Spring has sprung - time to get the hens into their summer mobile chicken coops. A nice afternoon project, right? Well, you know how those "5-minute jobs" go — they always seem to multiply. Learn how we manage chickens in mobile coops on pasture.
Will you bake a ham for your Easter dinner? Don’t throw out the bone or the fat scraps! One of the best ham “leftovers” is the stock you’ll make with the bone and scraps.
Portable fences made of electrifiable netting allow practical movement and protection of small livestock on pasture. It’s important to use and maintain the nets properly, and to train goats to respect the barrier for their own safety and security. Well-managed net fencing offers significant benefits to the health of herds and pastures, and to the homesteader’s peace of mind.
Tim Rohrer talks about what he's learned while managing the pastured pigs at Joel Salatin’s farm and shares a few things to consider before purchasing your own pigs.
Learn some tips on how to extend your growing season for pastured poultry!
Sweet Home Farms Meats is located on acreage in the central Willamette Valley that includes a picturesque stream which offers both water for the farm and a great place to cool off on hot summer afternoons. The farm is a work in progress for two young urbanites who now love the country.
Here is the second half of my strangely-titled discourse on grass cattle management. I have come to the conclusion that on a correctly managed enterprise, cattle should appear not to have legs (hidden within tall grasses). In Part 1, I discussed the animal side of this philosophy. Now I’ll continue with the forage aspect of it.
Tim Rohrer, a Polyface Apprentice, talks about his interaction with the Polyface Eggmobile. Here, Tim speaks about his perspective on one of the Polyface centerpieces.
Homestead dairy goats need proper shelters. Ideally these would be easy to set up and move, while providing all the animals’ needs. A variety of basic shelters can be based on simple, reusable pieces like cattle panels, pop-up tents, and chain-link panels. These structures make pasture-based goat management easier on a budget.
Over the winter, we managed to secure a contract with an up-and-coming company in Massachusetts to raise pastured chickens for them. This company ended up pre-ordering a significant amount of chickens per month from us, which necessitated the building of six new coops. Here I outline how to scale up a poultry operation.
Spring is filled with babies of all kinds, but some of the most adorable are baby piglets. These are even more cute when they are running around on green pastures. But what about weaning time? This article will explain some of the easiest and best options when weaning your pasture piglets.
Rabbits are a fabulously healthful, economical and ecologically sound source of meat, and they don’t have to be kept in hanging cages. Rabbits can be raised on pasture to produce food for your family while improving the quality of your land.
To ensure you have quality fat in the kitchen from pastured animals, learn how to render beef tallow at home. I’ve rendered beef fat into quart jars of tallow two years in a row and consider myself seasoned in the art of avoiding too much of a mess in making it. The fat lends a flavor to dishes that is particularly desirable for Mexican foods, fried potatoes and savory pie crusts. This fat keeps for three months in a refrigerator.
Our quest to make pasture egg collection more efficient.
All the principles of sustainable grazing management can be summarized in one rather strange statement: your cattle should appear not to have legs! Their short legs should be hidden in tall grass. Both animal genetics and pasture management contribute to this philosophy. In this article, I’ll start with cattle selection and care protocols. In Part 2, I will cover forage considerations.
Like many things related to food, the free-range label misleads customers, so we explore the differences between free-range and pasture-raised.
A sustainable, profitable grazing system starts with one thing: full pasture recovery. Destroying your land can also start at the same point, if you don't allow enough rest. This chart summarizes the principles of mob grazing for those who don't have the time or desire to read dozens of articles. Hang it up in the barn!
Lean, grass-fed beef is perfect for making jerky.
Intensive grazing management can answer questions regarding field carrying capacity, how much forage your animals need each day and how to manage what you have. Pizza, anyone?
Cowpies are a valuable source of clues about your herd's health and productivity. A quick look at manure consistency in the pasture can help you manage for peak profit.
Get started making your own charcuterie with this easy Garlic Sausage Recipe. By making your own sausage from scratch, you can use your own quality meat, customize the flavorings and leave out anything artificial.
Here are three easy observations you can make every day to see how your animals are performing. Use them to constantly adjust your grazing program, instead of “flying blind” until sale day or weighing. They can help you adjust paddock size or give supplemental nutrients.
Ever wondered about the real meaning behind terms like cage free, free range, and pasture raised?
A brief description of what happens after slaughter.
When done right, you can reduce your feed costs by up to 75 percent - even after taking your fuel costs into account.
A few months back I heard a comment on an NPR radio program that really caught my attention. The program was about the local food movement and at one point the guest on the show said, “Now remember - just because it’s local doesn’t necessarily mean it has a smaller carbon footprint. That Argentinian apple that was shipped on a barge with thousands of tons of other apples may actually have required less fuel per apple than the apple than came from a few hundred miles away in the back on a farmer’s pickup.”
Kasco Manufacturing introduced a new 10’ wide Vari-Slice seeder at the National Farm Machinery Show in Louisville, Ky. The Vari-Slice seeder is suitable for applications including pasture seeding, beef, dairy and horse farms for worked or no-till conditions and where tight germination of grass seed is needed.
Summing up pasture data where it relates to chickens and customizing land to better suit poultry and their behavior and stomachs. Measuring oil viscosity levels and rescuing a trailer with a portable winch were some of our favorite things.
HOMEGROWN Life blogger Bryce Oates sings the praises of mixed-species perennial pastures for in-between seasons—even if they don't fully alleviate the need for watching and waiting.
A brief summary of the vast amount of data we've compiled over the last few years on experimenting with rotational chicken pastures on our homestead.
Mark fenced in a new chicken pasture in the hot sun, an experience that was made possible by his homemade solar fan hat. Meanwhile, I played with scythes and bees and maps.
First time assisting in a bovine malpresentation, out in the pasture, surrounded by the herd
Vermont farmer Walter Jeffries details all the cuts of meat on a pig, as well as many other uses of the animal, from working the soil to providing delicious lard for baked goods.
This oven-braised pastured pork belly recipe from Dan Barber pairs the lush and fatty cut with a several-day cure using a salt and spice mixture to bring out one-of-a-kind flavor.
The network of proteins in egg whites lends itself to a miraculous transformation to egg white foam, which you can use to create delicious dishes with light texture and lots of volume.
Compiling a list of 100 ways to use eggs is easy. From scotch eggs and huevos rancheros to crème brûlée and hamburger patties, this integral ingredient consistently finds its way into our favorite dishes.
One of our most common grasses is limiting the bobwhite quail population, killing broodmares and their foals, rotting cow hooves, and cutting milk production.
This fall, while the chickens were still living with the goats, we had decided to fence off the leg and seed it with pasture seed. I wasn't sure if we should seed it for the chickens or for the goats. After doing some research we ended up going with
The Humane Society of the United States and the United Egg Producers agreed to work together to pass federal legislation for better treatment for the country’s egg-laying hens. While the slightly larger, furnished cages are an improvement for chickens in industrial egg production, you can support animal welfare and get more nutritious eggs by buying pastured eggs from local farmers or raising chickens yourself.
Hermann and Laura Weber are preparing to host their ninth annual pasture poultry seminar on their farm in Attica, N.Y. Speakers include Peter McDonald of Pasture Pride Farm, Dave Snyder from ADM Alliance Nutrition, Inc. and Brian Fleishman from the Wyoming County Chamber of Commerce and the Wyoming County Tourist Program. Contact the Webers for more information: 585-591-0795.
Recipe for Southern-style shrimp and grits, made with superb Floriani Red Flint grain corn.
Discover the difference between the labels "free range" and "pastured" when it comes to eggs and chicken meat.
This Thanksgiving consider opting for a pastured turkey instead of a commercially raised bird, and think about buying local Thanksgiving foods, too.
As more people decide to pay a little extra for locally grown pastured turkey, demand may not meet supply. Make sure your bird is secure by buying farm-direct or shopping early.
The results of our latest nutrition tests show that eggs from hens raised on pasture (true free-range eggs) exceed commercially raised eggs in vitamin D content.
Organic Valley's new Pasture Butter is a standout among cultured butters and organic food products. This is one of the few products available today that respects Mother Nature by paying attention to the seasons, not to mention the needs of our food-producing animal friends.
One locavore takes responsibility for raising and slaughtering her own chickens.