Thursday, November 19, 2009

New Chicken Feeder

One of the things that makes us not be able to leave the farm for several days is feeding the chickens. The cow, goats, and sheep can either eat grass in the summer or I can put out a big bale of hay in winter that will last them for a couple weeks. The dogs have a big feeder that feeds them for several weeks if filled. But the feeder I have had in the chicken coop has had to be filled every two days or so. It looks like this....

Since it did not hold very much, I also had to have a big trashcan in the coop to hold the feed and then get it out of there to refill the feeder. So, I decided I wanted to get a bigger feeder so we did not have to fill it so often (and I could make more room by getting rid of the trash can). I started looking online and found one that a guy had built for his chicken coop. You can click here to see it. I decided I liked his design and thought it would work for me. So, I built one modeled after his that would work in my coop.

It is about 4 feet tall, 28 inches wide, and 10 inches deep. It has a slanted board inside on the bottom that helps get the feed into the outside food tray and it has a removable top to put the feed in. The best part is that it holds a lot of feed. I am guessing somewhere between 150-200 lbs. That will feed the chickens for a really long time without having to refill it.

Happy Birthday Josh!

Happy 29th Birthday!

Sunday, November 08, 2009

Big Breasts

The butchering season continues on the farm. I am just now getting around to posting about what I butchered last weekend. I decided it was time for the turkey to go in the freezer. Most of it's food like bugs and grass is gone now that it is getting to be fall and colder outside. I didn't want to have to continue to spend money to buy feed for it so I decided it was time to butcher it. I don't think we are going to be around here for Thanksgiving so I figured I would go ahead and do it now. I have never butchered a turkey before but I have done chickens. I prefer to skin them so I don't have to dip them in boiling water and pluck the feathers off. Since I was not planning on roasting this turkey whole I decided that I did not need to try and keep the skin on it either. I did some research online and found a way of butchering it that I liked. It is kind of similar to how I butchered the goat a few weeks ago in that I didn't gut it but just cut out the parts of the meat that I wanted. The main parts of the turkey that are worth eating (in my opinion) are the breasts and the legs.
Here is what I did... First I killed it by shooting it in the head. Then I cut the skin down the breast bone and pulled the skin back off the breast and cut the breasts off of the bone. Next, I skinned the legs and cut the legs off. And I was done. It was super easy and no gutting required. Now if I wanted to roast or fry the whole bird I would have to gut it and leave the skin on. The skin helps keep the moisture in while cooking. But this way worked best for us since we are not going to cook it whole. It was a super easy and not messy at all.
I was really surprised at how big the breast were on this turkey. I did feed him some feed while I had him but mostly he ate bugs and grass. He was really fun to have around. He would hang out with the sheep all day and follow us around when we were out there. I wasn't expecting to like him but we did. Since we enjoyed having him so much, he was pretty easy to take care of, and provided quite a bit of meat, I think we might get a couple turkeys again next year.

Here are those big breasts