Friday, June 25, 2010

Cows, Chickens, and Other Things

David has been given the responsibility of caring for Cal, our little steer. He loves to be with people, and is very curious about the big outdoors. The boys let him out regularly to walk around and check things out. However, he spends most of his time out of the fence closely following David around.

Samson finds Cal very interesting as well; especially when he has milk on his face. Cal is just a little bit bigger than Samson.

It certainly doesn't take long for Cal to down a bottle!

Today was a test to see how well we would do with butchering chickens. Jonathan chose the largest broilers in the pens to butcher and see what the end result would weigh. There was a lady that asked for some chickens for tomorrow, and we were happy to oblige since we needed to check them out anyway.

Jonathan had purchased Herrick Kimball's book, Anyone Can Build a Tub-Style Mechanical Chicken Plucker, and it also gave detailed instructions on how to construct cones for what we need to do with the chickens. They worked a whole lot better than last year's cones made from wire.

Last year Jonathan bartered (I think it was) raspberries for this chicken plucker.

Today they used a garbage can to heat the water for scalding the chickens, but when we do the actual job we'll borrow our neighbor's turkey fryer to see how that works. It we are happy with it we'll try to find one of our own. Eventually Jonathan would like to construct a Whizbang chicken scalder.

Cleaning up after butchering.

My delphiniums are monsters this year, and I should have transplanted some of them to another area. As you can see, the flowers in the rest of the garden have a long ways to go.

Here's another photo of my sweet williams that are growing along my rock wall.

This year the guys created raised beds for my herbs. I pulled what I could out of my old herb garden, and hopefully the plants will thrive in here. I may have squeezed too many things in the 2 beds, and maybe by next year I can have some more made and spread out the plants.

Jim has been experimenting for a couple of years with blueberry plants. Last year they died over the winter. Jim contacted the company where we got them and asked what he could do to get them to live through our winters, and instead of replying we received 2 more boxes of plants!

I decided not to pull these pink daisies out of my old herb garden. They are tending to take over that garden area.

I need to start harvesting my comfrey.

The corn in the hoop house is getting quite tall. After I took this photo, Jim took off the hoop house plastic covering. Hopefully everything in there will continue to do well.

My flowers are pretty, but I sure have a lot of weeding to do!
PS: While some of the boys were out in the lake our dog Samson was sprayed by a skunk! Peter and I were in the house and heard Samson barking and barking, so Peter went down the hill to see what was going on. He witnessed Samson chasing a skunk into a hole, and the next thing he saw was Samson getting sprayed -- and a mist of the spray floating away in the sunlight. Needless to say, Samson is not visiting us in the house tonight! I hear a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, baking soda and dish soap works wonders.


Erin said...

Oh guys, Cal is SO cute!!! We might have to make another trip up to see him. And look at that corn!! It looks like it's ready to put out some cobs already!

Karin said...

Wow-it's amazing the change a month can make on a farm-it all looks amazing! We have some more people interested in coming up-would the end of July work for another trip of "admirers" to come up-you can put us to work free of charge!-Karin Constable ;)

Kimberly said...

I know just what you mean about seeing the skunk spray in the air. We witnessed it as well several times last summer. We used the mixture that you mentioned on our dog. It did work well and took most of the smell away.

The calf is cute. I always find you posts very interesting and inspiring.

Anonymous said...

Your flowers are sooo gorgeous Lynn! I am envious as we just have pools of water everywhere from the constant rain.
Some day I shall have to come and maybe get some roots of comfrey and delphiniums if you ever have extra! I don't know anybody who has perennials around here or I would become their friends :)

Anonymous said...

Love your flowers! We can relate to weeding the flowerbeds, we still have tow to go, just about in time to start all over*sigh* The wildflower one across the fromt of our property is so full of weeds and grass we're weed whacking it down to one third the size,and planting grass back into the other 2/3rds. This way I should be able to get the grass and weeds under control and still have pretty flowers by the roadway and end of the driveway.
Your calf is adorable, but calves always are*wink* We're working on a deal for the calf Cortney is bottle raising, since Addy is bound for the butcher, Button needs a buddy. We have 7 turkeys and pprox. 20 chickens to butcher, now to find the time and when it's not so blistering hot outside. I also NEED to make room in the freezer for all of them. Sadly turkeys have not turned out to be a good seller other than at the holidays, so cutting back our flock to just enought to feed our family, the grain prices are killing our profits anyway.
Blessings for your week,

Anonymous said...

yes---the hydrogen peroxide mix works great for stinky doggies.

Elisabeth said...

I love the pictures that have your son with the calf following him.