Wednesday, December 31, 2014

an "About Us" farm story

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Chickens in American Today

Did you know, according to Mother Earth Magazine, 99% of all Chickens used in "Farming" today are Genetic Hybrid Layers and Meat Production birds? 

Only 1% of Chickens breeds for meat and eggs for American families are traditional breeds.

Out of that 1%, far fewer are actually raised to Breed standards. Most of that 1% are simply Hatchery stock that, sadly, barely resembles the breed whose name they bear.

Do something radical.

Purchase your poultry from a real person who is working to not only retain the type the breed should have, but who raises the breed in a way which actually makes it a heritage animal. . .

Bearing the name alone does not a heritage animal Make.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Owning goats brings life lessons. . .


You Really have to do a LOT of wrong before you end up doing a BIT Right!

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

The Business of Getting a Goat Bred

And so it goes. . .

Text from Farmer Friend. . .

"Doe in Heat! Need you Now!"

My response?

"HEADED out, Must milk my Goats first. Be there ASAP."

Grab the Semen tank and AI kit. . .Check, Check

To drive one hour to do this:

(Note, the right arm is holding the outside of the speculum still, 
and the left hand is using the AI gun) 

To then proceed directly from there to Christmas Shop
in the same outfit, no muss, no fuss. . .

The Glamorous Life of a Homestead Family

I was fortunate enough to visit my father's sister on Thanksgiving and go through her old family photos. I captured many of them with my cell camera. Some date back to the 1880's, and Peep, as she has always been called, is 85 now. The stories that go along with these photos will be lost some day in the future, and I wanted to know the stories before it is too late.

Too often, we forget to ask while we can, learn while we can, and there is little as precious in the world as one's history, memories of our father, our mother and those before them.

So she told me stories, some I had not heard and some I had almost forgotten.

This photo shows my grandmother, Lucy (born around 1889), circa maybe 1945 with some of her grandchildren. She died in 1961, 21 years before I arrived.

From a farming standpoint, this photo is fascinating, really.

I have a deep interest in Heritage livestock, and if you're unfamiliar with the term, you can learn more online by going to The Livestock Conservancy website.

The laying chickens in this photo, especially when seeing the photo in hand, are really remarkable. Very large and robust, especially considering there would have been NO commercial feed and nothing offered, which I know from talking to my father before his passing, beyond what they found on their own while foraging.

My guess is these are what we know as Dominiques and what my father called "Dominickers," as well as possibly Delawares. I also believe I spy a few Guinea Fowl in there!



Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds. For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation? The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered. The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field. And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens

- Proverbs 27:23-27

"I know of no pursuit in which more real and important services can be rendered to any country than by improving its agriculture, its breed of useful animals, and other branches of a husbandman's cares."

- George Washington