Huron

The beginnings of a young farmer

Do you remember those days when you were young and trying to figure out what you wanted to be in life?

I was 20 years old when I attended a grazing school to learn more about livestock, pastures, and managing them profitably.

After that eye opening experience, I knew what I wanted to do. I set out to bring a farm together where I could raise animals in their natural environment.

Taking a break from the heat and enjoying a nice little breeze.

Taking a break from the heat and enjoying a nice little breeze.

Success is rare with start up farms

The fact of the matter is, my career of choice is a difficult one to get into. However, I think I've discovered the solution. 

I believe that the more I enable you to find clean wholesome nutrition, the closer I'll be to making my dream a reality.

My goal is to develop a community of like-minded folks who love my little family, my little farm, my services, and everything that we're trying to accomplish.

From that community, I will find the support needed to make my wildest schemes a functioning part of the real world.

 

Success is inevitable

This is my mindset, and I believe in it with everything I've got.

I know that I can fill a spot in your life that's been missing.  A connection to real food raised by someone you trust.

You know that every time you cook a Poultry Guy chicken, it'll be delicious, safe from food borne illnesses, and the birds always enjoy a life outdoors.

These are hard to find qualities and they are becoming more and more popular by the day.

 

The ultimate goal

I want you to employ me, I am at your service.  I will raise your chickens, turkeys, and pigs for now, hopefully other animals later.  If you need something I don't have, let me know and I'll see what I can do.

I want you to enable me to bring on other helpful people to serve you in ways that I don't have time to.  For example, a gardener who can supply you with fresh vegetables, a dairyman who milks a few cows and makes cheeses, an intern who takes on daily duties so I can focus on other important things, etc...

I want you to enjoy the farm as if it were your own. Visit the pigs wallowing in their slough, check on the chickens chasing crickets, watch the turkeys strut around and show off, or simply enjoy the regular on-line updates.

I want you to tell your friends about this wonderful experience that I have to offer so that they can join in with us too.

 

This Farm is a work in progress

As we go along, I'm certain that all those things listed above will be happening at some point. It's only a matter of time before the opportunities fall into place and we're off and running.

Probably the biggest obstacle to kicking this all off at this very moment is land accessibility. 

I've continually got my eye out for the right opportunity to lease 10-20 acres and get this farm plan of mine on the map.

If you're on my email list, you'll be among the first to know what's happening when.

Stay tuned!

 

When did you discover the job or activity that you're most passionate about?

Leave your reply below!

Finally, pictures and news of my little black hogs!

A bit over a month ago, my three sows gave birth to 21 baby pigs.  You should come out and see them sometime soon, they're the cutest little animals to ever scamper the earth.

Just to emphasis, come visit my little pigs, they're adorable and worth a trip. Send me a quick email to see when we're around, we're generally available in the evenings.

lorenfisk@thepoultryguy.com

Here's some pictures just in case you can't make it, but pictures never do justice to the real world.

This was that bright new morning when I walked out to the pig pen and discovered their arrival.  It's  one of the most enjoyable surprises I can think of.

This was that bright new morning when I walked out to the pig pen and discovered their arrival.  It's one of the most enjoyable surprises I can think of.

Fast forward about 5-6 weeks  and you can see how much they've grown compared to the picture above.

Fast forward about 5-6 weeks and you can see how much they've grown compared to the picture above.

I call this my Hog Sled. I just invented it so I could easily move my piggies here and there.   I dump some feed on the floor, they all pile in, and I shut the gate behind them.  It's really easy to motivate a pig.

I call this my Hog Sled. I just invented it so I could easily move my piggies here and there.  I dump some feed on the floor, they all pile in, and I shut the gate behind them. It's really easy to motivate a pig.

I just got them out into this area, I'm very excited about my new setup here.  They will reside in this little square for  up to a week before I rotate them to a fresh and clean area.

I just got them out into this area, I'm very excited about my new setup here.  They will reside in this little square for up to a week before I rotate them to a fresh and clean area.

This one wire is all I need to keep them where I want them.  It's electrified and my little hogs regard it with great respect after they get zapped once or twice.

This one wire is all I need to keep them where I want them.  It's electrified and my little hogs regard it with great respect after they get zapped once or twice.

If you have kids or grandkids, bring them out and take a look.  They need to see these little piglets in real life.

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.

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.

Already a year of changed plans

Back in December, Allison and I were certain that we'd be moving from Cavour to Carpenter as the next step up the ladder.  And, we thought we'd be there by the end of February.

Reality hit us as time passed faster than we got things accomplished, and we figured out that we'd be lucky to move by April.

Then suddenly, my father in-law Vaughn came up with a pile of work here on the family farm and needs help.  So for now it looks like we're staying at least one more year, perhaps longer depending on how things go.

So much for our grand scheme that we were so sure of just two months ago.  I've heard that life is full of changed plans, so I guess I'd better get used to it.

 

Continuing Education

Meanwhile, I received about 22 hours of Dr. Elaine Ingham recordings and have been listening to them as fast as I can.  I've nearly made it all the way through.

Elaine is a Soil Micro-Biologist and has discovered a multitude of really helpful information for farmers.  She says that putting biology (bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and nematodes) back in the soil (because it was mostly lost in the 1930's dust bowl) typically increases crop yields by 50-300%.

Not only is there higher production, but the nutritional quality is better too.

Since I'm a young man who needs a competitive edge in the agricultural world, learning her methods would be a major influence in putting my farm together.

I've determined that I need to take her courses and maybe even become a certified Soil Food Web consultant.  I've got to learn how to balance soils and make them healthy again by using nature's tools.

If I can get signed up by the 28th of February, I can save $2488 in tuition.  Their price for the four classes right now is $2500, and I need to find some financing.

If you would like to pitch in and help me out, give me a call and I'll gladly answer any questions you come up with.  (605) 350-5659

This is the website with the courses if you want to take a look for yourself: environmentcelebration.com

Thank you very much!

Awesome Turkey Soup Recipe, and it's Super Easy!

I've come to the conclusion that very few people want a whole turkey at any time other than Thanksgiving.

Now that that's established, my question for you is: how do you want your turkey?

I can de-bone the breasts, make fillets, dice it, or just leave it whole.

I can offer turkey legs and thighs separate if you prefer dark meat.

I can package backs, necks, and other bones together for a dynamite turkey stock combination too!

Quick, tell me how you like your turkey so I can get started! lorenfisk@thepoultryguy.com

Turkey Stock Recipe:

  1. Place bones in a pot
  2. Cover with water
  3. Bring to a boil
  4. Reduce to a simmer
  5. Cook for 24 hours or until the bones easily smash between your fingers
  6. Strain out the bones and use the stock for soup!
  7. Freeze any extra stock for later use

Top Notch Turkey Soup Recipe:

  1. De-bone breast and dice into 3/4 inch squares (or order this service from me)
  2. Lightly cook in skillet, just so it turns white on the outside
  3. Place meat in Turkey Stock with your choice of veggies
  4. Add salt and pepper to taste
  5. Simmer until veggies are tender!

Now you have the exact way Allison and I love making turkey soup.  No nasty junk from who knows where, just awesome food! Enjoy!