This Week on the Farm

In Chickens, General Farm News, Heritage Turkeys, Pigs on April 9, 2011 at 12:18 pm

This week on the farm was completely exhausting, but not wholly through the “fault” of the animals.

On two separate nights, each of our boys managed to “be sick” in the middle of the night, thus reducing the farmer’s sleep and patience for the next day.

Astute neighbors have noted that our sheep have disappeared from the pasture — which they did — in anticipation of lambing, which will come at some point within the next three weeks.  Apparently there is a greater chance of the Border Leicester to lamb on the New Moon or (second best shot nearer to the) Full Moon. That was advice from a local shepherd who has gone through lambing thousands and thousands of times.

Piggies are all happily outside and looking forward to slightly less damp weather, so that the snowmelt mud will turn into grass and they can have soething more substantial to root up with their little piggy snouts. The youngest of the piglets are still safely housed with their moms.

One change to our recently available infusion of meat and new price list is that kielbasa is now sold out. The full list can be seen here.

We are looking forward to ordering turkey poults this year for raising for Thanksgiving. After many attempts at making costs break even with raising Lilac Turkeys for Thanksgiving Dinner and charging $4.50 a pound, we just can’t offer them this year. We WILL be offering Heritage Breed Turkeys this year, just a different feather color, and slightly plumper breast, and still charging $4.50 a pound.  Why the change, you ask? In a nutshell: Lilac’s top out at 16 or so pounds no matter what you feed them, if they are raised in a non-confinement operation. They also take a minimum of nine plus months to meet that poundage. That is a lot of feed.

So, the things that we will not change or amend in order to sell turkey: We will not raise turkeys unless they are in a non-confinement situation. We will not sacrifice feed quality.  We talked a lot about this, and despite other local farms’ charging up to $7.50 a pound for turkey, we will not.  But at the same time, we are not making any money on any other product enough to allow us to subsidize a loss on the turkeys.

Bottom line: We will use our trusted hatchery in Pennsylvania and obtain heritage breed turkeys poults for us to raise for Thanksgiving, and they will make the much anticipated weight and flavor benchmarks in less time and with less food then the Lilac’s — but will enjoy the same quality of life — outdoors life, high-quality grain and free-range foraging, and a steady price point at $4.50.


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