Sunday, March 2, 2008

Life on the Farm


We have a beautiful little five acre farm located in mid-Michigan. We are surrounded by hundreds of acres of wild woods and fields that are carefully tended by a Christmas tree grower for the preservation of wild animals of Michigan. Twelve apple trees of various types, a grape arbor with four varieties of grapes, a few acres of wild blackberries and raspberries and sunflowers that have become self-seeding make up our farm. We have a drive-through corn crib, where I store my 1941 Farmall B tractor, a 11' x 20' chicken coop which I have converted into a studio for my creative wife, a storage shed where I would like to store a 1950's pickup some day, a green hay barn, a pig sty and a little chicken coop that needs some love. We add and improve each year and absolutely love the country life.

I have made a huge commitment by ordering 25 of the Ornamental Layer Collection from McMurray Hatchery. The chicks are due the first week of April. We have a medium sized, 100 year old barn, complete with a 24' x 18' chicken coop in the basement where these layers will spend the night. I intend for them to be as free-range as possible. I ordered a 164' poultry electric fence which will keep them safe during the day from roving coyotes and neighborhood dogs. I will lock them up each night in the coop.

I also am hatching 18 Coturnix Quail in my third grade classroom and the quail will have a cute new home as soon as they are ready to leave the brooder.

My 79 year old father wants me to raise 20 broilers for his freezer, so I will get those from the Family Farm store in the next few weeks. I understand they are ready to butcher in 6-7 weeks. He says he'll "help" me do that. More about him on another post.

38 comments:

Ruth said...

Welcome to blogworld, Mister! I like your blog. :)

That sounds like a pretty nice farm you have there, hehe.

I can't wait for the chickens and quail. I'd better practice with the Nikon to be ready!

Don said...

Thanks Ruth! Yea! I think I'm going to really like doing this, but I also think I'm gonna need a lot of help!

Peter said...

Good stuff Bo, let me know if you need me to help. I think I still have like 54 hours more I need to do for the tires you bought me three years ago.

Heather said...

Hi Don, welcome to blogland! Can't wait to see some pics of those chicks--once they arrive. I strongly recommend having the broilers "professionally" ah, terminated. I remember that Dad got broilers once, and yes, they are ready fast. I'll send my dad the link to your blog so that he can offer is "advice". :)

freefalling said...

What's a corn crib?
I don't think we have those here.
Looking forward to hearing about your adventures on the farm!
But could you please give us a warning when you are gunna talk about chopping chickens' heads off? I think I'll have to skip that post!

Ruth said...

At last, I get to teach YOU something.

lesleyanne said...

papa in the blog world!!! how exciting. i'm so happy that you have an amazing hobby. you'll have to have a photo of a white silkie as your icon/avatar! that little picture next to your name...heehee.
hopefully i'll be there for memorial day and meet all the chicks.

Don said...

Thanks for stopping by Peter! Any time you feel like coming out, I'll have lots to do and lots of not doing to catch up on. The "Not doing" things list includes things like lying in the shade in snoozin', opening a new Jameson, waving at clouds and other important things.

Hi Heather! Thanks for reading and writing! I have heard about some guy that will come around and for a dollar a bird "process" them. If your dad knows of such a guy, I am interested!

Freefalling: Thank you for visiting! A corncrib is an old time way for farmers to store their corn. It is usually a building with spaces between the siding so the air can flow and keep the corn dry and not moldy. Most farmers store their corn in silos, which are huge storage buildings and are more sanitary. I promise to not even mention the word "chop" when the time comes!

Don said...

Hey Ruth, you teach me every day! Mostly good stuff too!

Lesley Daughter! I was at the farm store the other day and they had 4 white silkies chicks! I could hardly resist! They were little white chicks with little mohawk hairdos. They are the cutest! Kinda like you!

Loring Wirbel said...

Hi, Don, this is Loring, avid follower of Ruth's blog. Do you have the most blogging-est family in the ether, or does that honor go to some extended Pakistani family with 17 children and 21 separate blogs? Anyway, the Coturnix Quail experiment is pretty cool, we have a dedicated quail farm a mile up the road, they're much quieter than the emus that were there a while back. The emus used to escape and run down Stella Drive near the local park.

Don said...

Hi Loring, didn't Ruth tell you about our 27 children? Did you happen to snap a photo of any runaway emus?
Thanks for leaving a comment. We talk about you and your ideas often.

Rauf said...

Don, You are doing a great service having a blog on a particular subject. your blog is useful and i have a useless blog, not good for any one.

SwedeHart said...

Congratulations to meet your blog! I am looking forward to learning more about my famous uncle don through your writings!

Don said...

Rauf, thank you for your comment. I have read some of your blog and I have to say that you give all of us a lot to think about, and that ain't bad at all!

Don said...

Hey you big Swede, it's getting to be about time for us to meet Rachel's true love. Maybe you and Rachel need to be counselors at the "Green Barn Camp!" (if you've been following Hartville email lately)

Thanks for stopping by.

SwedeHart said...

Hee hee, I'll pass along the message to the Swede and show him your blog. He'll love it, considering he wants to have a farm someday, too. I haven't been following the Hartville mail... I thought I should... I'll go see.

SwedeHart said...

Hee hee, I'll pass along the message to the Swede and show him your blog. He'll love it, considering he wants to have a farm someday, too. I haven't been following the Hartville mail... I thought I should... I'll go see.

SwedeHart said...

Hee hee, I'll pass along the message to the Swede and show him your blog. He'll love it, considering he wants to have a farm someday, too. I haven't been following the Hartville mail... I thought I should... I'll go see.

Drowsey Monkey said...

Welcome to the blogosphere! You probably don't know this, but your wife adopted me a while ago, I plan to move into the barn soon. Can I get internet access out there? ;)

Ginnie said...

I am just tickled pink, dear Don, to see you with your own blog! I can hardly wait to tell Donica. She'll maybe get her own "bug," even though I doubt it. But you never know!!! :)

Don said...

Hey Rachel, sorry to get you mixed up! You can never really be mistaken for a boy! Farmin' life is grand.

Hi Drowsey, if you want to live in the barn, you'll have to share it with the chickens, the bats and the barn cat. I think we'll be a little more accomodating for you. You can stay in the tent!

Ginnie, I will never be a blogger like you and Ruth, but I think it will be fun to chronicle my life as a wet behind the ears farmer!

Bob Johnson said...

Cool blog Don, welcome to the wonderful world of blogging

Don said...

Hi Bob, thanks for stopping by. I'm looking forward to seeing what this blog will actually turn into!

chickengirl said...

Have you ever raised chicks? If you need some tips (which you may be an expert), you can read some of my blog: http://chickencare101.blogspot.com/!
~chickengirl~

Don said...

Hi Chickengirl, you have a fun blog to visit. I like all of your pics and your ideas. Thanks for stopping by. Yes, I have raised chickens and turkeys before. It has been a while, but since I have summers off, I feel ready to take on some barnyard fun!

pablohart said...

A blog by Uncle Don should be a real treat. Welcome!

Don said...

Real treat! I get to have you come and help me with my barn. That's the treat in all of this!!

chickengirl said...

Thank you! It would be neat to raise turkeys! Some of my friends live in a very forested area, and they have wild turkeys that live near their home! They also have chickens and rabbits.

Don said...

Raising turkeys will give you good stories to tell. It was hard to do the Thanksgiving thing with them, but they did get quite large and were the best turkeys ever!

chickengirl said...

I bet they were better than pre-packaged, store-bought turkeys! Kind of like with fresh eggs.

Don said...

They definitely were tastier! One of them was so big it wouldn't fit into the oven!! The smallest was 22 lbs and the largest was 30 lbs!

chickengirl said...

Wow! I bet that fed quite a few people!!

Don said...

Chickengirl: If I remember correctly, we had a housefull, probably 30 something!

chickengirl said...

Whoa! You must have had a big Thanksgiving!!

Don said...

My wife is the youngest of 8 and I am the fourth of six, so we have lots of in-laws, cousins, etc! It makes life more fun!

chickengirl said...

And I though my family was big!

Amy said...

Looking at your barn, I think we chose the same color paint for our coop. It's a nice medium green with white trim. So now maybe I can call my blog "A view from the Green coop?" LOL

That's a lovely view of the barn there. What is that flowering shrub next to it? It looks so picturesque!

Don said...

Hi Amy, Thanks for visiting and leaving a comment! The flowering bush is one of our lilacs. We have four large lilac "clumps" around the farm in four different colors.