Summer has arrived, thank God!  Everything is growing quite well, the birds are all happy, and our little corner of the world is moving along on all pistons.

NATURE ADJUSTS

It’s been an interesting spring with the birds.  The chickens, which are getting a little long in the tooth, haven’t minded the rain at all, and are laying eggs at a record pace.  The quail, on the other hand, act like they have never laid an egg in their life.  I have to assume it is the weird weather that is affecting all of this.  Nothing else has changed on our farm to explain it.  We need those quail eggs for the farmers markets, so I’m hoping the upcoming good weather will encourage our little ladies to start laying daily like nature intended them to do.

I wrote that paragraph about a month ago. Since then the weather has warmed up, and the quail are laying in a productive fashion, about five dozen eggs each day, so all is well.

We did have one of our original chickens die.  No reason for it that I could see; she just got sick and died. Such is life on an urban farm.  Buttercup will be missed, and now that she has passed, a new pecking order has been established.

Buttercup is on the left

CHICKEN FEED

A little information about chicken feed you may or may not know.  A chicken needs the following for good health:  corn for energy; soybean meal for protein; and a variety of vitamins and supplements.

Most people who raise chickens use pellets for the main staple.  Pellets, comprised of the right amount of corn, soybean, and vitamins, are available at all feed stores.  Pellets are preferred because they pack the most punch for your buck.  Chickens eat little amounts often, and they expend a lot of energy in the process, so pellets meet their requirements and match their lifestyle.

Chickens also love mealworms and red wigglers, both of which I grow here at home in plastic bins.  Let me repeat: chickens love mealworms and red wigglers.  As in LOVE them!  If you want your chickens to love you, provide them with mealworms.  Be forewarned, though: mealworms are expensive, so I highly recommend that you raise your own.  It is easy to do and inexpensive . . . in fact, once you purchase your initial 1000, they just keep reproducing at no cost to you, and if you have little kids, the biology lesson, as the worms go through their transformation into beetles, is fascinating.

QUAIL FARMING

We are in the process of determining whether it is profitable to be raising quail.  We’ve been doing this for two years now, going on three, and we should see a profit this year. If we don’t we may have to say goodbye to that experiment and move on to the next.  If it fails it won’t be a loss.  Farming is never a loss.  The aviaries can be enclosed and used as greenhouses at very little expense, which is what we might do.  Then we can grow herbs because we have this idea of dried herbs used in food dips….so we’ll see which way we go once the summer ends and we tally up the dollars and cents.

FARMERS MARKETS

We are selling our quail eggs in three markets this summer. Sales have been consistent. Quail eggs are a tough sell in the United States.  Asian countries love them, and the French have baked with them for centuries, but here in the States, size matters more than health. Still, we are selling everything our girls can produce, so no complaints.

We have a new idea for the markets next year….dips made from herbs, as I mentioned earlier….we’ll spend this coming winter preparing for the new products.

THAT’S ABOUT IT FOR THIS WEEK

Thanks for stopping by, and thanks for following along.  If you are new here, leave me your website URL so I can repay with a following and visits.

Bill

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17 thoughts on “Summer Update on the Farm

  1. Hi Billy,
    I always enjoy reading about what is going down at the Urban Farm.
    I know that my parents tried many ways to increase the coffers on their half an acre. I fondly remember Mum’s jams, pickled onions, piccalilli, pickled cauliflower and red cabbage. We bred turkeys, chickens, bantams and even rabbits for a while. We had vegetables and fruit of every description and would come home from school to raid the veggie or pluck fruit from the trees of which there were plenty. We grew three types of avocado pears, oranges, lemons, macadamia nuts and even grapefruit. The truth is we never went hungry and we regularly went fishing so we had fish too but the coffers stayed remarkably low:) I don’t think I would have changed a thing. I am sure you would not either.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No, Sally, I wouldn’t change a thing. We will never get rich doing this, but we love it so much that we really don’t care. It’s all about the experience and the memories, my friend, something you obviously understand. Thanks for sharing with me.

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    1. Hi Emma! Thanks for stopping by. Mealworms are a breeze to raise. There are several decent videos on YouTube, but basically you can start with a 20-gallon plastic container….put about four inches of wheat bran in the bottom for bedding…drop in the 1000 worms. The worms can be found on eBay. When the worms become beetles, give them about a week and then put the beetles in a different container and feed them a couple slices of potato each week. The worms in the first container can be fed to the chickens…the beetles in the other container will lay eggs, which will become more worms…just keep rotating beetles between containers, otherwise they will eat the larvae and your worm population will die out.

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    1. Well I hope you do stop by, Paleo…I’m the one selling goat cheese and quail eggs. Thanks for stopping by here. Very cool raising those worms…great learning lesson for your three year old.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Bill…
    Great to read of your success and so happy the Quail are working hard for you. I used to raise meal worms as they were a great source of food for the many aquariums I had on the go. I used to sell to breed and sell to several local dealers. Red Wigglers were yet another sideline for the local fisherman. I dealt through the local fishing merchandize stores then branched out a little to the compost crowd.
    Made the choice a few years back to get out of things and well just focus on fishing… let me tell you it was a hard choice but I suffer through it… lol

    Hugs and blessing over your future ventures… Rolly

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    1. Hey, Rolly! Great minds think alike, my friend. Mealworms are a must, in my opinion, for those who raise chickens….and it is so easy to do…no excuses for not doing it.

      Hope you are having a fine weekend. Catch lots of fish.

      Hugs from Oly

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      1. I agree Bill. I had the greatest success with meal worm using only dry oatmeal. The wigglers in well vented containers and a little dirt. Just add anything to it as a compost and you are fishing in style.

        Hugs

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely to read whats been going on at the farm, It will be interesting to see which way you decide to go herbs would be interesting to try and I plan on growing them here as I always love using them in a variety of ways. have a fab week my friend xx

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  4. Hey, Bill. Great idea about the herbs and dips. I go to a craft fair every Christmas crafting and food stall galore. This last one I stopped by a stand selling dried herbs. They had dips available for sampling and they were wonderful. You could buy the herbs singly or in ‘theme’ packs. My daughter bought Asian, Mexican and Thai packs to make dips and sauces.

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  5. Thank you Zulma! It is a very easy process to make those packs….add sour cream and/or mayonnaise and you have an instant dip…I think we’ll be going in that direction, although I hate to give up on the quail.

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