We offer pastured raised lamb, chicken and eggs for sale to Kentuckiana eaters. Our farm is Animal Welfare Approved on all species which is a nod to our commitment to raising our animals in a way that respects their instinct and well-being.
The sheep want to eat grass, legumes and forbs so that’s what we let them do! The Katahdin breed was chosen because they are adaptable to cold and heat, resistant to many of the problems that other breeds face, are an excellent meat breed, lamb easily and are good mothers. They do not have to be sheared because they are a shedding hair breed. They are entirely out on pasture and the lambs for harvest receive a small ration of feed that is free of antibiotics, steroids and hormones. This ration is really more for behavioural reasons, they love the girl with the feed bucket!
We als sl weaned ewe lambs for for breeding stock.
The first batch of broilers we raised in 2012 were Cornish x Rock crosses; we now just raise Freedom Rangers for meat. The broilers share the pasture with the herd of hair sheep and working livestock guardian dogs. The Freedom Rangers range freely inside of electro netting that is moved once a week through the nut grove or other pastures. The birds are supplemented with Brumley’s All-Natural chicken feed that is free of animal by-products and antibiotics. (Steroids and hormones are prohibited by law in chickens so are not a factor.) We average 150 birds per rotation and raise them to 10 weeks. They average about 4.5 pounds dressed-out and ready for the freezer.
Raising animals for food is not easy, literally and figuratively. The harvest and processing of animals for food must be done humanely so we harvest quietly under the cover of darkness to reduce stress on the animals. Our poultry processor, Marksbury Farm Market in Lancaster, Kentucky takes it from there where their mission includes the humane and responsible raising and harvesting of animals for food. Our local processors and butcher’s like Marksbury and Faulkner Meats are one part of the puzzle that suggested we take on a lifestyle of raising food, small scale, for local eaters.
The very first time we took our birds to be processed it was an open book. We began the harvest of our 75 birds at 4 am. We left the farm at 5:55, anxious that we would not be on time…and we were late by about 10 minutes. Agreeable people still greeted us once we arrived in Lancaster. The transfer of our birds-by us-into Marksbury crates was a learning experience; we have since invested in real chicken transportation crates which makes the harvesting task much easier on everyone. So ultimately, humane for the long haul is the concern. What we do is not easy, I keep reminding myself it is not for money but rather to raise real food they nature intended; and to control every aspect of the journey. From birth to life to death.
We have about 80 laying hens that include barred Plymouth Rock,Wyandotte,Leghorn, Maran, Brahma, Rhode Island Red, Australorp and Araucana. We let the chickens run free, and trust me chickens like to run free and carry on in all sorts of manner! They love chasing mayflies, eating grass and snagging an earth worm when we first turn the garden in the spring; their eggs are superior because of it. They roam freely about; at dusk they roost in the barn and we are home to shut the door! Our Great Pyrenees and Maremma are excellent protection for our birds. Our friends and family lament that we do not go anywhere in the summer because we have to “close the chickens up” after 9 pm. In the winter closing time is around 6 so invite us for dinner then, please. We supplement their foraged diet with a layer ration free of antibiotics. We sell our eggs direct to the consumer through the Community Supported Agriculture model and at the Belknap Farmers’ Market.