Saturday, January 28, 2012

First baby lamb this season

We found quite a surprise at home after delivered today.  Out in the pasture was our first lamb this season following her mom around!  She looks happy and healthy.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Raising Camels in Southern Oregon?

We have been researching a new avenue for the farm that is a bit unique, camel raising.  There is a long list of reasons why this seems a good idea as a personal venture, an investment, and a business opportunity for a small farm in southern oregon.  One thing is for sure, we would be the first farm, as far as I can tell, that raises camels in southern oregon.

This week we will be visiting a private breeder not too many hours away to learn more and experience the animals first hand.  Hopefully this will take us further down the road of making a decision.

the particular camels we are interested in are Bactrim camels, the ones with two humps. They seem a better fit for our environment and weather than the single hump camels.

Stay Tuned for more news!

Monday, January 23, 2012

Farm Deliveries coming this saturday

This saturday (1/28) is the next Little Sprouts Farm deliveries bringing farm fresh  eggs to the door of our customers.  I will be sending emails out mid week as a reminder to those on the regular list and to see if there are any order changes.

 A note to everyone currently on our delivery route: If you know of someone within your neighborhood who might be interested in being added to the delivery list for fresh eggs as well as other farm produce around the year, please let them or us know. Collecting customers clustered in certain areas has obvious advantages to the farm to home delivery program.

thanks! Be looking for your delivery update email!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

wet weekend INDEED

 this was certainly a very wet weekend. we have had more than a couple inches of rain. the pasture is now mostly a pond. fortunately the new KUBOTA RTV can still pull through just fine. this sure makes is easier to care for the laying hens and collecT the eggs.

 today we manged to process a few roosters finally. the weather was nice enough when we started but.... by four or so the rain came with a VEGENCE! I end up finishing two roosters in the pouring rain.we ended up with "air chilled" chicken but ice soaked farmer! Oh well the new kill cones worked perfectly! (the new cones are up side traffic cones)

'more rain on its way, and more outside chores to do!   farming is all about getting up close and personal with nature.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wisdom in little things

I find myself questioning a recent small decision , and really wishing I had thought ahead more.  I am referring to the post about moving the chicken trailer away from the suxxox eggmobile to prevent fighting. A good move at the time (aside from the time of day resulting in several hours of chicken catching) but where I left it.. . Questionable at best.

Winter rain has hit.  A bit late thus year,  which perhaps gave me a false sense of mobility in winter.  Rain is forecast.. . Pretty much forever. :) and at this moment the chicken trailer sits on the far side of the little seasonal Creek through our pasture.  So.. .. very soon driving to it will be impossible.

Seems I have two choices: carry bags of food out,  in the rain,  through the mud  Or build a bridge.  Neither option is appealing.

If I had only thought to park it on this side of the creek. .. my life would be so much simplier for the winter.  But no. .. I choose to save maybe $50 in fencing and an hour in labor by parking it where it is.  Now that seems a poor choice.

Sigh,  oh well,  good thing I have excellent  mud boots this year!

Monday, January 16, 2012

So.. What DOES the USDA do anyway?

Ran across this blog post about the release of GM alfalfa (the genetically modified version of this very important feed crop).  And in short, it is just upsetting.

To summarize....

A collection of farmers brought action to the court asking for protection from the loss of their organic crops due to natural spread of GMO genes through natural pollination, and protection against Monsanto then suing them for violating the Monsanto patents in having GMO crops they didn't pay for.  Sound reasonable right? Well, the judge rules that in fact the USDA does NOT need to take any steps to protect natural crops from the spread of GMO crops.  In essence he is saying that the USDA has no obligation to protect organic (natural) life from lab produced  life. The farmers have therefore NO recourse to protect their organic crops, and the public has no right to non-GMO food.   What IS protected is Monsanto's right to sue any farm that has pollination spread GMO genes to a organic crop.  Monsanto is protected, but the organic farmer is not. In fact, it appears to be the responsibility of the farmer to somehow magically prevent unwanted GMO pollen from entering his land.

So... what does the USDA do again?

Here is the link

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Suxxox find the hog pen.

The teenage suxxox chicks discovered the hog  pen during feeding time today.  A wealth of spilled feed for the taking. (Not to mention a wide assortment of bugs! )

It is amazing that the hogs don't seem to mind at all.  They are peacefully eating right along side the little birds and the occasional Turkey.  I even witnessed one chicken walking down the back of a feasting hog  and the hog never missed a beat.

On a side note.. . Penny is in heat :) baby pigs should be coming in a few months!

For the curious,  the hog consume an average of 80 LBS per day of feed while the pasture is off limits for growth.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Egg production increasing

Our new flock of hens are steadily producing more eggs everyday! After we moved these girls to our farm their production dropped as expected  due to stress of move,  feed change,  routine change,  etc.  But over the last few weeks the are returning to normal.

Our target for this flock is 10 dozen eggs per day peak.  As of now  they have increased to 8+! Not bad for January!  They are much happier too,  more relaxed , and in the routine of recognizing us.  Their fights have decreased in frequency and intensity to what I would call normal henhouse squabbles.

The quality of egg has improved also.  Yolks are a  darker denser Orange,  the shells are thicker,  fewer are cracked or broken in the nest.this means healthier birds,  and more nutritious  eggs .

Stress is hard on birds,  so we are very glad to see their improvement . Another part of their improvement is the feed.  This is a testiment to our new soy free nutrient dense "scratch and peck" feed line and its superior  nutrition.  Another added bonus is that they have found the part of the pasture where the horses eat and. .. well. .. you know.  In this area is found the birds most natural diet,  bugs.

If you would like to give our eggs a try just call,  email,  or come by the farm. We have plenty of eggs ready to go.

Monday, January 2, 2012

The truth behind butterball !

If you have ever purchased a butterball turkey, this is a must see.  This video shows clearly what your dollars went to support.

Butterball Abuse: An undercover investigation exposing animal cruelty.

This is NOT unusual.  These videos exist for most major factory farms of any animal type. The problem is the system of factory farming. The answer is not vegetarianism, but the return of the small family sustainable family farm. 

I urge you,  for the sake of our nation seen in the eyes of God himself,  to find a local farm and buy your meat there.  Do not support this cruel cancer destroying the dignity of our nation.  If you believe in a creator,  I ask you.. . What must he be thinking seeing this abuse of the power he granted mankind  and those that knowingly support it. 

Our animals at little sprouts live out their lives in comfort,  with the best foods and accommodatios possible.  They are allowed to be themselves,  following their instincts,  enjoying their lives.  We invite visitors to drop by anytime.  Our farm is open and available , no need for hidden cameras .

Don't go vegitarian , go sensible.

Chickens and GPS, a marriage I forgot

Yes, chickens have a near perfect GPS built in to their little heads. I knew that.. I really did. But today I neglected to honor that point and the result is, a couple hours of chicken herding, chasing, catching, etc.  Let me explain...

It started because the suxxox  have managed to easily escape their fence. They actually pushed the wires apart on the chicken wire (we used the large weave wire to save money) and slip through at will. That presents a big problem becasue the new golden laying hens were only 50 feet away. When we went out to feed the goldens, the suxxux would escape the fence and run over to share a bite. The goldens, being mature birds, would not allow that and instantly gang up on the little half grown suxxox, sometimes 20 adult birds on one little hen. A very dangerous situation indeed.  So... I decided to move the goldens to the other pasture to give the suxxox some distance and room to roam without life threatening consequences.

Sounds like a good idea, right? well.. if only I had waited for nightfall.

I wanted to use the beautiful sunshine and moved the golden chicken trailer across the pasture in the afternoon. The first indication that I had made a bad choice was when I got halfway to the destination and the birds that were following turned back. Sure enough, as the sun set the situation got worse. The birds absolutely refused to leave the LOCATION that the trailer was in.  Their GPS kicked in and started "nesting" on the ground where the trailer was sitting for the day.

Hunter, Kaelyn and I spent a couple hours well into the dark evening herding, then chasing, than catching birds to move them to the new trailer.  IT was fun, but quite a challenging chore. We succeeded in all but about a half dozen that had nested up under the suxxox coop. We can get those tomorrow.

The point to the story is, chickens nest by GPS location, not surroundings. If you move their coop too far during the daytime they will refuse to use it and nest where it WAS insteaad, on the ground, a nice dinner snack for a predator.  The way to avoid this is to move hte coop at night, after they are all inside. Then all you do is.. move hte coop. The next day the wake up, their GPS is reset as they leave hte coop, and everything is perfectly fine.

So.. yea... note to self, never move a coop in the afternoon.

Oh my back!

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Blog Hits all time high

Our humble blog finished 2011 with december being the busiest month to date.  Google logged 3725 pageviews during the month of december. The next highest month was april of 2011 at 3671 pageviews.

Its encouraging to see so many people around the world interested in small sustainable farming and the products it produces. What a great way to start the new year!