settling in….and fresh duck anyone?
We’re harvesting the last bunch of male ducks NEXT MONDAY—-I can deliver to Minneapolis on Tuesday. These guys are nice and fat, and will be $30 each. There are only 10 available, let me know if you want to order one!
As we have been settling in a bit here, the main things are in place, but you always have to be prepared for updates…..farm set up that is. We spent alot of money of goat fence, and the goats are showing it no respect. All the better to climb on, they say. So we set up electric fence lines today inside it to train them to knock it off. We’re prepared for some other adaptation we’ll have to do soon. The buck goat Cedar, at near 250 lbs, showed the fence NO MERCY- so into a custom corral in a brushy area he’s gone. It’s made of steel welded rods, called cattle panels. He’ll keep busy clearing brush as his dates with ladies nears in about a month. We’re aiming to have kids born late March this year, not early March. That means you set breeding five months from the beginning time you want kids. The goat does go into heat every 21 days, so this can be tricky. What I’ll do is put him in with all the girls in late October, and as they come into heat, he’ll do his job. Last year all my lady goats must have been in heat simutaneously, since almost all the babies were born in one week! madness!
Sad news is, the ducks are NOT laying since they moved here over a week ago….The flock of 160 ducks are laying about 10 eggs a day, which will hopefully fill my CSA customers’ prepaid orders, but that does not provide enough eggs for retail sales, unless their systems settle in and they start laying again. Another factor in play is the shortening day-length, now that we have hit the fall equinox. We don’t light them artificially, as many producers do. This lack of laying since we moved (when normally they would lay into December) is quite devastating for the farm account, as it costs over $20/day to feed them all (including the new group of girls who haven’t quite reached laying age) certified organic feed. What to do? Well last year when the ducks weren’t laying, from December to Feb, they received non-organic feed. During those COLD months, it is impossible for them to forage for anything supplementary to their rations as well, and it is cold, so they need a bit more to heat their little bodies and keep up their fat reserves. We’ll continue on with organic feed, singing to them and keeping our fingers crossed this is just a little post-moving glitch for egg production, but it is possible that we’re mostly done with duck eggs for 2010. So sad!!!!!