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Friday, January 16, 2009

No Winter Project Today

It got nice and warm yesterday, 9F. The city got to enjoy a heat wave of 14F. I managed not to do a thing but curl up under the blankets and look through some catalogs. This year there will be a huge order placed for chickens. Not only are we wanting to replace some that we have lost (it hasn't been a good year for chickens) but good neighbor needs to replace the birds that a fox and he thinks a coyote got to. The horse neighbor is ordering, the people across the way are ordering and now, my husband's boss will be ordering. Everyone keeps asking when we will be placing our order, for some reason they all trust me more than themselves to order chicks. ah, but it does save on shipping.

My husband's boss. . . wait let me explain how this works at the shop. It is a family business. My husband is the only full time employee, the parts guy is not related to the owners, but is part time only. The shop is owned by the wife, ran by the husband and the daughter works there while her kids are at school. The husband and wife (my husband's boss) are beginning to think more like we do. I bet my husband is slightly at fault for that. They feel more and more that they should be growing their own. They feel like things will be getting worse and want to be able to feed their family easily. Although I hear that some places are going back to the grocery stores running tabs or credit to their customers. They are thinking about a milk cow, and I am trying to lean them toward Blessed Nation Ranch and her Dexters.

I am seeing an increase in blog traffic here and more phone calls and casual chats turning toward information on homesteading. It is a wonderful thing, but I do worry about the animals that end up with some of these folks. I worry about neglect, and I worry about what happens to these animals when things get better. But there isn't much I can do about it. I am pushing small livestock for most people, and them purchasing or bartering others with large livestock for milk and meat. Owning a cow is a lot of responsibility. I don't feel that some of these people will be willing to milk in -7F temperatures, Then what happens when the cow dries because of this neglect. I have a feeling I will be getting more and more calls about training, butchering, and why won't she give me milk!?!

But I guess there isn't a reason for me to worry over something that hasn't happened yet. Some of these people are too busy buying horses they can't ride yet, that they don't know how to train, and don't seem to be actively searching for help with that problem. All my animals earn their feed, if they didn't, I couldn't keep them. Well, the calves don't, yet. We will have a traded bull here in a few months, so it will be another year before the young ladies will earn their keep. But they already know the drill. Uma, the oldest calf, tries to out maneuver her mother to get into the stanchion.

Tomorrow on WNDN I am to write about food. Once again I am going to throw it to you. What would you like to see me write about? (that reminds me, I have some articles to get to my editor)


Janelle said...

If you're ordering chicks, I may want in on that too :) Send me details when you get a minute :)

Gail said...

Homesteading is a way of life this country should have not abandoned.

HermitJim said...

How about an article on some good casarolle dishes? Don't see them nuch anymore...

Or maybe a good one pan recipe. Something simple but a little different, ya know?

Just lazy and hungry this morning!

alrescate said...

So who are you ordering your chicks from this year? McMurray's?

Phelan said...

H.Jim, here ya go;

Frozen Casseroles

Sweet potato casseroles

Phelan said...

oh, sorry forgot the one pan ones. It is for camping, but you can do them indoors as well.

Campfire chef

Phelan said...

Janelle, will do.

Gail, agree.

Alrescate, probably, but we are looking at some others as well. But with pricing, I think we might stick with McMurray's.

April said...

Who do you order your chickens from? What do you think is the best meat bird?

Are you going to sell any of your cattle? I've read that you can breed a Dexter with a larger beef breed and get a nice sized beef steer, what do you think?

Is this enough questions?

Please blogs lots and lots about the cow, how to care for them, how much it costs, how much room they need, what you feed them, where to buy/sell them, etc.....

I'm hoping we can afford some fencing this spring. We are definitely going to build a chicken tractor and raise meat birds, but I want to know what you say about all that too.

Oh, and I have fed a coyote many a nice chicken dinner this fall. Dang it. Stated with 16 and now down to 8.

Irma said...

Well, seeing how I will be making cheese for the first time in my life this weekend, I'd love to see you fine Dabbling ladies discuss that!

Gemini said...

I'd like to hear more about your animals and how they earn their keep. Like your dogs? Do you have them working at herding or protecting livestock/people or what?

And more about your horse: caring for, feeding, etc?

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