Meat Chickens

cornish_closeup

Our first batch of 2015 broilers is ready for processing.  We raised Cornish Cross again this year, after experimenting in past years with both Rainbow Rangers and various heritage breeds.  All have their relative plusses and minuses, but for eating as meat (as opposed to for soups, stews, and stocks) we’ve found the Cornish is tough to beat.

Some chickens are still available for purchase – details on the Products page.

cornish_foraging cornish_lounging

Posted in Chickens, Food | Leave a comment

Chickens to Pasture!

Spring is decisively here, so we detached the mobile chicken coop from the winter hoop house and brought the birds up to their first pasture spot.

I’m always amused by the sight of our small SUV (the closest we have to a farm truck) pulling the big chicken trailer:

The journey causes a great deal of concerned clucking, but the chickens were happy to arrive at their destination:

They’ll enjoy this space for a couple of weeks while they eat bugs, fodder we grow for them, and whatever bits they can find in the compost they turn (along with some supplemental chicken feed), and then we’ll move the fences to give them some fresh ground. (After a few fence moves, it’ll be time to move the coop.)

All that fresh stuff is really good for them, and the benefits pass through their eggs. Pastured eggs have less cholesterol and saturated fat, and more omega 3s and vitamins. Because science. Let us know if you’re looking for a dozen or two per week – we have a few still available.

Posted in Chickens, Food | Leave a comment

Spring is in the air 

I think somebody wants to lay an egg. Unfortunately, the turkey Tom we saved in November turned out to not have a disposition appropriate for long-term residence here, so he’s in the freezer, and any eggs the girls lay will be suited for omelettes rather than turkey poults.  Nonetheless, the hens have been laying down like this at every opportunity these last few warm days. They don’t seem to have the same kind of nesting  instinct that chickens have, so who knows if we’ll even find whatever eggs they do lay.

IMG_5794.JPG

 

Posted in General, Turkeys | Leave a comment

Heritage Turkey Available!

Looking for a fresh, local, respectfully raised Thanksgiving turkey?  We’ve got a few turkeys still available for the upcoming holiday.

turkeys 2014

This year, we raised Narrangansetts and Midget Whites.  All of the turkeys have lived here since they were a day old, and have freely ranged since they were feathered out.  They’ve had supplemental organic grain available free choice (when they were small, they had a non-organic ration, as an organic turkey starter feed wasn’t available).  They’ve not had any antibiotics or medication at any time.

In short, they’ve been turkeys, living like turkeys do.  Sizes are expected to be in the 10-14 lb range.  We’ll be processing them on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving (Nov 25), and they’ll be available for pickup (10 minutes SW of Madison) anytime between Tuesday evening and Thursday morning.

$6/lb.  To order, email us and describe the size you’re looking for.

Also see: Cooking Heritage Turkey

 

Posted in Food, Turkeys | Leave a comment

Too Busy to Blog.

We’ve been completely blog-absent for months – generally too busy doing stuff to be writing about it.  With a long winter apparently on its way, there should be plenty of time to catch up on the many cool projects we’ve tackled around the place in 2014.

A teaser in the meantime: there are multiple things on wheels, shelters for three different animal species, and huge progress on our biggest (and least worked on) project area.  Stay tuned.

ben_hd

Posted in General | Leave a comment

Standing guard

Our chickens are temporarily free to range the entire property, rather than just their usual amply large run.

These three hens have ventured quite far from the regular chicken area, and Bucky the rooster came with them for protection, I imagine. I love how even when there’s so much fun stuff to explore, he minds his business and stands there attentively while they do their thing. He’s a good roo.

IMG_5266.JPG

Posted in Chickens | Leave a comment

Bath time for turkeys

Like chickens, turkeys clean themselves with “dust baths”. Dust is a euphemism here, this bath actually involves fluffing themselves around in the dirt.

Our turkeys have been adventuring around the property a lot lately, and this morning they are out “helping” me finish up the new mobile chicken coop. And bathing.

20140802-073808-27488241.jpg

Posted in Turkeys | Leave a comment

Goats as Brush Mowers?

Just how well will goats clear brush? As we’ve previously mentioned, brush clearing was our primary objective in getting these goats (although we now see a dairy goat in the not-too-distant future).

This is what the latest section of woods we had the goats browse looked like when we put the goats in: Before browsing

This herd is three adult wethers, all in the 85-95lb. range, with no other food.  The section is enclosed by a 160′ fence, in this case in a roughly 20’x60′ rectangle (1200 square feet, or about 0.03 acres).

After about 24 hours: After 24 hours.

By the 36 hour mark, it was definitely time to go:After 36 hours.

Posted in Goats | Leave a comment

Turkeys in the Mobile Coop!

One of last weekend’s projects was building a mobile turkey coop on an old trailer base. (More on that later.)

Before we let them range, we’re going to let them spend at least a day and a night in their new home, so they’re hopefully more likely to return to it.

Moments after moving out from the brooder, they still don’t know what to make of it all.

20140531-090742-32862022.jpg

Posted in Turkeys | Leave a comment

Garden prep

Here’s the beautiful (and sweaty) AmyJ, working on one of our 23 16×4′ beds that, along with four more double-wide beds for tomato, a trellis of peas and cucumbers, a pumpkin patch, and a bunch of beans constitutes this year’s garden.

20140523-183234-66754972.jpg

Posted in Garden | Leave a comment