Saturday, April 30, 2011

Just Another Way To Stick It To The Man

One day the Government will tax us on the air we breath, oh wait they already do, It is in the form of vehicle emissions.

The Mini Farm is a very small entity to never get as big as to compete with any of the big competitors or never as big as to corner any type of market of any kind, but the Government still sees it as a agricultural business and makes us pay all the fees as if we are one of those big corporations. Now the fees may be a little less but we still have to jump through the same hoops.
The rules say you have to have a license to sell this type of bird and another license to raise another type. Then you have to buy another license if you want to take them somewhere to sell other than your land. That one license alone is $500.
Then you have to have to have all these test done to make sure you are selling healthy birds and if they find one bird that is sick, they will destroy everything and ban you from raising anymore. Then if you decided to sell some fryers already processed, that is more licenses and now we brought the health department into the equation.
The bigger you get, the more the fees are. So it is like you are being penalized for success.
Now we are bringing Quail on the Mini Farm and being that they are a "Game Bird" the Texas Fish and Game are involved. We have to get another license just to have them on the place and send in reports for every egg and bird we have on hand or sold. If they randomly inspect us and find something different then it is a $500.00 fine.
Did you know that in Texas you have to have a Game Bird license to raise and sell any type of geese? I didn't until yesterday.
We already have our food handlers license so we can sell our home made pickled goods and sauces but now we learned we can only sell them in the county the license was issued in. Any other county we sell in we have to get the same license for that county or we get fined.

What it all boils down to is that these people that make these rules really do not care about me, you, the consumer or the animals. They care about justifying their jobs and sticking it to the man.

Just a note, when I sat down here tonight I had no intention of writing anything about all this. I was going to talk about what happen today and what the plans were for tomorrow. I have a really neat little build I am doing and was looking forward in sharing it with you all. But it is late and I guess when I do not get enough sleep I tend to ramble on and there is not anything better to get your blood pumping than the government sticking it to ya.
Good post with pics tomorrow, promise.           

Friday, April 29, 2011

Lessons Learned

We found out why so many people are wanting the little Serama mini chicks we sell, we are to cheap. I know I mentioned this a couple of posts back but today it is even more evident.

I make it a habit to scroll Craig's list every few hours just to see whats on the market and how much people are selling things for. Every now and then you can come across some very good deals. Most of the time from just the price you can tell if the person is trying to make a little money or is completely fed up with it all and are selling everything.
I have been noticing more and more Serama chicks being listed in other cities close by and the prices are way more than what we are asking. One guy in OK is selling 4 week old chicks at $25.00 a piece. That is $18 dollars more per chick than we sell them. Another is selling week olds for $12.00 a piece and that is $5 more than us.
Ok here is the funny part. They are our chicks. We went back and looked at the phone numbers and sure as the world, they are the same people. By no means am I against any person making a buck or two, but 18 wow. Congrats on them for getting it but I can tell you this, all they are doing is driving the market up making it harder to sell them.
I do plan to raise the prices on the Serama chicks a little more, but I do not plan to gouge the market on them. We already went from 5 to 7 for a week old chick so now we are going from 7 to 10 and see how that goes but also honoring the 7 for ones that are already on the waiting list.

I also wanted to mention that for the past few days we have had a steady flow of people coming and going buying this or that. From a box full of chicks or rabbits to just one or two at a time. More people are scheduled to stop by this weekend for whatever is left.
Doing all this the wife and I have met some really nice people and more than that, might have made some new friends. We have been invited to visit one couples church a couple of towns over and another couple even invited us to a crawl fish boil next month. We plan to attend both.
All and all just some good down to earth people and good to talk to.
Here's my conclusion, if more people bought chickens, then the world could be a better place to live. Now that is Redneck wisdom at it's finest right there.          

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Smoking Gun

The wife and I pulled the trigger so to speak on the Mini Farm this weekend by posting everything a little to early. There is not much for sell now and the weekend has not even got here yet.
We still have some geese and several different kinds of day old chicks left but the big ticket items are already gone.
I am happy to have that problem!

The one big thing the we found out in all this is when your the one holding the smoking gun, make sure you did not shoot yourself in the foot.
Let me explain. Raising and selling the animals is great and there is a big market for just about as many as we can hatch, heck we even have a waiting list for some, but when you get in the moment there is a tendency to do some over selling. Over selling is just like shooting yourself in the foot because when you do that, then you end up with nothing to replace what you sold.
Needless to say, we just placed an order for a bunch of chicks. These chicks will replace and add to the breeding stock and whatever is left over will be sold. Plus, we had some people ask for specific breeds and we did not have them, now we will.  

 AND, the youngest girl sold off some of her rabbits and decided the profit margin was not as big as she was wanting so she ended up ordering a bunch of bobwhite quail.
I guess we are in the quail business again.
(It was part of the plan anyway)

Oh, before I go I wanted to say howdy to a couple of new members to the MDR family. Howdy!
If yall need anything just drop me a line and I will get back to ya as soon as I can.
Thanks for being a part of the Mini Farm and joining the Modern Day Redneck Family.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Here We Go

The Mini Farm is open this weekend with many many little things to sell.
Being rained out for the past two days I have been getting everything ready for this weekend. I just posted several adds on Craig's list for Chicks, Chickens, Geese and Rabbits. Calls are already coming in and I am excited about it. I just wished it was not so muddy around here but I will take the good with the bad, we needed the rain.

Update on the setting Geese. I got antsy and have been wondering if the Male goose was fertile anyway because the eggs that got cracked did not have any birds in them. Well yesterday I stole an egg because I was going to throw them out and when I cracked it open it did have a baby in it. My heart just sunk but I had to know.
What do they say, sometimes human interaction is the worst thing to an animal, in this case it was.

More and more babies are hatching out in the little foam incubators with the fans making the hatch rate even better. I think I might keep them now.

After the rain stopped and the sun came out I swear I could see the grass growing. I just mowed last weekend and I need to do it again as soon as it dries up. I am even going to have to mow the back part because the little goats are not keeping up with it like I thought they could. I told the wife this morning that we need at least 20 more of them little things to keep the grass down. She just looked at me and while looking back at her I found myself having the time to wonder what was going through her head when she had that blank look straight at me. I didn't ask and maybe I don't even want to know.     

If you have not heard this song and watched the video you should. It kinda sums it all up.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Not To Far Off

I was not right on it but I was not to far off it either on the little goats having their babies, just a couple of weeks or so. One had a little doe and a little buck yesterday between storms and the other nanny should have hers tonight or tomorrow night.

This is one of the little nanny's we got a month or so back that I was worried about because she was bred way to early. No problems so far (knock on wood) and it looks like she is going to be a great little momma.
One more to go and I hope it goes just as smooth for her.

The wife was wanting small and I think she got it. These babies measure only seven inches high right now. They can almost walk through 2" turkey wire.  

Two of the little foam incubators with the new fan attachments we installed a month ago started hatching yesterday. Right now, 20 out of 80 eggs have hatched with two more days left before we pull the plug. So far a 40% hatch rate is better than what I was getting without the fans, so maybe the small investment was worth it.

The storms here have been really bad the past few days. We just got pelted with quarter size hale and now I am fixen to go check out the gardens in hopes I still have some plants standing.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

What A Weekend!

This weekend was filled with all kinds of ups and downs. Let me break it down for ya.

Saturday started off with a what we thought was going to be a quick run to the monthly auction for some much needed junk at low prices but ended up not getting half of what we wanted due to people running the bids up. I even looked at one guy who I stuck with a high bid and told him he was an idiot for running me up because he could have bought the stupid thing new at the store for less money.
I guess pride gets in the way at the auction and people loose their heads.
I was able to get a much needed concrete mixer that I have been wanting for a while now and after some minor modifications, it is now able to be pulled behind my little tractor. I also picked up some small odds and ends adding to the clutter and the wife ended up with some nice, big concrete planters.

We hoped we would be out of there at noon, so when two o'clock rolled around I said to heck with the rest of it and we were out the door.

Finally arriving home, we were met with some people buying chickens and the youngest covered in stain from head to toe. She thought it would be nice to stain some of the fence but ended up getting more on her than the fence. I guess it's the thought that counts.

 Saturday night was a ruff one as far as the weather goes. We had one heck of a storm blow through and even though the Mini Farm was spared, some other neighbors were not so lucky.

One the right of this pic is what is left of a barn. Most of it is laying in the ditch and the rest is scattered through the fields.

This barn is just to the East of the one above and you can barley make it out but the whole end of it is missing.
 This is my Dads tractor barn. The straight line winds took off the middle section of roof and strung it all over his place barley missing the trucks.

It could have been worse, barns can always be rebuilt. 

 Despite the ruff and rowdy night, this weekend ended with the normal Easter cook out over at our friends D&R. Pretty much my whole family was there and my buddy and his wife put on one heck of a shindig.

 The big kids made up their own game and played egg baseball.

 That's it, nothing fancy just living in the country. I hope everyone's Easter was great and I hope your week is even better.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Getting Older

The one good thing about getting older is that now I can hide my own Easter eggs and never remember where I put them.

The senior sports event we went to for the oldest girl went off like a hitch. I set the stage on what to wear and also made a lot of ol' boys mad because now they have to wear a suit when they go. They can't let some old redneck show them up, how would they ever be accepted again. LOL

I did not enjoy being dressed up but I did enjoy the smile on the face of the girl and how she stood there with pride.

Let me tell you something that is just fantastic. We had another tray of eggs hatch from my Dad's incubator two days ago and this one ended up being a 96% hatch rate. That is the best I ever had. If the little foam ones with the new fan attachments don't do at least half that then they might end up in the trash. We will find out on the 25th or so.

We had a lady come by yesterday and get every Mini Chicken Chick we had. After she paid the wife she said with a giggle that we were selling them to cheap. She just bought some from another guy at $10.00 for a day old chick and we sold them at $5.00. I think $10.00 is a little to steep and I know I would not pay that for them so from that conversation we upped the price to $7.00 a chick. Even at $5.00 we made out pretty good and the wife told me later she had a hard time not to giggle back at the lady about how she was the one, not us that got ripped off at that price.

On another note, I have been studying on Aquaponics. I plan to get the fish farm up and going in the very near future and while doing more reading on backyard fish farming, I stumbled on how to grow food from using the fish water. I have never really thought of it but it looks like it would be something fun.
Like I said, I am still learning about it but have already got the system designed and thought out. It should be cheep enough to do using recycled products but the one problem I see is that I will have to run grow lights because the fish will be in the big barn where they can stay cool. I do not want to pipe the water all the way outside and then back in plus I would have to build another fence so the goats wont eat everything.
There are some things about the process I still do not understand yet but it should not take to long to get it all figured out.

 I think at least one of the momma geese are done with a 0% hatch rate. Two others are still setting but this one has been on the nest for 30 days now and still nothing. The momma goose cracked one today and with further inspection there was never a chick started, it was just rotten. I am beginning to wonder if the Gander is even fertile and the others are just wasting their time. 

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Crystal Ball

Apparently predicting the future is not a gift of mine. I can assume the future but you know what they say about /ass/u/me/.
The baby goats are not on the ground like I predicted and the baby geese are not following their momma right now like I said they would be. Everything is still the way we left it last week, "Any minute now".
We got antsy and candled the geese eggs that are under one of the mommas and found that most were not good. The ones that candled dark might just be rotten and throwing me mixed signals. I don't know, we will have to wait and see. I plan to give them a couple of more days until I let the poor momma goose off the nest. The other two geese are still sitting and we will candle them in a week or so.

As far as the goats, count me clueless. The tried and true method of checking them did not work this time. So when they drop, they drop. We are ready for them anyhow.

Last night was the first harvest from the lettuce garden and there ain't nothing like a fresh picked salad on the dinner plate. We should have enough lettuce in the gardens to last up till the heat of the summer but there I go again and predicting the future. She also made a home made apple pie.

Here is a lesson, I messed up on the sweet potatoes. I grew the shoots just like they said to do from a piece of potato in a jar of water and when the shoots got six inches or so long, I snapped them off and planted them. They are not doing to good right now because I did not read further down the page when they told me to snap the shoots off and put those in a jar of water until they develop little roots of their own, then plant. I skipped that step so now I might have to wait till next year to have sweet potatoes.

The wife just put another six or so dozen eggs in my Dads incubator and our incubators should be hatching pretty soon but there I go again.

We had the Chicken Inspector from the Ag Extension Office come out today to inspect all the chickens and give us a certificate so we can keep selling our now certified healthy birds. We have to get this done once a year.

Tonight is senior night for the oldest girl and it is also the night I have to dress up and look purty for all the city folks so they wont think I am even more WT than they already do. No really, the only reason is because I want the girl to be proud, I could care less what them other people think.     

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Wasted Days And Wasted Times, Or Was It?

I hate to say it was all a waste of time, but this weekend turned out to be nothing more than just running around and doing nothing but hold on, there is a twist to the story.

I had to work Saturday and did not get off till around three. Then I had to run by the Mens Warehouse and pick up a suit coat for the upcoming Senior day and Rose Cutting for the oldest daughters graduation ceremonies. I want to look nice and make the girl proud to sit with me and if putting on a monkey suit does that, then I will do it.  When I walked in a sales man came right up to me and asked if he could help me with something. I looked down at this little man and in the deepest voice I could muster I answered "I want you to make me purdy". He did not even bat and eye. His response was "I have sixteen years of experience, lets git'er done".

Then it was to our friends D&R for steak, taters and card night.
Ya know, Heaven ain't to much further away than that pic right there. You should have been there, OMG 

Today was no different. The wife and I started out early with D&R to the trade days to look for some odds and ends stuff and ended up getting more stuff than we wanted and not the stuff we went there for. Just more junk to add to the already growing junk we can't get rid of as it is.
I did end up getting a old military back pack that I have kinda been thinking about rigging up. It is a medium size pack with pockets all over it. It will be our, I call it "Get out" bag, but some call it the "Bug out" bag.  It will be stocked with all the bare essentials to live on for about a week or so. Nothing fancy, just the stuff to keep you alive and kickin.  

Then on the way home we decided to go ahead and do what we have been dreading to do for a few months now, a Sam's run. At first we were just going to get a few things like butt wipe, paper towels and maybe a case or two of canned goods. That idea went out the window after about five minutes of being in there.
Even though we really could not afford it, I feel a lot little better now looking at the full pantry and knowing if "It" happens, we are stocked up for six to seven months. It is not the twelve I am shooting for but it is a dang good start being only four months into our goal year.

When we finally made it home we were surprised to find that the kids did all of our chores for us today. I found, the roof of the brooder house was repaired, the 60mph winds Friday took some of the roof off and the youngest knew it needed to be done so she got her little tool belt and got up there and fixed it.
I also saw that all the gardens were watered and the yard was cleaned up. The goat barn was cleaned out and the waste was put in the compost bins. Even the house was clean, laundry was done and supper was started. How exciting is all that. The only thing that could top all that was if they were out grilling me some more steaks.

I may grumble during the week and think the world is against me for the most part and folks I hate to brag because I am defiantly afraid of old "Murphy" and his law, but I will tell you this much, this weekend I tasted heaven in the form of a T-Bone and got to share it with some good friends. I lived a dream with the kids working as a team and while I was away, getting what work needed to be done, done without me even asking. I have a pantry full of food, a woman who loves me even with all my faults and a job to go to tomorrow. What else is there? Now if all of that is a waste of time, then I will waste every second I have left on this earth.

Yall have a good week now.      

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Maybe, Just Maybe

Some weeks you got it and some weeks you just don't. Being a year older now I am trying to take the good with the bad and not let the little things get to me as bad. For the past few weeks we have been rolling on really good, but this week has been a check in reality.

Like I said in the last post, the hatch rate from the big incubator at my Dads was good and we have another tray coming off at the end of the month full of the mini chickens.
The people around here are in love with these little, easy to raise chickens and I wish I could hatch out and sell 500 or more a month.

The geese are going to natural hatch their eggs any minute now and we are still waiting on the new pygmy goats to drop. They show all the signs of kidding and with a cool front moving in tonight I bet they have them. I am just worried about it.

The middle daughters birthday dinner was a hit last night. The wife made up some chicken fried steak tenders with mashed potatoes and gravy. And People wonder why I'm fat.

The weekend plans are:
I plan to make a run to the monthly trade days and get some rustic, metal handles so I can put on my wooden gates. Then stop by the flag store and see if I can get another Bonnie Blue flag because I have wore mine plum out.
I also want to look for one of those large dinner bells so the wife can let me know supper is ready when I am down at the barn. Lord knows I can't miss any meals.
Then maybe, just maybe if everything goes right I can start on the rabbit room I really need to get done before the 100 degree day get here. We can't let the rabbits get to hot because their fur will not look as good when we show so they need their own air conditioned room.
I tell you what, we better start making some money from these little fur balls pretty quick or they might end up being dinner.

I did get a flag in the mail that I plan to fly out back. I have been wanting one of these for a long time and now I can show it with pride.
If you don't know the history of this flag and the meaning of the rattle snake then you ought to look it up. It is well worth the read. 

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Quality Makes All The Difference In The World

I could have swore that the post with the Crawfish Etouffe dish would have gotten a lot more comments than it did. I guess I will just stay with the old tried and true Texas BBQ then.  
For the past three days the eggs we put in my Dads high dollar incubator have been hatching out. I think they are pretty much done now and the final count is right at a 78% hatch rate. That is a whole lot better than the 10% to 30% hatches we have been getting with the little foam incubators.

There are three incubators in the bedroom running right now and we have the first hatch with the new fan attachments coming off on the 25th. We will see if the added fans do any good to increase the hatch rate. Fingers are crossed. 

Tonight was crock pot night. Pork roast seasoned with rib rub on a bed of potatoes, carrots, onions, bell peppers and mushrooms cooking all day long.  

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Some Men Do And Some Men Don't

Cook that is. I was really looking forward to tonight's meal because I am stepping outside of my "normal" box.
I love cooking and I really love trying new things and even though Texas cooking can never get boring to me, I wanted to try a little something different from another part of the world, Louisiana.

As far as work went, Time was on my side today so I took it easy. I got everything from the "Have Too" list accomplished yesterday, as a matter of fact you could say I kicked that lists butt. So it was on to the "Want too" list for today.

Yesterday on my way to IHop for the middle girls birthday dinner, (her idea not mine) I stopped by the old farm and picked up the awning for the little goat barn I brought home and rebuilt, I guess a month or so ago. This was the first thing I did so I could go ahead and get it out of the way. This will keep the rain from blowing in the little barn and give some shade for the goats this summer.
 All I need to do now is to paint the thing.

With all the time in the world today I decided to go ahead and get my little catch pen done I talked about yesterday.
I took landscape timers I had laying around and cut the rounded part off of them to make it look like a split rail fence. Then my Dad had a piece of hog panel out back of his place and I framed it in for the gate.
 I used it for the first time tonight because I have two little nanny's I got last weekend bagging up and needed to be checked out. I am worried about them because the guy bred them too early. They are just a little over a year old so that puts them being bred on their first heat. I don't like doing that and that is why I have a buck pen.
Sure enough, they should have them in the next couple of days. I guess we will start the labor watch.       

 Sunday supper was a great success. This was the first time I have had or have made Blacken Catfish on a bed of dirty rice covered with Crawfish Etouffee. I almost want to make myself believe the fish was better cooked this way than just deep fried. The crawfish tails made the dish super rich and full of flavor. This is a must do again.  
I topped it all off with a double chocolate cake with a whole can of cream cheese icing in the middle. OMG I bet this made the blood sugar shoot up. 

Yup, all by myself!

I want to welcome a couple of new MDR members this week and thank them for joining the family. You know who you are so thank yall and drop me a line if you need anything. Everyone have a great week and thanks for being a part of the Modern Day Redneck experience with me.  

Saturday, April 9, 2011

RedNeck Style

Once a month it is can crushing day and the only way to do it is Redneck style. It's funner that way.

So the Tupperware party was good. The women folk all stayed in the house euing and awing at all the plastic dishes and the couple of men that had to go stayed outside with their head down looking at and kicking the grass.
But before all that excitement happen, we did get a lot accomplished.
Daylight could not get here fast enough for me this morning and when it poked it's little head up I was out the door.
First, all the animals needed my attention and then straight to the gardens. By that time, the rest of the family was up and moving around so I put them to work pulling weeds as well.
I did get the chicken runs completed and all the little doors cut in the side of the barn and now all the layers have a nice little yard they can stretch out in and do some sunnin.
Next came the yard work. I grabbed the weed eater and the middle girl grabbed the mower and we were done in no time. She thinks she outsmarted me by jumping on the mower and making me do the weed eating but I knew what she was doing.
Then it was off to the softball game where the oldest played her little heart out and then we rushed to the fabulous, high dollar, plastic bowl party.

NASCAR was in Ft. Worth tonight and nothing else but the race really mattered to me, but when the birthday girl who is turning 16 wanted me to take her and her friends to I-Hop for her birthday dinner, how could I say no. After all, it was cheaper than cooking all that food like I did last month for the youngest.

Tomorrows to-do-list is kinda up in the air right now because I got it done today. I think I will try and build a little catch pen for the mini goats. Right now I have to catch them by bribing them with feed. It works but it also is a pain. With the little catch pen I can separate the ones I am wanting to sell on sell day plus it can double as a area for the little petting zoo in the future. You don't have to say it, I know it's a good idea.

The menu for Sunday supper is Blacken Catfish on a bed of dirty rice covered with Crawfish Etouffee.

Friday, April 8, 2011

OH Man

You know when you do something and then you find out it was wrong and all you can say is "Oh man". That happened today while I was at work checking the blog and had a comment on a great blog I needed to check out and read. So without checking I clicked over to and left a comment thanking them for checking out my blog and told them I am now a follower. I then checked the profile of the reader who left the comment and found it was not her blog she was promoting after all. I bet that will leave them scratching their heads when they realize they have never heard of MDR. LOL A rookie mistake right, but it still makes you call yourself a dummy.

This weekend is packed full of stuff to do. Last night at the dinner table we had our weekend scheduling meeting with everyone and found out I have a lot of running around to do. I was trying to fit in what I needed to get done through all the "I need this" and the "I need that" but was only able to mumble under my breath what I had planned.

I have another birthday gathering for the middle girl Saturday afternoon who is turning 16. Plus Softball games during the early afternoon. Throw in a Tupperware party sometime right after the game and that leaves me doing nothing but running people around.
Oh don't get the wrong idea, I have told the wife over and over I am not going to no Tupperware party. I will tell you how that turns out later. If I did go then this is how it would be, the women folk would all be in the house having a great time while all the husbands would be outside with their heads down kicking the grass until it was over. Not me, I ain't gunna do it, I have better things to do.

Sunday looks promising. I still need to plant the blueberry, blackberry and raspberry vines and the wife got this week. I thought that maybe they would just get in the ground on their own but was sadly mistaken. So sometime this weekend I need to do that as well.
Last night I harvested about a five gallon bucket of worm castings to use for our new vines to give them a good start so we will see if it makes any difference.

The wife also bought me a new drill so I can finish her chicken runs. I burnt up a good Dewalt last weekend and used it for an excuse not to finish but she found a way around that little problem. She is smart that way I guess.
Aww, that's how I can get out of the Tupperware party. I can say if she wants the chicken runs done then I will have to skip the girl party. I will tell her, oh how I just hate to miss that party with you all them women, but the chickens come first ya know.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

We Have A Winner

 The youngest girl is so proud of her new belt buckle she won at the local FFA show last weekend. They handed them out to all the Grand Champion winners this week and this is her first prize she has won with the rabbits other than a ribbon.
She is afraid to wear it because she does not want to scratch it up. That's funny right there but I don't blame her.

The wife skipped making dinner last night to run and get a couple of goats she found at a decent deal. Even with a decent deal I cannot make much off them so I think I might keep them for a season or two and make the money on their babies.
The wife has already started on a list on what she wants to sell at next months "Day at the Mini Farm" sell.
As it is right now we do not have enough incubators for all the eggs we are wanting to hatch so we are using one of my Dads trays in his big one. His one tray will hold as many eggs as two of my little incubators put together.
I have entertain the thought of buying chicks again but the profit margin goes down so much when I do that. I don't know yet, I'm still thinking on it.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

The Rut

It is back to the same old rut again. Work, home, work, home and throw eat and sleep in there somewhere and that is my rut.

Sunday evening the middle girl and I were talking and she was reliving the day with all the people that were here and how much fun she had.
She told me that she would love to be the secretary and wear an old bankers outfit on those days making her the last stop for the customers. She then went on to describe in detail that I should build a general store where we could put all our canned goods, hot sauces and pickled veggies in along with the t-shirts, candles and soaps. I could see the little gears turning in her head when she described the refrigerators full of goats milk, fresh eggs, processed chickens and quail and "oh daddy don't forget the farm raised catfish". She even told me it would be good if I put all the garden's vegetables in bins so when people came they could also have a choice to buy those as well.
The wife chirped in by saying we could do a mass sell once a month so more people would show up and she would like to put in some of her quilts, crafts and start raising starter plant to sell as well.
The youngest girl joined the discussion by wanting to set up a petting zoo and charging a small amount for the city folks to pet a goat or have a chicken ride on their shoulders.
I sat and listened to them as they talked on and on and coming up with more ideas on how we could make money at the Mini Farm.
Without them noticing, I slowly wiped a tear from my eye. LOL

Silly girls, where do they come up with these ideas anyway.         

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Profit+Production=Happy Redneck

The title of this post sums it up. This weekend has been all about profit and production.
This weekend was the best one this year at the Mini Farm so far. I should hope for many more just like it. My Dad and I were sitting out back a few minutes ago and I told him if I could do as good as I did today everyday, then I would not have to have a real job. The one problem with that is, he pointed out, I would need a lot more acreage and ten times more the animals. Then the feed bill would be so high I would have to get a job just to support the effort.

Yesterdays tree planting was unscheduled so it threw everything on today. I was really wanting to get some much needed NASCAR in but was only able to sneak in a few minutes of my favorite sport before I had to remind myself that this was not getting it done.

The girls all rallied down at the barn putting the outside chicken runs together while I worked on the buck pen.
That is as far as they got on those due to the absence of materials and some minor mishaps and injuries and oh yea, prom dress shopping. When prom dresses are on sell, the world could come to an end and it would still not matter just as long as they are there trying on dresses.

We also got all the odds and ends that were on the books to do this weekend completed.
One of the things I checked off the list was building a gate so the geese could get out and free range without going through the garden area first. I took an old futon bed and cut down one of the frame pieces and used it for the gate. It worked perfect and the best part is, it was free. I called it a "Instagate"

We also got the garden completely full. All the Tomatoes, three kinds of Peppers, some Squash, and last week we planted the Sweet Potatoes. The lettuce is going great and the onions are just the right size to be pulled and dipped in ranch dressing. We just added more layers of hay and sand to the "potatoes in the tires" so I know they are doing good and growing as well. So two thumbs up on the garden so far this year.

During the week the wife posted some adds on Craig's list and everyone showed up all at once today. It was hectic. Luckily I have enough kids to take care of the customers as they came in. I even had to stop my building to entertain until the wife or one of the girls could come over and relieve me.
We had all the baby chicks in a tub on the kitchen table and the girls would rotate people from there and take them on a Mini Farm tour while another girl would rotate their customer in to look at the chicks.  It was one heck of a system they had going.
We ended up selling completely out of chicks and hatching eggs. We even sold some goats and could have sold more animals if we had them to sell. It is hard not to go ahead and sell your breeding stock when someone is standing there with cash in hand.

About 120 eggs are hatching on the 11th of this month and the wife is loading more incubators as we speak.  

Oh here's one for ya. Never put in a fan conversion kit on your incubator in the middle of a hatch. The settings are not the same with a fan and we cooked 90 eggs this week at 120 degrees for a few hours before we caught it. Just a FYI....  
Even the Fancy Geese are doing their part. They are setting on about 40 eggs between the both them.

Yall have a good week now ya hear.

Busy Bee

I hate the fact I have not been posting everyday. I am not giving ya any excuses but I do hate that I cannot do it.

It all started Friday night when the wife called and said to hurry home because we need to go pick up a couple of new nannies. So straight from one truck to the next and we were on our way. We picked up these two very little nanny goats that are due to kid in two to three weeks for a really great price. Being so small I hope the do not have any problems during birth.
We ended up not getting home and in the house till after 11:00 PM. Man that makes for a long day.

The wife was also responsible for changing some of the plans for today. She happen to be at the feed store and they had one heck of a deal on fruit trees. So the wife decided to get two apple trees, a peach tree and a cherry tree.
We have been wanting to plant some fruit trees for a while now but knew this black dirt would only root bound them if we did not do it right. Buying the trees was not in the budget and has now taken the money allotted for the chicken runs. Yes, the trees were at a good price but we also had to get a load of good dirt to plant them in or it would all be for nothing.

With fuel being at such an outrageous price, a load of dirt as gone up $50.00 in just a few months. I needed about 5 of these loads but settled for just one 

 To keep the trees from getting root bound and never producing, I dug a hole for each tree that was 2 1/2 foot deep by 4 foot around and then filled it with good dirt and sprinkled in a little root stimulator and tree anti-shock for good measure. 
I can't tell you how much I appreciate my Dad for bringing the skid loader over so I did not have to hand dig all those holes. I can tell you this though, if I didn't have the backhoe the holes wouldn't have been that big that's for sure.   

 If not anything I can say we did everything we could to give theses little trees a fighting chance. I used the rest of the dirt in some low areas around the yard that held water when it rained.

The dirt from the holes was used to fill in under the gates and to redirect some of the run off water to keep it from being a river through the back yard.

Tomorrow I plan to get at least something done on the chicken runs. Yesterday the temp was right at 90 degrees and it caught some of us unprotected and now the wife is in pain from the sunburn she got. LOL
I know it is not funny but I tried to tell her.
The temp in the barn yesterday got so hot the chickens were panting so I really need to at least get the outside chicken runs put up. I have all the materials for them and I can also at least get the doors cut in the tin. I can always come back and build the doors later.  This will give the chickens some fresh air and they will be able to get out in the sun and breeze and then I can turn the fans off for now.