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After I retired I wanted to stay busy on our farm. My almost 30 year career was in the hunting & fishing industry, so raising the birds I had hunted for years was a natural for me. Being married to my best friend, wife & help mate is all I could ask for. My wife of 34 years and I love living on our farm and doing the chores it takes to maintain it. We are living a wonderful slow life in our retirement. Our grand daughter is such joy. Having a big garden to feed us, raising bees for honey, loving our pets and no debt. I feel blessed to have enjoyed this country living and sustaining our family through growing our food and simple ways my whole life. I am happy to see others across this great country deciding to live instead of just collecting more. A less-stress farm life is making us very happy. *******************************************************

Saturday, July 24, 2010

More Chicks - More Eggs - Too HOT

  We hatched another 2500+ quail and have them all in brooders. Since we improved our brooding barn system we have lost very few chicks.  Had something dig under one of the fly pens a little.  They didn't get in but a few quail escaped. We see the loose birds trying to get back in with the others, but we can't get close enough to catch them. I am going to buy a call back cage and recover them.  I also picked up a critter cage trap when I went to MFA to pick up feed. Hope to catch them and not our barn cat. Norman and I are driving to Kansas on Monday and pick up 3,000 more eggs. We will put them in incubators when we get back to farm. Still getting some calls for fall bird sales and a couple more calls from restaurants for processed birds.  Really enjoying doing this. It is SOOOOOO hot though. One thing bad about my stroke is it screwed up my brains thermostat. I get very hot & sweaty very quick. It wears me out and I have to rest. We have automated most everything with barrel auto waterers and I bought those 175#  fly pen feeders so we fill them up only a couple times a week. (Debbie does that - she works out at the gym 5 days a week so she can lug around the 50# sacks of feed. I am so grateful and proud of her.) She keeps telling me she wants me to fire her, but that ain't happening.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Very Busy

Things are going very good. I have about 5,000 quail still in brooder barns. We will release 2000+ into 2 of our fly pens this coming friday. The eggs in incubator will hatch July 19/20, that will make us about 7,500 quail so far. Our son finished the new fly pens and they look great. Trying to talk him into building 4 more this fall. He has a new job and a baby coming so I will just hire someone else.  Our newest brooder barn has 700 pheasants that are 3 weeks old. Just ordered 1,000 blinders for them. Putting them on is a lot of work and with my disabilities I'm not much help. We are still getting lots of inquiries for both quail & pheasants. The field trial people are ordering 200-400 each. I like the pheasants but they take up so much fly pen space I can't make as much profit for the room I have as I can the quail. Have some restaurants waiting to buy them this fall. We are now getting our eggs out of Kansas. Hopefully they will give us a good hatch like the Texas eggs do (about 85%). We have started buying feed at our MFA by the ton. That saves 15% and they are very kind to this old crippled guy. I miss my old career, but really enjoying this gamebird raising and the people I meet.  Hopefully I can make enough to cover my big initial outlay of $$.