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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. *******************************************************

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Farm Happenings

I visit a diner for breakfast coffee a few miles from us a couple times a week. It's a good way to get out and visit with other local farmers. The extreme heat has just got everyone in a bad mood. It seemed to be a fairly good hay season and the dairy guys are making some money. Cattle & horses are hunkered around the ponds. Chickens aren't laying very well. There just isn't much talk around the table. We try not to talk politics, but we all are sick of the way our leaders are acting.  Inflation has hit us all hard, both for farm things and our home goods.  Although my feed bill has gone down per 100 quite a bit the last month. A good corn & soybean yield has helped that. But everything else from the pine chips I place in the brooder barns floors to the electric and propane costs have gone up a lot.  We are having trouble with black snakes getting into our brooder barns and eating a few quail chicks. I don't want to kill them.  They do a good job on mice, but it gets expensive to feed them $4.00 quail so we take them off to another area. Birds in fly pens are growing and we aren't losing any to heat. We built a lot of good covers and have lots of water available for them.  I suspect a lot of growers are going to be short on the numbers of quail they were hoping to raise.  I will be a few. The guys that sell eggs are not getting very good production which in turn hurts the numbers for all of us.
I will bet that when the season gets here it will be hard to get birds from any of us if they haven't pre-ordered from us. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


100+ everyday this week.  Did get some overnight rain and cloudy this morning so maybe it will be only in 90's.  It's hard on the birds but they have lots of cover and grass to hide in all the fly pens. Keeping our water barrels filled for auto waterers. The incubators are running a degree too hot for a short time during the hottest part of the day, but won't hurt the eggs if it doesn't get higher for a longer period. Really need to air condition our incu room, maybe next season. Been eating a lot of our potatoes and green beans.Have eaten a few tomatos and cucs. Glad we are on a well.  Spoke to a friend of mine in town and his water bill for his garden is very high. Our grand daughter spent some time with us Sunday. That really makes our day. Our guard dog Shadow is guarding as he sleeps in the hedges trying to stay cool. Please keep your pets water full and make sure they have shade.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Moving Birds to Flypens

Our first hatch of quail is now 8 weeks and ready to transfer to flypens.  Our brooder barns are setup so all we have to do is open a small door at one end and the quail exit to the flypens. We are putting 900 - 1000 quail per pen. June was the 5th driest month on record so we really have to watch our waterers.  I am adding an extra waterer to each pen just to be on the safe side. Our feeders need filled every 4 days only. The flypens are shaded until 11:00 each morning.  They have full sun until 4 p.m. so we make sure the birds have plenty of cover to retreat from the heat.  We also run a water mister every couple days. I will be getting another big batch of eggs in a couple of days to set.  I spoke with my egg supplier and his birds aren't laying as good as wanted in this heat so he is having to short a lot of his orders.  I put my order in with him very early last year so I am first on his list.  This ain't my first rodeo. Lack of rain has really hurt the gardens, but we still are harvesting.  Tomatos about ready. Green beans coming on. Shaun checked his bees and thought there was about 80 pounds of honey in the hive.  Should put up a lot this season. Feed prices actually dropped last week due to corn, soybean futures dropping. I hope that continues.