Thursday, November 27, 2014

Where did the farmer go?

This was a great family thanksgiving.  It seemed is not to be processing hundreds of turkeys for the last 2 weeks,  but it did allow for some long overdo family time.

In the background  was lots of chirping!  A couple dozen new chicks hatched today!  What a surprise!

This little fellow just wants to know....  Where did the farmer go?

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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Thanksgiving turkey?

My apologies to all of our present and past customers.  It is true,  we are not offering turkeys for thanksgiving this year. This is a very sad thing for us.  But the reality is that due to circumstances beyond our control,  we missed the window to hatch turkeys in time this year. 

I appeal to you,  please be cautious and aware of where you purchase your turkey from.  Most,  the vast majority of turkeys in this country are raised in deplorable conditions.  Turkeys are among the worst treated farm animals by modern agriculture.   The breed,  the feed,  the living conditions,  all make for a sad state of affairs.  Some of the biggest brands are the worst offenders.

We hope to be back next year,  our breeders are going great,  and we will start on next thanksgiving soon.  For this year, please accept our apologies,  but also please be careful who you support.

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Monday, November 10, 2014

Got leaves?

The first load of fall leaves to unload.  Boy was that cold this morning!  The gags were covered with ice outside.  But the bags kept the leaves dry and ready. 

We use leaves everywhere...  Goat feed,  pig feed,  bedding,  compost,  soil mineralizer ,  winter ground cover,  sheep feed.....  Leaves are extremely valuable!  Trees have deep roots,  they reach deep into the soil and pull to the surface a wide variety of minerals that shallow root plants never see. 

Please share your extra leaves!  Bring them out to the farm and we will use them.  Wet or dry,  doesn't matter.  We have a use for anything!


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Sunday, November 9, 2014

Tears are part of farming. At least this day

Warning: some graphic content ahead. 

Not all is roses in farming.  Today was another example of this.  We returned from a trip to town collecting leaves to find a very sad sight.  Driving back down the driveway around noon,  we see a goat sitting by herself in the pasture.  Just sitting.  I hinged,  as I normally do just to check that they are ok,  and she didn't flinch a muscle.  Not good.

Stopping to investigate,  it got worse.  The poor little goat was shaking,  too weak to stand.  Her face was bloody.   Her face was torn open,  her side had a gash about a foot long all the way through to the muscle,  and her tail was torn off and hanging on by a thin patch of skin.  She was obviously in shock and in real danger.

No signs of attack around here,  no explanation for the severity of her injuries.  We made a quick survey for safety around the pasture and found nothing. 

First things first,  we carefully placed her into a half dog house lined with clean towels and carried her out for the pasture.  Hunter and I placed the dog house onto the back of the Rtv and Kaelyn drove slowly to the house as Hunter and I walked behind to keep her calm and still.  Then a transfer inside to the warm house.

Some iodine water spray to help clean and sterilize the wounds.  It was bad.  Very bad.  At the right angle I could swear that I could see her lungs moving  looking through the hole in her side.  She rested in the box,  with one an occasional call and shifting.

We considered running her in for stitches,  but honestly the stress of moving her would probably be too much.  So we decided to let her rest for the night,  occasional iodine sprays,  and see how she was in the morning.

Back out in the pasture,  we searched for an explanation.  And finally I think we found it.  A cougar attack.  We found a spot on the far side fence with fresh blood.  From the scene it appears there was quite a struggle.  Apparently the poor goat was pinned between a tree,  the fence,  and a tpost.  

We also found a freshly dead hen about 50 yards away.   But the hen was not eaten,  only killed.

From the tracks,  the injuries,  and the site surveys we concluded that most likely this was a smaller cougar or bobcat attack,  but was foiled by momma llama.  Both attacks were incomplete.  The chicken was not eaten at all and the goat escaped an impossible situation.  The only reason for these would be interruption,  and the only one in the pasture that would dare to stand up to a cougar is the llama.

While we don't know yet if the goat will make it through the night,  it is comforting to know that the llama successfully stopped an attack in progress.  Without her,  we could have lost many goats.  She earned her keep today!

But,  alas.  Sadness.  The goat looks bad.  She is suffering from the cruelty of nature.  This is the side of nature that many like to ignore.  It is cruel.  Farm animals have a much safer more relaxed life than anything living in the wild constantly prey for larger animals.

  Nature.  Beautiful but cruel.

Farming...  Deeply satisfying but often sad.


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Thursday, November 6, 2014

"Where's the beef?"

Here is a great chart I ran across from Penn State. Answers a lot of questions a out basic meat processing.

The original article can be found here:

"Where's the beef?": Explaining to Your Customers That the Butcher Didn't Keep It