Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Day five of 365 on a small American farm

Got up on the early side to day…Rachael milked the cow and dealt with some of the feeding, Dah’veed’s helped her out and then watered all the big animals.  I sat with the babies and watched the morning shows with them.  Elijah and Elisha love to watch the “The Cat and the hat knows a lot about that”, “Super why”.  I made blueberry pancakes for breakfast that took a lot longer than I wanted it too, but it’s done.  After getting them cleaned back up and changed into clean clothes and such, than I made some more of that fake meat.  I am trying to get it to come out a bit better so we are messing with the recipe.  I used Wyler’s beef broth and forgot about the salt in the soy sauce and it and made it supper salty, which was a real bummer since it came out really well otherwise.  It even makes its own gravy.  So that is cool and I will try again tomorrow. 
We are having tuna casserole for dinner.  I got a great deal on tuna the other day, the big cans for $1.75 for albacore chicken of the sea in water.  So I will use a two pound box of elbow noodles ($1.39), a large can of cream of mushroom soup ($.99 on sale at Wal-Mart),2 bags of birds eye peas ($1.00 each on sale at Wal-Mart)  and season with a little garlic.  So to fee us all dinner it will cost us $6.13 to feed all seven of us, not too bad I guess.
I read that read today that Taco Bell has 35% beef in them now, I am really disappointed because they used to be tvp, so I will cross them off my future snacking list, bummer.  I am still working on endless piles of school work and found out today that the scholarships I got are messed up due to a computer error with my classes.  They input the same class twice, so my credit hours were above what I needed for the scholarships, when they fixed the error, I am now one credit short of getting my full money, this error has now cost me $500., I am distraught over this and I hear that Trio who are my advisors at the college, I guess at the worst I have learned to look at all the paper work more closely. 
On a silly note I am spamming back the hundreds of spammer who have been spamming me, I am sending all of them a link to this blog, a least they will have something good to read and maybe they will quit spamming me.
I am preparing to list a bunch of stuff on eBay, hopefully hatching eggs.    I want to share one of the reasons that most farms no longer sell food eggs or if they do charge a lot of money for them (at least it seems like a lot).  A 50 pound bag of Natural egg layer feed cost $12.50 this week.  It takes 4lbs or more feed for a chicken to lay a dozen eggs, so that works out to around $1.50 give or take for each birds dozen eggs.  That does not take into account the feed you feed the bird for at least the first 15 weeks of its life before it laid its first egg or any not perfect eggs the bird may lay.  We also feed ours kelp as do many other people, and give them grit and diatinatious(I know I spelled it wrong) earth to prevent parasites.  The cost of the hay and other expenses that go into raising them as well, can run you bit of cash as well.  So raising chickens can be expensive, but worthwhile as you know what they are eating and how they are raised.
Ok so here are some facts about chickens,
Most lay about 300 eggs are year.
Commercial breeders self them off after their first 12 months of laying as soup birds, think about that the next time you are eating chicken soup.
They eat mice lizards and anything else they can catch, along with bugs and grain and grass if left to free range.  We free range ours, but still feed them.
Guinness said the oldest living chicken is 16 years old.
Our chickens are some of the luckiest chickens on the earth and we are lucky to have them as well.

Anyway, this is where I end my part of the blog today, I know I left of bunch of you hanging, sorry about that, but I have to get some school work done and get kids ready for bed.

This next part is from my daughter Rachael; please enjoy reading about her day:
Morning is here and it’s time to start the daily chores. First I wake up Dah’veed then I get dressed to go milk the cow and do my daily check of the animals. When I head outside it is 7:30am. Dah’veed and I set up the milk machine and prepare her feed. Then we head out to moos pen and before we put her halter on or even open the gate.
Now, I do a head count of all of the goats, sheep, calve(s), and the horses. After I know that there are no animals down I will put Moos halter on she also wears a cow bell so that we can find her if she escapes again, rolling my eyes, lol. Moo is the name of our milk cow, and a lot of people think that is a strange name but I could not imagine calling her anything else. I lead Moo into the barn then we allow her to eat as we turn on the milking machine and set up the hoses. After she is dry of milk we turn off the milking machine. While she is eating I check all of her vitals. She is in the last three weeks of pregnancy we think .I am not sure a how different a cows pregnancy is from other animals. Anyway, after she is done eating I take her back to her pen with Dah’veeds help to close and open the gate for me. After Moo is put back in her pen I head back to the barn to take care of the goats. There are three pregnant goats in the barn in there last weeks of pregnancy also, and filling with colostrums. When any new animals are born on the farm I am always excited and ready to help out. I gather the towels, gloves, jars for colostrums, bottles, the lantern when it’s dark, scissors, the camera and anything else we need to help the mama out if she needs it, Mom and I attend to almost every birth. There are two younger does in the barn also that get pushed away from the heard so they stay close to their mothers. I check all to pens for baby goats just in case, and check to see if anyone is in labor. Then I feed and water them. I also make sure they have salt and minerals. After the goats are cared for I check for chicken eggs that may have been laid over night in the troughs, cabinets or any comfortable hidden place for the hens. Once all of the chores are done out at the darn I come inside and help out with basically whatever needs done at the moment every day varies. Today I helped mom make breakfast. We made blueberry buttermilk pancakes using up any older milk from Moo that was not used earlier in the week. I helped my little brothers eat there breakfast and then ate myself. School work comes next. I am planning on going to Ozarka College in the fall to get my Associates Degree and then following the two years at Ozarka College I am planning on going to Meredith Manor Equestrian Centre in West Virginia to become a horse trainer. At the end of the day I head back out to milk the cow and check on the animals once more before dinner. After dinner it’s time to help put my little brother Elijah to bed, mom deals with Elisha. Elijah is five and will not go to sleep without some one hovering over him.  Once they are asleep I will either spent some time with my mom, write for a while, or make little miniature animals out of Sculpy clay. Then it is off to bed to get some rest for the next morning.
Ok so here is my add in for the day.  It is about the issues I have been having with my camera.
I received my first Samsung camera during the holidays in 2009. I was so excited. I had been exploring photography for five years now and have loved every minute of it. Having a new camera with more memory and better picture quality but after a few months I started having problems with the camera. Sometimes the camera would not turn on, or would not zoom in the show the object closer. I had a warranty on the camera so I called and sent the camera in to be repaired. I received the camera back about a week later and they had repaired the whole front on the camera. I started taking pictures and once again I was having problems the zoom was working perfectly but the camera would lag on taking pictures only when it wanted to it seemed. So yet again I called and scheduled to send the camera back in to get repaired. The camera returned again but this time there was no repair done on it just a note that stated that I just used the wrong camera card and jammed the camera. So I called them back with my mom on the line also and told them that I was using the camera card that came with the camera and that we have tried other cards and had the same response from the camera. I told them that it was not the camera card that was the problem it was the camera so again I sent the camera back. They called and told us that they have repaired it so many times that sending me a new camera that was identical would be a lot faster and would get to me before Christmas so they said they would send me a new camera of that same model. So I waited and waited first Christmas passed then they New Years passed and still now camera. I called back and they said that the model of camera that I recently owned was no longer being made so they picked out a new camera with us and assured us that the new camera would have everything that the last one had and would take the same battery and camera card. I received that new camera yesterday and as I thought it had a different size battery and a minuscule card spot. So we called back and they did nothing for us. I have a new camera without a memory card how useless so now my mom has to go out of the way to go buy me a new camera card that was supposed to be included in the return.  So they had my camera for like two months and now my Mom still has to get me a Mico sd card.  Just wished they would have fixed it right the first time.
Thanks for listening

This next part is from my son Dah’veed:
Dah’veed POV
I sit in front of the computer screen listening to 50 Cent, and working. I woke up prolly about 7:00 am this morning, always the late one :P. After starting the milking machine on the cow, I let the birds out; put the dog (that guards the barn at night) in his cage. I brought the milk in, strained it, and saw that mom was making blueberry pancakes. I also noticed that I think the strangest things as I work, such as “Wow I wonder who was bright enough to assume milk was drinkable in the first place?” I cleaned the cow’s milk stall, and watered the bigger animals (i.e. goats, sheep, cow, and horses). After eating I did up the dishes. I made two new hip-hop instrumentals so I can write some new songs; I really hope to have my demo ready to send by February. If you want to hear them I uploaded them here;
My personal blogs (mostly about my music and hip-hop culture in general) will be posted here
Well I have to go do my chemistry homework…cya l8r

And now to the hubbies part of the post
The dog house:

News from the Doghouse and how to stay in sane mode while strolling through the park of the Galactic Insane Asylum, politically correctly known as just another day in the country...

The usual chores feeding the peeps and quacks, not sure how to describe a quail squawk...freezing my fingers dealing with cold cans of feed and mostly just handling the waterers...do so many, then to the basement, and in front of the wood burner to thaw out my hands, it was in the 20s F, -0s C

Started on the burial detail for Elaine, got the outline started I guess and a few inches into the rock and dirt, the usual roots and whatnot...it’s a chore for sure...

I think I will post a picture of Elaine, with Elijah on her when he was a real little guy. I think it is my favorite picture of her. I tried unsuccessfully for awhile to find it, hope it’s not lost.(The misses found it)

This is our dear Elaine and our son Elijah a few years ago.

He loved he and she was the most gentle creature one could ever have known. 
Don't worry Daddy Bear (Michael) was on the other side just be safe, it all about safty.

Much thanks, very much to my diligent wife, a Proverbial 31 character for sure...

Reminds me of the armidillo <--spelling? heh-heh-heh

well back to the Doghouse before the gong sound , and as I adjust the rabbit ears on the Doghouse, so my feet can watch their favorite TV show...as Red Skelton use to say..."G-D bless"

Elisha our littlest love...

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