I’ve fielded questions from several folks lately about some specifics of the equipment that we use here at the farm. I’m working on constructing a new page that will list in all the painful detail all the equipment that I can think of and where we purchase(d) it. It’s a rainy day today and I’m worn out after all the prep for the NRCS field day that we hosted yesterday, so playing on the computer seems to be in order. I’ll see what I can get done today, but it should be pretty complete by the end of the week of May 5. Here’s the link to the page: http://www.happilyeverafterfarm.com/equipment-we-use/
Author: Jonathan Smith
Bear with us…
Please bear with us as we re-work our website! We were recently hacked and did not have a complete backup of the website. All of the content is still here, but the visuals are not quite what they used to be and Jonathan is working through getting it back to where it’s easy to navigate and pretty. We’ll be back up and normal in no time!!
Here is a picture from this week with the setup of our layers. We have them protected by electrified netting from http://www.premier1supplies.com/ and a coop that we built here at the farm. The ladies put themselves up at night on one of the 4 roost poles in the little 6’x6′ coop.
Yeah! It worked!
The nest box modification on the chicken coop seems to have worked! This is a large step forward for us since now we’re getting 7-9 eggs a day from 9 hens, where before we were getting 2-3. Not only that, but the eggs are clean and not cracked! We’re really excited about it.
Beef, Did I mention…
Did I mention that our beef is USDA inspected and appropriately labeled for retail sale? If I didn’t I needed to, this represents significant cost and effort on our part, but we felt it was necessary to comply with the rules and it would give our customers more confidence in purchasing from us. Oh, our beef is also dry aged, not wet packed like the standard grocery store fare. This means that you are getting more meat per pound as compared to the grocery since our water content is much lower.
The chickens are coming
The next batch of broilers are coming in about a week!
Chicken coop modification
Well, the ladies have been laying for a month or so now and we’ve transitioned from having them free around the house to being in electrified netting (from Premiere1 fencing). After a couple of weeks I realized that the construction of the nest boxes was not going to work long term. The nest box was too shallow and the chickens were scratching out the straw and sometimes the eggs into the coop. A lot of the eggs were cracked since they were laying directly onto the wood floor. Yesterday we were able to add about 4.5 inches to the bottom of the coop! We’ll see going forward how well this adjustment works.
We now have Black Australorp chickens! We currently have 9 hens and a Barred Rock rooster (Rocky) and they have just started laying. The Black Australorps are beautiful with their feathers so black and they have a green tint to them when the sun shines off of them. We built a chicken shed that was originally planned to sit on a small trailer, but the small trailer was not stable enough, so we moved the shed to a regular wagon running gear. The setup has a slant roof that pours rainwater into a gutter that funnels it into a five gallon bucket that gravity feeds the waterer. It also has shade / hawk cover and a dog feeder attached to keep the pyrenees close by. The range feeder is on the ground behind the wagon. It can be moved by hand on relatively level ground, and the 4 wheeler helps out when it’s heading uphill. We got two little eggs yesterday!
During the moving process, our last laying hen, a Rhode Island Red, “Red”, as she was affectionately called by our neighbor, was taken by a predator. She was over three years old and was still producing an egg a week. Yes this would be considered a “welfare” chicken, not producing as much as she was consuming, but she was a lot of fun to watch!
Finally, beef is available
After a lengthy process of finding and working out details with a new processor, C&F Meats in College Grove, and going through the permitting process with the Tennessee Department of Agriculture to be able to sell meat by the piece here at the farm, we’re finally open for business with regards to beef! I’m just a little tardy in getting this post up, but we’re already sold out of stew meat and rump roasts. We still have lots of ground beef and ribeyes and several other cuts. We even have organ meats of heart, kidney, liver and tongue (ok, maybe tongue is not an organ, but it’s an odd cut) for all you Weston A. Price folks out there. We’re open on Saturdays from Noon ’till 4PM and other times by appointment. Generally we’re home in the evenings, so come on down and check it out!
So far, Judith and I have tried the burgers with nothing added but a little bit of salt and pepper and they were GREAT! Some of the folks we shared with said “best burger ever!” They were a little biased since they were our parents, but seriously, the burgers are very good. We’ve also had a ribeye and a fillet. The fillet was out of this world and the ribeye was very good, but my cooking of it could have been better. We’ll most certainly be trying it again 🙂