We have combined our layers and broilers on one pasture and have them following the cattle. Bill, the poultry man, has the task of feeding, watering, moving and otherwise tending to the poultry..and the dogs! Bill is below with Kasey.
The broilers in the hut below move every day to new grass underneath.
But let’s not forget the OTHER poultry we are raising at the farm. The turkeys, close to 800 in all, are coming along nicely and seem to love their environs.
Once they are big enough to ward off the foxes and coyotes of Hopewell Township, they spend their days frolicking outside. Below is the scene just after the gate is opened in the morning. Interestingly, they know to come back in at dusk. The chickens do this, too.
This year we have New Holland (white), Spanish Black, Narragansett (black and white) and Broad Breasted Bronze. They are all heritage breeds, and were picked up as poults by Jon in an overly-heated van in KANSAS. That’s 22-hours of very smelly, noisy one-way driving to you and me. Back to fresh pasture…
The poultry guru, Frank Reese of Good Shepherd Turkey Ranch, is the man to contact if you want heritage breeds and that’s where we turned for the best turkeys this side of the Appalachians.
While I was over in the fields annoying asking questions of the farmers, I decided to check out the rogue sheep that is still living with the pigs. I caught sight of him briefly, but then he took off into the brush. It’s like spotting Bigfoot!
Someday we’ll catch him. But by then he’ll probably think he’s Wilbur from Charlotte’s Web.
Photo for the Times of Trenton, by Andrew Miller
Over in the vegetable fields, we have all been hazing Andrew for being quite the cover model/celebrity in his recent interview with the Times of Trenton. His co-workers tell me they can no longer look him directly in the eye – and you should see his rider!
All joking aside, there are thousands of my kids’ favorite peppers ready and waiting to be picked, sauteed, crunched raw or diced into a salsa. The Oranos, the ‘famous’ sweet orange pepper, is here! Even Megan, who claims that peppers aren’t really for her, can’t resist.
“One for the market, one for me…”
Be sure to get some from the market on your next trip!
Lastly, someone asked me if we could have a ‘cattle tracker’ on the site so that people might see where the steers are going and where they’ve been. That’s a great idea. But until technology catches up with this blog and our farm, I will tell you that they are at the Martin Tract and enjoying these cooler days of fall.