The overwintering critter overview

Well, there is a part of me that is struggling mentally with what needs to happen, but happen it must.. I sat down with pen and paper and started planning my next years breeding plans, my fall butcher plans and my over winter plans..

At the moment, this is what I am looking at..

Geese- Butcher the Guard Geese, with the new plan to dry lot the ewes in the spring to help the pasture, they are not really having a plan anymore but they sure eat enough in winter and they require a extra pen and setup.

Geese Keep- the new breeding purebred trio..

Savings.. none.. overwintering three geese instead of two.

Quail- No overwintering.. Butchering out.. closing of the breeding program.

Guinea Fowl – Butcher out, closing of the breeding program.. I only have one female and she did not sit a nest last year or this year..  Not carrying her over the winter.

Ducks-All Hens are being kept, One Drake, if the Drake Dies, replace in the spring bird sale.. All other drakes butchered out.

Turkey’s-Breeding pair.. Hen is sitting now, raising out the pullets and overwinter Hen-Tom and if I can tell, one more hen out of the 2016 hatch.

Chickens- the 4 best laying hens from current flock, My two best Roosters


The whole flock of nine little USA imported faverolles, I have four hens and five roosters, I will grow them out and will work to increase the flock of them next year in 2017.

I will keep back the good speckled sussex rooster and I plan to bring in new white Speckled Sussex hens early in 2017 to raise up, I know that the white speckled nick to the faverolles males in a outstanding way.. I am hoping that the same will be said on the other side as well..

The goal to work to produce pure favorolles and to produce a good dual meat-egg producer cross between the sussex and the favorolles.

Sheep Flock- 6 ewes, 2 yearlings, one ram

this is where I am making my biggest cuts, all lambs, and currently yearlings are being butchered, half of my ewes are being culled out of the herd..

Goat Herd- 1 Nanny Goat, One Billy Goat..


Horse Herd -Brandy and Caleb.. Caleb! my awesome big guy.. and Brandy, we will continue to work with her health issues and see what the future brings.


Bullwinkle- One big sweet Steer calf!

My current pigs are going to be butchered out and will not be carried over the winter.. No plans to get a new piglet or two until 2017

We will be heading into the winter of 2016-2017 with a greatly downsized farm in terms of critters and breeding groups..

So are you expanding or are you closing some programs and expanding others, or are you tightening down on your keep backs this winter as well.



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4 Responses to The overwintering critter overview

  1. We are cutting back too. The chicken breeding program is over until baby’s health stabalizes, we will only keep 6 hens for our own eggs through this winter. But we have plans for what we want to do when we can get back into chicken breeding.
    Sheep are at three breeding ewes. Was supposed to be just two but we couldn’t find a buyer for Violet and we couldn’t butcher her. So three it is.
    Haven’t decided yet on rabbits. You didn’t mention your rabbits…do you still have them?
    Plans for meat birds, a ram, a dairy animal and turkeys are all on hold. In time we will get back to it all again. 🙂

  2. Hard decisions FG… My heart bleeds that it needs to be done):):

  3. We are just starting out on this farming journey and this winter will be the first having other critters than chickens :). We currently have 6 adult chickens (with one rooster), 23 chicks that hatched last Thursday, one nanny goat, one billy goat and two kids. One sheep is due to arrive in 2 weeks and 4 alpacas in about 7-8 weeks 🙂 We’ll be raising 100 broilers and 15 ducks for the freezer and keep about 5-6 ducks for next year’s breeding program. Ready to lay chickens are due to arrive mid-September. I just wish this drought would come to an end and rain could regenerate our pastures…

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