Nebraska Chicken

5234976941_f8e5581003_o

We have 72 hectares on the farm that turns grass into protein for families.  We named each paddock after a state in America … with the occasional city judging by circumstantial foliage ( see also Detroit, the shittiest paddock that is now the best paddock thanks to mob grazing ).

Nebraska is a north facing paddock that was once a corn field.  When we bought the farm, corn was grown and dried ready for harvest just before Zelie was born.  Funny side note, that big, beast harvester had a flat on the early morn of harvest so we watched as they called the tire changers in.  The harvest wasn’t ours.  It went the way of the renting farmer.

5234975619_360c192af3_o

After the harvest was done, we worked the field with cattle to create better pasture for cattle.

5428764194_e14aaba2e0_o

The herd did a great job.  Also, Brent seeded alfalfa.  Great for drought.  Great for flavor.

As the field transitioned, we caught some random weeds that the kids collected.  That was a fun year for sunflowers.

DSC_6193

Then the pasture started getting serious.  New grasses volunteering amongst the alfalfa.

DSC_4517

Then we decided to run chickens.  Not many feed fresh alfalfa to their chickens.  Too expensive.  … but we have cows, so it worked out.

IMG_9430

And chickens LOVE alfalfa leaves.  When they are first introduced, they go right for the leaves above everything they have available on the buffet.

IMG_1631

Our Nebraska started with a cornfield in France.  Now, it feeds both cows and chickens.  The pasture is so much more resilient because of the work the animals have done.

IMG_1702

Advertisements

Chickens On The Move

DSC_2709

Brent and Otto moved the chooks for the second time today.  The chickens are young, so they are still working out how to work the pasture.  They are always on fresh grass for them to pull out the bugs and worms and nibble the alfalfa leaves.

DSC_2696

Lovely day today, not too hot.  Otto refreshes their water.

DSC_2703

He likes to see how high he can raise the hose while still making it in the tank.  I know I’ve set myself up for “boy jokes,” but he is very specific about his work.

DSC_2711

The herd are fat fat.  So much grass.  They got so bored today, they did a little jog then hung out by the water cooler.  I’m not a fan of a herd jog, but they settled in.  It’s nice to see them work a paddock.

DSC_2710

The Puffy Clouds of Bordeaux

IMG_8784

Beef to Bordeaux today.  I snapped a few shots.  When I loaded them on my computer at home, I noticed that these puffy clouds kept photobombing my shot.

IMG_8782

We have these puffy clouds over our pasture and the herd.  It’s good see see how they look over the big city.

IMG_8231

IMG_8788

I wonder if anyone noticed.

IMG_8787

Traffic was light today.  There were a lot of people out enjoying the sunshine.  I think they were also enjoying the puffy clouds.

IMG_8783

Those clouds even made it into this shot of construction, temporary construction offices and an old tree trying to bloom.

IMG_8789

After all the meat was delivered, I ate l’Américain.  So many sandwiches to choose from, I chose that one because, I am American.  The sandwich man laughed.

IMG_8790

oh, what’s on l’Américain?

Ham, lettuce, tomato, hard boiled egg, pickles and mayo.  Yep, me too, I pondered my way back to the farm, “why these ingredients?”  What made this the American sandwich?

I Recognize Your Fowl

IMG_5980

Meat chicks have arrived.  They are getting acquainted with their new surroundings.  New grass, bugs, flowers, they spent more time exploring than eating the store-bought chicken food.

IMG_5969

The herd watched us load in the chicks.  They were not impressed.  “What about me?  What about our needs???”  The bellowed.  But, quickly found other grass to chew on.

IMG_5981

The chicks were impressed with the choice of food on offer.  Now we move them once or twice a day.  They always have access to green.  They never run around in brown, dusty dirt.

Woodhenge

DSC_7713.JPG

This is Woodhenge.  Brent took the photo above a month after we moved to the farm ( October, 2010 ).  It was early morning.  I’m not sure what the structure was intended for.  It rests in a paddock we call “Detroit.”  Detroit was named because it was overgrazed for too long. Then the auto industry of fertility left, leaving the paddock full of thistles and weeds.

We didn’t do anything major to Detroit.  We used it as a sacrificial paddock as it is close to the yards.  Brent over-seeded clover and rolled out hay.  The cows graze Detroit to work the soil.  Year after year, Detroit seemed to perk up.  Now, Detroit is full of many grasses.

Detroit is green, green, green and the thistles and weeds have lost.  But, check out Wood Henge!

Our silly cows used it as a scratch post and this is all that remains.

IMG_1975

I took this photo today from a different angle.  Don’t worry, the old trees in the “before” shot are still there and even bigger.

What Are They On About, Nuts?

IMG_4724

The herd is on Yukon.  They had exactly twenty-eight minutes to do so before I had to meet the kids at the bus.  Any funny bidness and I’d leave Brent to sort out the details.  They were well behaved.  Good cows.  Unexpected pasture in Yukon.  Brent was going to let it rest, but the grass was lush.

After the move, they tucked right in to the pasture, then they went to the trees.  Eating mostly brown, it seems they were interested in more than grass.  Nuts?  Truffes?  What ever the draw, they are happy and somewhat competitive.

IMG_4728

Underneath the tall growth is yummy pasture waiting for cows.

IMG_4737

Brent takes notes on fat heifers and other things.

IMG_4710

Black yearling loving the pasture …. yeah!

IMG_4719

The herd was happy to move despite the food they left.  They are a bit spoiled, that herd.

IMG_4684

Yukon should do them fine for the evening.  Tomorrow, more Yukon.
IMG_4701