So, we had our first snow. We don’t get much snow here in Olympia. In fact, we haven’t had any for two years, so this morning’s dusting was kind of unexpected. Of course, an urban farmer’s first concern with snow is always the welfare of the farm critters. Ours were fine this morning, but we do have some cold temperatures coming, so I’ll have to make sure the water bowls stay free of ice for the next few days.
Hey, I can’t get mad at raccoons. They’re animals too, and they’re just doing what they do naturally, which is look for food as the weather turns nasty and winter settles in. They got a good meal from our three chickens last week, but that will be quite enough of my generosity. There were three in our yard last night and I greeted them warmly with my BB gun and some colorful phrases.
We butchered eighteen of them last week. Actually Bev did, but I’ve done it before and I can say, without hesitation, it’s not enjoyable. Anyway, eighteen butchered, and fourteen scheduled to be purchased this week, so we are getting our numbers down to a manageable level as winter arrives. We’ll probably sell off twenty more and then when February arrives we’ll hatch some eggs and build the flock back up in time for egg-laying season in April.
Several of you have asked me about this worm-raising venture, so let me give you the highlights on how easy it is. Mind you, right now we are just starting out, but the way worms grow in number, we should have quite a few of them in two months. After I get comfortable doing this I’ll turn my attention to raising meal worms as well as the red wigglers. All of them can be sold, and the red worm tea and worm castings are easily sold to gardeners.
So, how to raise red wigglers?
Follow this link to the WSU Extension and they can tell you just how easy it is.
If you’re looking for a great natural fertilizer, look no further than worm tea or worm castings. Great stuff, right up there with rabbit pellets.
Sheez, how about 19 degrees last night? Here’s the thing about having critters during the winter: they rely on you, the owner, to provide for them. Water freezes at 19 degrees. I know, right? Shocker alert! So that means hopping out of bed in the morning and braving those temperatures to get your animals some water that isn’t frozen solid. That’s what I did this morning, and it was cold as hell, and the animals loved me for it.
Sure I could buy those heating pads that keep water from freezing over the winter, but I’m of the opinion that those pads are for wimps and hey, Daddy didn’t raise no wimp. J
Bottom line message to you all: take care of your animals in the cold weather. Make sure their water is not frozen, and spread some hay in their enclosure so they can burrow down into it and stay warmer.
THAT’S ALL FOR NOW
I’ve got things to do in preparation of today’s snow, so I have to go. Have a great weekend and I’ll catch you down the road of life.