Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Our First Farmer's Market

What a perfect way to start the season!  The weather wasn't the best but that didn't stop tons of shoppers from stopping by.  We met so many interesting people and everyone seemed really excited to try our pork.  Once the customers showed up at 9am the time just flew by without a drop of rain!  People were surprised to see that we brought the meat with us but the cooler kept everything frozen rock solid.  The main question we were asked was how is the meat packaged because most farm fresh pork comes in either half or whole hog.  So we showed them our individually packaged chops/steaks and our sausage, sliced ham, and sausage all in one pound packages.  That made their shopping easy and most everyone that stopped by bought a package or two.  We sold out of our chops and tenderloins that we brought so we will be bringing more next time.  I hope we get a lot of return customers and many new ones next weekend.  We are putting together a new display for our chicks, ducks, and goats so everyone can see all the animals we raise. 

Hope to see you there! 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Creamy Sausage and Broccoli Soup

Our pork inspires me to create new recipes! So I will share the ones that turn out well.

This dish is super easy and quick, I made this in less than 30 minutes.

1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
1 pound WL&H sausage
1 package of frozen chopped spinach
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2-3 c water
salt and pepper to taste
top with grated parmesan

Add onion, celery, carrots and WL&H sausage to pan and saute till meat is cooked.  You do not need to add oil since the meat will have just enough moisture.

Meanwhile add spinach, soup and water to a large pot and bring to slow boil.  Once cooked add meat mixture to soup base and add salt and pepper.

Dish and top with parmesan if desired.

This recipe is simple and most of the flavor comes from the delicious sausage!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New Hens are finally laying eggs!

The first egg is from our old hens, the middle is our new hen, the cream egg is our silkie hens
Yesterday we got our first "baby" egg from our up and coming young hens!  The first few eggs a hen lays are smaller than what she will lay when she is in full egg laying production.  I was excited to see a young hen in the laying box a few days ago since it would only be a matter of days before she would get the urge to lay her eggs.  These eggs will help boost chick production and allow for eggs to also be sold at the Albany Farmer's Market.  This Spring our chick sales have been extremely high which is great to see.  People seem to really care about where their food is coming from and if they have the opportunity to raise a few hens in their backyard they are doing it!  Fresh eggs are delicious and nutritious.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

New chicks are here!

Once a week we have a new batch of chicks hatch.  We have invested in a new incubator, hatcher, and two brooders.  One brooder has heat for the chicks that are between 0 - 3 weeks old.  The other brooder holds the 4 - 6 week old chicks since they should not have heat on them so they can feather correctly.  Both brooders have 5 tiers and are sanitized between each batch of chicks.  This new system has increased our hatch rate to 91% and keeps our chicks in good health.  Once they reach 6 weeks they transition outside to our holding pen for a week so they are protected from the weather and learn where they should stay.  After that week they then are put to pasture to be and raised in a natural environment where they forage and enjoy the outdoors with a shelter provided.  We keep most predators away with our electric netting fence.  The chicks join our Muscovy Ducks in our pasture and seem to get along with them great.  We raise heritage breed chickens which include Rhode Island Reds, New Hampshires, Brahma, Plymoth Barred Rocks, Speckled Sussex, and Buff Orpingtons.  Our hens are about 2 years old and we have a new batch of hens that should start laying eggs later this month.  We also raise purebreed silkies which are so fun to watch.  They are treated with extra special care at our farm.
Our Muscovy Ducks are now sitting on a clutch of eggs and we are excited to see how they turn out in a natural environment.  We were hatching them with our incubator system but decided they would be best if hatched with a mom to care for them.  They are such an enjoyable duck to have around since they do not make a lot of noise and they seem to really love their home. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Late Night Kidding

After having dinner at a friends house we came home to one of our does that was given to us by a friend of the family already giving birth.  The doe took care of one of the babies but she didn't take care of the other one at all so it did not make it:(  It was super small and may have been a still born.  The other baby has super long legs and trying to stand but for some reason not latching on to her mom so we ended up giving it a colostrum pill and some milk.  Then we waited another hour and gave her some more milk.  She seems to be doing well this morning but we are still feeding her since we never see her nursing.  She has very pretty black speckled ears just like her mom.  I wish the other one would have made it but we have had a very good birth rate this year.  Only a few more moms left to give birth, lets hope the rest go a little better!

Monday, April 4, 2011

and 10 &11.....

Our nubian cross had twins this morning starting at 8:40am.  When I went out to check on the rest of the babies her water broke so Terrill came and put her in a stall and we waited for what seemed like forever.  After about 20 minutes we decided we would need to pull them since we had to pull her babies last season also.  The first kid came out back legs first and then we waited another 20 - 30 minutes and since she was not even contracting we pulled the second and it came out positioned with its front legs out first.  Both kids were huge!! They both got up within the first 15 minutes and were nursing within the first hour.  One is girl and the other is a boy.  We intend on keeping this mom even though we have to pull her babies because she is such a good mom and her babies are alway so big! 

The other babies are out in the field running around.  I have already found my favorite :)  She loves being scratched and held.  I am trying my best not to get attached!