This year we raised the most chicken we've ever done, 120 birds in 3 batches, and we processed them all on farm with the help of some very good friends. Sean and Naomi made it possible to slaughter and process all the birds on our property. With their expertise, and good company we spent three days, 8 am to 4:30-5 pm processing birds. It's a long day, and tiresome work but much more bearable thanks to them. We now have whole birds, breasts, legs(thighs and drumsticks), tenders, and wings available for sale at Aunt Clare's Self serve farm stand in Plymouth NH and by appointment at our home farm in New Hampton.
On the farm there are many different occasions to look forward to. Some come around more frequently than others, but shearing day is only once a year on our farm. This past year we had our shearer, Gwen, come on March 7th. She comes in the morning with her Icelandic sheep dog and her special clippers to shear our sheep. As an experienced shearer it takes her less than 10 minutes to shear one of our ewes. The morning before shearing the sheep all get locked in the barn for three main reasons: 1) We don't want the sheep to get wet. A damp or wet fleece makes it difficult for the clippers to cut the wool and can make the wool mold after its put into bags for storage. 2) We want the sheep to have empty stomachs. It is best for sheep to be shorn on empty stomachs since they'll be on their backs and bent into uncomfortable positions for the shearer to clip all the wool. and 3) when the sheep [...]
October has been a wet month for us. If it wasn't for the vibrant colors of the leaves I would say it feels more like April with the amount of rain we've been getting. As much as the soil is craving the moisture it has caused quite a mess in the dooryard where the animal congregate. Although it is thick and gooey, the horses and sheep don't seem to mind too much. They're content to schlep through the muck to the round bale, and back into the barn to nap, or go up the hill to the woods where its drier. The only one on the farm that truly complains about the mud is none other than Priscilla. Unlike most pigs, she doesn't enjoy wallowing in mud puddles unless its above 80 degrees, and even then a clear pool is more appealing than a mud hole. So with her pen turned 2+ inches of mud from the constant rain she began to refuse to leave the barn. On the last dry day, Nick helped [...]