Goals

What We Want To Do, 2018 Edition

Eleven months ago, we posted an introduction, briefly explaining who we are. So much has changed since then.

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One of our first weeks at the Marshall Area Farmers Market

We purchased our home in December 2016. We are located on a nine acre parcel in Calhoun County, Michigan. In 2017, we acquired many, many chickens and ducks, as well as a trio of geese. We kept several sheep belonging to our friends at Queso Cabeza, and we also had a llama and an alpaca belonging to some other friends. We attempted to grow a garden, but didn’t do well at that.

A decision was made that 2018 would be better, and more organized. We have ordered plastic mulch, irrigation supplies, and are preparing to raise meat birds more economically. We will also be growing nearly an acre of vegetables, fruit and flowers. We are much more prepared this year. We’ve gotten a soil test done, and have added cover crops this winter to help amend the soil. We are looking into getting a couple of beehives on our property to help with pollination. We are working smarter this year, and we are both very excited and driven to succeed.

In the past year, we butchered our jerk of a rooster, Roofus, and turned him into nachos. We’ve also butchered a half dozen ducks with help from a couple friends, and had another dozen or so butchered by some local Amish folks. Nicole has helped with butchering a sheep, and Robert has butchered some of the ducks that were badly injured by a predator. We’ve come a long way from the vegetarians we both were a few years ago.

Some of our goals for this year are as follows:

  • Grow flowers for Robert’s sister’s wedding
  • Raise three batches of meat chickens
  • Grow broom corn for a friend who makes traditional brooms
  • Raise geese for holiday dinners
  • Blog somewhat regularly to keep everyone up to date on what we are up to

We have some other non-farm goals that we are working on as well. So far, we are incredibly excited with what we have going on this year. We hope you are too!

Animals · Chickens · Ducks

A Brief Introduction

Hello and welcome to Frontière Farm House! We are Robert and Nicole Goetz, and we’re happy to have you here. There is still a lot of work going on behind the scenes with the website, but it’s coming along. We wanted to introduce ourselves and share a little of the work we’ve done at the farm lately. Our first wedding anniversary seemed like the right day to start.

We closed on our house on December 23, 2016. Being that the holidays were right after that, not a lot of work was done in the beginning. The warm Christmas weather caused much of the snow to melt, which led to the discovery of a cow carcass in our horse pen. This slowed us down on the progress we were making, and is an entire post for another day. In addition to the cow carcass, the previous homeowners left a freezer full of trash in the barn, piles and piles of rotting straw and hay all over the property, and piles of random junk. We’ve cleaned up half the junk so far, but there is still a lot left to do.

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Roofus (the Doofus), White Chicken, and Black Chicken, on the day we brought them home.

In the last three weeks, we’ve acquired three grown chickens, and the two hens have started laying. They’ve also escaped their yard a couple times. We need to repair some fencing, and build up the soil beneath it to close all the gaps. Hopefully, that will stop all the escape attempts.

 

We have also acquired many other birds. The first purchase was twelve day-old buff orpington chicks. We unfortunately lost one shortly after bringing them home. The stress of the cool weather, being moved in a vehicle, and then put into a new enclosure was just too much for it. The good news is, the remaining eleven are doing great!

IMG_4565We prefer using mason jars to hold their food and water, especially in the heated areas. It’s easier to see if they need to be refilled, and we have TONS of them. We can also clean them in super hot water. The outside birds have a Harris Farms galvanized steel drinker, as well as a plastic feeder from the same company. The steel drinker is double walled and will stay cooler in the summer, and is less likely to freeze in the winter.

Just this past weekend, we purchased another two dozen day-old chicks, as well as six ducklings. In addition, we received seven week-old ducklings from a gentleman who didn’t realize his ducks were incubating some eggs. They are all pekin/rouen crosses, and are incredibly cute.

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This is when they were first brought to us. They were moved into a large plastic tote bin, where they will be staying until we adjust the housing for all the birds.

So for those doing math, we have two humans, a cat and a puppy (who haven’t even been mentioned), three big chickens, eleven medium chickens, twenty four small chickens, seven big ducks, and six small ducks. Fifty five mouths to feed. Luckily, the majority of them are content eating bugs and weeds. And a large number will earn their keep in five to six months, when they start laying.

We will be back soon with more information about our animals, some tutorials, recipes, and lots more!