Saturday, July 17, 2010

The "Meats"

Freedom Ranger Chickens
We decided to look into a cross breed of bird known as the Freedom Ranger that is raised for meat. We have raised our own beef, eat the eggs that our chickens lay, grow as much fruit and veggies as we can and now are starting to look into raising some poultry for food as well. I wasn't interested in raising the Cornish chickens after so many of the horror stories that we read about. These birds seems to be a nice cross between the Cornish and a Rhode Island Red. This cross makes them a slower growing meat bird then the "norm". We were able to locate some that were just a couple weeks old and scooped them up.
They are a nice bird, very active, pretty and seem to have personalities. From what I can tell we have straight run (which means that we have both male and female birds) They are currently in our Chicken Tractor, which is a mobile chicken coop that helps to promote fertilizing the land for future crops and will next year be one of the gardens that we grow in. This tractor is not located very close to the house and we can't really see the birds like we do in our coops at the barn. I thought that this would help in the butchering process. My hope was less attachment for the kids and myself.
Upon picking them up our three year old very matter of factly stated, "Oh these are what the Meats look like" as we chuckled we had to agree with him that was the perfect name for the new group of birds that we were about to bring home.
The "Meats" are doing wonderfully and will so be heading out. We hope to change their feed out to a higher protein feed for the next two weeks and then they will be sent to a local poultry butcher that goes by the name KNK which is located in Edmensten NY only about 30 minutes away from our home. If this all goes well for us we hope to be able to offer fresh processed chicken for sale here at the Farm. These are pastured raised birds with free choice grain. The are able to enjoy the wonderful hillside here at Bakers Acres during the day. This practice should help to ensure a wonderful full flavored meat. We can't wait to taste test it! Bakers Acres has high hopes of being able to offer it's visitors all of the different flavors of the farm.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

You never know what good things you'll find.....

We had decided that we were going to head out on adventure to an auction that was a bit of a ride for us but sounded as if it had some really interesting poultry supplies, as well as a few hopeful items for the barn. So we headed out. It was a cool morning and had the makings for a wonderful day.

As we loaded up our wonderful treasures from an interesting auction we were trying to decide what road we wanted to take to make a relaxing, wandering way home. As we enjoyed the countryside we came into Massonville. My husband told me that when we came the the Massonville General Store I had to go in! He thought that it would be an instant hit with me. And he was right!

Massonville General Store

As I was finding myself lost in the wonderful smells of coffee, beautiful labels of wonderful organic products, the feel of high quality wool, the creak of plank flooring and a wonderful cozy old time feel, I overheard the owner chatting with a customer about her Bourbon Red Turkeys. I have to admit that I was shocked! For the past couple of weeks I had been searching everywhere that I could think of for Bourbon Red Heritage chicks to raise. As I tried to calmly walk to the counter and show manners as to not knock the women down and scare the owner into thinking I was a crazy bird lady, I took a deep breath and apologized for overhearing that she had these wonderful Turkeys. She was very kind and told me all about her birds and chicks that she had decided she would have to list for sale. I looked at her with a big smile and offered to take some off of her hands. Her husband just happened to be home and she would give me direction and him a call.

As I climbed into the car Rob said, "Well did you like it?" I laughed and said, "you never know what good things you'll find......." And we headed to pick up chicks.

Day old chicks
We stared out with 9 chicks, sadly we lost three.....The six that we have are growing and doing great! They are so cute and so funny to watch. Truly funny little birds.

What a full grown Tom will look like.

Thiswonderful Heritage Breed is a great addition to the Farm. Not only will they look breath taking wandering threw the pastures but we hope to have hatching eggs from them not to mention a wonderful holiday dinner. With some luck we will be able to offer them to the public for the holidays!

Friday, July 9, 2010

A wonderful sight....

I've always found it very exciting to see seeds take form. Now I'm finding it even more exciting as we work as a family, planting seeds, weeding and now picking some of our wonderful crops! Now with the bash over we are back in the dirt enjoying the work.

Our sweat onions are fantastic!

Our sweat peas have been a treat

And our beet are really looking wonderful!
Next year we hope to be up and running with a Farm Market here on the Farm and visiting the Norwich Farmers Market once a week. We are also looking into the Bounty. We intend to build a timber framed Market using the lumber that has been harvested from our own woods! It's all very exciting! Be sure to check back in with us to see what is new here on the Farm!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I love the smell of hay.....

I really love the smell of brings back wonderful childhood memories of being on the back of my grandfather wagon and stacking the bails as they came off and then it was off to the hay mow to put them in place. Wonderful memories, and all just from the smell of hay!

We were lucky enough to contact a local farmer that works with the "share" plan in place. This works out well for us because we don't have to own and maintain all of the hay equipment and devote the time that we don't have to getting the hay ready. They do all the work and even park the wagons inside for us and we then unload them. We get one wagon load for every two that they take. It's really win win for both of us.
The barn is nicely filled with hay now for the sheep and well we'll just have to wait and see if any other animals pop up!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Our new little beauties

We tried to find these little gems last year but had no luck! We were always just a second to late....this year we got lucky. We are happy to share the pictures of our new Peacock! We traveled about two hours northwest to a town my the name of Mexico where we were greeted by a women that truly loved Peacocks! She currently has about 30 adult birds!!! They were amazing to say the least, and yes they were loud but we were thrilled!
We came home with 5 of these little gems. The women thought that maybe there were two males and three females so we will see! I have my fingers crossed for at least one pair for hatching eggs next year! These are Purple Shoulder Peacocks and are truly breath taking as adults.

We will keep you posted as they grow and change. Right now we are enjoying their soft peeing sounds and seeing their little crowns appear on their heads!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Another coop has arrived!

Our new coop arrived and is now in place. We found these wonderful coops over near Richfeild Springs. The business goes by the name Yoders and they offer a wide range of building and furniture. Wonderful people to do business with and really well made pieces. We loved our first one didn't think twice when another was needed.
Here is a picture of some of our spring chicks. They are growing into beautiful birds. We have however come to realize that we have way to many roosters!
We intend to keep some but not all. We want to be able to have hatching eggs in the spring so are keeping our finest Roosters.

This pictures show just how wonderful the new coop fits in! Soon the run will be fenced in and the next round of chicks will be settled in!