Tuesday, October 7, 2008

How it all started.

After 9/11 I joined the Army National Guard, I had been Active Duty Air Force for almost 11 years before. I don't take our freedom for granted, and I did what I thought I should do. Notice that I said "I" not that I think that everyone should join. This is not a political or pro military post.

I was deployed to Iraq in September of 2005 and returned safely in October of 2006. While I was there my daughter turned 16 and my son turned 11. It's easy to say I missed them every minute of every day, but the down time was terrible. We worked 14 hour days and some 24 to 72 hour days. Believe it or not the long hours were the easiest, because I didn't have time to dwell on the things I was missing at home. I had always wanted to have a little place in the country to call my own and raise some cattle, so when I would daydream in Iraq that was mostly on my mind. I was laying on my rack at Ramadi, Iraq when it hit me. I need something that me and my family can do together and we can learn about at the same time, as well as spend time with the animals everyday.

When I got home, my wife and I bought our dream property. It's a rather large house sitting on 30 acres with a large enough (if possible) barn, 8 acres of pasture, two grain bins and 18 acres of row crop land. The fences are in good enough shape to hold the three horses in the pasture, but they were overgrown badly with honeysuckle and blackberry bushes.

What to do? I bought two goats! I had never been around these contrary stinking animals in my life. I actually think this was positive rather than a negative. I didn't know you couldn't put a collar on a goat and walk him around with a lead rope. I did it and it worked. I didn't know you couldn't put them on a chain where they could reach just a section of the fence and let them graze the brambles down. I did it and it worked. I didn't know you couldn't lead them back to the barn at night with the lead ropes and give them a little sweet feed and bed them down for the night. I did it and it worked. I didn't know you couldn't keep two bucks together. I did it and it worked. I didn't know you couldn't just turn them lose in the backyard while you were out there and they would stay there and play. I did it and it worked. Man it's sure a good thing I didn't know anything about goats. We still have LB and Bill and they will have a home for the rest of their lives. Now I just need to teach them to fence!

Y'all Come Back!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Our Texas A&M Quail are here!!

My buddy and myself drove to Gates, TN last Friday, and bought 36 Texas A&M quail. We met a very nice lady that was offering quail and quail eggs for sale on the Back Yard Chickens Fourm. We had a great time and actually arrived back home with all the birds safe and sound. I know the picture is not the best, but the cage is a tad on the tall side. Saturday after we built a cage stand, we were just kinda standing there and one of them let out a real loud call. It sounded like a real fast "treep treep treep treep". When it did one of the oldest females just exploded straight up and hit the top of the cage and committed suicide! She broke her neck. So since then we have been calling them popcorn. I swear they look just like big kernels of popcorn popping when the jump up like that. We are in the process of building new cages that are shorter and putting nylon netting on the top. I put a feed sack on the top in the meantime and we haven't suffered any more losses.
We got the quail for meat and eggs, I just didn't know meat was going to come first! I dressed out the one that killed herself, and she dressed out nice. The sad thing was when I dressed her she had a fully developed egg. We have gotten six eggs as of this evening and as they mature more the younger ones should begin laying soon.
I plan on posting updates weekly on or raising strategies and posting egg counts.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Hello and Welcome

Hello and Welcome to Rich Heritage Farms!
I'm Brad and I would like to invite you to join us as we build Rich Heritage Farm. We bought our home and land last July after I returned from a tour of duty in Iraq. Currently, we have 18 chickens, 9 ducks, 2 goats and 3 horses sharing our 28 acres in Gleason, TN. Both my wife and I have full time jobs so I guess that puts in the hobby farmer category. We try to be good stewards of the land and tread as lightly as we can. So stay with us as we build our flocks, herds and garden.