HOT Happenings

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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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Bearing fruit

Posted on June 5, 2017 at 3:05 PM

The blackberries are abounding! After only a year in the ground it is amazing to see the growth from a single stick to a "baby" plant. The best berries are when you feel the berry fall into your hand. When you have to tug at the berry it will be tart and not as sweet. We will sell some packages at Drug Emporium so check the store! 


This tall vine shown with Andrew's dad will be the cane that fruit comes from next...

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March

Posted on April 7, 2017 at 12:10 AM Comments comments (0)

     It has been unseasonably warm and that means flies! My vet was back helping me with another mama calf struggling to give birth. Both of us were astonished that the calf came out alive. 2 weeks later I was back at the vet's office with the same calf. It had come down with pink eye, a virus which is carried quickly by flies. It is never to early to remember to spray the livestock and protect them from the damage pink eye causes to cattle. This calf has now lost it's eyesight...

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February-expanding chickens and herds

Posted on March 2, 2017 at 10:55 PM Comments comments (0)

Blessed with beautiful days we have had a chance to expand shelters and fix things without changing clothes every hour because of heat and sweat. The beginning of the month Andrew waved down tree trimmers and asked if they could dump the mulch at the farm.  40 truckloads sounds like a lot, but we wonder if it will be enough. The plan is to mulch around the 1.3 acres of blackberries and then mix the remaining organic matter with the topsoil in the next proposed blackberry field. 

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January 2017- Year of the Rooster

Posted on February 3, 2017 at 3:35 PM Comments comments (0)

It has been a breakneak first year living on the farm. So much has been accomplished and I am very proud of the hard work that has transformed a tired old pasture into a vibrant working farm full life and varied interests. So much has been learned and yet I am humbled to know there is still so much more to learn. 


     Andrew delivered eggs to Drug Emporium and was told a film crew just finished filming local foods including our eggs for a commerial durin...

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12 Days of Christmas

Posted on December 31, 2016 at 11:25 AM

     Just before Christmas on a blistery winter morning, I went to the West Cattle auction and bid for the first time! "Bulbuls blu bla bluh.... "  Luckily the owner of the auction house walked me through beforehand, translated the auctioneer, explained in detail the different cattle markings, and continued to sit with me as Andrew, my friend Kathy, and I raised our paddles. The owner said Texas farmers don't like to go to auction on dreary days like this and predicte...

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October Surprise

Posted on November 6, 2016 at 11:25 PM

The first half of October:

Andrew had a kid! Well, not him personally. A baby goat appeared one sunlit morning. It was a perfect day. Andrew was so happy to be a brand new papa. A few hours after the discovery Andrew was troubled that it was not standing on its own and appeared to have a bloody spot on its back. I told him not to bring it in the house, but as any concerned papa would do, he disobeyed orders and turned his bathroom into a makeshift hospital. We both tried everything huma...

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As the Windmill Turns

Posted on October 5, 2016 at 2:55 PM

If you like soap operas we had the chance to watch our very own drama unfold before our eyes this month.  We have our year & half old hens on one side of the barn and our younger six month old hens on the other side seperated by an interior door and outdoor fence. One evening the door was inadvertently left ajar. As I slid the barn door open in the morning it look like an all out barn-room brawl.  The air was heavy with dust, feeders were knocked on their sides, hay was pushed a...

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Soil Test, Algebra and Work

Posted on August 31, 2016 at 9:45 PM

Our soil test from A&M arrived! Andrew had taken about 20 samples throughout the field, mixed them all together and sent off a small bag of soil about 2-3 weeks ago. Little did I know I would be interpreting numbers and reviewing algebra in order to figure the correct mix necessary to apply to the blackberries.  Farming this week has included more algebra than I ever expected. For homeschool, Andrew will be writing a 20-30 page paper on soil preparations for blackberries. The algebra...

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