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Summer Days

Posted 7/28/2010 10:35am by Renae Schlatter.

It's about time an update was posted! Our summer has been going pretty well. It has been really hot, which is sometimes hard on the animals. The cattle are 60 degree animals and do not especially like the 90 plus weather. We got about 2 inches of rain last weekend which we were very thankful for. Last week our turkey poults arrived. We start them out a little different than the chickens. It seems as if they are more suscpetible to illness early on. So, last year Ralph decided to start them outside right away. It seemed to work really well. We bring one of the portable chicken pens up to the area around the house so we have access to electricity. We plug a big heat lamp in and put it in the pen for the first 2 or 3 weeks. They have access to grass right from the get go. Turkeys will forage more than the meat chickens do. Just this morning I was out there and one of the turkeys had found a worm and a bunch of the other turkeys were chasing it around trying to steal the worm! The following is a picture of the poults. 

turkey poults

For those of you who have been getting our pullet eggs, they come from hens that have just started to lay. (About 21 weeks old) The eggs start out kind of small. The pullets also seem to be more prone to lay double yolk eggs! These new hens are out in the same pasture as our meat chickens.

pullet hens

Speaking of chickens, the other day I noticed an egg sitting in the seat of one of the strollers we have here for my nieces and nephews. I didn't think much of it because I figured one of my nephews found it and put it there. Well, this morning I was walking out of the store and happened to look in the stroller and this is what I found!

chicken in stroller

Then I walked by later and saw this.

eggs in stroller

I guess we need to train that hen where the nest boxes are! The hens aren't the only animals pushing their boundaries. We have one goat here that we purchased as a "petting zoo" animal. Goats are generally very friendly animals, so we thought it would serve the purpose well. Well one day it decided to jump out of its fence. I think I put that goat back at least 5 times until I could gather the materials to tie it up. I wouldn't have been too concerned, but I thought it would find the garden quite tasty. Here he is in front of the barn!


A couple of weekends ago we took the goat, two lambs, and a calf to the Erie Street Farmer's Market in Toledo for a petting zoo for Kids day. The goat formed a great friendship with the lambs that day so the goat is no longer in the barnyard, but out in the pasture with the lambs. Those three make great friends and are always together. 

We have been working on getting our hay harvest complete for the summer. Since we don't feed any grain to our cattle it is important to make as much hay as possible during the summer. What hay we don't make we have to buy in. Ralph is working on some third cutting hay this morning. June is always a little stressful because that is when the first cutting hay is usually made. This year we were dodging rain showers in June. We make the hay into big round bales. With the round bales we don't have to have a shelter to put them under as the rain rolls off of them whereas it would just soak into and rot the square bales. 

hay bales

We have kept busy this summer and it's hard to believe that August is almost here! Thanks all for your continued support of our small family farm.