Monday, May 30, 2011

Done For The Day

This is the first time I have had the chance to sit down since Friday. Man I am tired and wore plumb out.
I will do my best to give yall an update of the weekends events and keep it short.

The oldest girls Graduation party Saturday night was a complete success. We ended up with around 50 friends and family coming by for good food and a good time. The Mini Farm turned into a petting zoo for a while and the geese and chickens running around with everyone gave it a real country atmosphere.  
My dad was on all the fried sides station doing his best trying to keep up with the demand on the fried pickles, onion rings and mushrooms. My buddy Dave had the grill station kicking out grilled chicken and hot dogs. I had the fried chicken and it took a batch or two to get it where it needed to be but in the end it turned out real good. The wife, my Mom and Dave's wife did all the running back and forth to the house and did a great job setting the tables and doing all the extras.
I ended up abandoning my chicken station to do some hosting and I feel bad about it so I am cooking supper tonight for all the help I had to pull this party off. I could not have done it without them.

Sunday was spent cleaning up. That is the only bad part of having a party. Not to much damage was done and we were able to get it all cleaned be noon. We spent the rest of the day going from party to party just having a good time with friends.

Today has been all about the garden. We are a little late but we had to wait for the onions to be done to plant the Okra. We harvested some of the potatoes, half the onions, the garlic, some basil (that is now on the dehydrator) and a couple of banana peppers. The tomatoes are all still green but there are a bunch of them.
The gardens have really done good this year compared to last year. We harvested more in the first week this year than we did all last year.  

I know some of yall have very big gardens and this little one week harvest basket is not much in comparison but remember, I am still building. Last year was our first year here and we did not have anything to work with. I am still not done yet though. I have four more raised beds and a green house that still needs to be built. 

Tonight I am fixing the Wife, Mom, Dad, my buddy Dave and his wife fried potatoes and onions, fried squash, baked pork chops and chicken.  

I hope everyone had a good holiday and took the time to remember what our heroes did for us.
Have a blessed week.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

One Down, Two To Go

When we brought her home from the hospital 18 years ago she did not come with an instruction manual. 

We weren't always right but we did the best we could and I just hope she can look back in her memories one day, think of us, smile and say she had a good time.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Where Do I Start

For the past few days I have been going into work at midnight and coming home at noon. My days and nights have been backwards and so that is the reason I have not posted in a couple of days.  I went ahead and stayed up for the past 24 hours to give my internal clock a reboot and put everything back on schedule.

So, where do I start?
While I have been a night walker, the wife has been making the preparations for the Graduation party going on Saturday night.
Yesterday evening all the conditions were perfect and she decided so give that ugly burn pile that we have been needing to burn for a year a once over. She said she is just tired of looking at it and I don't blame her.

I am off work till Tuesday so It is now my turn to get my list of preparations complete. There is so much to do for that many people and I picked one of the hardest food for mass production.

On the Menu for Saturday night is:
Deep Fried,
Chicken, Onion Rings, Pickles, Smoked Oysters, Hush Puppies, Fries, Squash and maybe my shoes. If I can batter it and throw it in the fryer, then it's going to get eaten. (Hide the dogs honey)
On the side of all that cardiac mountain of food there will be Cole slaw, Potato salad, Watermelon salsa, Cornbread, Home made Mac and Cheese, Beans, Crab Dip and I can't remember all the rest of the sides.
For desert, there is three kinds of Dump cakes, Smores, Cupcakes, Pineapple upside down cake.
(You would think if planned on writing this I would have at least found out or remembered what all we were having)

But tonight it is all about the Graduation and that oldest girl of ours.
I can't wait to show yall all the "bling" she has to were around her neck.

Monday, May 23, 2011

More Detail

For the past week I have had several e-mails on more details on the homemade incubator. So today being that I was rained out at work I figured this was the best time to do it.

The dimensions are 17"X17"X 4'. I used 3/4 " plywood and after cutting and screwing the box together the inside should be 15 1/2" X 15 1/2". This is the size of one of those egg turners and it fits perfect.
The 1"X2" rails on the side that hold the turners are 6" apart and 8" down from the half shelf.
I calked all joints and put foam around the door with three latches to keep it air tight.

The heating element and thermostat in the top is from an old foam incubator I had. The fan is from the wife's bathroom. The half shelf is 8" from the top and holds the fan and the water bowl. I drilled two 1" vent holes behind the fan and screwed a small piece of scrap wood on the back to be able to open and close the vent holes for the humidity control.  

I did not have any thick plexiglass so I doubled up two-1/8" pieces by using calking between the wood and the first piece, then calking between the two plexiglass pieces then I drilled holes and screwed both to the inside of the door. You can kinda see it in the first pic.

All the egg turner cords are ran through one of the bottom 1" vent holes. I close the holes off to increase the humidity and open to decrease it. This wood box holds 45% to 50% while the eggs are turning and I can close the vent holes and the humidity raises up to 70% to 75% for the hatching. 

The 100 watt light at the bottom is wired into the thermostat. There is a 1/2 degree difference in temperature from the top to the bottom. I had two 100 watts at first but that was to much. 

I also put a bowl of water in the bottom where the hatcher is to help out the humidity.

There is a chick board on the bottom so the chicks do not run out when the door is open.

For an incubator I like this one a lot. The hatching area is to small for more than one shelf at a time. This pic is of two egg turners (about 80 eggs)crowed in there. They need more space than that. I was planning to rotate and have a shelf hatching every week but I don't know it that will work due to the differences in the humidity. The chick will suffocate in the egg if the humidity is to high during the incubation process and on the other hand they will be to dry to come out of the egg if it is to low during hatching. I would like to experiment more at about the 55% to 60% range to do both but I don't want to loose a whole hatch in the process.
What I might end up doing is making another one just for hatching or I could just use the foam ones I have for that and add another shelf in this one.  

This design was something I just came up with. You might call is a design build. I looked at hundreds of homemade incubators and incorporated different things all in this one. 
I priced out everything new and this model would have cost around $125.00 to build without the turners. I was lucky enough to have everything on hand except the door latches.
Thank yall for the interest in this and if you need any more information on this just let me know.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Just Figured It Out

Call me slow, call me out dated and you can even call me a Redneck but I just figured out how to scan and put the picture on the computer. I don't know about you but I am excited. Isn't technology something?

This is a hand sketched drawing of the cooking area project I am starting.
The big circle is the concrete around the fire pit (small circle) with a sitting wall half circling it on the back.
Right up from that is the dutch oven cooking area and then the 4x4 area is where the bread oven will sit.
Keep in mind this is ever changing. I have added the deep frying area and the prep stations that are not on the drawing but you get the idea.

Yall are in trouble now. I have folders and folders of drawing and sketches I can add now.

This is funny right here,
Last night was our turn to host card night with our friends D&R and right in the middle of our wild and crazy first game of Uno, a knock came at the door and In walked one of my redneck buddies and his wife from way back. I had not seen them in a long time and was wondering what the heck are they doing here. He shouted out, "I'm here for the party and you give crappy directions!". After several minutes of laughter coming mostly from me I finally got out the words that he was a week early for the party but we will go ahead and get one started. So I hid the dogs and put up whatever could be easily broke and took down the bottle of Wild Turkey.
It was good to see them again and we sat out back bringing up some long ago memories and laughed till it hurt.
Listening to this ol'boy talk and telling stories of what he has been doing for the past few years I quickly realized that I have progressed as a Redneck to more of a low key hell raiser and noticed I was really missing the old days. For some reason I was wanting to go out and burn something like a lawn mower or a car. Don't ask me, I just had a need to do it. I didn't though, but I still wanted too.
By the end of the night nothing got broke, no animals were harmed and nobody went to jail but I am out of Whiskey and I didn't even get one drop. What kind of Redneck party was this anyway.

Watch this video of my buddy. I have not laughed this hard in a while.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Small Case

I have had a small case of the Lazys for the past two days and I am hoping to break out of it real quick.

I took off work yesterday due to the oldest had her Rose Cutting. If you don't know what that is, it is a ceremony where they announce all the achievements and scholarships the seniors received. After that they have a slide show presentation with pictures of them growing up. Then the kids cut a ribbon signaling cutting the ties from school and starting life.
The girl spent more time going up to the stage receiving awards than she did sitting down. I do not know how I was able to produce something so smart.

Then the rain set in for the rest of the day but I did manage to run down to the old farm and cut up a pickup load of wood. Then I got lazy.
Today all I did was extend the smoke pipe five feet for the cold smoker so the smoke has a little longer to cool before it reaches the meat. Then I split and stacked the wood I cut yesterday. I also was able to hang some of those big lights I got a couple of weeks ago down in the big barn. Other than that I have not done much.
I did try to burn this morning but the wind was way to high and even though the ground is wet, I did not want to chance it.
I have not decided if tomorrow is going to be a lazy day yet or not. I am wanting to start digging for the fire pit but if it is as humid as it is today, then that might just have to wait.

Next Friday night is Graduation. I have heard there are bets among the family that I cry like a little girl.
Saturday night we are having a Graduation Party, Redneck style. I will give the menu later this week. As it is right now over 50 people will be here and some all the way from Tennessee. I was hoping for around 100.        

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Bulk Storage

On and off for the past couple of nights this week I have been using up those gallon glass jars my mom found for me.
The ones that have the smaller openings are able to be vacuumed and is where I am putting all the rice and beans for storage. The larger mouthed ones are being used for all the pasta. I also put in a oxygen absorbing pad in each one to help keep the contents fresh.
I was starting to panic about mice. If just one mouse found my stash, it would run back to the mouse cave and tell them all that I have a Mouse Walmart just ready for the taking. The glass jars will make it where all they can do is just window shop.

I found a place where I can buy the powered cheese, eggs and butter I was wanting but after doing some research, I now plan to powder my own eggs and can my own butter. I know what your thinking, yes you can can butter and it has a shelf live of 3 years. Go on u-tube and type in canned butter and you can see just how it's done. It is the same process as canning vegetables without the water bath. Go figure!

Here is lesson just learned.
Our food storage was up to around 7 months last month and now we are back down to just 5. What happen is we got comfortable. Instead of putting a huge amount of money into the food budget like we always had, we decided we could just get the necessities and live on storage for a month and save the money. The problem is that if you do not have to ration food then you wont. We ended up eating about two months worth of food in a month. If this trend was in the "IT" times, we probably could have made that two months worth of food last three.
Knowing all this I now need to go back and re-figure the quantities on what is the most important and what is used the most. It also looks like I need to increase the maximum on some items and decrease on others.
I have to be selective on what I get because I do not have the room for stacks and stacks of 5 gallon buckets.

I have accepted the fact this project is on-going, ever changing and will never be done. I guess the feeling of accomplishment is in whatever your comfort level is with your supply on hand.   

Monday, May 16, 2011

Outside the Box

You might could call me a connoisseur of potato salad. To be honest, if I was on death row, part of my last meal would be Momma's blue ribbon potato salad. At every event we go to my love for the spud is known and I am always asked by the person who dared to make it, "Well, how was it"?
So over the years I have been given the chore of making the potato salad mostly due to nobody wants to hear me say theirs is a little to dry, they added to much mustard, way to much celery or what ever the case may be. It's not that I am being rude or even volunteer the criticism, they just ask me and I just tell them. I have backed off on the rude thing the past couple of years because we have a friend that does enough of that for us all.
At yesterdays family gathering I was given the chore to bring the potato salad (no way) and decided to alter the family recipe a little. As a matter of fact, I went outside the box and changed it altogether. Instead of using all of Momma's secret ingredients, I made a sour cream based salad. It was like a baked potato salad. It was an explosion in your mouth.I plan to stick with this one for a while.
I don't know if anybody liked it or not but I can tell you this, I did.

We also tried something a little different on the salsa. I found this salsa recipe on and was not for sure if it would go over but let me tell you what, you sure didn't want to get any of this on your forehead because if you did your tongue would beat the heck out of your head to get to it.
It was a Pico De Gayo base replacing the tomatoes with watermelon. A watermelon salsa, go figure. Holy crap it was good and a major hit with everyone.
I don't care what you say, that's living right there.

With the incubator project out of the way, I can now start on my outdoor kitchen. I drew the outline on the ground with paint just make sure I placed everything where I want it to be. I don't want to shoot myself in the foot on this and get half way through the build and decide I don't like it or it's in the wrong place.
This little build will take a while because this is where the magic will all happen during cooking and everything has to be just right. I am a little OCD like that.
The kitchen will have a fire pit, bread/pizza oven, dutch oven cooking are, prep station and serving station. It will have gas attachments where needed that will run the fire starters and the burners for the deep fry area. This will be redneck heaven right here.

 I got the new incubator in the house and fired up. Within no time it hit 99 1/2 degrees and is holding. The on and off cycle is 30 seconds each. The plan was to run it for a few days to make sure everything works but my patience already ran out and I put a try of eggs in just now.
I just don't know what the humidity will be right now but I think everything will be fine.
I need to get some red lights because these are just to bright.


Sunday, May 15, 2011

What About Sunday

The plan was to go to church this morning and then over to Dad's for his birthday gathering. I don't know what happen and I hate to say it but church took the back burner this morning.

Without even posting on Craig's list, people just started coming by and wanting animals. Yall know me, I hate to turn away anyone so we stayed home from church and sold. In between customers I was able to throw together a little project that has been on the books for a while now.
My buddy Dave had some extra 3/4" plywood laying around and gave me a couple of pieces. I decided to go ahead and build the incubator the wife has been wanting for a few weeks now.
Thisa is my own design I took from several different incubator builders. It is 17"X17"X48".

 I put the wife's bathroom fan at the top with vent holes behind it and scraped out an old foam incubator for the top heating element and thermostat. It will hold four egg turners at a time. The water tub will sit to the right of the fan.
The bottom has 2-light bulbs that are wired into the thermostat and will hold about 50 eggs and will be used as the hatcher.
Each shelf will be loaded one per week. That way the hatcher area at the bottom will be hatching out 42 eggs a week and then the tray will be reloaded and started all over. It should be a continuous cycle.
 This incubator should hatch out 168 eggs a month on the way it is set up now. That gives us a total of about 300 eggs a month now.
The wife is already talking about incubator number two.

 This one cost $0.00. The next one will be a little more.

 We had to cut my Dad's birthday get together a little short. We had more people coming over to buy some goats. So far this weekend we sold four goats and and I don't know how many chickens. I think the selling is done for a while until we can build back up  or hatch more chicks out. 

 Her is something that will make you smile. This goose is named Duck, Duck and she has been sitting on a clutch of eggs for almost 40 days. We hated to do it but we had to throw the eggs out. She did not hatch any at all.
We have a few Heavy breed Cochin chicks that have the run of the yard and Duck, Duck adopted them as her own. I guess she thinks they are her eggs that hatched? She herds them around showing them where the food is and keeps the other geese away. The chicks have now accepted her as their momma and do what ever she tells them.
Doesn't that just make you want to say "Awwww how precious"

Busy Saturday

Just like I said yesterday, today was pretty much all yard work. One girl was on the mower, one girl was on the weed eater, one girl was cleaning chicken pens, mending fences and I was running the pit crew. When one needed string, I was there. When one needed gas, I was there. Out of wire, I was the man. I guess the term was really "gopher". Go for this, Go for that.
 I never did show yall the little buck shelter I built out of pallets and shelves I got from a hardware store that closed down. It may not be that pretty, but it was all free.
 After the third attempt, I think we got the buck pen escape proof. It does not help that two of the nannies are in heat and they walk by the buck pen wagging their little tails just to get them riled up.
A buddy of mine gave me 9 big highway billboard lights this week. I plan to run them down the middle of the big barn and also put one in the mini barns loft area. I want it to look like daylight when I am working and these lights will do the trick. This is a good score.

Here is something that might make you say "Well I'll Be". Last weekend a fellow came by and asked if we had any junk he could haul off (I don't remember if I told yall this or not and I am to tired to go back and read if I did). He said he would pay me half of whatever the metal would bring.
He loaded up a old water heater, wire that I could not use, scrap tin pieces, two old treadmills, two trampoline frames and some other things that filled his little trailer up. When he drove out the gate, I told the wife that was the last time we would see him but that's ok because I did get to de-junk and he had to haul it off.
Believe it or not, Thursday the guy came back with money in hand "Well I'll Be".
This restores my faith in humanity just a little bit.

My Dad's birthday get together is tomorrow. It's not really a party because he said he does not want another birthday party till he turns 80. So this is a birthday get together, BBQ, luncheon kind a thing where the whole family will be there and nobody sings happy birthday. LOL

Tomorrow I have a little story that will make you say "Awwww, just precious". You don't want to miss it. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

Got Quail

The Bob White Quail finally came in this morning. 11 were dead on arrival and 4 have twisted feet. The rest are good so far. I plan to call the hatchery tomorrow and see what they say about the deformed ones and also the ones that did not make it.

Right on time, I also got my Game Bird Breeders license in the mail today so now I am legitimate and legal.

The other hatchery that had all those birds die I told you about in the last post made it good to us. They shipped replacement birds and all those came in today as well.  We are now officially overrun with chicks.

If you were wondering, we have not given up on hatching chicks ourselves. We did not have some of the breeds people were asking for so we ordered them as chicks to raise up for our breeders in the fall. We just ordered a bunch of them at a time so we can sell the left overs as pullets in a few months.
All our incubators are full and even some in my dad's as well. The wife just locked down a whole tray today.
The main problem now is that we have about 200 eggs hatching a month at different times. That makes it where we overlap some chicks in the brooder houses getting some of the ages crossed. Only by a week or so but still crossed up. The wife found a solution to that and ordered legs bands to color code the hatch dates. Smart hu?

We went to the oldest girls last softball game tonight. They made it three deep into playoffs and were just a little out batted in this game. They almost pulled it off though. The girl was really upset not just because she lost but because this was her very last game she will play. She graduates this month and after the game through her tear stained eyes she said that she did not want it to end. I feel her pain. The good thing is she went out hitting and I told her she will remember this for the rest of her life and gave her a big hug.

This weekend will be full of mowing. All that rain we got this week has made the grass get so high that I don't know if I will be able to mow it or not with my little mower so I bet we will break something trying.
And, keeping the buck goats away from the nannies has turned out to be more of a challenge than I figured. So I will be do some re-figuring on the buck pen as well.

I also scored some really good stuff this week for free but I will post about it tomorrow because I need something to write about if nothing else happens.
I will also tell yall about another instance that made me scratch my head and say " Well I'll Be", I bet you'll get a kick out of it as well.

Talk to ya then.   

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Six Inches Tall And Full Of Life

The other little goat finally had her babies. I was about a month off on the due date but the little brother and sister are up, eating and healthy. We caught them and put them in the barn to keep dry tonight. A lot of rain has moved in and I at least wanted them to have the first few days of their lives in comfort. These are the smallest I have ever seen standing only six inches tall.

We had a large shipment of chicks come in this morning. When the wife got the call she quickly drove up to the post office only to find the post man holding one little chick trying to keep it warm. He looked up at the wife with a sad look and told her he tried to save them but he couldn't. All but one were dead, a whole box full.
The wife started calling the hatchery as soon as she got to the truck. The line stayed busy for several hours and when she finally got through, the lady told her this. Two trucks holding 4000 chicks each shipped on Monday. The drivers were new and did not open the air vents. All 8000 died.
I tell you this, I panic when I see one laying there dead. I could not imagine losing close to 24K worth of chicks. I feel bad for the chicks and the hatchery. They are a smaller outfit trying to make it all work but I guess they should have trained the drivers a little better.
They are making it right. They are shipping new chicks by the end of the week. I wonder if it will be the same driver?

I have the shipment of Bob White Quail chicks coming in tomorrow from another hatchery. After I heard what happen to the other chicks, I called the hatchery just to make sure everything was ok. Yes, that was a panic move.       

The FFA banquet is tonight so I need to go and get all purddied up.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

It Does Not Matter

Even though it Is Mothers Day at the Mini Farm, everyone still pulls their share of the work load. Saying that the wife was given the opportunity to be able to pick and choose what chores she wanted to do and she chose the garden. She did all the watering, weeding and adding some new plants here and there making it really stand out. She is really making the garden area look good and so far it is the spotlight of the backyard. We are all proud of what she has done.

I am sure yall are already tired of  hearing about the little cold smoker but I have an update. I fired it up this morning and did the first burn in. I only had to alter one thing to make it right. Where the roof attaches to the walls, I left the gaps open to increase the draw but it drawled a little to much and the wind was blowing the smoke out to quick making the temp climb to high. To fix the problem I cut strips of foil backed high heat insulation and stuffed them into the gaps. Now the smoke has a chance to hang around in the smoke house a little longer and the temp does not rise as quick. The problem I have now is that if I add to much wood, the temp runs up to 300 degrees. I wanted a cold smoker and not a cooker. To fix this I am either going to have to soak the wood and let it just smolder and keeping the temp at about 100 or I could add to the flue pipe making it longer so the smoke has a chance to cool before it enters the house. I might be able to add a damper to restrict the heat but let the smoke through.
The ideal way was to bury the flue pipe and let the ground do it's natural cooling but I decided to go a different way.

On another note. My mom scored me some big gallon glass jars so I can put by all my pasta, beans and rice. As it is now, I am storing them in the plastic bags that I bought them in but would much rather seal them in theses gallon containers using the little jar vacuum I have. I also plan to throw in a oxygen pack for good measure.  

Being that I spent way to much time on the smoke house, I got behind on some of the other never ending pressing stuff.
I used today and a willing child to get me caught up on the things I should have had done but was to lazy earlier this week to do.
We were able to finish the buck pen and move the two buck to their new home. Plus she wormed some of the goats and also trimmed some hooves while she had them caught up.
Then we had a junk guy come by and we de-junked a very large pile that we were storing behind the big barn. I am glad to see all that stuff gone.
I was also able to get the yard cleaned and de-trashed plus fixed some gates and mended some fences.
Now the wife and I are fixing a nice supper for Mother days and having my mom and some friends over. She decided on homemade tacos. That is always a hit but I feel bad because I am in here writing this and not helping so I guess I had better go.

Happy Mothers day to all the moms out there and I hope you had the day you dreamed of.  


I was able to finally finish the little cold smoke house today. Tomorrow I plan to get a fire going in the fire box to see how it draws and if I will need to make any adjustments on anything. 
The top did not turn out exactly how I was wanting it. I really wanted it to be a little flatter but it is what it is.
The whole idea was to build a smoke house and not make it look like a smoke house so I tried to make it look like a mini water tower.

The fire box is a 55 gallon drum turned upside down and cut to the height where the flue pipe is at a slight angle upwards into the bottom of the smoke house. The fire box has a door on the other side where the wood will be fed into.
Is this just cute or what?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Need For Room

I don't know if any of y'all have the same problem as I do but I am in the need for more room.
Not necessarily space, but room. This little Mini Farm is just big enough to keep me out of trouble by not letting me get a bunch of unneeded animals.

What I need is more room so I can hatch more eggs. All three of the incubators are full and every shelf available in my dad's incubators are full of our eggs as well. The price of the new cabinet incubators are way out of our price range. I have plans to build one myself but the heating elements are outrageous and add in the controls and now you got about $200 in it. My plans say I can build one for under a hundred but it also says I need all the hardware on hand. With that in mind, the home made incubator is now up to $300. Double that and I can get a new one that I know will work.
If I can hatch them, I know I can sell them all. It's just frustrating. I need to be hatching about 400+ eggs a month. Right now I can only do around 200 and that's pushing it.

I am going to finish the cold smoker this weekend and even though I do not have anything to put in it, I do plan to give it the first burn in. I need to make sure it has the draw it has to have to work effectively. If not I will have to move the fire box around to where it gets a better draft.
I also have to do some more reading on how the curing method is done. I think you have to salt or brine cure the meat before you cold smoke it and if that is the case then it will take several weeks for the curing process to get done before I get a chance to use the smoker.

Another project the wife just added is a little goose house. She wants the geese to roam the whole back yard and by trying to say no without saying no I made the mistake by telling her there is no shelter for them if they stay out. My Bad. The goose house she has in mind is not your normal every day little shelter. It has to be a cute and goofy one.   

I finally got my fire pit ring. My dad brought over an old rusted out tractor rim that is just the right size to use. I plan to bury it 3/4 of the way and use it as the bases of the pit. This is the first phase of the outdoor kitchen complex that will include a bread oven, a grilling area and dutch oven cooking area. Now that I have a concrete mixer this project should be a lot easier. 

The projects are really starting to pile up again and I should have taken advantage of the past two days of being rained out at work and got some more stuff done.
I knew I would regret being lazy.     

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Have You Ever.......

I know yall have, but I will ask it anyway. Have you ever had one of those days where the "Don't wanna" out ways the "Get it done"?
Besides being muddy, today was a perfect day. No wind, mid 60's and sunny. Believe me when I tell you the wife tried to get me going by wanting to do this and needing to do that and even though I went along and supported her while she was cleaning out some pens, and moving chicks around, all I did was watch and get in the way.

She said she wanted to get the buck pen finished, move some goats, clean some chicken pens, move some chicks, herd the geese, set some eggs, clean the house and I think she even said she wanted to take over the world at one point.
I am going to regret not doing much today but like I told her, when you work in the mud, it takes so much more energy and time. Plus your tools get all nasty and in the end your finished product does not look as good as you wanted it to. (Can you believe that excuse really worked?)
Showing off for the girls

We did sell a goat today so at least I made my gas money back from yesterdays spontaneous four hour trip. Plus, we passed out some fliers and cards at some local businesses and made a few new connections that I hope will pay off in the end.

Tomorrow we have a large shipment of Standard and Bantam Bardrock chicks coming in. Some will be kept for breeders and the rest will be sold as pullets when they get old enough. We have had a lot of requests for that specific breed and I sure hate to turn people away so now we are doing our best to meet the demand. I just wished I got some six months ago.

While the wife was slaving away outside in the chicken barns, I was watching Paula Dean, I sure like her (you know it ain't always like that folks). So tonight I cooked the wife "Pork Chop and Pineapple Pie".
This is what Paula did;

For each serving, lay a boneless pork chop on a large square of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Top each chop with a slice of onion, a slice of green pepper, and a slice of pineapple. Drizzle with teriyaki sauce. Top with some butter and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Wrap tightly in the foil and place on the grill until pork is cooked through. Serve with the juice. I also used soy sauce on some just to see the difference. Both ways were excellent.
For the sides we had  fresh vegetables.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Redneck Animal Hoarder Extraordinar?

I was watching the hit series Animal Hoarder the other day and I came to realize I meet most of the requirements to be one myself. I kept telling the TV over and over, "That's not me" and then it said that most people were in denial about it so I just shut up and turned the channel.

Judge for yourself,

I just got back from a four hour round trip to pick up more pygmy goats. I got them at a good deal but after adding in the gas and time it took to get them, I think I am in the red a little. I picked up 9 and I think this is all I need for a good breeding stock. These new goats put me at 20 does and 2 bucks.
Now lets see how long that grass lasts. 
 Plus while I was there, the nice lady gave me a good deal on a bunch of rabbits. Two Lion Heads and four Mini Rex to be exact. The youngest sold off a lot of her rabbits leaving me rabbit pooless and I really need the rabbit poo. It feeds my worms and it also goes right in the garden without being to hot and hurting the plants.
These are not show rabbits or meat rabbits, just poo machines. 
I was rained out today and I wish everyday I could spend doing nothing but the Mini Farm but that cannot happen yet. Anyway I dropped by a new feed store on the way home and they had some turkey chicks at a heck of a deal. The hatchery sells them for $12 and I got them for $9.
Can't beat that deal with an wooden pole.
I got me some Bourbon Reds and Blue Slate. I doubt I will sell any of these, I wanted them for the freezer, but you never know.   

I told ya I was right on the border line of animal hoarding. If I had the money there would be no telling what I would have. I might just start me a monkey farm or something. 

Oh, BTW, I wanted to give a big howdy to a couple of new members to the MDR family. Thank yall for joining up and following this train wreck. If yall need anything just drop me a email or leave a comment. I try to always respond.
Thanks again for being a part of Modern Day Redneck.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Gotta Love Your Neighbors, Right?

Usually sleeping in on the weekends means getting up around 6:00 or 6:30 but for some reason this weekend has been different. Yesterday I slept in till 8 and this morning was not going to be any different until the phone rang about 7:00 and it was our neighbor screaming "GET OUT, GET OUT NOW!" Of course the first action was to jump up and look outside and when I saw a small portion of the Western sky lowering around us and her barn was blowing away, her frantic words were running through my head. By this time the wife had everyone up and running to the truck with me right behind.
A few minutes of driving around and not seeing a funnel of any sorts, the wife called the neighbor lady back and asked why we had to leave the house. She simply said, "I didn't say get out, I said get up".
It was high winds that's for sure and the neighbors barn did not fair well but there was no reason for an emergency evacuation like that.
God love neighbors, because nobody else does.
It did open my eyes to needing to put together a "Done Bugged Out Bag" already in the truck and ready to go because I didn't even have time to put my shoes on. 

Yesterday was not very productive except most of the day was spent mowing. Already this year I have mowed 4 times and it is not even into the growing season good yet. The price of gas has made it cost about $20 to mow and it has been a weekly event now.
The wife also dragged me out to pick up some more chickens late yesterday afternoon. We got a good deal on some Heavy Breed Cochins if we bought them all. Now we have the breeding stock for that breed as well.

One of the wife's customers called yesterday and their pygmy goat was having troubles kidding. She had already had one baby but the second was stuck and already dead. We went over and I did all I could do but the baby's head was bent back and it was turned with one front leg sticking out and the other turned sideways. I tried and tried but without cutting the momma open, the baby was not coming out. The vets up here do not answer calls on the weekends for goats so they were left with putting the momma down. It was a sad deal.
For going over and helping, they tried to give us a pot belly pig.
We did not take that pig.

 Last week the wife and I were driving around and spotted this little ornamental water tank. We both thought is was cute and all that but did not think much more about it until it hit me.
I have been designing a small smoke house for a while now and each design I come up with, in the end I really do not like. Well, here it is, my new design. A smoke house disguised as a water tank.
I do not want to build a huge smoke house because who could afford the meat to fill it up anyway.
Mine will be a little closer to the ground and the fire box will sit off to the side with a 4" pipe to connect the two.
I spent most of the day today building the round part and almost have it done. The door was the tricky part.  
Hot smoke cooks the food while cold smoke preserves it. I already have all the hot smoke cookers I need so why not have a cold one too. Now I will be able to make my own bacon and cure my own hams, summer sausage and you name it.  
I would have had pics of the part I built but I did not want to get the camera out in the rain.

Yall have a good week.