The Blessings of Obedience to Simplify
Since the "Creator of All" has taken over management of the hobby farm, I've noticed things are going smoother in many areas. But, there was still places that I hadn't totally surrendered to His will. Finally, I had enough courage to ask, "What's wrong? What's going on? Why am I not totally at peace?" Deep inside, I heard the response, "It's time to simplify and the first thing to go is the Bielefelders."
This was totally opposite of what I'd been thinking. I was looking into buying new breeder stock (lots of $$), but when God said this, I realized I wouldn't have enough space to properly set up breeding groups. At first, I was sad, because I love the Bielefelders. They're a great breed, lovely & wonderful, very docile and absolutely gorgeous.
But, the fact remains is that I started with a trio, 2 females & 1 male, both, from the same person. I didn't realize until recently that the original trio could be brother/sister. They did not have good hatch rates last year, and they seemingly were more "fragile" than other chicks. But, I just attributed it to them being a rare breed. I now have one original hen, and 4 pullets (daughters of the original trio).
The first hatch in Jan 2016 did very well, but only 2 pullets survived the 2/14 power outage "rescue" fiasco. The 2nd hatch, only 3 hatched - 2 males & 1 female; only one male survived, while all the other chicks did fine, including the 1/2 Bielefelders. It could be nutritional, environmental, but I'm thinking it's more likely inbreeding depression. I had originally considered the Rhodebars, but while researching found that many were outcrossing them to heritage RIR b/c they needed improvement too. The Biels at that time were still so rare that no one had run into that issue with them yet. While they were autosexing, their dual-purpose qualities were not as they'd been described. The roosters were very large, but when I felt their ribs, they don't have as much meat as I'd think for being dual purpose.
I still have one rooster left, and despite trying to sell him, I may have to process him. I'd prefer not to, because he's such a nice rooster. But, "obedience is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams." (1 Sam 15:22)
In addition to the Bielefelders, the Lord enabled me to take a long, hard look at my current Swedish Flower Hens. Finally, I realized He was showing me that I needed to downsize them as well.
I stepped out in faith, not really know what direction the SFHs were going to take - total dispersal, just a small flock or downsize to make room for new bloodlines. "I tried" to work things out, so as to get new bloodlines, but things kept falling through. Yet, when I was obedient to selling the older hens, I was offered two cockerel chicks, who was from the breeder I'd been trying to get new stock from. I was struck with the awesomeness of God, and how He so often doesn't show you the outcome, but just says, "walk by faith & trust the I know what I'm doing."
In the meantime, I just had the inner sense of guidance toward focusing more on the Catskill Homesteader breeding project. It's made so much progress, yet I was running out of space & coops. But by discontinuing the Bielefelders, I'll now have another coop & will disperse the hens among the various breeding groups. As, I've found the Bielefelder crosses are far more vigorous, healthy & hardy that the pure ones. And they make gorgeous pullets, who are a nice size, and very docile & friendly. So, even though it's a "loss" in a sense, it's a gain when all things are considered.
So, where are the blessings of obedience, you may ask? Oh, there's an incredible inward peace, knowing I am going down the right path. Yes, it doesn't make human, logical sense all the time, but we are so finite, so limited in our view of things. But, the "foolishness of God is wiser than man, and the weakness of God is stronger than men." (1 Cor 1:25) And who better to trust than Someone who knows and sees All Things? For all my life, I've tried and been so busy doing this and that, but all of that doesn't compare to abundant life that He's given me.
Another example is when I was building the "cabinet cooler bator", everything was flowing smoothly, except for the temperature regulation and my DIY auto egg turner. I was looking up, searching all over the Internet, trying so hard to figure out how to make one. I was spending hours & making no progress. Finally, I heard that still, small voice say, "Have you asked Me how to build one? Stop trying to hard and just ask Me." So, I did, and after making it, I "tested it out" by hand, no eggs in it & it kind of worked, but not efficiently. The hardware cloth kept catching on each other. I knew it wouldn't work.
Then, I again heard that still small voice, "Wouldn't it be just so much easier if you just bought the pre-made auto-turner at TSC? Yes, you'd have to cut off one row, but that's simple compared to all this 'trying to re-invent the wheel'." And you know what, that's just what I did - bought 3 egg turners at $40 each.
Ouch, I didn't want to pay that much. But, at least I knew they'd work.
So, I set 100 chicken eggs, plus 8 turkey eggs on 3/7 as a "test run".
Then He sent buyers for the chickens He'd directed me to sell, which more than covered the cost of the egg turners. So, all I can say is "He's got this!" So, often I tend to worry or try to figure out how something will work, but God just sits there on His throne saying, "It's finished. Come, sit on My lap & I'll show you how it'll all unfold according to My plan. Just enjoy Me and who I am, for it is in My presence that you will find the joy and peace you've been looking for."
"And while you're here, enjoy the Creation and the Life I've given you so abundantly, not wishing for something different. Because what I have for you at this very moment is exactly what you need.
Snuggle close to Me, like the rooster who gathered the chicks under his wings, and listen for My heartbeat " says your Heavenly Father who Loves You ever so Much.