Updated Farm Goals: April 2016

Here is our list of updated farm goals. We are hoping to do one of these every three months to see what we got done and catch you up with what’s going on on the farm. 

This post written by Connor and Cristiana.

Good news is that we can finally haul stuff around. That’s right, we traded the Mini Cooper in for a pickup! What a relief.

 Check out our photo gallery, then scroll down to see what we got done and what’s up next!

PIGS

Accomplished:

  • Shelter – DONE, but we’re working on two farrowing stalls and a large sleeping stall in our pallet barn.
  • Fence – DONE – This wouldn’t have been possible without the awesome skills of the Shirley family!
  • Rotational grazing – DONE, but will be reseeding and managing all pastures year round.
  • Frodo DNA Test – DONE, unfortunately inconclusive- We decided not to castrate Frodo due to his age and instead, he will be going to live on a friend’s homestead along with two gilts. He was our first pig, so we could never see him as a feeder.
  • 2 Sows bred and on homestead – DONE, they are definitely with pig!
  • Not on the January list, but we got a Karakachan livestock guardian dog and are training him to be full time with the pigs. This required us putting three strands of hot wire on our fencing, so we learned all about doing electric fencing.

Upcoming Goals:

  • Get our two sow’s registrations transferred to Connor, so we can register our litters. This is our top goal.
  • Piglets born April/May
  • Build small pig shelters in rotational pastures for summer shelter
  • Sell higher quality piglets for breeding or pets, keep lower quality for meat
  • Keep a gilt from each litter to expand our herd.
  • Find out if we can register our little boar, Tiberius. If not, we need to obtain a good registered foundation boar.

 

CHICKENS

Accomplished:

  • Chicken coops assembled – DONE
  • Safe chicken runs made (three of them) – DONE
  • Getting eggs by spring- DONE
  • Eggs to sell- DONE
  • Selling chicks/hatching eggs- DONE
  • Our chicken goals have advanced quickly! Not only did we meet mostly all our goals, we exceeded them. We have three Ameraucana breeding pens, a group of laying hens just for eggs (Easter Eggers/Barred Rocks), a breeding trio of black mottled bantam Cochins, and two Silkies, one which is currently sitting on a nest. We started incubating eggs and hatching chicks, and have 27 Ameraucana chicks growing out right now. We will choose the best of them for next year’s breeding pens.

Upcoming Goals

  • Building chicken tractors to move breeding groups to pasture area- the area where we built our runs is very wet, so it isn’t a good place for them.
  • Get some meat chickens to raise out.
  • Get some bantam Cochin chicks
  • Choose chickens to use for breeding program, and sell the rest.
  • Guinea eggs are in the incubator, and hatching at end of month. We want guineas for tick control and because they’re so cool to watch.
  • Possibly quail- for meat and eggs
  • Possibly NPIP testing in the Fall, so we can ship hatching eggs and chicks

GARDEN GOALS

Accomplished:

  • Got garden beds assembled, thanks to an Upstate Farmers Helping Farmers event at our farm.
  • Built a cattle panel trellis between beds
  • Greenhouse halfway assembled- This greenhouse assembly was way past our skill set, so thank goodness for Upstate Farmers Helping Farmers!

Upcoming Goals:

  • Getting garden beds filled with mulch, compost, soil
  • Start seedlings or go to a plant sale to start summer garden, since we missed out on Spring preparation
  • Planting berry bushes
  • Finish greenhouse – need to add panels, windows and door.
  • Plant fruit trees – Apples, Pears, Peaches, Figs
  • Winter crops in greenhouse
  • Selling produce

OTHER GOALS:

  • Continue learning how to build things to use around the farm- pens, fencing, coops and hutches, etc.
  • Research heritage breed rabbits and choose a breed.
  • Build a rabbit hutch
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