HOT Happenings

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Greener Upper

Posted on May 7, 2019 at 1:00 PM

Turnips were planted in fall 2018 for cattle as an alternative to grasses. Turnips are an inexpensive alternative, non chemical way to help mine nitrogen from deep in the soil, add organic mass, and prevent erosion. The long tap roots help break soil compaction like a plow and a good choice for a no-till operation. Turnips have excellent forage quality, the cattle eat the green tops and the turnip and benefit from having a diverse diet instead of grains or a monoculture field of grass. 

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Waco Fox 44's Anna Thrash

Posted on March 6, 2019 at 12:20 AM

Fox 44's Anna Thrash came out in the blustery, below freezing temperatures to talk with Andrew about the cold. It will air tonight at 5:30 and 9:00. 


Clucker Upper

Posted on February 5, 2019 at 10:30 AM

Over the last 4 years, starting when Andrew was 14, he has buillt 20+ mobile coops from chicken scratch: small coops, medium coops & large coops. Some were rented out as "rent-a-coop", one mid-sized coop was destroyed in a wind storm and now the remaining unsold coops have been repurposed for housing bunnies and various other birds.


One larger mobile coop affectionally known as the Gypsy Caravan is Andrew's first Clucker Upper! He has taken his building skills to re-buil...

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A year of records

Posted on February 5, 2019 at 2:30 AM

It was reported that central Texas, in 2018, had set records in heat, cold, drought and most total rainfall. Overall it was a doozy of a year for the recordbooks and farmers.  We surmised that if we made it through the last 12 months we just might be ready to tackle practically anything. It was a tough year for the pasture greens. My daughter asked me what I was looking forward to most this next year. I said, "watching my grass grow".


Andrew has finished building ...

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Dark Cloud

Posted on August 28, 2018 at 6:00 PM

My dad has aptly nicknamed Andrew "Dark Cloud". In DC's word's, "it's going to die, it's going to break, it's not going to work."


DC has been telling me all summer the apple tree planted last fall is going to die. It finally gave up this week. 


We have had the driest summer on record. So far 9 inches of rain, 22 inches is the norm. The hay produced off the farm this year was less than a bale per acre. We probably will not get a second cutting either. I...

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June- Blackberries are fruiting

Posted on June 18, 2018 at 7:35 PM



It is the second year since Andrew planted the tranplanted berry sticks from Arkansas. They truly were sticks and it is amazing they have grown even with our current drought. The summer has been dry and the rain still has not come for weeks. My cows are fence jumping to greener pastures and always keeping me on my toes. One area of cross fencing is in shambles and they alway seems to know when I have the gate open. They like to stand at the open gate and watch the cars...

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The kid

Posted on May 2, 2018 at 1:25 PM

     Andrew proudly keeps reminding me that he will be 18 and an adult at the end of July. I had to laugh when he walked into Sims Plastic to buy irrigation supplies and was greeted with, "Hey, the kid is here!" All the employees came out of their respective positions to ask him how the blackberries were growing, and if he has graduated Homeschool High School yet. First rule of homeschoolers is you don't ask what year they are, but how old they are. The graduation question sent...

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I've got a hole in my boot.

Posted on March 28, 2018 at 8:35 PM

Today the fields flooded and the chickens were wading patiently until help arrived.  All hands were on deck this morning to move the coops and save the day.  My husband was complaining about a hole in his boot that was leaking water and soaking his socks. Most likely a pesky mesquite thorn. I said, "Yeah, my right one has a few holes too".


Remember the movie Men in Black where Kay says, "There's always an Ar...

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Feast or famine

Posted on November 11, 2017 at 9:00 PM

     The hens have starting molting and we have been barely getting by with just a pittance of eggs.  When the daylight hours decrease below 14 hours the hens start to molt, which means to lose and regrow feathers. The feathers contain 85% protein so instead of laying eggs that energy is spent on feathers. Lighting the coop will help stop the molt in fall. I have spent nearly four weeks trying to figure out a lighting system for the mobile coops. First I had 5 extension co...

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Summer 2017

Posted on September 18, 2017 at 3:45 PM Comments comments (0)

Summer was ablaze and we did our best to keep the hens cool. After 4 attempts with different misters we found one that did not create an indoor water ballet swimming pool (or mosh pit, whatever floats your boat) in the coop. Our egg production increased with the misters, but the water bill showed the hallmarks of a leak. We have multiple hoses from the house to the hoop coop so the next step is to use about 300 foot of one single rubber pipe to mitagate t...

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