Apple blossoms, duck eggs, and turkeys galore

Hello all! It’s been a busy few weeks on the farm. Spring brings a lot of projects and much busyness. Some of the things we’ve done are: sort yearling calves off of the herd to wean them and ready them for sale, cleaned the beehive for Dad’s new bees (all of his bees died over the winter, they most likely froze but I’ll tell you all about that in a later post), ready the garden and raised beds for planting, put up trellises for our tame blackberries (some thorn-less and some thorned plants, still much easier than picking them in the wild), cleared an area for my fruit orchard, planted my apple trees in my new orchard (yay!), finished planting the 175 trees I bought from the MO Department of Conservation, started prepping the site for my workshop/guest house/studio (I’m not sure what to call it lol) at my homestead, and of course mowing the lawns (my parents, grandma’s, and grandpa’s). We’ve been busy.

Our turkeys and ducks have started laying eggs. The turkeys aren’t very good at hatching their own eggs so my Mom hatches them in an incubator. When the incubator gets full she sells the rest as hatching eggs. There’s a good market for heritage turkeys, my parents have Royal Palms and Blue Slates. The Royals Palms seem to be the most popular, they are beautiful birds. If you have a small homestead or farm and are looking for a way to make a little money, turkeys would be something to consider as long as you have the proper shelter to keep them safe from predators. My Mom sells her hatching eggs for $1/egg, poults (baby turkeys) for $8/poult, and adult birds for $30/bird. She’s received a lot of feedback that her prices are lower than what other people ask (others ask up to $2/hatching egg, up to $12/poult, and as high as $60/adult turkey). She hasn’t raised her prices, she feels what she’s asking is fair and she sells out every year and has repeat customers.

I mentioned the ducks are also laying eggs and I cannot wait for them to hatch! Muskovy ducks are pretty good mothers so they should hatch their eggs out on their own. We did collect a few when they first started laying because they were dropping eggs everything, it was kind of funny. We haven’t found anymore eggs randomly laying around so we’re assuming they’ve made a nest somewhere. We also had a friend give us 18 of his duck eggs because he was afraid his wouldn’t hatch their own, so there are quite a few duck eggs in the incubator with the turkey eggs. We don’t know how long his eggs were in their nest so I check every day to see if there are any signs of pipping on the eggs. None yet. I’ll let you know when those fuzzy little cuties hatch out!

Here are a few pictures I’ve snapped over the last few weeks:

WP_20170327_14_30_31_Pro

Here’s one of the 100 pine trees we planted around the farm. We’ve been checking on them occasionally and most of them are still doing well. A few of them were pulled up by deer but that’s ok. I’ll keep adding to the pines each year and hopefully we can get them established on the farm.

WP_20170401_16_22_05_Pro

My new orchard! I have four apple trees planted there so far. I took this picture the day we planted them, now all of the trees have leaves on them and are doing really well. I’ll post an updated picture soon. We still have to clear some trees to expand the orchard and eventually I want to have a rock wall around it, stay tuned for that! πŸ™‚

WP_20170407_19_06_20_Pro

Apple blossoms for days! This is a pic of one of the apple trees my parents have in their yard. They planted this tree 6 years ago, it’s a dwarf variety and is a fairly heavy producer. These little beauties will be yummy apples in a few months.

WP_20170419_10_14_45_Pro

We’ve had a lot of new calves born on the farm in the last few weeks but this little guy is my favorite. Such a unique color.

Wild Flowers

And last but not least, here’s a collage of some of the early blooming wildflowers I’ve seen.

Check my Instagram account for more pictures: deannaren.

Cheers,

D

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s