There have been some frustrating changes on the farm so far this month but also some positive changes as well. In the positive department, I witnessed turkey sex that did not appear to be brutal (unlike prior turkeys’ events). So this is hopeful that we might have chicks in the spring.
But in the frustrating news we learned from our butcher won’t be here until later this month or next. Plus he has new requirements that the animals need to be next to the truck for slaughter. This is distressing because previously they could stay in their normal environments, unstressed and happy until the final moment of their lives. Now we have to somehow move and contain them instead. And also we learned he is no longer smoking meat so we will have to figure that out as well. We called butchers in the local three counties, and the ones that answered their phones are scheduling now in 2024. So we are stuck but looking into other more sustainable options. But some of the issues are described in King County Meat Processing Update. Meanwhile we are putting a lot of money (feed prices are skyrocketing) and work into trying to keep these animals happy through the dark days of winter, including baking cakes for the pigs. The cake mix is $2 each box so relatively cheap.
Hutch doesn’t seem to mind recently as the weather is warmer. But the mud is starting to get thick.
The hens are already starting to lay more. And we are starting to get more green eggs as well! They sell really well at our farm stand, particularly since egg prices have gone up so much in the stores.
I also learned yesterday that our shearer Eifion from Wales will no longer be shearing for us. So now I need to figure out what to do next. I will miss our shearing event with him at our farm. He was wonderful to work with.
The young peacock is starting to strut his stuff, so that is fun.
I have having barn knife issues. I need a knife to cut string on hay bales as well as other things. But like jewelry, watches and cameras, the barn is hard on knives as well. I lost two barn knives last year. They get caught by their hook and removed from your pockets or their lanyard or hole breaks. This was my knife set up a year ago which failed.
Tom bought me a new knife for Christmas but despite my lanyard somehow found it in our driveway. But just this week Tom found the above lost knife in the blueberry netting. It must have gotten caught it when I removed the netting in the fall. So instead of relying on a pocket or a lanyard, I decided to incorporate both elements in my barn knife protection program. Here is my new system with the knife hooked up to the bag but also kept inside until needed. Hopefully this works better as Tom is officially tired of buying me nice knives.
I still have mincemeat left from my Christmas cooking. It is really good, but you can only eat so many pies. So I decided to make some mincemeat bread. We decided to skip the glaze, but it is really good and a lovely use from mincemeat. If anyone has any other ideas, please let me know We still have plenty of it.
Lastly, with the Christmas tree gone, Ryeleigh is able to use her favorite chair and look out the living room side window. All is right with the world again in her mind.