Baa Baa Black Sheep….

Well, things are still moving along with the farm, albeit in slow motion. This cold, snowy winter has put the kibosh on any farmhouse remodeling until the spring thaw. All of the technical/legal stuff that goes along with this farm is on track. Life is busy for us right now, that if for sure.

We have decided on our chicken breed for now. We are going to start with 100 Ameraucana pullets. Also known as Easter Eggers for their colorful eggs, these birds are good layers and are pretty easy to have around people. We are also going to get about 25 mix/match eggs from the hatchery as well just to throw in some variety and see how it goes. Simon is in the process of desgining his chicken coop. As of now, it looks like we will confine the birds with an electric fence. Not because we are worried that they will wander off…they won’t. We have a very diverse habitat out at the farm. It has been unoccupied for quite some time and nature has done a great job of caring for herself. We have loads of wildlife living in harmony on the farm…and a good number of said wildlife loves to snatch chickens. So…a fence it is. I’m hoping that once we settle in, get more livestock in the pastures and the dogs we will be able to just let the gals run free. Now, we are not going to confine them into a tiny spot. It will be a HUGE chicken run…but we just don’t feel comfortable letting them be completely unconfined at this point. As our parent’s used to say, “It’s for your safety. We’re not doing this to punish you!”

Sheep are next on the list to bring in. We have a specific breed in mind but they are scarce in the United States. Black Welsh are a great breed of sheep…both for meat and milk production. Not to mention the gorgeous wool. I hope to be able to start a little wool business for my knitting friends. I still need to find out where in MO you can have it cleaned and batted. If you know..Don’t hold back the info please!

Like I was saying, the Black Welsh are a great breed. Smaller than the average sheep, they are easy to handle, have great temperaments, Black Welsh are hardy and the lambs are quick to their feet and vigorous. They also have a great resistance to fly-strike and foot infections. They are perfect for our little farm. They do great on pasture and don’t require much extra grain. We are hoping to not have to supplement them at all…of course we will see how it goes.

So we will keep you posted as things start happening. We are still in the planning, reading and more planning stage right now. We are getting our seeds together for the garden. Lucky for us we have a great group of friends that love to garden and we are planning a seed swap in a couple weeks.

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