So if 12 pounds or smaller isn't enough for you, consider getting 2.  That being said, I know it stinks. Believe us, it stinks for us too! We spend over 6 months raising these birds. We want to make our customers happy. BUT I can't make turkeys of certain sizes appear out of thin air. I also can't guarantee the sizes of the ones I have. I won't know their size until I get them cleaned. Believe me, turkeys do NOT stand still on a scale for me!

Anyhow, still interested in a smaller bird? Reservation link is right here.


Thursday, October 22, 2015

The homestretch for the turkeys

It's getting to be the final stretch for most of our turkeys. With the weather turning cold and wet, we moved our double breasted birds into the greenhouse. Spoiled little birdies! I did this last year with a huge cold snap that hit in November. These guys are too big of idiots sometimes for their own good. They were provided tents, with heat lamps, to go under when it rained, or when it got really cold. But they never used them. To beat them at their own game, we moved them to the greenhouse last year to FORCE them under shelter.

But it's perfect! They still get bugs and grasses, and other plants. It's a super lush paradise in there! And it keeps them out of the rain and snow. One of the more difficult things about raising birds this time of year is that the cold weather stunts their growth. They spend all their energy staying warm, and not growing larger. That's fine for a full sized bird, like our egg layers. But, especially since my turkeys are younger this year, I still need growth even in this cold season.

Just one month to go, boys and girls! Stay dry and warm, and eat eat eat!


Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Lambs!

Fall Lambing season has begun. We have five little lambs gamboling around on the farm.


This is mama Freyja, and her ram lamb, Discord. I had my eyes on Betty to drop first, but Freyja surprised me. She's a first time mom, just over a year and a half old. She is the daughter of Angel, and Jason Stathram.  She is a great new mom, super attentive, and stays close to her little one. He is doing great!



Next, we have Betty's Lightning Streak (standing) and Rainbow Dash (laying down). Betty is a veteran mom. She is 6.5 years old, these are her 9th and 10th lambs. Betty is the only ewe we have from one of our original sheep, Laverne. She's not a friendly sheep, but she's an amazing mom.

Also, say Hi to D-Day ((left) and Otter (right) who are also in the photo! Hi Mooey cows!





Next we have Clarice and her ram lamb, Big Mac.  Clarice is the daughter of Peppermint Patty, granddaughter of Shirley, our other original sheep.  Clarice is almost 5 years old. She has only given us 3 lambs, and only gives us one at a time. Big Mac looks possibly like an exception, but typically her lambs are very small. She's doing a great job with this little guy, but mama is still on our cull list. Once this little man weans from her, she'll be sent away.



The most recent addition is Dancer's Tank. Dancer is also almost 5, she is the daughter of Jan, who is no longer with us, and the only kept offspring of Jan. She has given us 8 lambs since she's been with us. This little dude is thriving with his mommy. 



So you may wonder about the weird lamb names. Yup, I pick a theme each year - I've had themes like cartoon characters, Greek and Norse mythology, TV characters and even holiday cartoon characters. This year, we are Bronying up and using names from My Little Pony. I need to analyze some of the mamas whose offspring I want to keep, and save the good names like Pinkie Pie and Applejack as the ones I want to keep. That being said. male characters in My Little Pony are hard to come by, and creativity and stretching are going to be par for the course. And yet, Weird Al Yankovich has a cameo appearance in a show (which is hilarious, by the way) and his character name is Cheese Sandwich. I will be using that name!!  A little easier to pronounce and spell that Skeggold, that I had to use during the Norse Mythology phase, so I am looking forward to some creative and interesting names.

More lambs are to come, almost everyone is visibly pregnant. I have my bets that Judy is going to give birth next, so let's see... Hoping for most of them to drop before the temperature does.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Lambing Season has begun!

 
Lambing season has begun! The mama's all appear to be rather pregnant, and are much more vocal, which is typical. I had, as usual, been watching them for weeks, looking to see whose milk is coming in, to know who was going to drop first.
 
This is Freyja, she surprised us by going first. This was her first lambing, and she dropped a beautiful baby boy, named Discord. As a new mom, with a single lamb, her utters didn't get to the size that most moms do. She was closer to volleyball sized, instead of full basketball size! She is a super attentive mom, which is a great for a first time mom. She's amazing, and the little guy is doing great!
 
 

 
 
Betty was my bet to go first, because she is sporting a basketball-sized utter. But, she went second. Dropped perfect little ewe and ram lambs, both seen here on top of an old pile of hay (with the mooey cows).  Lightning Streak is the little guy on top, playing king of the castle. His sister Rainbow Dash is laying down beside him. Great job, Betty! (Betty is our only descendent of Laverne, one of our original two sheep)
 



This is Clarice, with her little ram lamb, Big Mac. We thought she had twins, but just this big guy came out. Clarice, unfortunately, is on the cull list, but we want to wait until this guy gets weaned first. She's doing great with him, but historically, she has skipped lambing seasons, she always births singles, and they are smaller than most. Though Clarice is the granddaughter of Shirley, she's not cutting it like the others, so this is likely her last lamb.   Notice the photobomb in the front from Dolph Lundgram!