Our Mission

To live a self-sufficient and organic lifestyle for the next half century. With the Grace of God and the power of prayer, we will succeed. Nothing is impossible with His help. It wouldn't be us without laughter and joy at the Cockeyed Homestead.

Sunday, March 26, 2017

Saying Hello and Goodbye on the Homestead

This week brought more loss to the homestead. We lost our New Hampshire Red rooster to a stray dog. Whitie was our last surviving rooster. He will be missed. So we were left with four remaining hens plus Broody.

Broody still hasn't laid an egg. But she's in her protected new home on the porch. A medium dog crate. The other hens come to visit and talk to her but are unable to peck her. This is until I can build a tractor for her. She still has the use of only one leg.

In the meantime, Tractor Supply has "Chick Days" going on. While we had eggs in the incubator, I basically ignored it. But we had four viable eggs in the incubator at the time. This was until Dervish, Mel's cat, tipped over the incubator and cracked open all of the eggs. None of the chicks survived. With the death of Whitie, we needed a rooster for our free ranging flock of Reds. This was coupled by the concern Nnyus had actually killed Whitie. This seems unlikely to me because the dog had lived with this free roaming rooster for almost two years with no problem. So I blame a stray. We've had a few over the past few weeks. Not having our acreage fenced, this is a continual danger.

After some discussion, we agreed to purchase six Rhode Island Reds and six Buff Orpingtons. Straight run so the odds are 50-50 of gaining at least one rooster for each type. The weather has turned warmer. So we set the brooder up on the porch. We still have a heat lamp hanging in one corner. The huge 3'x5' brooder seems like over kill for so small a number, but they won't be small long. In a few short weeks, they'll have feathers and more than doubled in size. In the meantime, they have plenty of room to run around. I would have loved to find some Americaunas too, but there are none within a 50-mile radius. Maybe next year. If YouTube chicken sexing videos are correct, we should have two roosters and four hens of each. I could be wrong though. Extra roosters are just destined for their next stage of life when they are big enough. We'll be separating the Rhode Island Reds and the Buffs so we'll have pure bred chicks to sell or increase our flock. So now we'll be building three tractors.

FOR RABBITS
I pulled all the sprouting containers to be washed today. Our fodder and sprouting grain operation will be up and running again after the winter lull. It's hard controlling the temperature over the winter months so we suspend the operation. I spent 15 minutes mixing a 5-gallon buckets of wheat, barley, and sunflower seeds. The first cup of the mixture is soaking as I type. Over the winter I purchased another 100-pounds of wheat and barley and 40 pounds of sunflower seeds. To make sprouted grains for the chickens, I'll need to add oats, corn, and Milo.  Cost wise, rabbit feed costs $34 a month for our rabbits in commercial pellets. For sprouted grains, the cost is $100 for nine months worth of feed and it's better digested. The fact that it's non GMO grain is an added benefit. The seeds for rabbits are sprouted for seven to eight days for optimum protein for the rabbits. For the chickens, they eat half as much plus their free ranging for optimum protein only takes three days. Total cost for the chickens eating sprouted grains per month is $17 instead of $34 for commercial feed. The cost consideration is important to the homestead finances, but the animal's health and what they pass on to us in their meat and eggs is even more important.

FOR CHICKENS


That's it for this week.
Y'all have a blessed day!



6 comments:

  1. Hi Jo, have been wondering when we'd see another video. Finally remembered your blog so came over to find out how things are going. Do you use any of these sprouted grains for your own consumption or strictly for the animals?
    I was just wondering if a light board would help Mel during the winter. Living in the Pacific Northwest I have many friends who suffer from low light level driven illness during winter, which creates all types of issues. Just thought I'd ask. Hope to see things getting better for you ladies soon.

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    Replies
    1. Jeannie, I've thought about the special daylight bulbs too.

      We had to buy a new computer. Now that everything is loaded again on the new one.. we are producing videos again.

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    2. I actually will eat sprouted grains. Mel not so much.

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    3. Maybe you can sneak them into fresh salads or something. Perhaps onto sandwiches... You're a great chef, I'm sure you'll think of some way. Good luck to you both!

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    4. Mel can be a very picky eater. She'll pick what she doesn't like out of everything.

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  2. Hi Jo, have been wondering when we'd see another video. Finally remembered your blog so came over to find out how things are going. Do you use any of these sprouted grains for your own consumption or strictly for the animals?
    I was just wondering if a light board would help Mel during the winter. Living in the Pacific Northwest I have many friends who suffer from low light level driven illness during winter, which creates all types of issues. Just thought I'd ask. Hope to see things getting better for you ladies soon.

    ReplyDelete

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