For the first time that anyone can remember our spring fed well ran dry. It was an extremely dry summer with very little moisture following a winter with far less snow. Nothing says work like having to truck water in. And pack it to the animals. It happened just as we were transitioning from mud to ice. The well has made a comeback but we are still taking usage waste prevention measures. Like " if it's yellow let it mellow ". Next spring will bring the start of water year where we explore separating the house water from the animal and garden needs. Eave troughs to collect any rainwater that falls for the garden. Changing three toilets to the low flow type. The biggest project just might be a water line from our pond down to the barn connection.
That's a whole lot of digging but we will be assured of water. Hopefully a lot of snow and a wet spring will bring the water table back up. I actually pay for water rights on a river I have never seen, that flows into our pond. It flows underground now.
This year we switched to Orlop Bronze turkeys.
They have done really well. Unfortunately coyotes managed to break into a pen and killed nine of them before Hurley the distracted guardian of the flock managed to give them the bums rush. He even came back to the pen with one dead Turkey in his mouth. He knew where that Turk belonged, and it was not in a coyotes den. Next year we plan on increasing the herd. An avian flu disaster down at the Coast where we get our poults from might require us to get them from Alberta.
Ditto Meat Birds. We tried a new variety this year, the Ross bird.
It grows phenomenally well and we had a couple of hundred processed by October. Lesson learned this year: As we use tractors and keep the birds outside in runs we need to have the last of them done while it is still warm. I.E. only one run during the warm summer months. This year is got very cold early and we lost a pile of them due to them smothering each other trying to keep warm. A heater and tarp solved that problem but I don't want to have to heat the birds to keep them growing. I want to free range my birds, not confine them to a barn.
We've enjoyed using our "New" old skid steer.
It's a real work horse that we depend upon to do the heavy work around the place, plowing the driveway, lifting logs and grain bags. Didn't much like starting in the -28 so we had to cover it, plug in a block heater and battery blanket.
We have piglets sprouting all over the place. We were hoping for a contract with a restaurant in Prince George but nothing has come of that so we are feeding a lot of extra mouths.
Were trying out different feed, as they seem to waste a lot of chopped grain. And it will be a while before they can get any nutrients from the fields. Going to do an experiment with sprouted grains to give the Chickens and Pigs some greens over the winter season.
The doggies are doing well and don't seem to mind the cold at all. The do get to sleep indoors at night, but sometimes it takes a bit to coax them in.
Still, this time of year they don't get to snuggle with Dad unless they come indoors!