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Tuesday, January 6, 2015

It's a cold week, yet the farm thrives on!

Well, it's so cold.. Cold for us southerners! But everyday there is still so much work here !
Who ever said small farmers get to take it easy in the winter should have seriously been slapped !
Yet, on top of all the chores I added some new livestock to the crew last week... Sometimes the timing may not be right but when the opportunity presents itself I have to jump! And make it work.. Kinda like working with (or around the weather !)
Giant Homer Pigeons
I added some very nice American Fantails... but thats not the best part....Giant Homers!!!!! I had never seen a Giant Homer.. but this really really nice guy allowed me to purchase a pair even though he really had no intentions of selling any yet. I am thrilled to have these guys... all of them.
Good thing pigeons eat so little...  I have 23 total now... I know this sounds weird but I am so excited to clean out their pens and get their poop in my compost ..heres a little on why: http://www.farmersweekly.co.za/article.aspx?id=29174&h=Go-green!
Seems pigeon poop is equal to the most prized fertilizer of all, Bat guano ...without the health risk and creepiness of having to go in a bat cave to gather it!
Look up the nutrients in this stuff... its garden gold!!!!! Even if their meat wasn't so amazingly tasty and nutrient dense, I would want pigeons just for that alone.. good fertilizer is a high priority here! Not to mention they are super low input livestock and just so pleasant to be around.
American Fantails

Winter garden.... feeding us , ducks...
and now GEESE!!!!
Also had to jump at this addition .... Pilgrim geese.
I had tried Toulouse geese , sad,,,they were so mean and aggressive!! But it was to late...I was hooked on the fact that their meat is amazing, the fat is highly prized for cooking..and rightly so! Their down is outstanding, they raise their own babies... and the winning reason.. they can be raised 100% on pasture, so long as good pasture is available... they will graze like a ruminant! They are vegetarians ... and fatten up just fine with no added input.
Extremely economical livestock! and once the kinks get worked out on managing them ...and their attitudes...  they are a must have here. More on how I have set up their living areas and pastures later. 
But this breed has another major plus.. they are sex-linked and can be sexed by color!!! yes!

Pilgrim Geese chopping on some greens from the winter/fall garden
On a fun note... this is pygora fiber from Poppy Creek Farm in GA.
Since I am no longer going to raise fiber animals, I will be buying all the fiber for my handspun yarns and crochet fashions from fiber farms in the USA.
In order to keep up with our subsistence farm goals our livestock had to change to low input animals, that left out fiber animals... fiber animals take extra time and care... I'm happy to support others who want to focus on growing excellent fibers!Lots of work goes into making beautiful locks like these! I can't wait to spin them!

Pygora
And one more thing..Happy Blessed New Year!!!! 
God is so good :-)

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