Spring is here. I know it doesn’t look like it but it is. Really. No, really. Not on a calendar but on a to-do list.
Let’s take a quick look at the year, shall we? Julie and I have been meaning to do this but…you know…it’s hard to find the time. This list is incomplete but not inaccurate. Again, it’s less of a calendar and more of us being aware of what’s coming next.
Today (Monday, Jan 12)
- Ordered layer feed (cause we need it this week)
- Ordered pig feed (cause we’ll need it soon)
- Ordered chick starter (cause it won’t be long).
- Ordered broilers and turkey poults for the coming year
- Called my pig guy. May get a few gilts for breeding. I always threaten that. Maybe this time…
- Called my trencher guy to have him put a hydrant next to the brooder and save Julie’s back. Maybe even put it in the brooder.
Between now and Feb
- Cut wood for next winter
- Cut sprouts
- Cut Japanese bush honeysuckle (Thanks SSF)
- Cut the trees in the yellow house barn lot, especially the sumac trees growing against the barns.
- Try to put on a layer of fat. Long days are coming. Lunch at breakfast, supper at bedtime.
- Order more sawdust
- Rent a chipper or have a big, big fire. Several big, big fires.
- Haul scrap iron (I’m dreaming here)
- Sell the pigs I’ll get in February.
- Sell 75% of broilers we will get in February.
- Overseed pastures with clover mix. Probably mix in some cool-season plants too.
Jan. 31 or Feb. 1
- Start planting greenhouse. Yeah. Potatoes even.
- Pigs arrive. Vacation ends.
- Build new chicken house. We plan to build one similar to the new house from last summer…except shaped like a train caboose…because why not?
- Valentine’s Day
- Put bedding in brooder, turn on heat lamps to get things warmed up.
- Tap maple trees
- Chicks arrive. Prayers begin in earnest. Vacation really ends.
- Goslings arrive (need to get these ordered ASAP!).
- Pullets arrive (need to get these ordered ASAP!).
- Hatch a few duck eggs.
- Fill chicken tractors (7th or 14th? Depends on weather).
- Order more chick starter.
- Plant potatoes outside.
- Grass starts growing
- Calving starts. There are no more vacations.
- Butchering chickens begins. Please let it be warm. Please let the buffalo gnats be gone.
- Get serious about outdoor gardens. Cole and root crops mostly.
- Repair post rot in south side of bar while the barn is mostly empty.
- Broadcast cowpea, sorghum and sunflower on the pasture. Maybe crimson clover too.
- Pullets go into chicken tractors as broilers leave
- First cutting hay to the barn
- Flora will freshen. So much for vacation time.
- Plant post-frost garden.
- Scrape up every drop of manure I can find into heaps to be spread next month.
- Pigs leave the farm.
- Wash and pack a metric ton of eggs…somehow.
- Sell a metric ton of eggs…somehow.
- Cut hay.
- Spread manure where hay was cut.
- Buy 200 bales of straw.
- New pigs arrive! I love pigs. I can’t wait. I really can’t. They are just the best. Little piggies!
- Turkey poults arrive. They should be raised with broilers. May have to drive to Iowa to get the chicks and poults because I don’t trust the postal service in July.
- Cut hay.
- Bull arrives. Need to use a different bull this year. Maybe get a roan shorthorn? I kinda like the red ones as they seem to slick out better. I’ve been thinking about devon…
- Order more sawdust
- Order a load of firewood from the sawmill. That stuff is surprisingly awesome.
- Pray for rain.
- Chicken tractors filled with broilers and turkey poults. The goal is to have turkeys that dress out at 20 pounds and at least 50 broilers that dress out above 8 pounds. Oh yeah.
- Butcher geese. Maybe.
- Cut hay.
- Keep the cows cool. I may change things up and start bringing the cows back to the barn around 11am to loaf during the day, putting them back on pasture in the evening. We’ll see.
- Cut hay?
- Sell the majority of the broilers that will be butchered in October. Hopefully cooling weather will get people thinking about cooking again.
- Keep the cows cool.
- Butcher broilers early in the month. Trying to beat the first frost.
- Butcher turkeys ’cause if I don’t we’ll have to cut them in half to fit them in the oven.
- Pigs leave the farm. Good riddance! 300 pound nuisances…all of them.
- Stop milking the cow. Thank God. Swear it off forever. Just buy the dang milk from Steve.
- Sprint the cows across the alfalfa field. Well, stretch, not sprint. Get it used up before frost knocks the leaves to the ground. Just make it happen.
- Read books
- Hang with the fam.
- Keep grazing pasture.
There are all kinds of details missing from that but at least I got started. Do you have anything like this? It’s a little like a grazing chart. If you really fill out a full grazing chart you make room for weddings and vacations as you plan toward your goals. Might be something to think about including.