April 2019

Dear friends:  Thank you for visiting our farm site. We hope the information here is interesting and informative.March went out like a lion, although his roaring was gentler and April came in as beautiful as could be.  The warm days have caused the flowers to jump up  and the early ones are in full bloom.  The peonies seem to be growing an inch per day.The first 100 baby chicks are not babies any more.  I moved them yesterday to the pasture house.  They will be on grass by this weekend as long as the weather holds.  May 11th will be their processing day.  The second group is here and off to a great start.  They are so fun–those little yellow puff balls.  By one week of age they will lose their yellow fluff and have white feather on their wings and forming feathers all over.  Not as cute then but still fun to watch.The ducks and geese made it through the cold weather in great shape and have gotten right to work laying eggs.  Each lays almost every day and the eggs are accumulating.  If you are a crafter or know someone who would like goose eggs to craft with I have them.  They can have the whole intact egg or I will poke a hole in them and blow out the contents and get them the shells only.  Cost is 50 cents per egg plus shipping if that is needed.Two of the lambs have been processed and the third will be soon so won’t have any sheep for the summer.  That is good since they use the same pasture the fat chickens do.  The fat chickens fertilize the pasture so the lambs in the fall can get fat and grow well all winter.  Besides by now the sheep are getting to be nuisance pets.  They think every time I go into the pasture they should get a treat.  Of course they don’t as that would not be healthy for themWe started calving March 23, a week before the first expected baby but we are glad for the early start.  We will have all colors this year as we used several different bulls.  It is always interesting to see the new ones.  One of my milk cows is one of the new mamas so hope I will soon be milking.  The boys have the dairy barn stalls finished but need to finish the fence by the barn so the dairy cows can be in it.  My first ones to milk are all cows that will need to be trained to milking.  The old Jersey won’t calve until later.Like many farmers this year we are short of hay and are doling it out carefully until the grass gets to growing–which it is.  We don’t want the cows to be nutritionally challenged at this time in particular so their calves will be strong and vigorous.
Chicken processing Day will be May 11 so if you are interested in getting farm fresh plump chickens for frying or roasting contact me by email at souscon4@gmail.com and let me know how many you would like.  We do this the second Saturday of each month through October and it will be first come, first served  ordered by email.  Pickup will be that day at the farm.Our little gilt(first time mother pig) is expected to have her babies Easter Sunday.  She has wintered well.We sold most of our calves in mid March but have a few later born and now weaned that we may sell here soon.  Are only keeping two heifers from the whole lot this year. We need to cull some of the heard as they are getting older and we have some really nice heifer replacements.One of the boys is going to go to AI  (artificial insemination) school this weekend, starting tonight.  He will then pregnancy cheek our cows as well as AI some of them.  We hope that will make us a little more efficient as to what cows we keep each year and not feed through the winter
Wishing and hoping each of you has a Blessed Easter and a wonderful Spring.  Are you planning a fun vacation yet?   Thanks for reading and God bless you.   Virginia Toole  Missouri Gems-Toole Farms