Fall is what I would consider our second busiest time of year, right behind spring. Fall is full on prep mode trying to get everything done before winter hits. Wintering with animals adds an extra dynamic of stress. We need to make sure they have everything they need from shelter to accessible water when temperatures drop below freezing.
So what is all going? To start with, we are wrapping up our 2nd batch of meat chickens with a butcher date set for our cornish crosses for mid September. Shawn built a new shelter for the cornish crosses, making moving them more efficient. This shelter, called the chick shaw is a design from one our favorite homesteaders, Justin Rhodes. It is lightweight, provides great shade and shelter from predator animals. I love the ease of moving this shelter so our chickens can enjoy fresh grass everyday leaving behind nitrogen rich manure.
Our Red Rangers are in our origanl chicken shelter made from free material found on the property. These guys are moved on a weekly basis and won’t be ready for butcher till end of October. They are a slower growing bird and we are doing a comparison between the two on cost of feed, taste and how easily they are managed on the homestead.
Our pigs are growing like crazy and we are estimating them to be roughly around 200lbs! They are doing really well being moved once a week and enjoy their daily belly rubs. They will be with us till December so a winter sacrifice area will need to be set up for them. A sacrifice area is a place where animals can be pend up to spare good pastures. We plan on having a spot close to the house so we can insure their water stays unthawed and monitor their food rations and hay making sure they are continuing to grow and stay healthy.
We had an escapee with our goats! Luckily she was within the perimeter of our bigger fence so no predators could get to her and she was easily convinced to join her friends. Not sure how she got out from the portable cross fence but looked like maybe she was spooked.
These ladies will hopefully be bred this fall, If all goes as well, we have plans for picking up a buck at the beginning of October. For wintering our does we have a barn needing clearing out which will be used for the goats winter shelter. The area around the barn needs brush and trash clean up so we can install a fence around it. After being here for almost 5 years we are still find trash in areas we have not cleared out yet. We will be renting a dumpster and with some elbow grease this area should be ready in time for winter!
It is time to plant that fall garden! This past weekend I finished planting the last of my fall seeds. I started broccoli, cabbage and brussels sprout seedlings in July and it was time to get them in the ground. The deep mulch method has made this so easy with very little prep! I planted a fall garden last year a little to late. Keeping fingers crossed for a more successful fall garden this year.
We have several irons in the fire but I know with some hard work we always manage to get it done!