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Updated: Apr 5, 2023

Well, another year has gone. In our 2nd year of this life at Fulcrum Farms, we look back and reflect on all we have learned. It has been a lot. Like a whole lot. But there is so much more everyday. Countless kills that have been forgotten or lost over the years. We are constantly learning better ways to build or grow, always striving for the best we can give to our livestock, land, and community. Goals are fluid, and have changed many times. Our main focus has shifted, there are many variables we still have to consider. Family, age, health, financials, time. Each important and bringing their own worries. We never know what the day will bring, and we have learned that lesson intimately.

As of this moment, our focus has shifted mostly to alpacas. We appreciate their small footprint on the land, the value of their "beans", how efficient they are at processing feed, the soft, warm fleece they provide and the laughter they produce from everyone that meets them. We are really enjoying the breeding improvement in the quality of animal, and my love of genetics has been put to use with the new genetic coding they have been using in the alpaca world. It seems they have been giving us the main focus for our farm. One of our females is pregnant, and we have 3 more that will arrive pregnant by fall. Possibly 5. We also got an award winning True Black stud, who genetically tested as EE aa, which is exactly what we are looking for since our focus is on darker colors. Its really exciting to see what he will throw when his cria arrive. Oh, and decided to work on adding some appaloosas to our herd, their genetics are absolutely fascinating...

We also found out today that all 7 of our ewes are pregnant, and one is confirmed with twins. The sheep are to be sold for fiber and/or meat. We were able to sell a couple rams last year for the same, and we learned a little about how to transport live sheep to buyers! These Shetlands are small, so thankfully they are easier to get places, but wrangling a sheep is an event in itself! Depending on how the sales of the sheep go, we may end up cutting down our herd to only 3 or 4, or possibly even just selling them all off to give us more time to focus on the alpacas.

Our miniature cattle are the most adorable beasts! I can't even handle the cuteness, and we have posted their videos online to the enjoyment of many. Cattle manure does amazing things to soil, and that is very valuable to us since the soil here was monocropped for so long that the nutrients have all but disappeared. The goal with them was to breed in 2024 for a calf in 2025. We have spent serious time thinking about how to proceed with this, and have decided to sell our miniature cattle - we will start with our bull. We would like to keep baby girl around, but time will tell if we can.

Chickens are laying like champs, and the colors are all jewel tones. I am SO happy with the eggs we are getting now. We will be able to offer them as hatching eggs too, so other people can enjoy the beauty they bring. Also store bought egg prices are through the roof! So having our own source of happy hens giving us delicious eggs is a bonus.

We lost all of our ducks to a mink attack. Mink will hunt for fun, and that's exactly what it did to our flock. The electric fencing, nor the pond stopped it from getting in. Currently we have a couple wild ducks on there, I hope they will realize they're being hunted and find a new pond to live on soon. We won't be getting ducks until we have a plan to keep the mink away for good.

Our honeybees are not fairing well either. Unfortunately colony collapse is on the rise still, and despite proper measures being taken - treating for mites, supplemental feeding, having an actual bee house - we have lost some colonies. This crazy weather doesn't help them either, remember the days when winter used to be COLD and SNOWY and didn't warm up until March/April? Yea, that seems to be gone.... and its confusing the flora and fauna everywhere.

So much to consider, but we continue to take it a day at a time. We are happy our farm helps support multiple families, and brings so much joy to everyone who has been able to visit. We really hope to open to the public at some point, perhaps this will be the year!! Let's hope for a dryer season, with less mud, and more sunshine!!

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