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Fall is here September 25, 2015

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Chickens are still locked up. Baby ducks are growing like weeds which is good. We had rain today finally. So much needed as it has been so dry. Hubby and I are looking at property to expand the farm. We only have 4.6 acres and rent neighbors extra ten for the cows. We found one place real nice but house is so small we would have to do alot of enlarging to life in it for long time. I do not think I could do even a short time with in laws. We have both hubby’s brother and mother here and both are not quite right to put it kindly.

Anyway, it is a lovely piece of land end of the road farm all set up. Just house is 2 bedroom and 1 bathroom. NOT enough space at 980 sq ft. Ours now is almost 1600 sq ft and it is not enough with those two here. LOL But if we can by chance make it work hubby has made it plain chickens stay. Place will need them back for tick control. It is overgrown but that is not an issue. Has it own water system already set up YES 5 barns YES 3 gardens YES small house no. We are trying to figure it out more later on that I hope.

Well now what will do. September 22, 2015

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It is fall and things have changed. Eggs are now way up do to avian flu. We now have ducks and duck babies. But chickens are now locked up because they killed and ate 4 of them. Yes, you read that right they ate them. Chickens are omnivorous which means they eat meat as well as plants just like US. This is a problem to say the least when babies poultry is around. We free range the adult but lock up chicks until old enough to be with main flock if they are not raised by a hen.

Anyway, I had a small flock of adults left. Ducks are in the chainlink fence coop that we were putting roosters in to grow out last year. It has alot of tall weeds and is big enough for a small pool. BUT there was now small holed fencing around it to prevent baby ducks getting out. I never even though of it till it happened. Took me one day to figure it out and by then we lost 4. So we wrapped duck pen up as best as we could and locked up all the chickens for a bit. No more losses.

Now what this brings about is hubby and I are thinking of getting rid of the chickens in favor of laying ducks. We have the meat ducks Muscovys, Pekin and Cayuga. But we are thinking of Runners and getting rid of the chickens since we have to do so many grow out pens to raise them. My thought is ticks and how good the chickens are in controlling them. But we do not eat the chickens since I have issues with my brother in law in how to deal with carcass and it comes out tough do not not letting it reast for 24 to 48 hours after butcher. SO no one wants to deal with killing them since they can not eat them. Brother in law here that is and he eats alot. Hubby is not a big chicken fan and I prefer my chicken fried so…..

Now when it comes to the ducks here is how it stands. We all love it especially hubby and I. But meat ducks do not lay year round like chickens. Muscovys only lay to hatch out which is Fine by us but gives us no eggs for the year. Eggs here now are $2.30 a dozen. Likely to go higher. So will poultry meat. We are really thinking of buying Indian Runners for eggs but there is one issue with them. Unlike chickens they do not lay in a nest box or in a nest of anytype. But since they roam everywhere they just drop them unless lock up. I am going to talk with those that have them and see what the whole story is with them. I have a baker up the road that would love a steady source of duck eggs. So selling would not be an issue. Time will tell in the next month how this goes.

Long time away August 3, 2015

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Sorry all it has been so busy here on the farm I have not been able to update in a long time.

Right now I am down to 4 hens and one rooster. But I have one hatching done and another on the way. We had two hens hatch out also but only 3 made it. Hopefully the dog has moved on for he hit us then my neighbor. But we got a shot off and have not seen him again. But I have my flock locked up now. So I hope if he is still alive that he has moved on. I know of 5 folks here that have been shooting after him for killing livestock.

What is new we now have ducks both Muscoveyes and pekin and cayuga x pekin. Muscovies are sitting on eggs. Pekin female is too young yet and the x is a boy to go with her that I hatched out. Next will be geese sometime next year after we get house pond finished. Hope you all have a great summer.

When it rains it pours. July 19, 2014

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Been a bit since I have posted. We have been very busy here at the farm.  5 broodies and all hatched. Sad news one hen killed all her chicks OR another hen did as these were in adult coop.  Not a good place to keep broodies as this happens alot.  They should always be in their own coop but I could not move them this time do to the fact we have all the feed in there for all the animals.

We are building a barn and once done things will change with the feed.  I have switched feed twice now do to loosing first place I was buying from that carried ADM. I went to Hubbard for a short while as they have the 22% layer in pellets.  But check at our Co Op and was able to get something close to ADM and alot closer.  They have to bring it in from Knoxville but that is no biggy as I already order my goat feed from them also.

Sky is pregnant and due to have pups on July 31 which is also my birthday.  She has really come threw for me of late and still working hard with the chickens and the goats as well as pigs and cows.  Told you we have been busy.  All pictures and updates on the farm are on the farm website Blue Moon Valley Farm.  I have two face book groups going. One for Blue Moon English Shepherds that has all of Sky’s updates. If you are interested in more information about her pups you can contact me on Face Book or our farm website.  Blue Moon Valley farm is the other group and is about all the other animals. I also have a blog going on the farm website related to all the other animals and happenings.  So check them out to see new babies.

Well first spring hatch is here. March 26, 2014

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We have had 30 chicks hatch so far. Might have a few more, incubator holds 42. All that have hatched are doing great. Hubby was kind enough to buy me chicks water and feeder. The upright type as I already had the lay down type. But since we are putting chicks into a plastic tote upright works better.

These chicks are for sale on a local level. I also am selling hens from last year hatch that I do not need in my breeding program. I will Not ship either hens or chicks. But if you are with in driving distance you can contact me either here or facebook or email me threw farm website http://www.bluemoonvalley.com/ We also have the farm page on facebook as Blue Moon Valley Farm https://www.facebook.com/pages/Blue-Moon-Valley-Farm/447088522062904 you can reach me there also.

Speaking of facebook. We have a number of groups for East Tn on there related to farm stuff. So make sure to look for them as we have one now for selling goats in East TN and farm barter and farm livestock. Just getting the word out there. Hope everyone spring is going well.

We have hatching. December 27, 2013

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The eggs we put in on the 7th of Dec. are now hatching. To my surprise they started last night. So far we are up to 16 hatched with more coming. I put in 42 and I hope at this point they do not all hatch for we are tight here with 4 people and stuff. I plan on selling these local.

Do to the new puppy coming in, we are now going to also get Runner ducks. They are good for young dogs to teach herding on. They also are great layers but do not use a nest. This will be a very interesting New Year.

New farm dog December 26, 2013

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On Christmas eve hubby I got the news of the tests results on a male from the litter I posted. Do to Sky’s MDR1 being M/N I had to get a male that was N/N. We are now proud owners of the blue male in Middle Trees Farm litter. This was a Christmas present for hubby. His name will be Blue Moon’s Winter Knight of Middle Tree. He will be standing at stud here. He has already being working on ducks and will be our primary herding dog.

Middle Tree still has two males available that would be great farm dogs. They have videos up on Face Book of them herding under Middle Tree Farm face book page. So if you are looking for a great farm helper please check it out.

I will be putting a page on Knight on our farm website. We will be picking him up just after the new Year. It shall be a long day as the farm is 5 hours one way from us.

On the chickens, we have been getting a dozen eggs a day right now. I am now offering for sale a few hen local only that are laying. If interested contact me at akewastar@yahoo.com and put in chicken hens as a subject. Chickens are doing great free ranging every day. We have only lost 2 this year thanks to Sky doing her job of keeping the hawks away.

We will be breeding Sky this spring to a wonderful English Shepherd male that is also a working farm dog. If interested in a pup from her you can email at above address or contact me on face book. We have a farm page list as Blue Moon Valley Farm and my facebook name is Tamara H Baughman.

We are wishing everyone a very happy and safe New Year.

English Shepherd pups December 14, 2013

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https://www.facebook.com/groups/319365278203378/

Listing a litter of English Shepherd pups from a breeder friend. She has a few spots open. They are from good working farm lines parents work on her farm. She is located on facebook. Under the name Caroline Betts her farm site there is Middle Tree Farm English Shepherds

Announcing Farm website December 14, 2013

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After weeks of working on it our website is now up and running. It is featuring our farm dog Sky, our cows and some extra pictures of the chickens. This blog will be kept solely for news on the chickens as that is what it was meant for when I started it. There is a link to this blog on the farm site and I am planning a forum so questions maybe asked about any thing we are raising ,breeding, or working with or on.

http://www.bluemoonvalley.com/

Winter and new animals December 10, 2013

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We now have cows. Not my idea but hubby’s. He bought at auction a Holstein bull calf. A week later I bought a jersey cow with a Jersey/Angus calf on her. Cow is pregnant too a Guernsey/jersey cross. So we have milk and have made butter so far.

Chickens are now down by 5. BIL butchered our 4 roosters and 1 hens that was injured. Roosters came in at 5 lbs dressed weight. Hen at 3 lbs. She had a leg problem for a long time but was doing good till yesterday when 3 roosters corned her and beat her up. Chickens can be cruel that way.

Weather here has been rain slight but still rain for 4 days. Chickens are OK but other animals pigs and cows do not like it at all. Neither does BIL. I have been using straw/hay to cover our walk paths that are muddy. Chicken coop is on the bottom of our valley down from the high point where house is and cow barn is right now. Pigs are behind coop and what can you say but it is a pig pen.

I have a batch of eggs in the incubator. Do not think we will get much of a hatch do to cold weather. But BIL pushed for it. He has no real knowledge of chickens but he will learn to listen to me on them after this.

We will be building more coops for spring and summer. As I need at least 4 grow out pens. One for each hatching as older chicks will beat up on younger ones till they are all over months. Also being built will be breeding pen, well it is built but will be added too.

Our first broody did not stick, which does not surprise me. Roosters and hens we always pushing her out of nest box. I did not put her in her own pen knowing that eggs were not fertile yet.

All in all we have had a very good year this year. Hope next is just as good. Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

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