Saturday Barn Report January 4, 2014

Brrrr … it is cold outside at the farm these days.  Arctic temperatures have hit the Northeast with below zero wind chills, cold enough to freeze our eggs!

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With this weather, we have kept the poultry locked up in the coops with heat lamps 24 hours a day with regular warm water.  The goats have been tucked into the hoop house with heated water.  Because we use the deep pack manure method in the winter, the composting bedding warms all the animal housing.  (The hoop house can get so toasty that my glasses and my camera lens steam up when I first go in.)

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The chickens have been laying well and we have been getting a nice variety of colored eggs.  The foxes hit the flock hard this year so we will need more chicks in the spring to rebuild.  And somehow deal with the nearby fox den!

The ducks have not been laying at all but we hope for some in the spring.  We have many more drakes than female ducks so that may be the issue.

The does are all hugely pregnant and lying around, resting and growing their babies.  It is a matter of days before the kid births begin and we are gearing up for that.   Two does aborted at the end of December and we were able to get them into lactation so we have had a small amount of milk for our own consumption.  Soon we will return to milking twice a day, seven days a week, fifty or so milking does, and gallons of milk will be flowing daily into the vat for cheesemaking.

We rested and recharged over the holidays and are ready for a new season.

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