Wednesday
Oct062010

Hey! Hay? Hay!

Normally, each winter, we bring the cows that have been vacationing on the pastures of our ranch in Mount Pleasant, Utah back to our farm in West Jordan. They need hay in the cold months since Utah turns into a winter wonderland and a blade of grass cannot be found. This year though, we're going to let them stay in Mount Pleasant. In order to prepare for them we spent a day last week unloading and stacking hay. This way, throughout the winter, we can make a trip down every week or so to check on the cattle and feed them.

We love it at the ranch, and it is especially beautiful this time of year. Autumn in Utah is gorgeous!

Friday
Sep242010

Special Delivery

Yesterday we acquired 400 new farm guests. A phone call from the post office in the morning let us know our Cornish chick order from the hatchery had arrived. (The US Postal Service is the only carrier that will ship chicks.) It's funny walking into the post office and hearing the chirping of 400 chicks. And funnier watching the reaction of the customers waiting in line wondering what we're doing with 400 chicks.

We picked them up, brought them home and got them settled in the brooder. One by one we placed them in their new home. We were happy to see that all survived the long trip and they are doing really well! We'll keep them in the brooder for a few weeks until they are old enough for cooler temperatures and then move them to the pasture.

It takes a lot of time and effort to keep the chicks healthy and happy. They need space, water, food and most importantly warmth until they get their feathers. Fortunately we have a couple of small helpers who enjoy going out to see the "chickies" every day. 

Wednesday
Sep152010

Magic Cow

Early Monday morning Shayn, Alpine and Randy (Shayn's dad) headed down to the ranch in Mt. Pleasant. It was time to wean this year's calves. They got the calves and mother cows separated, loaded the trailer with the calves and headed home. I was happy to hear the new arrivals were going to Randy's house and not ours this time - they are noisy for a few days! I can't blame them though; they miss their moms. But they certainly are big enough and ready to be on their own.

On Tuesday morning Shayn headed over to Randy's to get the chores done and found a rather adventurous calf in the manger! The calves had come in to water and somehow this rascal managed to climb in. Shayn was the only one around and didn't want the calf to hurt itself so he came up with a plan. He strapped the calf to an excavator (which was fortunately there at the time!) and quickly and carefully lifted it out and then lowered it back down to the ground.

We are still baffled as to how it climbed in there. Shayn said in all his years working on the farm he's never seen one actually in the manger. We'll have to keep an eye on this little Houdini!

Tuesday
Aug312010

Predators

Living in an open space and having chickens in our front yard has been a challenge for us. Especially because our chickens are free range and have pasture to graze on. Being outdoors, enjoying the sunshine and fresh air, they are a prime target for the foxes we have roaming the fields around our farm. We have taken precautions to keep our chickens safe including:

- Fencing the pasture with non-climb horse fence

- Burying fencing wire three feet deep to keep predators from digging underneath.

- Adding electric wires to the top of our fence to deter the foxes from climbing.

- Keeping the chickens inside their coop at night where they are safe. Night is usually when the foxes are out and about

stock photo - not an actual picture of the snake that scared shaynEven with doing these things througout the past year, we have still lost a chicken here and there to a clever (determined?) fox who figures out how to get into the pasture. We are currently redoing our fence to be taller and hopefully impossible for the foxes to climb. I think the foxes are beautiful and hope we can all happily exist in the same area without losing any of our chickens!

On Saturday we also discovered we have a large snake trying to snack on our chicken eggs! Shayn, Alpine and Sully went out to gather eggs and discovered a four-foot long snake hanging out at the coop until he slithered off into a hole.

When Shayn came inside he commented that it seems our chickens are being attacked from both sides by predators; foxes after the birds and snakes after the eggs.

Such is life on the farm!

 

Thursday
Aug262010

Moo

Are you thinking about buying some beef? It can be a big decision - calculating freezer storage, the amount of meat your family needs, the investment, etc. We've received quite a bit of feedback from customers on our beef and have a few items to let you know about:

1. We are adding the option to purchase 1/4 cow. This will be available with standard processing only.

2. If you are thinking about ordering some beef, now is the time to do it. We will be butchering cows in three to four weeks and the meat should be available the end of September/beginning of October.

3. Is 1/4 still too much beef for your freezer? Do you want to try our beef before your commit to purchasing a whole cow? Beginning in October we will have individual cuts available for purchase. Customers will be able to buy a few steaks, some burger or a roast. (Or all three!) We are currently working on a price list for those and will post the information as soon as it becomes available.

We know you will love the beef from Utah Natural Meat. It is healthy, homegrown, grass fed beef and the taste can't be beat! Please visit our beef page for more information and to place an order.