Thursday morning barn report

Through my bedroom window, I am watching the sky grow pink as the sun comes up behind blue clouds.  I am on my second cup of coffee and almost ready to walk the dogs and head to the barn to milk. 

After a brief heat wave in April, we returned to spring weather in May, showers, temperatures in the sixties.  Yesterday was a stunningly beautiful spring day and I was able to extend the winter pasture in the lower grassy meadow for the goats to graze.  However, rain is predicted for today and tomorrow and through the weekend.

Ten turkey poults hatched on Mother’s Day out of the twelve that incubated for the last 28 days.  I started another batch of twelve that will hatch in early June.  The poults are at the Cornwall Community Coop for a few days as a teaser for Thanksgiving sales.   I lost one juvenile turkey so I have eight of the first batch left, five of the next, the ten that just hatched and maybe forty in my incubator and incubating at schools.  I ordered enough electric poultry fence for a quarter of an acre and will next experiment with free ranging the turkeys in that.   I hope it will confine them but some have precited they will just fly out.

On Mother’s Day weekend, I got into the vegetable garden and planted more seeds and cleaned up beds.  I ordered electric deer fencing that I will add to the existing fence to expand the garden.  Once that is up, I will put everything else in. 

I have about a thousand heritage tomato seedlings in pots and flats.  The coop is selling them and I will put out a table this weekend at the end of my driveway.  I have Brandywine, Mortgage Lifter, Bloody Butcher, Red Currant, Jubilee and Roma.

I still have five pregnant does.  I am hand milking six does, four of which still have their kids on them.  I am making lots of feta at this point as well as the usual chevre and farmer’s wheel cheese.  I will turn to cheddar this summer and try mozzarella as well.  I am attending a class in Vermont with Peter Dixon in June about starting an artisan cheese business.  The four bucklings will go soon.  The doelings are growing well.  I need to handle them more and am thinking of asking a young lady to come spend time with them on a weekly basis.  The thrill of baby goats has worn thin for my kids at this point.

The chicken house got mucked out and the roosting bars replaced.  The chickens are much happier with that arrangement.  I am selling eggs to the coop.

Butterhill sent home the two ducklings they hatched.  There are over a hundred duck eggs in the various schools and hatching begins starting next week.  I will have all of those ducklings that hatch coming back to the farm in June.

The turkeys are calling to me from the yard so I’d better get going.

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