Walenga Family Farm

  (Rolling Prairie, Indiana)
The Life and Times of a growing family and business
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the weather

Boy 2 weeks ago I got excited and ready for spring.  It made it up to 50. Now it is lucky to hit 20 again.  The last 2 nights we were under a wind chill advisory.  I fired up the brooder, to get ready for some chicks.  I am glad I did not order any. The brooder can barely make it up to 60 right now. We need it to hold at, at least 90. Looks like we might be waiting a little longer. Only 3 weeks till spring though!
 
 

Cold winter, and a new puppy.

Hi everyone.  It has sure been a cold snowy winter.  I have had allot of extra time to think and plan for the spring. The big plan is to build at least 3 more chicken tractors. We hope to have a total of 10, by the end of summer.  The state of Indiana changed the law on how we can sell poultry.  I can sell up to 1,000 chicken at farmers markets or right off the farm. The only down fall is that they have to be frozen.  I can still sell fresh chickens. I will technically sell you a live chicken the "help" you process it just like the pork.  

 I no longer have a "day" job. It is just the farm for me. I have been able t spend more time with my children, and in the spring dedicate all my energy to the farm. We have a new puppy. She is a Australian cattle dog cross. Her name is Judy. She is 3 months old. Judy has been with us for 3 days and is almost potty trained.  

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The fall

It has been a pretty good year so far.  I learned alot when it came to hatching and raiseing chicks.  I hatched out about 1500 this year.  We still have about 150 at the farm.  I would like to keep 50 hens for eggs next year.  I also have about 40 roosters that will make great meat birds when they are done growing.  I am hoping that I get some hits on the started pullets and new hens. 
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summer 2013

So this summer has been great so far here at the farm.  We have had several very good chic hatches.  We got a hold of some very nice turkey Bourbon Red turkey babies.  At times I have had so many chics they were coming out of my ears.  I can't wait to see what they mature into.  So far they are very pretty.  With all the chics hatched I will have a lot of sapre roosters to put in the freezer and sell for meat. 

  Every couple of months I get another major project done.  We got all the new metal up on the barn.  I finaly have enough lumber for my butcher shop and we started the new stalls in the barn for the horses.  I can not wait to tell you more.  As always come on out to the farm and see what we have.  I always have plenty of eggs to sell and right now lots of chics. I will soon be selling started pullets. 

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new year new ideas

    So last year was a good building year.  Got a lot of projects done.  Now that spring fever is taking hold got alot of new ideas.  But I am excited to be able to sell some pigs.  They spent the winter months just getting fat and happy.  Playing in the snow (when we finaly had some).  The laying hens are starting to crank up production so I figure within a week we should be able to start selling eggs, even with the snow coming this weekend.  It is still a little to cold to try incubationg eggs but I just can not wait. 

   I am hoping that very soon my wife will start running the blog.  Her grammar and spelling is always much better then mine.  I hope she tells you stories about our 2 yr old helping dad with chores.  taking care of "his" chickens, and "his" pigs.

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First hoop house and chicks

      I got the first hoop house done (chicken tractor).  I can't wait for the babies to come from my friend with the incubator.  I also decided to order some cockrell chicks from the hatchery so I can get started on the capons. It could be another month before I get goslings and chicks from the first batch of eggs. 

     We got the dead skid loader pulled out of the field today. It is supposed to leave the first of next week for the shop.  I hope they can get it fixed pretty quickly.  It is the work horse of the farm. Well except for the actual horses who are going to start pulling a little more of their weight around the farm.

      Well It is about timefor me to start my "day job" so I have to go for now. 

       

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Amazing things!!

Hi all!

     Let me start by saying the weather has been sooooooo amazing these last few weeks!  We took the new baby and my son out to the farm and stayed for 5 days.  The weather was perfect for all but one of them.  I butchered 2 pigs for a friend of mine and got one of the 6 chicken tractors I want to build finished. 

    I am realy excited to tell everyone that the 8 geese I kept through the winter, have started to lay eggs.  I know they are fertilized so I am collecting them, duck eggs, and chicken eggs to send to my friend who has an incubator.  So god willing we will have a bunch of babies in the brooder soon.

A note about the meat from the last pig.  The pancetta has truned out amazing and the bacon is ready to smoke.    

 

 

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Butchering the Last Pig

Hi all!!    It is Friday afternoon and we are getting ready to head to the farm for the weekend.  We have one pig left from last years batch.  We decided to let him grow all winter.  I would estimate that he probably weighs around 400 lbs.  I have lots of plans for this pork.  Lardo (from the fat back), fresh smoked bacon (from the belly, and loin),  pancetta, (from the belly), prosciutto (from the ham), Smoked easter ham, Guanciale (from the jowl), Cappicola (from the loin), italian sausage, polish sausage, and chorizo, from the shoulder and all other ground scraps.  I am so excited to start curing everything.
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The life and times of building a family and business

Hi all,

     This is my first Blog, ever.  So here we go.  Our farm has been around for a few years now but we are struggling to find our niche.  We just had a new baby born February 29th she is home, happy, and healthy.  So our family is growing!! Me, My wife Carrie, 19 month old Liam, and now baby Payton. 

    So after a lot of research, we are going to try to raise pastured Capons (neutered male chickens).  I am a chef by trade and the taste of a Capon is amazing!!  The texture and flavor surpasses any homegrown chicken I have ever had before.  So this year I want to try Capons, Ducks, and Turkeys.  All of which will be pastured and suplmented with natural feed no growth hormones and no antibiotics after the initial batch of feed when they come home from the hatchery. 

     I will keep everyone updated on the family and the chicks when they come.  I am excited about this season and look forward to hearing from everyone. 

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