Cost of “useless” animals

Sometimes we farmers will keep an animal around that even other farmers declare are useless to have. It can be as simple as it is just a pet, but oftentimes there is more to it.

As a prime example we use to have an Anglo-Nubian goat. ( http://articles.extension.org/pages/19286/goat-breeds-nubian )   He was a free wethered male that we aquired from some folks who had gotten him as a pet for their kids and for some reason wanted him gone. He would eat poison ivy and brambles with glee. How do you put a dollar amount on that behavior? Figure up how much Calamine lotion we saved, or the add up the hours of labor saved cutting back muti-flora rose from the fence rows? His value far outweighed what little hay he consumed during the winter. But to the casual observer he is a “useless” animal.

We also keep a few geese around the farm with our poultry, and they are used to keep hawks away from the smaller birds. Again another “useless” animal.

“Well that’s a neat story Patrick, but why are you telling us this?” you may be asking.  Simply put, our goat died several years ago and today I just finished spending about two days clearing out over 200′ X 15′ of brambles that have crept out from the woods.

I think it time to get another useless animal…….

Final Plainfield Farmers Market

Today is the last market for Plainfield. Come out and show your love to the vendors and stock up on all great products we have offered all season.

As always we have a full freezer of great pasture raised poultry raised on a non-gmo feed for your purchasing pleasure.

We will be on the front lawn of the Plainfield Friends Meeting Church, near the intersection of Hwy 267 and Hwy 40. See us from 4 pm till 7 pm today

And don’t worry the market will be held rain or shine!

Last Call

This is the last chance to get your order in for a whole or half hog!

Real Pasture raised pigs, fed a non-gmo diet! These pigs are raised on grass and woodlands, not a dirt lot!

This is an artisanal product raised with care and with heritage bloodlines. This is not pork you will find in the grocery store.

See my earlier post for more detailed info about cost and such

I need to hear from you by Monday morning to get your cut sheet ready for turn in!

Market season winding down

8/30/17

We only have one more market at Danville and two more at Plainfield after today.

Now is the time to be thinking about stocking up on our pasture raised, antibiotic free, non gmo fed chicken.

As the video shows, our birds really enjoy foraging  for bugs and tender grass and clovers. That really shows up in the meat as flavor and texture.

We are happy to take pre-orders and deliver to you at market, pre-bagged and an invoice already made up for quick pick up by you.

We also are still taking reservations for whole and half pasture pigs.

And as always you can still buy chicken from us after the markets close from the farm.

Whole and half hogs for sale

On September 12th, we will be taking hogs in for processing. Our pigs have been raised out on pasture and in the woods and fed a non-gmo feed ration. This is a chance for you to buy a whole or half pig and save some money while getting the exact cuts you want.  The cost is $4.00 a pound hanging weight plus you pay processing.  We do require a deposit of $250.00 to hold an animal in your name.

To give you an idea of the total cost here is an example:

A 250-lb. live pig would average about 180 lb. hanging weight. Depending on how you would want the animal processed will have a lot to do with the final yield. (Examples are bone in vs boneless cuts, fat trim amount, fresh vs smoked meats, bones for broth, fat for lard, seasoned sausage vs plain ground pork) Therefore that same 250 lb. pig could give:

·         cut into bone-in chops and roasts, closely trimmed, regular ground pork/sausage = 133 lbs. of meat

·         cut into boneless chops and roasts, closely trimmed, lean ground pork/sausage = 117 lbs. of meat

 

*note this does not include soup bones, lard, or organ meats that you may choose to get back with your pig

So how does this break down? Let’s work it out……

For a whole pig approximately 250 lb. live weight = 180 lb. hanging weight

$4.00 X 180 = $720

Basic Slaughter Fee Under 300 lb.                                                                                       = $38.50

Processing $.61 lb. of hanging weight includes vacuum packing.        180 lb. X .61= $109.80

Inedible $5.50 Inventory $5.50 Federal Inspection $16.50                                             =$27.50

Total for a whole pig before figuring in smoked meats, lard, organs, or seasonings for sausage                                                                                                                                    = $895.80

Minus deposit = $645.80

Extras include but are not limited to:

·         Save Fat($2.55/bag)  or  Rendered* (10lb min./ $.94 lb.) (Whole Hog Only)

·         Having the HAM, JOWL, BACON smoked – ($1.10 lb.)

We use This Old Farm in Colfax to process our animals. They are great to work with and treat the animals with respect. Here is a link to our processors cut sheet (a prefilled ex)

https://thisoldfarm.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/F-CI-C-7-Hog-Standard-Cut-2-1-17.doc

 

Contact us at the farmers market or by e-mail or phone to arrange to reserve a whole or half hog.

 

Hot weather and grilling!

It’s hot out today and looks to be more of the same tomorrow.

Come out to the Danville Farmers Market from 8am – noon and beat the heat.

Pick up some chicken from us and some vegetables suitable for grilling from the produce farmers and plan a meal cooked out on the grill, thereby helping to keep your home cool!

20170717_194643.jpg
Teriyaki gazed chicken thigh.

Chicken cut ups!

I am happy to announce that in response to your request we now offer chicken by the cut. Come out to the farmers markets this week and get some great pasture raised chicken fed a non-gmo diet.

Boneless, skinless Chicken breast – $8.75 a pound

Bone-in Chicken Thighs – $5.50 a pound

Chicken Drumsticks – $4.50 a pound

Chicken Wings – $3.50 a pound

Our chicken vs theirs

When buying your poultry consider the differences.

Our birds enjoy clean air, plenty of sunshine, get to chase and eat insects, have access to fresh greens, and have plenty of space.

20170429_160744

 

Birds from the big box stores are treated like a factory item.

industrial poultry

 Industrial Chicken Coop (photo credit: http://mooninthepond.wordpress.com/)

 

The manure and waste from our birds are recycled back into our grasslands to nourish the plants and animals growing there. By watching the amount of waste being produced by our birds and giving them plenty of room to move around in, we can move our flock before the waste builds up to an unhealthy level on any piece of ground. Within days of the birds being moved from a location the vegetation flushes with new growth and darkens in color in response to the new nutrients made available to the plant. Within a couple of weeks the land is ready to be used by larger grazers and to start the cycle over again.

The manure and waste from a factory chicken house is so high in nitrogen it must be further processed before it can be used as a fertilizer or it will damage any plants it is applied to. This adds another operation and more resources to deal with their waste. It can also cause severe build up of ammonia in the poultry houses that are dangerous to the birds and workers. Chickens are actually so sensitive to ammonia that it causes them damage before our noses can even detect it.

The industrial poultry industry also has a long record of abusing it’s workers and using immigrant workers. Do a few searches on google with the terms “abuses against poultry workers”. Note also all the links to stories about abuse to the animals by the workers.

Also this year China is being allowed to start importing chicken to the USA thanks to a trade deal that allows us to send beef to them.

 

Here is a link to an article in Modern Farmer concerning industrial chicken farmers.

http://modernfarmer.com/2014/02/chicken-farming-discontents/

 

All this and even more reasons are why you should buy your chicken from a small local producer. It will benefit you through a healthier product, a stronger community financially, a cleaner environment, and a more secure food system locally.