Fair Weathers “mini” Ranch- Farm Animal Update

So much time has passed since I last gave an update on the happenings around our homestead. I’ve decided to split the updates between a few posts. Today I am going to give the farm animal update.

The Chickens

I really have no idea how many chickens we have on the farm. At one time I knew but I haven’t counted in a while. I know I have more than 40. One of the last batches of chickens we raised are the Dark Cornish bantams. As of now, we have eight of them. Four roosters and four hens. The smallest of these bantams is affectionately called Tiny. She is really cute. We will likely keep the four hens and one of the roosters. The roosters are beautiful little birds and their little crowing is so cute. Every time I hear them crow it makes me smile. Unfortunately, I have to have the bantams caged all the time. We had a either a small hawk or larger falcon kill one of them a few months ago. My husband made a nice little nesting box for the hens. And those little girls have started laying their tiny little eggs. These bantams will be our 8 yr old’s 4H birds.

The Ducks

We currently have sixteen ducks. Thirteen are Anconas and the other three are Pekins. I now have parents of the female Pekin we raised earlier this year. The three Pekins will be my breeding stock for next year. We also had our first duck meal last month from two male Anconas we butchered. They didn’t have much meat but the flavor was great. My family and I thought they tasted similar to beef. I can’t wait to try different recipes. I used every part of the carcass. The bones were made into stock and the fat was used for frying. Duck fat is great for frying! The plan is to raise more ducks for meat next year. The Pekins and male Anconas will be for meat and the female Anconas will be our egg layers.

 

The Chukar Partridge

 

I probably should have done more researched on raising chukar before we decided to venture into it ourselves. It appears that when chukar reach breeding age they become very violent. The are very pretty birds but very mean to each other. The oldest one of the group was responsible for at least one death. As of now we have four of the nine we hatched out. I guess I expected them to be more like quail but they are NOT. My husband is building a very nice chukar cage so we will probably keep them for a while but I’m not sure if they will be a good bird to raise. We have yet to have a chukar meal. If chukar meat is amazing then we will likely figure out a way to keep them.

The Turkeys

Our mean tom turkey is on death row. We will be butchering him for Thanksgiving dinner. We have five turkey plouts that we hatched out from our breeding stock this year and  a total of six young turkeys altogether. The extra one is a Heritage Bronze. Our neighbor gave us  a couple of fertile eggs from their turkeys and we hatched out one with our Royal Palm eggs. I’m really happy with the Royal Palm turkeys. Their smaller size means less feed and our year old females were great egg layers. I was getting almost an egg a day from each of them.

The Goats

Two of our four LaMancha does have been bred to a nice looking buck with very nice breed lines. The breeder says that he will likely produce some flashy kids with a very dairy conformation. Our other two does will be bred this month and come spring we will have a lot of babies running around here. And LOTS of milk! I will have to let you know about our plans with all the goat milk on a future post.

The Horses

We added a new horse to the “farm”. She’s a 15 hand, 15 year old registered Quarter horse named Cheyenne. She’s a real nice mare but unfortunately went lame a few weeks after we got her. She is on the mend and will likely heal completely but I am taking it slow with her. I don’t want her to reinjure herself. The other two horse are doing fine. Though the two mares are biting at each other a lot. Both of them have bare spots on the manes. I’m not happy about that because this means they will probably need to be kept apart all the time. I’m hoping to get more riding time in these next few weeks before the cold sets in.

So, that’s it. I’m sure I could share much more but this blog post would never end. Next post will be an update on the garden. Lots of stuff to share about the garden.

The Farm Animal Count
  • A bazillion chickens (somewhere over 40)
  • 13 ducks
  • 4 chukar
  • 9 turkeys
  • 5 goats
  • 3 horses
  • 2 dogs
  • 2 cats

How are things at your homestead?

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