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.
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.)
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.
Looking for a fresh, local, respectfully raised Thanksgiving turkey? We’ve got a few turkeys still available for the upcoming holiday.
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.
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.
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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.
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:
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:
By the 36 hour mark, it was definitely time to go:
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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.