Ohiofarmgirl's Adventures in The Good Land is largely a fish out of water tale about how I eventually found my footing on a small farm in an Amish town. We are a mostly organic, somewhat self sufficient, sustainable farm in Ohio. There's action and adventure and I'll always tell you the truth about farming.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Good thing we've got chickens

All I'm sayin' about the SuperFail is... good thing we've got chickens. Jerks. The not-so-super-duper-committee, not the chickens. But hey - look at the meat chickens!

The meats are stinkin' up the house and they need to be moved out to one side of the turkey house. However, Debbie the goat is in there right now. Its the barnyard shuffle.

Debbie is being sequestered because we are trying to "dry her out." That's goat speak for getting her to stop making milk. Its actually kinda hard. There are a couple different theories. One is to just stop milking "cold turkey." But that kinda seems mean... and some people think it can lead to mastisis.

Another approach is to gradually dry her off by milking less. Since milk production is an "on demand" process... if you milk less then your lady goat should produce less milk. Sounds about right to me. And it worked for Nibbles. I stopped milking Nibbles at night a while ago. Then I only milked her a little bit in the morning and left most of her milk. After about a week her udder wasn't refilling at all. Then I only milked a little bit every other day. Then I just stopped.

We're working on milking Debbie less which is thats why she's in the turkey house. We especially need to keep her separated Dahlia, her doeling from this spring, so she won't try and nurse of Debbie.

Technically you can milk a goat up until six weeks before she has her babies. But we don't believe in doing that. First because milking is only fun on a nice spring day, not when its -30* with the windchill. Also we just think that its too hard on her system. We'd like her to concentrate on growing her babies not producing milk. Finally, we don't have to keep feeding her the best quality hay if we dry her out. At some point she just won't produce enough milk to justify expensive, best quality hay. She's at that point so its time to shut her down.

But Debbie had better hurry up and dry out. Those meat chickens are getting stinkier by the day.

Anybody else got chickens in their basement?

Happy Tuesday everyone!


Sonja said...

Wow, those creepy meats are sure coming along. He he he..... is the "barnyard shuffle" anything like the Party Rock Anthem shuffle? Or is it like the Monster Mash?

So Debbie is still letting Dahlia sip huh? Sounds like good mom bloodlines for Dahlia.

Jody said...

Your meats look very healthy, bright white and lots of feathers! They must be very happy in their stinky and warm home. The only chickens we have in our basement are in the freezer. We had them butchered just a few weeks back. Are you going to harden them off like before you put them outside permanently?

Carolyn said...

We had chicks in the basement. Once. Never again. It took me almost six months to get all the dust off the furnace! (They were in the basement utility room).

Hope you can get yours outside soon.

We also dry up our goats slowly. I tried the cold turkey method once and she got SOOO engorged she was obviously in pain, so I milked her out some, then just milked less & less each day for about two weeks.

I give my does three months off milking before they kid. I feel it makes for better / stronger kids AND I don't have to milk in freezing weather.

Gingerbreadshouse7 said...

Hush up complaining! At least you have some chickens and a basement I left mine in NJ ugh! Get some Fabreze and deal with the smell..

Mama Mess said...

No stinky chickens in my basment.......no basement for that matter, but I do wish we had some Arnold chickens to butcher soon! We've been out of them in the freezer for awhile and I miss them!

Ann from KY said...

No chickens in the basement now, but i have been there, done that. You just do what you have to do. No electric in our barn so we have been creative before. I have raised chicks in a truck bed trailer with a cap on it so I can park it close enough to the house to get electric to it.

Mr. H. said...

Phew...I can smell them from here.... not the chickens, the committe.:)

Mary Ann said...

Oh my goodness, try chicks, ducklings and guinea pigs in the basement at one time. UGH.

Ohiofarmgirl said...

Hi Sonja! "Every day I'm shufflin..." Yep Deb is a great mom but its been really tough to get her to stop nursing Dahlia! We think Dahli is gonna be a great milker.

Hey Jody! I wish these chickens were in the freezer! We are going to move them into a building and have at least one heat lamp - two if it gets cold. They probably wont be "on pasture" because it will be too cold and wet. We are gonna "hurry them along" for sure.

Carolyn, we dont like to have them doing "double duty" either. Plus I think the milk starts to "get funny." Normally we'd have dried them off before we had them bred... but then.. you know... there was that whole business with Too Short.

Ha ha! Ginny - you know I'm only kinda grumbling. I was carrying around your chicken yesterday. She's just stunning. She's a good one alright.

Ann, I've seen folks do that and its a GREAT solution. Good for you!

hey Goodwife! great to see you!

Mr. H, dontcha wish you had a job where you had a 9% approval rating and you still got paid and a fat pension? Superduper my patootie... grumble grumble...

Tombstone Livestock said...

I think the best way the government can balance a budget is to stop giving themselves a raise when there is no money in the budget for one, and stop collecting their pay when they can't accomplish the job they are being paid for. I do like the start Foreign Aid budget at zero each year instead of writing other countries a blank check.

No chickens in my basement, but maybe this spring I will go get some more chicks and build a mobile chicken coop. Ahhhh projects .................

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