Soon we will be into another new year, where you write 2011 on all your documents until the middle of the summer again, as you have for every year since you can remember. Christmas passed us by this year like a freight train on speed! No sooner do you get prepared for it...then it is passed like a flash of sunlight through the tree limbs on a windy afternoon. Now we will all prepare for the New Years Eve celebration.... Usually Vick and I eat somewhere close and are home by seven-thirty or eight at the latest. We hate to be on the roads with drunks and freezing temperatures. It’s not a good mixture with us in the middle! Actually, New Years is just another day to us....so it would seem simple to celebrate it as many do.
I’ve been under the weather since Christmas day with the same sinus crap I get every year. I have the usual stuffy, but runny nose, headache, chest congestion and just feeling lousy; some lousy holiday condition, right? It seems to last only three days or so as long as I just lounge around and take a Sudafed every now and then, but remains a miserable three days. Last evening I went out and put the animal’s away, unloaded four bags of feed and fed them......in the rain......and when I got back into the house, had a chill and felt completely miserable! Vick offered to do it for me so I could stay on the couch, but she had been working all day long straightening the house and getting rid of extra, accumulated junk in the computer room, which took her eight or nine hours, so she didn’t need this on top of that. I wanted her to stay in the warm, dry house. After a few minutes in front of the pellet stove and a Sudafed tablet...and I was comfortable again anyway.
Today I will try to band the meat birds in the brooding house so they can be released into the general population to continue growing to a weight decent enough, before sending them to be processed. Besides, we have enough frozen birds in the basement anyway right now. This will allow them to live longer and give us more freezer space right now and they can be processed later...as will be the turkeys.
Once they are banded and released, we will ready the building for housing ducks belonging to the Hollowbrook Inn Restaurant. They close right after the New Year until sometime in April, so we will watch their ducks for them until then.
The reason we are banding the meat birds is obviously, so we can pick them out when it is time to process them, but we are also banding some Araucanas we recently purchased and a few other layers for ourselves. We are then going to put a sign in the local feed store advertising layer chickens for sale...and we are cutting our flock size from 250 to around 30-50 at the most. It is not beneficial and we are losing money daily selling a few eggs and spending almost thirteen dollars a bag or more for food a day. It was fun selling eggs, but enough is enough!!!
We will reduce the flock through the winter and renew our interests in the fiber end of it, creating a farm store catering to a little farm product like cheese, honey, maple syrup and maple candy...meat chickens and turkeys...and we might also offer any over abundance of eggs in there too, but our main focus will be on the fiber sales, yarns and spinning supplies. I will be in charge of the spinning accessories end. I will be making swifts, niddy-noddies, drop spindles, fiber carders and fiber comb sets which we will sell in there, as well as on-line. Vick will be in charge of the fiber and yarn end of it, possibly offering a line of spinning wheels as well. I may even design and build a motorized drum carder with a more favorable price tag than now available, if all goes well too.
Spring will also see the design and building of a tool shed/work shop/welding facility too. We need a place to keep all of our tools and a place to work on thing needing repaired, plus...a place for my welding expertise to be used in serving others who desire it. No one around here will fabricate or repair items cheaper than buying a new one, so there is a market for a fair metal fabricator to rebuild farm equipment and other items. With a work area, I can do that.
This spring will be a busy time, but unlike last spring when it was a rush to complete everything....this spring will be fun......Fun and easy............
044932 Cluckin' "A" Critter Farm, LLC