So It Begins

AJ is caring for our this season’s first batch of two hundred Cornish Cross chicks.  The first few days are pure joy, since fluffy, cheeping chicks are undeniably cute.  As they get older, caring for them becomes more of a chore, as they eat more, drink more, and make a lot more mess.  By the end of season after raising several batches we are ready for a break.  But this year things will be different, or so we hope.  More to come on that, but we’re working hard on changing our pastured broiler… Read More

Soy Free Egg Challenges

We have been looking for a new feed blend for our soy free layer ration this year.  Including soy really simplifies the task of fortifying protein levels, but there’s enough uncertainty about the health implications of high soy diets to convince us to look for alternatives.  Like a lot of food debates, I’ve found suspect claims in both the pro-soy and anti-soy camps, so my suspicious mind thinks that both sides are exaggerating and that a moderate amount of soy is fine for most people.  But because soy is included in just about every packaged… Read More

Dogs Are Back!

Just in time for warmer weather and backyard grilling, we picked up a hundred pounds of bun length hot dogs from the butcher.  Made with our pork and all certified organic ingredients, these taste great and don’t leave you with regrets.  “Regrets, I’ve had a few” after eating national leading brand hot dogs.  A side by side comparison of the ingredient lists is revealing: Our Hot Dogs Oscar Mayer Classic Bun Length Wieners Pork, Water, Salt, *Cornstarch, *Pepper, *Coriander, *Nutmeg, *Mustard, *Sugar, *Garlic, *Onion Powder. (* Certified Organic Ingredient). MECHANICALLY SEPARATED TURKEY, PORK, WATER,… Read More

Fathers’ Day

I’m amazed at how patient the boar is with all the piglets.  He doesn’t act very paternal; I’d actually anthropomorphize his relationship as more avuncular than patenal.  Which is to say he isn’t involved in their care and maintenance, but he plays games with them occasionally and shows up for birthday parties where he wins their affection by demonstrating his ability to burp his way through the alphabet.  You know, that kind of uncle. A half dozen piglets are seen here interrupting his nap poking him in the belly to see if he had milk in his… Read More

Keeping Things Complicated

Wiring up all the doodads on the mobile chicken coop has dragged out longer than I hoped due to several parts arriving late.  But today I completed all the wiring, only one week after this season’s pullets moved in.

Too Late Smart

I noticed a heifer had a loop of electric fence wire tightly wrapped around her foot.  It was old galvanized wire, a light gauge wire that remains partially buried here and there.  The wire is probably twenty or more years old.  It was strung all over the farm on rebar posts, then abandoned.  It is particularly hard to eradicate because long sections have been absorbed into the ground and bushes have overgrown the fence lines, so we often don’t find wire until we trip over an exposed section. My first attempt to untangle… Read More