Friday Farm Photos 5/24

by brenda on May 24, 2013

I am starting a new series here at The Well Fed Homestead. Every Friday I am going to post photos of our farm from that week. You’ll get to see the progress, and you’ll get to see the reality. I don’t know about you, but I sometimes imagine a picture-perfect farm with rolling green pastures (and no weeds of course), and plenty of leisure time drinking fresh-squeezed lemonade on the back porch. Then I remember we live in Oregon and we don’t have fresh lemons, or many days when it isn’t RAINING to hang out on the porch! πŸ™‚ And, this farming thing takes a lot more time (and money!) than most people might guess. Making it look “just right” is a low priority in light of having a profitable farm. Someday….maybe! For now, I want to be real and show you what things truly look around here. Are ya ready? Alright, then!

First off, look at all of the Scotch Broom (the yellow stuff) in the photo above. Yup…We’ve got it growing like…um…weeds!

These are our duckies. Aren’t they cute? So sad that they will be meat…And yet so yummy….

15 pigs can clear out a large area VERY quickly. They’ve been there less than 2 weeks.

The (nameless) pigs love my husband. He feeds them. πŸ™‚

 

This is Cheeseburger and her 8 babies. They are American Guinea Hogs and they are SO good at clearing blackberries.

Mmm….blackberries!

We have laying hens all over the place. Our kids love playing in this area. It is just downhill from our house, out the back door (right above the pigs).

More layers. These black & white ones are the “Cruella DeVille chickens” according to our kids. They’re not very friendly but they’re pretty.

Here are some of our broilers, on pasture, in a chicken tractor. At this time there are too many inside of 1 tractor. My husband has been working on building more tractors this week!!

Hello Dinner! πŸ™‚

These were some chicken tractors that we hired a friend to help build. We got cheap stall dividers off of Craigslist to make the job quick and easy. There are 2 “rooms” in this pen, 1 that is insulated (inside that little hole) for the broilers to stay warm. The goal is that we can brood them on pasture. We haven’t tried it yet. These pens are, unfortunately, very heavy. πŸ™ They may need future modifications so that we can move them on pasture easily.

These are our dairy cows. The big one on the right is Violet. We just purchased the second one (on the left) a couple of days ago. She has not calved yet. I think she’s prettier. πŸ™‚ We haven’t decided on a name for her. She came with the name Dutchess. We’re thinking of naming her a flower name. Any votes?

We have 25 Barred Rocks in a chicken tractor. They will be egg layers!

We have somewhere around 100 turkeys. We started with about 115…I don’t know for sure how many we have lost. They like to die. πŸ™ We raise every animal soy and corn free but had VERY bad luck trying to raise the turkeys this way. We have been told that it is best to start them on a typical high protein grower (with soy……sooooo sad!) for the first few weeks and then switch them over to the soy/corn free stuff. We switched, reluctantly, to the stuff with soy, and they stopped dying so quickly… πŸ™ We need to figure this out. Does anyone have advice for raising soy and corn free turkeys (from day 1?). Turkeys do not eat soy in the wild. What can we give them that is soy-free, high protein and won’t taint the taste of their meat (our feed company said that they tried a batch of soy-free, corn-free turkeys with lots of fish meal and they got “fishy” tasting turkeys).

 

Our garden is growing! My husband built trellises last week!

Some of my veggies aren’t doing well. I thinned my beds last week and tried to plant the thinned starts. It turns out that my turnips, cabbage and radishes did not like that idea. We’ll see if they make it!

This is the view of our garden, fire pit and backyard from the house. We fenced the garden this year and I LOVE it! The chickens don’t get into it anymore! YAY! I hope to someday plant lovely grass seed in our backyard, fence a nice area for a “yard,” rock around the fire pit, bury pipes to irrigate the garden (rather than hoses across the ground) and create a beautiful rambling pathway to the garden….It won’t be happening this year! Our time and budget needs to go into producing meat, keeping animals alive and making profit on the farm! πŸ™‚

This is our back deck. Just keepin’ it real!Β On the left, you see our back door (coming out of our dining room). Two weeks ago we got the rubbermaid shed and had one of our farm helpers build it for us so that I can store my canning jars close to the house. (Previously, we stored them in the barn…and then let our chickens free-range…Not a good idea! Many of those jars are going to be recycled soon. The ones in tubs that are clean and usable will be placed on shelving inside of this shed). Our back deck isn’t pretty, but it’s real. Empty pots, hoping for something to be planted (and watered!). Propane tanks ready for the barbecue. A little pet cage for our son’s rabbit (he brings it to 4-H meetings). Anyone want a free ugly brown hot tub that came with our house? πŸ™‚

That’s our farm, this week! πŸ™‚

{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicolet May 24, 2013 at 7:52 pm

I love your farm. I vote for “Petunia” πŸ™‚

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ShannonB May 25, 2013 at 6:10 am

Nice place! The pretty cow? Buttercup.

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Leah May 26, 2013 at 8:32 pm

I’m preparing to raise laying hens. What do you feed yours? Or do they get enough from being on pasture? Do you have to give them any supplements? (like oyster shells in order to keep their egg shells strong?) Do the laying hens have the same problem as the turkeys when you avoid soy and corn?

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Ashley Housley May 28, 2013 at 9:03 pm

So fun! I love the idea of weekly recaps. You have a lot going on- that is great!

Reply

Marci June 4, 2013 at 4:54 am

Great pictures. For your turkey poults… Put raw milk in the brooder with them. We put a quart jar with one of those screw on bottoms for poultry water like this: http://amzn.to/11oZGvY. We give them a quart a day while in the brooder. We also pick grass and clover and throw it in with them from day one.

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Marci June 4, 2013 at 5:29 am

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