Monday January 18: What I do: At least what I did that day. One day is seldom the same as the next. After feeding and watering the chickens and ducks, I finished writing the weekly blog then went outside to get a few photos for the blog, added the photos and posted. Blog work probably took an hour and a half. It took longer than usual as I was on the computer for quite a while trying to sort out why I could not find a file in the documents folder of the computer. Got everything in quite a mix up then after a while there it was. Kinda just reappeared out of nowhere. Got the truck ready then down to the barn with it and after several attempts on the slippery slope leading to the loading dock; we got the truck in place to load up four lambs to take to Willie’s Meats just northeast of St. George. We got the lambs loaded and that took a while to figure out which was going and then to catch them. When the lambs leave the property CFIA requires them to have ear tags in and we had a fairly new applicator tool and new sheep tags, but, the tags were not fitting properly, and though we got three, in the lambs ears, one per lamb, we could not get the fourth one in after 4 attempts. The tags appear to be just a little too long for the tool. Frustrating. We left and went to Willies to find no one there. But having previously talked with Willie I felt confident in being able to just unload them into the outdoor holding pen. Willie would find them. Out of the truck they went, all four. Willie and the CFIA can figure out the one with no tag. I would go on for a while giving my opinion of ear tagging animals but I’m not one for rants. We left Willies and when on the usual route looking for skids for firewood. Got a nice load. Spent a lot of time today in the truck.
We kept the Rhode Island Red chickens along with their roommates, Silkies, Barnevelders, Black Copper Marans and our special birds, inside today in an attempt to get them to lay their eggs inside and not hidden around outside. This lot at their best could lay about 30 eggs a day, maybe between 40 and 50 on a good day in the summer. But today they laid but one. They will lay a bunch more though it will take a few days of keeping them inside.
So that was more or less what I did on Monday. I would have kept it up for the whole week but I am not disciplined enough for that.
The rest of the week was sort of routine. We do have a sort of routine. Started to sort through our lumber/firewood piles, to separate the two and get the firewood cut up. Doing a lot of seed catalogue looking this week. Always takes a lot of time to sort through these catalogues as there are so many interesting plant varieties available. Seed sellers of course always portray everything in the best light and it takes a bit of knowledge and reading between the lines to interpret what they have to say, and sometimes it is what they don’t say that is important.
Everyone, the animal population here, as well as the human inhabitants, are doing pretty well still in spite of the winter weather. The horses have been on a good daily ration of grain as well as their hay and the extra bit of protein and energy the oats and corn provides is getting them in a very good condition. The cows and sheep are still looking quite good too. The chickens are always getting their maximum in the way of diet. Laying hens need a 17 or 18 % protein ration as a requirement to keep them laying. The feed we give them is a balanced ration and has enough of all the vitamins, minerals and al the other stuff to keep them well fed. We also supplement that with any greens we can get them and when the weather is better and no snow covers the ground, the hens will be out scratching the grass for whatever else strikes their fancy and fills their wants. They have wants as well as needs.