There has been a lot that has happened since the last time we updated everyone about our homestead.
We started our first batch of broilers in February of this year (2017). After researching the various breeds of broilers we decided to raise Freedom Rangers this year as we have mentioned in other posts. We knew when getting these birds that they would grow slower than Cornish crosses but they have grown even slower than we anticipated. We are now processing birds pretty much every week. We have found it best to process on Thursdays to have our birds ready for pick up on Fridays for our customers. We do our own processing and are processing under the 1,000 poultry limit exemption and had USDA (US Department of Agriculture) inspect our processing operation. So far we have received lots of positive feedback on our broilers.
American Guinea Hogs
Our hog herd has grown here at Forever and Always Homestead. We now have a breeder trio consisting of one male and two females. We also have a few feeder pigs we are growing out and are hoping to have them ready early winter. We are really looking forward to the the pork from these American Guinea Hogs.
Kidding season this year was a bit of a rough one but we did end up with some beautiful doelings after it all. We came under attack by a microscopic enemy which caused early abortions and a weak kid. Our goats showed us no signs of being sick or distress they just went into early labor and aborted their babies. Unfortunately there was nothing we could do for the early abortions but we were able to save our weak kid. We believe she was born early. She was not able to maintain her body temperature so she slept on our chests for almost a weak until she was strong enough to go back out to her mom. There were moments where we didn’t know if she would make it. We appropriately named her hope and she is doing great now. We are selling our doelings from this kidding season which includes two kinder doelings and a mixed doeling. If you are would like more information on the doelings we have available please send us an email on our Contact Us Page or message us on Facebook.
Farmer Veteran Coalition Fellowship Fund
This year we applied for a grant through the Farmer Veteran Coalition’s Fellowship Fund. We were hoping to get some top of the line processing equipment for our broiler operation. Unfortunate we were recently notified we were not selected to receive the grant this year. Although we were disappointed it was a great learning experience applying for our first grant and now we are that much more prepared to apply for next years opportunity.
When my wife and I decided to we wanted to pursue a career in small scale farming I immediately began trying to learn as much as I could to ensure our success. Neither one of us comes from farming family so we have had a lot to learn. Sure we learned a lot from reading books, searching the internet and watching YouTube videos but I also have been going to school for Animal Science. At the beginning of this month I completed my Associate’s in Animal Science Technology am now pursuing my Bachelor’s in Agriculture Education and a second major in Animal Science through NC A&T State University. It has been such a different experience going to school for something you are passionate. There is always something new to learn living this life and I look forward to be a lifetime student in this field.