Monday, June 27, 2011

It was another busy weekend.  Had to make a run into town with my father-in-law to pick up a few things.  Max and I worked out in the yard most of the afternoon.  I had to try out the new gas powered weed-eater that my husband bought.  Got a lot of the weeds cut down but you can't really tell as I was having to chase Max around the property. So I got a little cut here, and a little cut there.  LOL.

The bad news was, that I lost the last turkey chick out of the five I bought in May.  I am not sure why they all died.  However, I am trying to look on it as a good thing since I have been laid off and turkeys take a lot of feed to get to market weight.

Speaking of a lot of feed, my rabbits are going through feed like crazy.  I didn't realize until the other night that I was feeding 30 of them right now!!  WOW!  9 of them will be getting butchered soon so that will help.  And another 14-16 will get butchered in August.  Then we will be out of baby bunnies until fall.

I am going to do some experimenting with rabbit meat this time.  Normally, I just leave them whole and roast or fry them up.  Occasionally I will boil one, chop up the meat and keep it in the freezer for quick fix tacos, enchiladas or soup.  This time, I am going to grind up most of the meat and make some meatballs, sausage and also try mixing some with beef hamburger.  I usually mix our hamburger 50/50 with ground turkey to save money but ground turkey is just about the same price as hamburger now days.   I will keep you updated on how it comes out.

The goats are doing good and I have integrated the two new ones in with the rest of the herd so that makes it a little easier on me.  I really should keep the females separate at feeding time but I am going to keep them together for the time being.

The chickens are still laying great.  I am getting at least 2 dozen eggs a day.  I think I have around 15 dozen to turn in today.  I hope they keep it up because they are the only things really paying for themselves at the moment.  I just have to figure out how to get the rest of them to work for their feed!  Maybe I should start a petting zoo...

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Welcome to Stony Bear Farm!
I want this blog to be about our journey of taking an overgrown piece of land and hopefully, turning it into something that is at least paying for itself.  This journey not only involves me, my husband and our two boys, but also my wonderful in-laws, as they are actually the ones that purchased the land in 2007.
To give you a bit of a background on us, my in-laws decided they weren’t going to get very far on their retirement and wanted to do something to supplement their income.  My mother-in-law had done some research and really wanted to start raising alpacas.  Because both of my in-laws are legally blind, they invited us to go in on this venture with them.  We talked about it and agreed.
So they found a 10 acre farm with a 20 x 40 shop, 2 dilapidated barns and one very small, very worn out house and bought it.  We did a burn to learn on the old house and put a triple wide and a double wide manufactured home side-by-side and connected the two houses.  We will skip over the bad parts which consisted of a contractor with cranial-rectal syndrome.
Currently, we have around 35 chickens, 6 ducks, 3 guineas, 2 turkeys, 1 mixed breed goat and 9 Nigerian goats.  As well as 2 hives of honey bees and, currently, 30 American (meat) rabbits, although that number will be going down very soon.
So I will be talking about what it takes to get our farm project going, what works and what didn’t.  Hopefully, this will help other people who are just starting out also.  I know that I am always looking for information on how to do this, that and the other thing and not always finding it so hopefully this will help.
Good luck to us all!