Welcome to Autumn
We’ve been busy as we change seasons – ended with a decent amount of veggies even though we didn’t get the garden planted until late. Definitely learned some lessons to apply to next year, especially as it relates to insect and weed pressure.
The rototiller runs again (huzzah!) and it’s been used to get the next three plots ready. We added our compost to the plots and tilled before planting cover crops. Two get a cover crop mix and the third is planted in wheat. I’m looking forward to learning about wheat-growing, even if on a small-scale. We planted Turkey Red Hard Winter Wheat. If we get enough grain, I look forward to baking real bread! I looked today and it has sprouted and looks like it covers the plot fairly evenly despite planting by hand.
As far as our poultry, the birds keep getting bigger and more mature. We have lost three hens to coyotes recently but the young pullets are just starting to lay so there’s no real loss. Besides, we planned on processing two of the three with the turkeys in a few weeks anyway. Speaking of turkeys, we trimmed their wings this weekend. We got sick of chasing them and trying to keep them safe inside their electric fence, especially with hungry coyotes around. I’m glad there are no cameras around filming us trying to get them in their enclosure – it was pretty much a Benny Hill Show episode.
We expanded the fenced area for the hens and have consolidated the flocks – we have the young layers and older layers separated for now. They’ll eventually be all together but we didn’t want to make too many changes all at once. The roosters are also now separated from the pullets so we won’t have to worry about any fertilized eggs. At least until we want them to breed and expand the flock. We will cull a number of roos that we don’t sell and will only keep those that we want to breed with the hens. We will be sure to post when we start breeding and may have chicks for sale. If interested in some Easter Egger roosters, we have 4 for sale. Get in touch through the site, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
Lastly, we do hope to make more progress in the fruit and herb garden but may run out of time before the rain sets in. Right now the priority is to get the pastures planted with tillage radish as well as cover crop seeds to improve the soil structure, tilth, and drainage. Next Spring we will pasture some meat birds and more turkeys, and perhaps sheep if we get ambitious. Exactly what we will do is part of our planning process that we have on our agenda during this Winter.