RicelandMeadows


Gleaning The Corn Fodder
October 28, 2020, 11:05 am
Filed under: October 2020 | Tags: , , , , ,
Yum

October 28, 2020

We finished husking/picking our corn last week. We got done just in time to beat a whole lot of rain. We have gotten six inches of rain the last ten days. The dry ground sucked up quite a bit of the moisture, but now the ground is saturated. I am glad that I don’t have to navigate the the mud!

We turned five growing pigs into the corn field. They are gleaning any missed ears and those knocked to the ground by raccoons and deer. They are happily munching and rooting. They have a shed, where dry bedding is supplied, to lay in to sleep. They are also fed additional grain as needed, but so far are mostly just eating from the corn field and surrounding pasture and fence line weeds.

laying flock

Our hens are still enjoying their lot even though it too shows the effects of the recent rains. They have been eating the last of our cull garden produce as treats to supplement their diets. They reward us with nice brown eggs for our efforts.

pig carcasses cooling

Autumn and cool weather allows us to start butchering our hogs. The family’s meat for winter, grown here, processed here. We have been blessed with an amazing autumn. The crops did well all summer, in spite of the mid summer drought. Now, the wet, cool, days of late autumn, are proving beneficial too.

Winter is just around the corner. A few outside jobs remain, but for the first autumn in a long time, I am caught up. I owe this success to a great wife, wonderful family, good weather and good work horses to help me get the crops out and the harvest gathered. To everyone involved, I say Thank You!



Triumph… or Try-Umph?
March 21, 2015, 10:30 am
Filed under: March 2015 | Tags: , , , , , ,

The end of the egg strain

The end of the egg strain

March 21, 2015

Yesterday, as I gathered the eggs there was this little bitty egg. I have seen them before and they always make me laugh. As a hen lays her eggs, she eventually runs out. She takes a break from laying, called “molt” She will lose and get new feathers, then start laying again. After the first and second molt, she will lay less eggs each time, until becoming non-productive. Sure she will lay a few eggs every year most of her life, but every year the number declines.

I picture a hen in the nest. She is all fluffed up. The bedding beneath her arranged to her satisfaction. Perhaps a little bead of chicken sweat dots her comb, as she gets down to the business of egg laying. She works at it, probably straining a little and all of the sudden …ta-da!!! an egg! She gets up, looks underneath to inspect and says, “BROCK!”  which translates to “Are you kidding me…all that work for this little drip?!”

Funny thing is, when they first start to lay, you may get some of these too. You and the her are so excited for the first egg. You picture the little hen as she gets the hang of egg laying…and both you and her are very proud. I think this is the Try-Umph …she tried, stuck to it and ta-da…an egg! Farming is a blast when you delight in the little things 😮

The Spring Equinox came last evening. My boys called it “Special Gravity Day” and we would stand eggs on their end. It was a science lesson. It was a neat trick and my boys liked it. I still stand them up just for fun and it’s still a neat trick! This year, even the little egg stood up proudly…now, that’s Triumph!

Triumph!

Triumph!

Funny, the maple syrup jug in the photo, freshly washed, is just showing off!



Eggs Actly
August 27, 2014, 9:54 pm
Filed under: August 2014 | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Pullet Egg

Pullet Egg


August 27, 2014

This little egg is from one of our pullets. These little girls are just starting to lay. They take their job seriously. They give all they have and I am thankful. After all, who could ask for more than that?

The little ladies are getting used to their coop. They seem to be happy. Today we got ten eggs from ten hens. I ask you is that 100% or 1000% ? All I know is that it is a grand slam! A hen lays one egg a day when everything is perfect…. so, I’d say they like it here 😮

We have been almost six weeks without hens. This is one of the longest stretches in my life, for buying grocery store eggs. I hope it is a very long time before I have to do it again. In my opinion, there is nothing better than farm fresh, free-range eggs… and brown ones to boot!

Some will say that I am crazy, white or brown makes no difference. Perhaps they are correct, but for me, brown are best. The freshness is only a problem when you boil them. The shell sticks to the egg white, because a “gas layer” has not had time to form inside the shell. I’m okay with that… I’ll eat mine fresh , thank you very much.

Eggs bought in the local store, have been around awhile. Sure they are safe to eat, have a “sell by date” and are pretty good to most folks. I say however, if those same folks tried fresh eggs from happy, free range hens…they might want a change too.

If beer is best when “brewed from a mountain stream”, perhaps that is why eggs taste so good from hens who drink fresh water, eat grass and bugs along with choice grains, in a life free from stress. Agree or not its up to you, but I say , “That is “eggs actly” why they taste so good!