The News from Wolf Cairn Moor 6/22/04

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Haggis, Jun 22, 2004.

  1. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    The News from Wolf Cairn Moor 6/22/04

    Summer is finally here and all is going well at Wolf Cairn Moor. We have put nearly 200 Cornish X Rock fryers in the various freezers of our 5 children. We still have another 100 or so to go and then about 40 old laying hens for stew meat.

    Next year’s 100 layers are doing well at about 2 months old. They are a hybrid breed called Gold Star. We have never worked with them before but we have hopes. They are supposed to weigh less than our beloved Barred Rocks and consume less feed while laying nearly 100 more eggs per year. Time will tell, but one has to experiment a bit to keep life exciting. Herself wanted some Aracanas in the mix so we got 15 of those just for variety and the odd colored egg.

    Our 22 geese are foraging well and 2 of these year old longnecks are trying to set in spite of our efforts to the contrary. We had wanted them to wait until next year when they would be two years old and a bit more settled, but nature has its own ways.
    We gave the two ladies a half dozen eggs to sit and figure it will give them something to do for a month; who knows, maybe we’ll get some tender young grass fatted geese from their efforts? We purchased a dozen each of Toulouse and Embden and have decided that we like the Embden’s best due to their white plumage, gentle temperament, intense egg laying abilities, and aggressive foraging skills. All of the Toulouse will go into the freezer when the grass fails this fall.

    Our rabbitry is producing well with 90 fryers either in the freezer or waiting their respective turns. The does are bred back a final time for the year and due to kindle in about 10 days. This will allow us to put this last batch of baby bunnies in the freezer around the first of October. There should be around 100 of them if the does produce within their individual kindling norms.
    After the first frost the does will taken from their cages and allowed to live in a communal situation to help us deal with frozen water bottles during the winter. A single heated waterer will make our job easier and their water always available. We will switch their feed from the 90% pellets and 10% hay of the producing season, to 10% pellets and 90% hay of the non-producing season. It will save us money and they’ll enjoy the freedom and they’ll maintain just fine on the much cheaper hay until next March.

    We are trying to arrange for delivery of hay this winter to feed our 9 Milking Devons and 2 Jersey cows. The math is troubling to get right when buying hay; (cow weight X .02 of body weight) X 225 days of winter and non-pasture period. Then one has to factor in cows with calf, cows carrying a calf, cows producing milk, and the severity of a winter that has not happened! Buy too much hay and it will eventually become poor quality hay or expensive bedding; buy too little and just double the price for the extra hay in the spring.

    One or two of our Milking Devons may be headed toward the freezer this winter. I know that they are a rare breed and all of that, but some of them don’t suit us in personally and they will still make great eating.

    (Pardon my brief break but I had to go milk Dorsey the Jersey cow.
    Can there be a more relaxing way to start a morning than sitting down with the “Stepmother of the Human Race” while she provides nutrition for me, my children, and Grandchildren, as well as a bit for sale to local families. Of all animal husbandry on the homestead those that give the best vibes are: gardening, gathering eggs, milking the cow, and working honey bees.)

    We’re selling about 21 gallons of milk a week right now at $2.25 a gallon; well $2.00 a gallon to our kids and $2.50 to everyone else. We have quite a list of health conscious folks wanting fresh whole milk but we and our cows can only do so much, and life isn’t all about the money.
    Locally, milk is $3.50 to $4.00 a gallon for 2% so our prices are fair and we get our milk for “sweat equity.” We use a gallon a day at home so milking our own cows saves us a peck of cash a month, and then we take in some cash or barter from others; maybe life is all about money…, nah!

    We have been stretching fences in every direction trying to stay ahead of the cows as they try to poach the fields behind them. This week we’ll fence in another 10 to 15 acres while resting from our lumber making.

    This week Herself, my son, and I will begin cutting timbers and making lumber from my woods for constructing a new winter proof milking parlor and calf pens. It will take a while with my little chainsaw lumber maker to work everything up, and then it still has to be brought to the barnyard and wrought into something presentable for the more discerning cows. We have about 60 acres of Tamarack and Birth trees just quivering to join in on the project and don’t want to keep them waiting.

    Not much else happening other than watching the 250 strawberry plants and 100 raspberry brambles we set out this spring, but our list of “to-do’s” seems to grow almost daily. Add on to the house, build a larger chicken coop, build a well-house, run water to the barn, seed and fertilize the pastures, etc. etc. ad infinitum, ad nauseum.

    Oh yeah, the 8 Scottish Terrier puppies are about a month old now and growing like weeds.

    So it goes in Northern Minnesota,

    Haggis @ Wolf Cairn Moor
     
  2. Cyngbaeld

    Cyngbaeld In Remembrance Supporter

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    Thankyou. I enjoy reading posts like yours.
     

  3. farmmaid

    farmmaid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Enjoyed your post... Joan :)
     
  4. Homesteader

    Homesteader Well-Known Member

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    :eek: Wow do I feel lazy now. Whew. I got tired just reading that! Wonderful post, you must be exhausted. Now, could we all possibly get a translation into English of your signature line? And what language is that?

    What size acerage do you have? Who is Herself - your wife? I was absent from the boards for a while and seem to have missed your appearance here and am quite intrigued.....
     
  5. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    Someone else recently asked about my signature line, and a thrid party posted the following:

    "Well, I'm certainly not Haggis...but I was curious...I googled...I found:

    Self Description: Ego sum sanguinarius homo indomitus
    Braveheart quotes: Hamilton: Sanguinarius homo indomitus est. {He is a bloody murdering savage.} And he's telling lies.
    William Wallace: Ego numquam pronuciare mendacium, sed ego sum homo indomitus.
    {I never lie, but I am a savage.}

    Personal Motto: Bona Na Croin
    “Bona na croin” is Irish, and literally means "collar neither crown".
    It is an excellent example of how a very few words can convey a great deal of meaning. In long form it means, “I will wear no collar of slavery nor be a subject of the sovereign (crown), but a free man only.”

    Family Motto: Buaidh Na Bàs
    Historical Geography of the Clans of Scotland
    War Cries of the Clans
    "Buaidh no Bàs" Victory or Death

    On those who offend me or my family: "Tuez-les tous; Dieu reconnaitra les siens."
    "Tuez-les tous; Dieu reconnaitra les siens."
    ("Kill them all; for the Lord knoweth them that are His.")
    [Arnaud-Amaury, Abbot of Citeaux, 1209, when asked by the Crusaders what to do with the citizens of Beziers who were a mixture of Catholics and Cathars]

    On Gun Control: “Molon Labe” “Come and get them!”
    Two little words. With these two words, two concepts were verbalized that have lived for nearly two and a half Millennia. They signify and characterize both the heart of the Warrior, and the indomitable spirit of mankind. From the ancient Greek, they are the reply of the Spartan General-King Leonidas to Xerxes, the Persian Emperor who came with 600,000 of the fiercest fighting troops in the world to conquer and invade little Greece, then the center and birthplace of civilization as we know it. When Xerxes offered to spare the lives of Leonidas, his 300 personal bodyguards and a handful of Thebans and others who volunteered to defend their country, if they would lay down their arms, Leonidas shouted these two words back.
    Molon Labe! (mo-lone lah-veh)
    They mean, “Come and get them!” They live on today as the most notable quote in military history.

    On Government: Sed quis custodiet ipsos custodes?
    “Who is to guard the guards themselves?” is the translation of this quote from Juvenals’ Satires. Juvenal (1st century AD) may have been the last great Roman Satirist"

    We have 100 acres of which about 35 or 40 are pasture, and "Herself" is my wife of 33 years.
     
  6. MMyers1

    MMyers1 Well-Known Member

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    My hat is off to you Sir Haggis! :worship:

    Your post is articulate, intelligent, educational, informative, non-biased, non-threatening, non-defensive, eloquent, and an absolute joy to read and experience. I learned a great deal from reading your post. both as a newbie/wannabe homesteader, and as a individual who embraces learning all that I can, be it history, husbandry, etc.

    Again, thank you so much for sharing with us!
     
  7. Mullers Lane Farm

    Mullers Lane Farm Well-Known Member

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    The Gold Star is a sex-linked breed - do you know what the parentage is of this breed?

    I've always like the sex-linked hens for their ability to lay almost non-stop, even in the winter, if they have enough light & protein.

    I like your ideas about wintering your rabbits. I will suggest them to Paul. We had a Dutch doe (aka Houdini) overwinter in the haystacks. She did quite well. Trying to keep fresh water in the winters is hard!

    Red Devon is wonderful meat. We put down Able (17 yo Milking Devon ox). Since he was so old, we ground everything. Wonderful taste!!
     
  8. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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  9. Clara Bell

    Clara Bell Well-Known Member

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    If I had to speculate with 200 cornish cross going into the various freezers with speculated freezer life and 100 to go and 5 children to feed freezer bite chickens no matter what the breed and 'foreign' comunication thrown in with this being an english speaking forum, what would I do?
    Is this a joke? Am I missing some humor here? Am I just tired and missing the political joke. Are you Monty Python?

    If you've got all this farm operation going on, why are you searching for hay?
    I must have missed the joke here.
    Maybe I'm working to hard and just need to go to bed.
    I guess the answer to this riddle is to "Googled" in the morning.
    Night.
     
  10. Haggis

    Haggis MacCurmudgeon

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    Am I Monty Python? No.
    I was born in Menifee county Kentucky, the son of a share cropper with a third grade education. Daddy died when I was 15 so as the eldest of 6 chidren I quit school and went to work. At 18 I joined the Army, did the Viet Nam bit and was so disillusioned with the world around me that I spent years living in a cabin in the mountains of Kentucky, during which time the lady who drove the book-mobile said the I had read nearly every book in the town library. I made white oak backets in the summer, trapped furs in the winter, and tended my garden and animals.

    As my children began to reach high school age I became concerned that they might come to believe that my way was the only way a person might live; so my wife and I started college. We both graduated with highest honors with a double major in History and French for me, and a double major in English and French for my wife. Both of us became teachers.

    We moved to Minnesota to teach 10 years ago, got our Master's degrees, and later my old feelings over the Viet Nam war forced me into retirement.

    My children are raised now and all of them have children of their own. I have just gone back to living the way I was raised; and our chickens seem to make it a year in the freezer with out damage.

    As to buying hay, it is my personal opinion that when one is buying hay one is buying land. Land that might have been used for hay may be used for grazing and the tons and tons of hay that are yearly imported onto one's farm and converted into manure improve the quality of soil. Monies that might have been spent to buy and maintain a tractor, a bailer, rake, mower, and apparati needed to bail hay are better spent improving farm buildings, fences, and livestock.

    Finally, as to the foreign languages; a man was onced asked if it was necessary to be able to read and write in a variety of foreign languages to be considered a gentleman. The answer was, "No, a gentleman needn't be able to read and write in a variety of foreign languages to be considered a gentleman, but he must have at least forgotten them."
     
  11. My grandpa's daddy vanished when he was 11 and he quit school being the eldest and took over taking care of his mother and 10 younger sisters and brothers financially. He didn't like admitting he didn't have a high school diploma. I've had the privilage of knowing and being a part of this life going on.
    He did not ask for anyone's sympathy.
    He just did what needed to be done.
    Life goes on. We grow stronger if we get past things. Past life that is a part of us, but before us.
    Nam is not the only war in history.
    Maybe it was a different kind of war.
    The Brits didn't like the fact that we didn't play the chess board during the revolution. Where is old Ben F. I would love to get into a conversation with him!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
  12. Mullers Lane Farm

    Mullers Lane Farm Well-Known Member

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    I don't understand what is confusing for you.... 6 families to feed 300 chickens for a year? That's only 50 chickens per family per year, less than 1 chicken dinner a week. For my family of 5, we eat chicken at least once a week if not more. This doesn't seem odd to me at all

    Not every farm operation is totally self sufficient. Some farms dont' have the land/equipment to put up hay for they're animals and must buy it from a good resource. Haggis is quite correct with his thinking on this subject.

    Yup, I think you were thinking too hard!
     
  13. BamaSuzy

    BamaSuzy Well-Known Member

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    We have Golden Comets that are nearly five years old and still laying! They are called "Red Star" by the folks at Murray McMurray Hatchery so are sec-linked chicks. I ordered 25 more chicks this year so got ten more of the Golden Comet-Red Stars!
     
  14. Clara Bell

    Clara Bell Well-Known Member

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    Yup. I was thinking to hard. :( Sorry.
     
  15.  
  16. This still sounds like an awful lot of meat. Chickens, geese, rabbits, and beef plus mountains of eggs and gallons of milk. Lots of protein. Maybe you're feeding the garbage disposal too?
     
  17. Maybe it is a lot of meat, milk, & eggs; but we're feeding Herself and myself, our 5 kids, their main squeezes, 9 Grand-Darlings, selling milk to 3 outside families, giving eggs to the local Salvation Army soup kitchen, and selling eggs to the local Health CO-OP.

    As for me, I don't eat anything green except lime Jell-O. Most of my kids are just like me and wouldn't eat a veggie is they were starving.

    I have a brother who is two years younger than me who doesn't eat meat, and hasn't for years. He is 6'2"; just like me. He weighs 295-300 pounds; just like me. His blood pressure is a mess and a constant health threat. He has Sugar Diabetes. He has "stints" in a variety of heart valves. His cholesterol is off the charts, and has to walk with a cane at 52.

    As for me, my doctor says I'm like an 18 year old guy in a 54 year old carcass. I could die before I finish this entry, but I'm not in bad health physically. I tell my brother that eating all of those veggies is what's killing him.

    By-the-by, none of the food we raise goes to waste.
     
  18. Sorry for not signing in,
    Haggis @ Wolf Cairn Moor
     
  19. mysticokra

    mysticokra Well-Known Member

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    We are currently paying $6.00 per gallon for fresh cow's milk and $8.00/gal for fresh goat's milk. THe demand far outstips the supply for unpasteurized milk.

    Just be careful to know your buyer. Don't want the govies giving you grief.