Friday, August 1, 2008

July Milk & Egg Tally

Here are our somewhat dismal numbers for July:
  1. 23 eggs, 1 cup milk
  2. 16 eggs, 2 cups milk
  3. 24 eggs, 4.5 cups milk
  4. 17 eggs, .5 cup milk
  5. 22 eggs, no milk
  6. 26 eggs, 8 cups milk
  7. 18 eggs, 1 cup milk
  8. 21 eggs, no milk
  9. 16 eggs, no milk
  10. 21 eggs, no milk
  11. 18 eggs, .5 cup milk
  12. 14 eggs, .5 cup milk
  13. 21 eggs, no milk
  14. 10 eggs, no milk
  15. 12 eggs, no milk
  16. 15 eggs, no milk
  17. 10 eggs, .5 cup milk
  18. eggs not recorded, 2.5 cups milk
  19. 7 eggs, .5 cup milk
  20. 17 eggs, no milk
  21. 7 eggs, .5 cup milk
  22. 14 eggs, 1.5 cups milk
  23. 8 eggs, 1.5 cups milk
  24. 8 eggs, 1 cup milk
  25. 12 eggs, 2 cups milk
  26. 5 eggs, 1.5 cups milk
  27. 9 eggs, 1.5 cups milk
  28. 14 eggs, 1.5 cups milk
  29. 11 eggs, 2.5 cups milk
  30. 9 eggs, 1.5 cups milk
  31. 15 eggs, 2 cups milk
Totals: 440 eggs, 38.5 cups milk (or 38 dozen plus 8 eggs and 2 gallons, 6.5 cups milk)
Sold: 13.5 dozen eggs

First, the eggs. Those chickens are driving me crazy. I don't know what is going on, but we should definitely be getting more eggs than we are. They look like they may be moulting, but it sure is taking a long time. I'm becoming more and more convinced that they are hiding eggs somewhere. I tell you what, though, I'm real close to making some hen stew and starting over with new ones. It is senseless to keep and feed a flock of 30-something hens in order to get 5 eggs in a day. They aren't earning their keep. The month didn't start out too bad (though much less than previous months), but it completely tanked.

Add to that the continual problems we are having with their portable coop and it's enough to make a person throw up their hands. We have lost the roof on that coop more times than I'd like to count. It is no light-weight roof, either. It weighs probably around 200 pounds, when you consider that it has a 5-gallon bucket of water and a feeder hanging from it. It is screwed down to the frame of the coop and the wind just literally picks it up and tosses it, anywhere from 20 to 100 feet. I'm sure in a tornado, it'd be in the next county.

If I sound frustrated, it is simply because I am.

On to the milk. So after many, many days of getting just literal drops in the bucket, we started to separate Burt from Annabelle at night. Their first night apart was the 17th, but then for the next few nights we were unable to catch him. So, the next night they were separated was the 21st. He has started to get used to the routine and now usually finds his way into the barn on his own. He bunks with the goats.

As you can see, separation is doing very little for our milk numbers. Milking is hardly worth it at what we are getting. Don is ready to just wean Burt and be done with it, but I know that I can and should be getting more, even with Burt still on Annabelle during the day. Other people doing the same thing are getting anywhere from a gallon to 2 or even more in their one morning milking. There is a problem and I don't know how to solve it. I'm guessing she is holding back on me, but it's been a week and a half and I expected her to get used to this before now.

Not only is this affecting our families' ability to drink milk, we are still having to buy cheese and butter. And ice cream. I shouldn't have to buy ice cream. But I do.


So, there it is. I'd love to make up numbers that make us look more like we know what we are doing, but that wouldn't be keepin' it too real, now, would it? Instead, I'll let it all hang out there and endure the shame. Now, where's my store-bought ice cream?


Lona said...

About your hens. Are they in a chicken tractor? Can't think where they'd hide them in an 8x8 enclosure.

But if they are free-range, they are hiding them. Or! You may have a predator--coon? fox? dogs?

I'm sorry you're having so much trouble. Everything sounds easier than it is in reality.

ourcrazyfarm said...

Hi Gina! Here's what our neighbor Russell, the wise and learned old-time farmer, has to say on the matter. Cows keep their milk up in their stomachs, therefor you have to convince her to let it down for you. This can be done by washing the bag with warm water. Calves will bunt their moms bellies to tell her to let the milk down. Will she tolerate that? Hope it helps! Remember, your "living the dream"! Good luck! Terri