Fencing completed for year!

I did it!  I finished all the fencing I was supposed to do this year.  The barn lot is totally enclosed by sheep wire.  I should probably hang a small board under one of the gates so the sheep don’t crawl under it, but that doesn’t count since the sheep are staying in the barn lot currently.  Zeke (new puppy we just got on Saturday, border collie) and I spent half a day finishing the fence.  Zeke does not care for the horses.  He hid under the pickup when they came over.  I had some scratches on the hood of my pickup, the curved edges at the sides of the hood that I thought were from the dog trying to scramble up onto the hood in a storm over the summer.  Imagine my surprise today when I caught the horses dragging their teeth on the curve and trying to bite the hood.  They took paint off with their teeth!  I had to chase them off repeatedly.  This did make Zeke happy, he kept wanting to bark at them.  He ignored the sheep and chickens today when we were outside. 

I went to the far end of the farm and managed to get the old gate up so no one can drive into the CRP and park and party.  Trash was accumulating at the far end of the farm due to no visibility from the houses.  It looks like my mother-in-law may not lease out the pasture next year.  So I now have a whole new chunk of fencing to repair and weeds to spray and mow.  It is going to be a busy next year. 

I called the insurance company today and the adjuster told me to just go to the shop and get a quote.  The shop is a preferred provider so they can just fix it.  I will do that tomorrow.  I also picked up the lumber for the light access panel in the upstairs bathroom today, $20 worth of lumber for the whole thing.  I will start framing it tomorrow. 

October chicken financials

October report:  I lost $17.34 for the month on an average 22.5 hens laying(a increase of 5.5 hens/day. predator issues again!).  My net income total is – $275.25 for the year .  I had $59.34 in expenses for feed (250#) this month.  For the year, my monthly expenses are $94.85.  We collected a total of 253 usable eggs (decrease of 63 eggs)  averaging 8.2 eggs/day collected.  My productivity for the month was 36% (decrease of 2% from last month).  The chickens ate 0.99# food/egg (an increase from last month of 20.2%).   It cost $0.23/egg or $2.76/doz for feed (an increase of $0.48/dozen over last month).  My monthly net income is a loss of $27.53/month this year (a decreasing loss of $1.13/mos).  It is slowly getting better, but winter is coming and my feed expenses are going to go up.  Now there was a large increase in the cost of feed in early summer but that has gone away.  I am currently paying around $11.89 for a 50# bag of layer pellets at the feed store.  In Pendleton it is running around $15/bag that would add$12-$15/month in feed expenses if I had to buy it in town. 

September chicken financials

September report:  I made $21.52 for the month on an average 28 hens laying(a increase of 8 hens/day).  My net income total is – $257.91 for the year .  I had $59.48 in expenses for feed (250#) this month.  For the year, my monthly expenses are $98.79.  We collected a total of 316 usable eggs averaging 10.5 eggs/day collected.  My productivity for the month was 38% (decrease of 13% from last month, I had to add in all the chickens that are old enough to lay).  The chickens ate 0.79# food/egg (a decrease from last month of 16.4%).   It cost $0.19/egg or $2.28/doz for feed (an decrease of $0.36/dozen over last month).  My monthly net income is a loss of $28.66/month this year (a decreasing loss of $6.32/mos).
This is starting to look better for the year.  I would prefer to only loose about $12-15/month as this is our normal egg consumption but I am still not there yet.

August chicken financials

August report:  I lost $32.88 for the month on an average 20 hens laying(a increase of 1.7 hens/day).  My net income total is – $279.43 for the year .  I had $70.38 in expenses for feed (290#) this month.  For the year, my monthly expenses are $103.71.  We collected a total of 316 usable eggs averaging 8.5 eggs/day collected (a increase of 1.7 eggs/day due to my leghorns getting old enough to produce).  My productivity for the month was 51% (increase of 5% from last month).  The chickens ate 0.92# food/egg (a raise from last month of 17.4%).   It cost $0.22/egg or $2.64/doz for feed (an increase of $0.48/dozen over last month).  My monthly net income is a loss of $34.98/month this year (a decreasing loss of $0.24/mos)
My leghorns started laying this month and boosted my egg production.  

July monthly chicken financials

Another month ready to go, some may wonder why I post this stuff.  Initially, it was a way for me to just let friends and family keep up with the things going on around the farm.  Then it become a log of things not to do.  Now it is a record for me of the things that have gone on and the times they occurred.  I can look back and find information and facts of things that have happened.  So now I use it as a journal and log book for the various things around the farm.  Next year, I will start posting some of the sheep facts also. 

July report:  I gained $10.11 for the month on an average 18.3 hens laying(a decrease of 1.2 hens/day).  My net income total is – $246.55 for the year .  I had $46.89 in expenses for feed (200#) this month.  For the year, my monthly expenses are $108.47.  We collected a total of 263 usable eggs averaging 8.5 eggs/day collected (a decrease of 2.6 eggs/day due to predator kill).  My productivity for the month was 46% (decrease of 11% from last month).  The chickens ate 0.76# food/egg (a raise from last month of 1.4%).   It cost $0.18/egg or $2.16/doz for feed (an decrease of $0.12/dozen over last month).  My monthly net income is a loss of $35.22/month this year (a decreasing loss of $7.56/mos)
I made money this month!  Thank goodness for Summer and plenty of bugs and green grass.  The decrease in feed costs helped lots even with the decrease in hens.   

June monthly chicken financials

Yes, I realize I had gotten behind on the chicken financials.  Sarah helped me catch up and got all the data input done for the spreadsheet.  Now I only have to choke back a tear and post them for public consumption.  I will be unable to run the year to date results for each month.  This is something that totals itself from the data already in the system.  Another reason to keep it up to date.  

June report:  I lost $63.13 for the month on an average 19.5 hens laying (I realize that I thought the chicken butler was going to end my predator problem, but that did not turn out to be the truth.  I also purchased another 25 pullets at a cost of $65.05).  My net income total is – $256.66 for the year .  I had $62.58 in expenses for feed (250#) this month (I purchased baby food for new chickens).  For the year, my monthly expenses are $118.74.  We collected a total of 332 usable eggs averaging 11.1 eggs/day collected (a decrease of 2.7 eggs/day due to predator kill).  My productivity for the month was 57% (increase of 4% from last month, most likely due to me keeping the chickens locked up and the weak chickens are succumbing to the predators ).  The chickens ate 0.75# food/egg (a raise from last month of 63%).   It cost $0.19/egg or $2.28/doz for feed (an increase of $1.08/dozen over last month).  My monthly net income is a loss of $42.78/month this year (an increasing loss of $4.07/mos)
 Like I said, painful.  The predators and the faulty chicken butler killed me this year. 
 

Thanksgiving work party completed

We had a great Thanksgiving weekend!  Doug and Linda came up and we had great food (best prime rib I have cooked in years), great company and we got some projects done around the house.  As always it is nice to see long distance friends.  The weather was incredible.  On Saturday it was 60 degrees, unbelievable for the end of November.  Annmarie and Linda worked on recovering the cushions for our loveseat.  Annmarie should be able to complete them today.

Stone/cookie sheet holder

Doug and I tackled a few small projects around the house.  Annmarie wanted a baking sheet/stone holder for the dead space next to the stove.  We built it on Thanksgiving before dinner.  It was the first time I have ever cut grooves in a project for a central dividing wall.  It actually worked. The best part was we just scrounged around the house and old house for lumber that was laying around not being used.  The whole thing cost NO money just time.  My super favorite kind of project.

On a side note, I felt guilty about not finishing our project from last year (the utility sink cabinet). Here are the completed pictures for the utility sink.  I had it all done before Doug arrived.

stained and door on.

The utility sink still needed a shelf over the top of the back splash.  I glued some hardwood flooring together before his arrival and had it ready to go.  We cut it down to size and attempted to install it.  It is on now, but I kept hitting something in the wall and ended up stripping the head out of one of the screws.  Of course it is a colored wood screw so I will have to stop at a large hardware store to find its replacement.  I can stain it in place now.  I will do it this week some time. 

Utility sink shelf, even 3 screws are holding it up.

  The laundry room seemed to be the mini focus of this year’s projects.  We also fixed a door on the pantry.  It fell out due to the screws coming out of the wood, too much useage and wear and tear on the holes.  I had found some little metal tabs that you cut to size, bent in half and inserted into the oversize holes then you just reused the old screws.  Doug seemed kinda doubtful they would work.  His solution was to drill out oversize holes, glue in dowels and then redrill for door hinge hardware.  This is a viable option, but labor intensive.  The metal tabs worked great and were much faster.  The door held with no difficulties. 

Right hand door repaired.

The other inside project was to get the utility room door to shut.  It has not shut for over four years.  I was tired of the noise and shot expanding foam insulation into the cracks.  Well it did exactly what it was supposed to and “expanded” enough to push the door frame inward until our door would not shut. This has been an ongoing issue, but I did not want to dig all the foam out.  So we cut a couple of pieces of lumber to go against the inside of the door frame and used a bottle jack and a 4×4 to press the inside of the frame outward.  It wasn’t really working then it popped out of the frame and clubbed Doug on the left knee.  We ended up digging every bit of foam insulation out of the cracks and beating the door frame back over.  It works fine now.  I even had some old pipe insulation wrap (fiberglass) that I had picked up in a whole bundle of garage cleaning out items from craigslist.  I was going to throw the insulation away next week.  That same craigslist find I sorted out about 20 pounds of scrap iron from the 7 boxes of “useful” stuff I purchased.  I found about 15 cable clamps and 7 grounding clamps in the same pile of stuff. 

We also made a three different pieces of testing equipment for Annmarie’s structure class.  It is for testing their manila file folder bridges.  The bridges are supposed to hold 11 pounds.  Pretty impressive from a manila file folder. 

We also went and picked up another dog yesterday.  We now have a border collie puppy.  They had one short hair puppy but she had lost her playmate (he went to another home) the day before and would not come see us.  She was the prettiest of the bunch but we wanted a very responsive and interactive puppy.  So Sarah picked one out and we brought him home last night.  He is adjusting as are we, incredibly smart dog.  Already comes to his name, Zeke, and whines to go outside and go potty.  Amazing at 9-10 weeks old.  Of course we must have some bad with all that good (just one of those years).  A deer made a suicide run into the front driver side quarter panel of our PT cruiser a mile from our house.  I had no time to react, it smashed into the quarter panel and flew six feet into the air.  I was afraid it was going to land on the roof top.  It killed it dead.  Of course when I attempted to get out the driver side door to check on the deer, I was unable to open the door.  I had to crawl over the gear shifter and out the passenger door.  I dragged the deer to the side of the road and when we got home I called the insurance company and then the county dispatch center.  That poor car has been hit on the front quarter panel at least 8 times now. 

I am going to start in on the access panel for our large light in the stairwell.  I am going to cut a panel in the upstairs bathroom wall so the light can be accessed for cleaning and changing of the bulbs.  No ladder necessary. 

Left hand side of wall is future location of access panel.

Bathroom side with lines marked for cutting and tearing out boards.