Sunday, May 8, 2011

Welcome McKenzie!

On May 8th, friend of Ecotone Dani McKellar delivered the newest edition of the sounder to the farm.  McKenzie is a three year old Duroc sow that has lived on Dani's homestead since she was a piglet.  Jen and I were out of town when Dani came by, and the farm sitter failed to mention the delivery to me in the changing of the guard.  Thus, when I woke the next morning, much to my surprise (and to Ozark's delight) there was a large pig wandering the pasture, seemingly content exploring her new home.

As I continued with the morning chores, ignoring the pig confident she would follow he who has corn, I was doubly surprised when the several feeder pigs came tumbling out of the bush, gleefully moving toward the corn.  The fence was off, and I hadn't even noticed.  Farm folly ensued.
Not yet certain who I was, McKenzie made her own way back to the pig paddocks on the north side of the farm, where Rambo was eagerly awaiting.  The piglets, on the other hand, continued with their so-called freedom, knocking over empty feed barrels and generally causing trouble. 
Eventually, however, all piglets were wrangled - or rather led - back to their paddock in the woods.  Corn was had by all.  All needs were met.  And I was finally ready to welcome McKenzie to the farm.  Rambo had been waiting all morning for just such order to return.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Egg Count 4

The egg count for April was 4,678 eggs, or roughly 417 dozen.  While the gross egg count was down from March, the rate of lay per hen was up to 65% because the flock shrank slightly as I sold a few to local homesteader's and backyard poultry enthusiasts.  The daily dozen count was an average of 13 dozen, or 156 eggs a day.  
The hens, however, responded in kind by eating some 500 more pounds of feed than the month before - a jump of almost 3 pounds per hen!  Of course, this could well be an artifact of accounting, as I was also selling quite a bit of "The Homesteader's Grind," my own ration of certified organic chicken feed that I offer for farm pick-up or delivery.  (See the newly updated Grain page above for more details.)