Tag Archives: Southern Oregon small Farm

Chicken Creep

IMG_1027

I would like to think that we get a little smarter season to season, and in this case it’s actually true. Check out ”Learning to Roost”, one of our earlier posts, to see how we used to do it. We often have to introduce chickens of different ages together and this can be a little challenging. The adult birds could and would hurt or kill small, young chickens. So the goal here is prevention. The chicks are also on a more expensive, higher-protein feed that the larger foul don’t need to be consuming. But of course they think they have to have some.
IMG_1042
IMG_1043

With all that in mind, the best way we have come up with (well, we didn’t technically come up with it, but you know) is called a creep. This is an idea that is often used with larger livestock. We simply adapted this method to smaller livestock.
IMG_1031
IMG_1036

As you can see, we’re not getting any points on our quality of workmanship, but it allows the chicks to mix with the larger birds as they feel more comfortable with their place in the flock. Keeping the bigger chickens out, we can feed the little ones a different feed freely. Its a win-win.
IMG_1038

IMG_1039

When the chicks are too big to get into the creep, they have no choice but to mingle with the adults. Once the two flocks are integrated, we remove the creep.
IMG_1044

Farm Move

IMG_0967
It rained all day long and hardly a stitch of clothing I had on was dry by the end. February may not have been the best time to move a farm, based upon the weather. But with spring right around the corner we didn’t have much of a choice. We knew that it would take awhile to finish this project.
IMG_0966

IMG_0973

IMG_0975

There are always hang-ups no matter how well you plan things, and we definitely had some. What we had hoped would take roughly a day to move the livestock turned in to a long day and night. We started at about 8 a.m. and finished at about 9 p.m. To top off this cold, muddy day, the horse trailer that I had forgotten to reserve was rented when I tried to pick it up. Frustrating, to say the least. The only trailers that the rental company had that would fit all of the sheep was a short-sided gravel hauler. And well…. I’ll take it.

IMG_1013

IMG_1014

IMG_1015

After moving the living, breathing aspects of our farm, it just came down to moving the accumulated junk and equipment. Who would have known that we are pallet hoarders! Despite being the easier task, it still took another 2-3 weekends to move all this stuff. Moving has that tendency to drag in to the light all the useless things we accumulated over the years. Making moving my least enjoyable task. Fittingly, I put it off to the last moment.
IMG_0995

IMG_0997

New Farm
New Farm

IMG_1004

Overdue Update

Farm 2013 022
The past couple of months seem to have just slipped by like the snap of the fingers. Wasn’t it just the holiday season? Well we had better share with you what we have been up to.
This is a quick overview of some projects we are working on right now. We will post more in detail about these projects as they move forward.
July 2013 015
Our sheep have been enjoying this dry, mild weather and have decided to have some lambs! A little unexpected but no complaints here.
IMG_0602
We are also working on creating a locally adapted flock of chickens. This way we can help in a small way to protect of some of our national birds.
IMG_6477
And most importantly we are moving our farm from Ashland to Talent! We are extremely excited about this move.

Guard Geese

April 2013 002

April 2013 003
A couple of seasons ago we lost a large portion of our turkeys and chickens to skunks (check out the post “It Ain’t Easy” for a better idea of what went down). It took some time and a lot of research to figure out what we needed to do to remedy this problem.
august 2013 020

Chickens need and like to roost, and as it turns out it’s also their first defense. This was an easy fix–we just changed the way we house them.
august 2013 021
Then we got a couple of geese because our research lead us to believe that their aggressive temperament would deter predators.
august 2013 060

august 2013 061
At first I wasn’t convinced that geese could perform this job and thought of them as just another mouth to feed. But we haven’t lost a turkey or a chicken since we added them.
Sept 2013 016

Sept 2013 020

I have often seen them cock their head to the side and stare up in to the sky. When I follow their line of sight, inevitably there is a hawk floating in the blue, and once in a while an airplane. Needless to say they will always have a place at Pradaria.

Sept 2013 021

Grassland Turkey

Sept 2013 004
Allowing turkeys to run and frolic in the grassland setting that encompasses our farm just really feels right. It’s often hard to imagine that turkeys could be raised in any other way; they are so well adapted to this lifestyle.
Sept 2013 005

Sept 2013 008

Spending up to four months on pasture their conditions range from ninety-degree summer days to the cold rain of a Rogue Valley fall. Even though we provide them with shelter they will often be found in the direct sun on a hot day looking for a tasty morsel or scouting out worms in the rain.Sept 2013 010

Sept 2013 011

Blackberries and blackberry leaves, legumes, grasses and grass seeds, and the wayward cricket are just a few of the things I have seen turkeys eat. This does also include corn and grains because they need carbs like the rest of us. But when given a choice these birds love to forage. Sept 2013 028

Sept 2013 043

Small Farm Ingredients

august 2013 026

Summer just wouldn’t be summer without barbeque sauce-smothered chicken smoking on the grill. The smell of grilling chicken is very pleasant and I often feel as if I’m missing out when I catch the smell occasionally filling my neighborhood.

august 2013 023<

Food is often extremely enjoyable prepared in the proper manner with the right tools and knowledge. From the time the ingredients reach your kitchen until it’s plated and on the table, thought and care have gone into every detail because a meal is a shared experience.

July 2013 036<

A quality meal’s story doesn’t always start at the grocery store or the farmer's market, but increasingly in a backyard garden or a small farm, and in our case in our grassland pasture.
august 2013 088<

This is how we grow chicken, truly free-ranged. Grass, sun, wind, rain, and a little perspiration help ensure that our birds are healthy and happy.

Testimonial

june 2013 012 (2)
I have numerous food allergies and intolerances and have had problems with chicken (even organic). But Pradaria Farm chicken not only tastes wonderful it tastes clean and I never have a reaction to eating it. I eat it almost every day, in soups or roasted. And Pradaria Farm turkey is the absolute best turkey I’ve ever eaten…tender, flavorful…amazing!

Evelyn Ward