Another one gone

Tomorrow morning, Allison, Elias and I are taking an unexpected trip to Wisconsin.

I got the text Sunday morning, it was the first thing I saw when I woke up.

"Your Uncle Daryl had a massive heart attack last night, he's gone."

So there it was, the 3rd death in my close family in under two years.  I'd like this trend to taper off here for a while.

However, much as I want to wish for things, we've definitely got to deal with reality and move forward.

All week I've been looking forward to finally arriving in Wisconsin to grieve with my family.  We're very tight knit, everybody will be there.

At this point, it's difficult for me to even believe, and I know my aunt and four cousins especially are dealing with some major shock right now. 

Thankfully, I know God has a perfect plan, and I trust in that.  I believe we will see some good things emerge from the chaos, in time.

I hope and pray that they seek the good Lord's guidance and comfort while they navigate such turbulence. 

If you would, I know they'd appreciate a few prayers sent their way.

Thanks, and best wishes.

I've been promising this, now I've delivered!

While conversing with potential customers at my farmer's market, I was frequently passed by because my chickens were not cut up.

I solved the issue and I want to unveil my new offerings. 

In my Farm Store, I now have all parts of the chicken conveniently separated and available.

I imagine this is important to you because it'll thaw out faster, you wont have to even lift a knife, and it'll cook faster too.  Talk about saving time!

Not only that, grilling my chickens just got a whole lot easier too.  Here's how I like to do it!

One thing that I haven't posted yet because I lack a decent picture, is soup stock bones.

If you just want to make your own chicken soup and get all the awesome flavors out of those bones, this 2.7 lb package is for you.

$3.85/lb is my asking price and some of those bones even have a little meat on them yet.

By the way, my little Use The Whole Chicken Cook Book (red button at bottom of page) will show you the very best recipe for chicken soup if you haven't checked it out yet.

My cut up chickens are all that's available through the summer now, I will have whole chickens available only directly after processing.  I'm thinking to have another batch ready in late August.

Chicken pickin' time of year

My chickens are growing fast and we're already gearing up to put them all in the freezer by the weekend.

For those of you who have made your orders, you can pick them up Saturday, the 26th, after 4 in the afternoon or arrange to grab them sometime Sunday afternoon.

If neither works for you, send me an email and we'll make something work.

 

I've been taking some pictures so everybody can enjoy just how beautiful the grass and chickens are.  I love this fresh time of year.

I just had 8 piglets born 2 days ago, make sure to have me show them to you when you come get your chickens!  I'll have some pictures up on my next blog post.

 Elias is showing me how a rooster crows :-D

Elias is showing me how a rooster crows :-D

 Where else can you find such happy chickens?

Where else can you find such happy chickens?

 Peekaboo!

Peekaboo!

I will have chicken legs, thighs, wings, breast and such available, I'll post prices and options on the Farm Store page once I figure out what kind of effort it takes to process them so.

Looking forward to seeing you!

Taking a quick trip

On the 1st of May, Allison and I are headed to Missouri and we'll be gone about a week.

I've got a grazing school to go to (learning all kinds of cool things about healthy farming practices), and Allison will continue further south to visit her family.

Our plan is the swing up through IL on our way home to see some of my family.  Can you believe, I haven't met my little niece Elwynn yet and she was born way back in November!

Meanwhile, for those of you who ordered, your chickens are enjoying their first week in the outdoors! I moved them outside on the 28th of April.

I hope you're excited to see for yourself how my little chicken farm works, I want my customers to know exactly how things are going.

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Here's my plan for the year on how I will run my chicken sales.

If you want whole chickens(significantly cheaper), you need to order before I butcher. I do have a few left, if you're interested and haven't ordered yet.

I plan to turn any unsold birds into legs and thighs, wings, boneless skinless breast, and soup stock packages.  You are welcome to purchase your preferred parts anytime throughout the year so long as they are in stock. (I'm still working on pricing)

Remember: I will only have whole chickens for you if you pre-order and pick them up on the butcher date.

This is my new strategy trial for the year, hopefully it's one that really works out well for everybody.

I'm hoping to raise a second batch this fall, but I'm not guaranteeing it at this point.

New enterprise: The Tree Guy

Today, I brought home my very first wood chipper.  I'm pretty excited about this new piece of equipment and what I will be offering you very soon.

I've also got a chainsaw ordered and will pick it up next week hopefully.

Within two weeks, I'll have everything I need to show up at your place and clean up all the dead limbs, trees, brush, you name it. 

You won't have to touch a single stick.

If a windy storm blows through and knocks a tree over, or you have a windbreak that could use tidying up, contact me, I'll come take a look and give you a bid!

My contact Info is all on this page over here!

 

If you know somebody that would want me to do some clean up for them, please recommend me!

Just another April snow day!

 I made my chick brooder more weather proof before this snow and wind blew in.  I had some foam laying around that I used to insulate everything a little better.

I made my chick brooder more weather proof before this snow and wind blew in.  I had some foam laying around that I used to insulate everything a little better.

 See? Warm and comfy!

See? Warm and comfy!

 Looking for more handouts :D

Looking for more handouts :D

 At least I didn't have to milk her 100% outside anyhow.

At least I didn't have to milk her 100% outside anyhow.

 Kit is just trailing along as I do my chores.

Kit is just trailing along as I do my chores.

 Elias was sleepin' hard when I walked in :) He wanted to go outside with me, but I don't think it'll happen today.

Elias was sleepin' hard when I walked in :) He wanted to go outside with me, but I don't think it'll happen today.

 Allison tidying up the kitchen after breakfast, she's the best.

Allison tidying up the kitchen after breakfast, she's the best.

 "Enjoying" the snow!

"Enjoying" the snow!

What is Pastured Poultry??

Let me answer your question! :-D

I raise my chickens out on pasture, hence Pastured Poultry. 

I can only raise them through the warmer months of the year because it gets too harsh and nasty out there in the winter.

The seasonal nature of my operation makes it tough for me to offer you my birds year 'round.  If you want chickens from me in the winter, I need you to buy a quantity for your freezer in the fall so you're stocked until spring.

I get my little chicks when they are days old and I keep them in a warm brooder with fresh wood shavings for 2-3 weeks depending on the weather.

On a nice sunshiny day, I move them to their outside pens.  It takes them a day or two to get used to their new situation, but they learn to pick through the plants and chase bugs before long.

My outdoor pens are called Chicken Tractors.  I move them to a fresh piece of ground every day to keep the birds clean and give them a new salad bar to pick through.

After 4-5 weeks on pasture, I harvest, package, and freeze them right here on my farm for you to take home and enjoy.

So far, I feed GMO corn and soybeans to my birds as it keeps my prices more affordable and it's easy to find a source.

If you want non-GMO fed poultry let me know, I would be happy to change things up if there are enough people asking for it.  Please be advised however, changes often increase expenses and therefore my prices.

My chickens keep very healthy when they're raised this way, I never have to use medications, hormones, or vaccinations ever.

My chickens are the cleanest, happiest, best cared for, and best tasting in South Dakota.  Try them out, you'll soon know what I'm talking about!

 

P.S.   If you want to be sure you'll get as many chickens as you want, contact me as early as possible. I order my first batch in early April, and my last batch by end of August. That's your yearly window to get chickens from me.

Where your meat comes from is good to know

I want to continue with my last story line and tell you a little about today's slaughter plants and how they operate.

I won't tell you everything I read in Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer, because I think it may be too much for some of my readers.  For those of you interested in learning more, I suggest reading the book.

Typically, people working in these facilities are low income groups living is poor neighborhoods and are on the losing end of our society.  This is the system we support when we buy cheap meat.

These same people are given repetitive jobs that are often harmful to their physical and mental health.  For instance, people on the kill floor who are killing animals day in and day out become completely numb to any kind of feeling for the animals they slaughter.  

Animals on kill floors are regularly abused by people who've lost their compassion.

I believe it's necessary to respect an animal for the sacrifice it makes for us humans to continue living. I hesitate to kill animals and it's a hard thing for me to do, but I understand the necessity.

When mechanical slaughterers are used, they sometimes malfunction and don't get the job done.  However, the line doesn't stop and chickens are sent down the line to be scalded alive. 

This is unacceptable to me, but it's an area almost completely overlooked by regulation.  There are inspectors on the job, but they are spread too thin and cannot keep up with the fast moving lines.

Mechanical eviscerators are exclusively used for gutting chickens, but are very crude.  Often they rupture intestines and douse the carcass in fecal matter.  I guess they think that's okay because it all gets washed off... Yeah, right.

These are just a few grievances, you can read about more in Eating Animals if you like.  Any one of those things above should be enough to make us think twice about buying cheaply produced meat. 

The system is rotten through and through.