Thursday, October 27, 2011

We haven't introduced our new Guernsey cow yet! Alas, meet Big Mama:

She is a real sweet heart and her milk is even sweeter. We are hoping to introduce homemade Guernsey butter very soon! Keep an eye out for added raw milk product offers from our kitchen. Until then, come out to our farm day event (NOVEMBER 13) and give hand milking Big Mama a try!

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Turkey time.

 Thanksgiving is just around the corner and our beautiful Bourbon Red heritage turkey's are almost ready for your Thanksgiving feast.

Daniel, our neighbor Steve helped build a better turkey tractor for the birds to forage all day in the fields and roost @ night in safety. We first started with an old hay wagon.

            We framed out a few walls and extend 2 feet on each side for 
                                a 12 x 16 Turkey Tractor.

             The overhead 2x4 braces also serve as a perch and a diagonal 
                     roost will accommodate the low landers.

We're almost ready for the roof tarp for protection from the 
                              sun and inclement weather.
      The flock is foraging along the hog lot in and out of the woods.
                      Electric fencing does not phase the birds. 
                      Check out the horizental wire fence.
           They group together for safety but a few always strays off.

We do offer pork as an alternative or addition to your feast.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Meet Gertie the Guernsey milk cow.

We just picked up Gertie our new 3/4 Guernsey / 1/4 Jersey milk cow. She immediately began searching the paddock she was in for her old buddies only to find a bunch of new wagging tails.

A Peek A Boo calf snuggles up to Gertie to say hello while Gertie tries out the new grass.

Gertie is a 2 year old bred 3/4 Guernsey  1/4 Jersey lovingly named after Brenda's Mom Gertrude. She will join Flossie and Betsy the other milk cows and next week Big Mama another Guernsey will join the dairy herd.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Rotational grazing for piglets.

We are refining our rotational grazing practice to include piglets. The purchase of electrical netting for hogs allows us to place 20+ piglets in each paddock. We may reduce the size to 50 x 50 instead of 100 foot square. The last two weeks the piglets have been grazing on grass, rooting for grubs, worms and other foods. When the paddock is roughed up to where I want it, we will till to level then reseed grasses  or plant turnips and peas
             Premier PRS 100 Sola Energizer keeps these little guys in.

The border of the net gets mowed to keep grass from grounding out the fence but the piglets love to root up the soil up to the bottom strand of wire so adjustments must always be made.
                               Escape is not an option!

This bottom picture is one of our pig hotels where we feed and water the piglets. This building allows us to capture piglets for sale to on farm customers. The waterer is a plastic food grade barrel with a piglet height opening and a float valve for water level control.

The back of the pen is hardly touched which encourages smaller pens of 50 x 50 or more pigs. These net pens will be perfect for a sow and her piglets with a hut and hay bale.

Jessica and Gabe was attending to the broiler chickens as I was feeding the piglets.

Notice the green grass inside the hoop house and the manure trail behind it in the below photo.
The manure trail is furtilizer for the grass and the pigs follow up the trails to work it into the soil and fertilize as well.