Sunday, June 20, 2010

More Chickens

Last year we started with 25 Silver Laced Wyandottes as our egg-laying stock.  This year I hatched about 20 green egg layers from our older girls, and a few Wyandottes. I would have hatched more Wyandottes, but our rooster met his sad end defending the hens from a predator.  Luckily (I guess) two of the four Wyandotte eggs two are roosters. Hopefully we'll get another good Silver-laced boy so I can hatch some more good hens. These girls are good, steady layers throughout the year, and they are pretty, too.

We also like the Blue Laced Red Wyandottes, so I recently bought a few chicks from a neighbor. I also got several Black Copper Marans. They are the very dark brown egg laying chickens.  There is not difference in nutrition or taste, but they look so cool!

Maran chicks look a little bit like penguins. Fully Grown they look like normal chickens.
I also got a few Mottled Javas. I couldn't resist. 

The Blue Laced Red Wyandottes are very rare, and I was lucky to get a couple.

Our hens are laying well, even in this intense summer heat.  My hope is to add 25 new laying hens every year so we can keep up with production.  Then, rather than bringing in special "broiler chickens" to raise (that is what you get from the supermarket when you buy a chicken), we will specialize in older hens for stewing and slow cooking and capons (roosters whose testicles are removed at a young age so they grow fat and tasty with a normal life).  I just can not buy into the industrial model of meat raising, even on a small level.  It is too stressful for the birds and for us.  We are determined to do this our way, even if it means we won't make a living at it. Well, at least I enjoy my job...most of the time.

See you on the farm!

Goats and Goings On

This is our newest addition to the farm: Baby the Boer goat. We are hoping for a good eater of brush and privet, and maybe someday we'll breed her and have baby goats. While Boers are not the best milkers, for their short milking period they give some very high-fat milk, which is great for making cheese.
We have been very busy on the farm raising our own heritage turkeys, geese, ducks and chickens. The incubators have been going non-stop since February, and deserve a break soon. Our last batch of turkeys are hatching as I write this, so once they are into the brooder the incubators will get put away for a few months.

We are excited to announce that we are undergoing "Certified Naturally Grown" grower certification. This means that we are growing and caring for our animals in a way that is even better than USDA organic because there are other area farmers who 'keep us honest'--not that we don't do that for ourselves, but I think it is a much better way than what the term "USDA Organic" actually means, which is very little. Please check out their website for more information, We hope to be inspected in the next few weeks and then our certification will be official!
We are very happy to again offer Heritage Blue Slate Turkeys for Thanksgiving. These birds will range anywhere from 7-18 pounds when they are processed.
For Christmas we will have something new for the American consumer: Goose! Some of you may have tried goose before, but for most of us it is a new treat. For centuries goose has been THE Christmas meal in Great Britain. Goose is what Ebenezer Scrooge sent the young boy to buy on Christmas Day! Goose is darker meat, fattier and juicer, and the goose fat left over from cooking is amazing for cooking potatoes in, I can tell you! Our Embden and African Geese range from about 10-14 pounds, and they subsist mainly on pasture grass with some organic feed supplement as they choose.

Thank you so much for supporting our farm. We are small, but dedicated to producing the best tasting, healthiest food around. If you have friends who might be interested in gathering their food from a high-quality, local supplier like us, feel free to send our email to them and invite them to join our Facebook page, just search for "Treffynnon Farm".

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


New additions to the farm as of May: three llamas! We got them for predator control (mostly foxes and maybe a bobcat) and fun. So far they aren't all that fun. Grown llamas don't make friends easily. Oh, well, they do make the farm look very 'picturesque'.

This is Kan-do,


and Bailey. Bailey has suri-type hair and he is the nicest of the three. I still can't get Hoopla to come near me, but Barry can get him to take treats. They don't spit at us, but do spit at each other a lot, especially when we try to give treats.