What’s Going On
A day in the life of Farmer
Today I want to take a break and give you a quick little write up of everything we have going on out here on the farm. I figured some of you might be interested in what we do around here.
Please check out my Farm Store if you haven’t already, Getchu Some Honey!
Chickens were the first addition to the farm about 5 years ago. (After dogs and cats of course). We started with a small chicken coop from the hardware store and put it together on some 2x4’s with some handles and 2 wheels on one end so you can move it around the yard.
We got 6 chicks from somewhere I can’t remember now and ended up with about 3 full grown hens. Chicks are very delicate and not all of them are going to make it to adult laying hens fyi. I covered a lot about chickens in a previous post. Later I built a larger chicken house and over the years we have acquired a nice flock of birds.
We now have the 30 hens and 2 roosters. We get about a dozen eggs per day. This helps us with easy snacks and breakfast. We also sell eggs for $4 per dozen to neighbors and friends.
We’ve recently added 6 guineas to our flock as well. These birds are a little different from chickens in their behavior but they are neat little birds. They are still very young so we’ll see how they work out. Here is some of my flock below.
Chickens were fun so we decided to put up some fencing on the side of our property. About .25 acres fenced in with goat wire. This is the first fence I ever built and the start of all the madness 😂.
We bought a Nigerian fixed (whethered) billy goat and a small Nigerian doe. These goats are really fun because they jump up on everything and are really playful. We kept them for a few years until Miss Farmer fell in love with a type of dairy goat called a Lamancha. We now have 2 Does and 2 Billies which are full blooded registered Lamancha dairy goats.
I plan to do a full detailed post on goats soon. There is a huge world of goats and many rabbit holes to go down so to speak. You can register pure blooded goats with various official goat breed clubs which handle registration and tracking blood lines for each breed. A registered goat will fetch more money when selling the kids.
Here is our best Lamancha Doe:
Lamanchas are much bigger goats than what most people are used to, and are extremely docile. Their milk is actually very tasty and our whole family has transitioned to it from cow’s milk nicely. I recently traded a lamancha buckling and doeling for some fruit trees from a fellow farmer.
We also recently picked up a registered Nigerian dwarf billy with hopes to get a female partner for breeding. The Nigerians are very easy to sell due to their size.
Here is the little nigerian billy:
And the female newborn Lamancha:
Having dairy goats in milk is bringing us about 1/2 gallon of fresh raw milk per day. The opportunities are endless with a fresh milk supply in the kitchen as well as selling to friends and family.
I’m also interested in offering goat grazing as a service. With portable electric fencing, I can clear out thick brush and grass with just two billy goats in a couple of days.
We have the following:
4 Registered Lamancha Dairy Goats
1 Registered Nigerian
As you well know I’m a gardener and I keep a pretty large garden. I try to keep it going most of the year. This adds quick easy side dishes to our protien on every meal. We jar and freeze as much extra as we can from the garden. There are many ways to market fresh vegetables, I’m looking into options for this season with my extra produce as another small side income source.
I’m also planning to start an indoor microgreen operation to try to sell to some local restarants. I’ll do a write up on that when I get around to it.
Here’s most of what’s growing right now out back in addition to a large herb garden.
We love fruit here on the farm. I’ve been buying and planting trees for the past three years. One day I should be able to harvest a pretty good bit of fruit each summer for sale or the kitchen table. Again, the possibilities are endless when you have fresh fruit available.
We have the following:
4 years ago, Miss Farmer became obsessed with starting some honey bees on the farm. This has been a great addition to the farm since we now have fresh honey all the time and happy pollinators for our crops and trees. Our bees are blessed with acres and acres of wild flowers and privet to use for pollen and honey production.
We are able to sell the honey practically anywhere, and it tends to sell itself due to the amazing sweet taste and beutifuly golden color.
Last year I bought some fresh beef from a fellow farmer. It spurred the idea of raising one or two steers for meat and possibly selling the meat to friends and family. Therefore, I found a young steer for my second fenced in area that I built not too long ago. He’s in about a 1 acre fenced in area so there’s not much more room for anymore cows in that area.
He is a 2 year old black angus steer who will be taken to butcher at the end of this summer. I’ve already found another young steer to bring home to replace him. This could be a nice source of side income if I can keep the steers in rotation and find customers. I’m blessed because I have access to free hay from the pastures to hold the steers over through the winter. They love to eat as you can see:
We purchased two young rabbits a couple of months ago. The plan is to use the rabbit manure for easy fertilizer in the garden and compost. We will also breed and sell babies when they get old enough. They can be a source of protien which we may try at some point to see if we like the process.
The rabbit breed we have is Texas A&M.
When I first moved out on the place, we had a bad problem with rats. They would get in the tractor or old truck and damage the wires. So we got a couple of free kittens and they have grown up to be great assets to the farm. They lurk around all night looking for stuff to chase. Almost every morning there will be a “present” for us in the back yard 😂
We usually get our pets fixed, however one new addition had a litter before we cold schedule a spot at the Clinic! I’m sure Miss Farmer didn’t mind.
It is an absolute requirement to have dogs on the farm, I’m pretty sure it’s written in the constitution or maybe it’s a ten commandment.
If you have small animals like goats or chickens, you almost have to have a good guardian dog that roams free on the farm at night. We have a Great Pyrenees working dog and she’s probably the best addition we’ve made to the farm.
Before, we were losing chickens to racoons and foxes at night. Now, we don’t even close the chicken coop door at night. She’s really good to not run off, she stays close by the goats and chickens and makes sure no predators step foot in our yard. She is a strictly outside working dog and a HUGE asset to the farm.
We also have a small chihuahua who stays inside and is the sweetest little dog you e ever seen.
Soon to come:
We have added a small pond on the back of the property which will hopefully be stocked with bream and then eventually bass. This will serve as another food source and relaxation. The kids like to swim and kayak in the pond and it can be a source of water if needed.
I’m in the process of fencing in another 3 acres to give us more room to add cows or goats and be able to rotate pens so the grass is able to grow. You don’t want too many animals in one pen because they eat all the grass down quickly. Too many goats in one area can lead to sickness as well. It’s always nice to have separate fenced in areas to separate animals or rotate them.
Well that’s all for now, thanks for taking a tour of the farm. We’ll see ya’ll next week.
What am I missing? Do you have any ideas for me to try or good additions we should look into? I’m interested in hearing from you!