Mitchell

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.

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.

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!

Have you noticed this too?

Lately, I've been struck by the numerous billboards, and TV/radio commercials featuring promotional soda pop schemes.

They're absolutely everywhere and I can't help but think of the expense of their campaign for publicity.  I did a quick web search and discovered that in 2014, Coca-Cola spent $3.499 billion on advertising.

Wow...

Here's the part that's disgusting to me.  I discovered that kids are often the most targeted group for this ginormous marketing plan.  Kids.

I'm beginning to understand my role as an educator to my children regarding the realities of things they might find attractive.

My theory regarding the multitude of soft drink ads, was that these companies are losing business and are trying to insure their future.

I found an encouraging article in the NY Times that said between '03 and '14, children drinking a pop on any given day dropped by 20%, and fell 11% in adults.

Another site said that bottled water sales surpassed soft drink sales for the first time in 2016.  They also mentioned that we simultaneously hit a 31 year low in soft drink consumption.

How's that for some uplifting news?  It seems to me that we're moving in the right direction as a society in this area anyhow.

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!

Soil health, the basis of all health and well being.

In my experience reading health tips and tricks, only in the "radical/alternative" health world have I found consistent emphasis on the importance of meat and vegetables raised in/on healthy soil.

I believe soil condition is one of the most overlooked factors in determining where healthy food comes from.

First, before anything else, we need to know what healthy soil is.

A balanced and complete soil has more individual life forms in a teaspoon's worth, than the human population on earth.  

Unfortunately, soil that is tilled often, chemically bombarded, and compacted by heavy machinery is continually set back in developing the complexity needed for health and wellness.

Alternatively, healthy soil should only be lightly ruffled, periodically massaged by animal feet, fertilized with fresh manure, and left to rest until plant growth has fully recovered.

If you are concerned with the quality of your food, you should be aware of how your farmer treats his/her soil.  Herein is the importance of shopping local, food literacy is the first step towards maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Major health tip: Just because it's labeled organic doesn't mean it's healthy and nutritious.  Often times, organic methods are just as, or more, destructive than non-organic.

Stay healthy my friends :)

My Thanks For Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving.  For me, this particular weekend has always been overflowing with family, fellowship, food, and fun.

If I could keep my mind focused on being thankful for the multitude of wonderful blessings given to me on a regular basis, I could never have a bad day.  

Here's a short list of things that I am appreciative of:

  1. The freedom and opportunity to worship God as He directed us to, through the life of Christ.
  2. My own little family that I get to come home to every day
  3. All of my extended family+friends
  4. My wonderful customers who just love my chickens and turkeys
  5. Natural provisions: food, clothing, shelter, all of which are of great quality
  6. My farm animals and their ability to sooth my mind body and soul
  7. Living in South Dakota, I love this region

Really, when I take a close look at what all I do have, I realize that life is pretty grand.  It's only when I lose my thankfulness that I run into impatience, discontent, and aggravation.

I need to remember that.

What are you thankful for this year?