Monday, October 5, 2009

wannabe farm update

I figured this morning that its been too long since I took pics of the animals.

I recently acquired another salvage trailer for eggmobile2, and spent an hour with the drill/wire brush knocking rust off, with probably another hour left before I can hit it with phosphoric acid, then prime, then paint, then build the coop.

Here's our own wild thing tearing into a pasture fed drumstick. She really rolled her terrible eyes and gnashed her terrible teeth on the thing she held in her terrible claws. A spinach salad in the foreground from saved seeds no less. Easiest crop I ever grew, just collected seeds in a bucket and my brother spread them on a raised bed that already had irrigation. A couple weeks of neglect later and I'm cutting spinach for our salads.

Eggmobile1 is surrounded by electronet because I integrated 2 flocks into it and the new guys need the net to prevent them all roosting in trees. They are doing it anyway, but at least its not all of them. Hopefully I only have a few more nights of chicken catching and then I can remove the net and move the thing again. I doubled the ventilation with the addition of the new birds but I'm thinking I'll double it again. Really can't have too much ventilation around here since it doesn't really freeze much. I have been trying to throw them supplemental goodies as they scratched this area bare: whole uprooted tomato plants full of ripe fruit is their favorite, but they love zuchini and raw corn on the cob. Lots of neglected veggies around here.

This roo was looking like he was going to be top of the order when they first matured, and the black and white one was very timid and always running and hiding. But one day it switched, big red turned timid and b/w is now in charge.

The turkeys are much cuter than I anticipated. They have a well earned reputation for being stupid, but they are dopey in a really endearing way I think. They are very inquisitive and they look up at you with these huge blank eyes and chirp-chirp-chirp. When you try to walk away several of them gobble. Big lumbering hulks. The bronzes are getting huge and will make spectacular thanksgiving birds. The biggest narragansets will be good for those who want a smaller t-giving turkey and left the little guys unsold to sell as Christmas turkey.

Some people might think it strange that a person could love an animal, think it is amazingly cute and precious, and then at some point end its life and eat it. I however feel that life includes death, and life in the wild can be hard and cruel (ask a racoon for mercy and see what happens Mr. PETA). Life on my farm for my animals is hopefully comfortable and borderline idyllic. Then one day, graduation day, they are brought quickly and humanely to their end right here on the farm so there's not even the stress of transport. That's as close as I can get to eating a wild caught fish.
I just wouldn't enjoy a vegetarian diet, and I disagree with anyone who thinks its got a shot at being a solution to environmental problems. Yes, its been proven that some people can survive without eating other animals. But to my mind, large environmental problems will not be solved by a tiny number of people embracing and evangelating self sacrifice. Our best shot is to breed a new generation of smarter consumer who is willing to pay more for humane/green meat and a continue the spread of farmers who do it that way. Its in the farmer's instinct to be the best stewards of their land and their beasts they possibly can be. But farmers are forced by the market at this point in time to do what works.

Will there ever be a time when most eggs come from chickens that know sunlight and have ever eaten a blade of grass? Time will tell...But the eggs sure are different. Like wow different. Like you can't go back anymore different. There's a downside, what do you eat at a hotel breakfast buffet?