On average I had 17.7 laying hens giving me 5.2 eggs/day, for a productivity rate of 27% (this is horrible, in the last quarter I have only gained 2%). I am feeding on average 127# chicken feed/month for a grand total of 1000# this year already. This is good as I did not feed much during the third quarter but it is not helping. With the price of feed going up every month my monthly feed bill is $41.12/month (a drop of $2.35/month). On average just feed costs are $3.87/dozen eggs (an increase of 21 cents/doz, meaning I am now loosing $0.87 every time I sell a dozen eggs). I have only collected 1437 eggs to date. Total feed costs are $329, supply expenses are $376 and baby chicks for the year are $60. I have lost $238 for the year (only lost $12 this quarter). There is no way the chickens are going to be in the black this year. I did thin out the nonproductive hens which is why my productivity increased but I should have done it sooner. Plus, loosing half my new babies this year to self suffocation cut into my production. I will need to start some new chicks first thing this spring to bring my numbers around. My six little naked neck turkens should start laying by March and that will help dramatically. I only have two free loaders left and they are laying more than 25% so they get to stay. I need to get brown egg layers in the spring so I can tell who is who.
Don came over at the beginning of the week and we killed the last two whethers. He helped me tag all the babies and we let them back in with the main herd and turned all the jug momma and babies into the baby area after they got tags. Only the oldest boy was ready to be banded at 1 month old and I still had to fish around to make sure I had both testicles. I think two months old is a better age for finding testicles. Since then we have had two more ewes give birth. We have had three still born babies all from mothers having multiple offspring.
Gannon and I had to go out and fix gate and fencing behind the grain bins. The cows were pushing over the long equipment gate and going out to eat. We found them about two miles from the house headed up the gravel road to Rocky Ridge. We anchored the ends, installed braces and cross pieces and then ended up restapling and tightening fence. We restapled all the way to the corner post. I will need to tighten the barb wire strands in the spring time. But for now, the cows can no longer get out of the pasture.