Thursday, June 4, 2015

Unity Farm Journal - First Week of June 2015

As I’ve written previously, running a farm is about life and death.   When you’re supporting over 100 creatures, every day is filled with unpredictable events.   This week, one of our chickens, Terra, developed “sour crop”.

We treated her by inducing vomiting, feeding her olive oil, offering apple cider vinegar in water, and isolating her from the other chickens.   Despite 2 days of treatment, she passed away.   She’s buried in our forest garden, near the Shinto shrine.

With the death of our rooster, Lucky, by coyote and Terra by infection, we’re down two Ameraucana chickens.

Kathy and I discussed our last three years of chicken raising and decided that we should supplement our flock.   This week we added 6 Barred Rock hens (1 week old) and 3 Buff Orpingtons (2 weeks old).    Although our Guinea Fowl have multiplied on their own (they lay 40 fertile eggs per day), we’ve not hatched our chicken eggs.    With 9 adult chickens and 9 new chicks, the population should be stable despite occasional losses.

We also had another thought.   Our guineas, Great Pyrenees and llamas sound an alarm when predators threaten.    However, one of the best watch dogs for the barnyard is a goose.   Here’s a photo of the 3 geese babies that recently joined the farm ecosystem.   In another 6-8 weeks, they’ll be added to our existing poultry flocks and begin defending them all.

Last week, the IEEE Spectrum published Kathy’s cancer story in the context of big data.   Here’s the article.   IEEE took a family portrait to illustrate Kathy and I in our natural state.

Daisy Mae, one of our alpaca, is nearing the 11th month of her pregnancy.   As alpaca approach delivery, they develop a condition that some call “alien butt” - the features of the soon to be born young alpaca appear on the rear of the mom.   I consider this a clinical photograph, educating the public about the appearance of a gravid alpaca.

Shiro, our 150 pound male Great Pyrenees,  is always looking for toys.   He figured out a way to bury his bowl in a hay bale.  Very artistic

This weekend will include mead making with 21 pounds of honey and harvesting mushrooms after the 3 inches of rain this week.    I’ve also signed up with a local brewer to create a honey lager next week - my honey, his hops.   Now that we’re a bonded winery from a federal and state perspective, the test batches of interesting beverages are beginning to multiply.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love the family (llama) portrait. Also, sorry for your loss -- I can't believe your security system is you watch goose! My rescue dog alerts within seconds of the mail delivery truck. So enjoy your blog professionally but especially on Thursdays.