Life on the Ranch Fall 2021

Life on the Ranch Fall 2021

It has been a little while since our last ranch update. Where exactly the time goes, I will never know!

This week will start with picking up our last batch of chickens from the processors in Garnett KS. It is hard to believe we are done with chickens until spring. This year we raised 500 chickens! To some that might seem like a lot, and to others that is barely a start. To us though, that is quite a bit, especially since we only raised 125 last year. I would say it was our biggest area of growth for the year.

I do not think we will grow by that many next year! We would need a lot more freezer space then we have currently, those whole chickens take up a lot of room.

We added turkeys to the ranch this year and they have been an absolute hit! They are funny little things that thrive on attention and do well in small batches like ours. To simply get our feet wet, we only ordered 30 and lost 1 in the early days so we are down to 29. I was not sure how they would be to raise or to sell so I wanted to start small. I am glad that we did 29 because it is the perfect number for the system we currently have. Right now, we have them in the hoop chicken tractor with an electric netting set up right outside the door, to give them a turkey run. Every 2-3 days we move the tractor and netting to fresh grass and boy oh boy! Do those turkeys love it when we give them fresh grass and in turn, fresh grasshoppers!

Going into the fall/winter we decreased our pig number as well. Only five cute little piggies right now, though we will add 4-5 more in another month, so we can start to build our steady supply for spring 2022. Cameron has been feeding some pears from my parent’s pear tree to the piggies to make them friendly. We like to have someway to call the piggies back in case they ever escape, because corralling pigs is not an easy task! We had some escape this summer but luckily, they were friendly enough that we simply called them back with the moto and some marshmallows.

The cows have been doing a good job for us this year keeping the pastures mowed and knocked down, so we have barely had to rotary mow anything. It has been very nice for Cameron to not have to spend hours in the tractor this summer. In the next week or so we will be weaning the calves from their mommas and taking any that we do not need for our own business to market. I look forward to the day that we can keep all our calves.

At the end of this week our little girl is turning 3! I think she grows 2 inches every night and learns more every second, even when she is sleeping. To say she is joy in our life would be a major understatement! We will celebrate her birthday with some homemade Italian Sausage pizza, brownies, and ice cream as those are some of her favorite foods currently.

I hope you have a fantastic week ahead and are blessed with beautiful fall weather and festivities!

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Your family and your farming operation are so inspiring. I hope you continue to do well. I enjoy being able to say “Hi” to you at the Farmer’s Market.

Ardith Bjorge

Love the updates! Any chance the turkeys will be ready for Thanksgiving? 🦃

Colleen & Danny McMahan

Love hearing about the farm and kids!


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