Monday, July 19, 2010

Another Busy Week Is Here....

No one ever said farming was easy, but one would think that we should be able to get some down hours here and there. Nope! Not yet. Good thing Nicole and I love doing it. Can't help but look forward to fall and winter, though. This week we have two new arrivals coming to the farm. We have our layer ducks that should arrive on Wednesday morning and our new LGD (livestock guardian dog) coming Wednesday afternoon.

Realizing the ducklings would be here soon, we went ahead and created a new paddock. We wanted to keep the ducks we have now separate and integrate our new duck layer flock down the road. This will make it easier having all of the ducks together and finding the eggs for sale or incubation. Also, there has been a little confusion with one of our drakes who thinks he can breed with the chickens. Perhaps one of the strangest sights I’ve seen on the farm.

Since we have tasted the duck eggs and found out how healthy they are, we decided to expand the production. (Nicole and I recently learned they have an alkaline base. They are sought after by cancer patients who are looking to eat alkaline based foods to help the body be an inhospitable host to cancer cells. Mason now eats his share of duck eggs!)

LGD Number Two....

We are picking up a little (not for long) Great Pyrenees/Anatolian Sheppard female to complete our LGD security system. Still, we are searching for the right name for her. We will probably have to see her first. See how she behaves and come up with something then. I think that when both she and Maddux are older, they will make quite a duo.

For the most part, Maddux has done quite well in his job.  He has had some challenges with eating a few chickens once in a while and sneaking in the hen box to steal a few eggs.  But I have to have faith that he will grow out of these bad habits with the right approach to consistent discipline and age (Rolling him on his back, grabbing the loose skin around his neck and tell him no in a stern voice while showing him the egg or dead chicken.  Similar to pack behavior with dogs - the alpha male will get the subordinate male on his back and grab his neck with his teeth when there are behavior problems within the pack.  This creates an alpha/subordinate type role so he knows I'm the leader and there are things he can and can't do.).

I really found out how intimidating Maddux can be a couple of nights ago.  I was filling up the waterers and had my back to him, when I turned around he was running straight toward the fence in my direction.  Teeth out, hair puffed, muscles ripped (Can a dog have ripped muscles?).  It scared me. Then I realized he was in protection mode.  There was a wild dog standing ten feet behind me and I didn't even hear him. It was near dusk and I could barely see him.  Thank God for Maddux - barking, growling, and sometimes looking to see where the chickens were behind him. I thought he would jump the fence.  He didn't, but I jumped in with him and the wild dog tucked his tail between his legs and bolted around to the other side of the paddock looking for a free meal.  Not tonight!  Maddux shadowed him from the fence until he was discouraged and left.  That dog should be glad Maddux was in the fence or he may have never run again.  Just - WOW!

Egg Production Nearing Peak...

Now that egg production is in full swing, we are pumping out nearly five dozen eggs a day.  That means we are washing, candling and grading nearly five dozen eggs a day!  Sales started out slow, but now we are selling everything we can produce and donating five to ten dozen a week.  It takes about an hour and a half to wash, dry, candle and grade the eggs, but I have to say seeing the fridge full of eggs with the 180 Degree Farm label is pretty cool.

Last But Not Least....

We've had roma tomatoes coming out of our ears. So we've made, what I would consider, the best pasta sauce yet! Tomatoes, peppers (mild and spicy), fresh garlic, thyme, oregano, basil, olive oil, salt and pepper - that equals yum. We've vacuum sealed and frozen most of it.  Love that vacuum sealer!  Makes it so easy to save foods and real easy to store after the bag has been vacuumed.


  1. I've been reading about the whole allcali thing recently. I wish I could be more "compliant" with the dietary guidelines, but it's SO hard.

    I've gotten better about drinking water, and I almost always carry my lunch to school. Next to never eat their lunches. They serve carbs, carbs, and more carbs.

    I do more fresh fruit, organic when I can, but I just really hate food prep. I take D3 and B5 and caprylic acid. Eat a LOT of coconut and coconut products now.

    I'm not nearly as protective of my health as I should be, but have made it to 2+ years out nhow,and am on the one year plan for seeng my oncologist and surgeon at this point.

    I sure hope I never have to worry about it ever again!

  2. We certainly understand. Mason has travelled a similar road. We will keep you in our prayers.