Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Heavy Breed Boys!

The third batch of summer chicks arrived today. This is a group of heavy breed cockerels along with four bonus ducks! Whohoo. Instead of 56 days of growing like the broilers, these boys will be hanging around for 16 weeks! It has been suggested to me that I make them capons, which I'm guessing is a neutered cock. To start, I've no idea how to make a roo a capon. Since the sex organs of chickens are located within their body, I've a pretty good idea my green castrator rubberbands will not work for this procedure. That's really unfortunate since I just purchased a new bag of those pretty bands. So until I become enlightened these boys will keep their "goods" and will hang around the ranch longer than I would like. I'm a bit concerned about that many males excreting maleness all summer long.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Spa day for the Ovine!

This past Friday the sheep got a well earned, and needed day at the spa. Uncle Dario was in charge of the day's beauty treatments. Since it snowed the day before, everyone got to spend the prior evening in the indoor arena with the big bales of hay safely behind lock and key. No eating before spa day!

The Spinner Ladies came again this year and took wool off our hands too.We had a few guest sheep come too. Harry from Guffey, after getting a little help loading his unruly critters, brought his Navajo Churro Sheep by the ranch for a little grooming. His ram has four horns and a bad attitude.

Uncle D did an awesome job as usual. I've decided that (just as soon as I win the Powerball) I am going to get him a gift certificate to wherever it is that sheep shearers go to buy toys so that he will have no excuse to turn me down when I beg him to come give haircuts this year. Uncle D is an expert shearer, he placed 12th in the World Championships several times. His father placed as high as 2nd. Dario commented on how he was the last in his family's line of shearers. That made me sad. Sometimes I think I'd like to learn how but that thought leaves quickly when I remember how much I just love sheep.

I had hoped to take Uncle D and Aunt Lori to dinner after the haircuts were done. That didn't work out so well. I'm just glad its all over for a year.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


Plucking and Scalding

Pull and Kill

Honored Guests

We processed our first summer batch of Cornish Rock Broilers today. I'm not sure why I always look forward to processing day. Things were a little different this time than in the past. The BFF Gerri was busy doing chores of her own so I had to brave the feather frenzy with Shelly. Instead of standing at the plucker all day, Shelly opted to pull innards with me. We plucked the first one at 11:15am and bagged the last around 2:30pm. That's close to one bird every two and a half minutes. I'll weigh, vacuum seal and label them tomorrow, for now....I'm whooped.
Shelly using her new skills

Pulling a few stragglers