Unlocked for 72 hours: NEW FILM, Watch Free!

Exciting news …

… I’ve just learned the Marjory Wildcraft is offering a FREE 72-Hour Screening of her latest documentary film:

“Raising Meat Chickens”

From Tuesday through Thursday next week.

(That’s November 14-16th, 2017)

Just sign up to watch here, and you’ll be emailed access as soon as it’s available:

http://www.meatchickens.com

If you enjoy eating chicken, but you’re disturbed by the conditions that factory farm chickens must endure in their short lives…

… You won’t want to miss this.

“Raising Meat Chickens” is the 72-minute educational documentary that follows Marjory through her eight-week journey to raise a flock of meat chickens, from egg to table.

Showing how she raises her own organic, free-range chickens…

Giving them a good life.

Controlling their environment to ensure they’re raised free of antibiotics and growth hormones.

And then processing them humanely.

It’s perfect for anyone “on the fence” about raising chickens for meat.

You’ll get an excellent 50,000-foot view of the entire process…

(This film is as funny as it is educational.)

… And then Marjory makes sure you have all the “nuts & bolts” information you need to try it yourself, if you’re interested.

Register here to watch the FREE 72-Hour Screening:

http://www.meatchickens.com

Personally, I think this film is a great opportunity for all of us to reconnect with where our food comes from.

I hope you enjoy it!

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A Bearded Farm Journal – Day 5

It’s Thursday November 2nd and it has been an eventful week. We have been  busy trying to get ready for fall. The garden was harvested for the last time. It was a great time as we all pitched in to help but also a little sad knowing that harvest time has come to an end.

The eventful week I mentioned started about 3 a.m. Monday morning when we woke up to an awful smell. I’m not talking “babies got a poopie” here. I’m talking about face-plant in the pillow and try to breathe without gagging. You guessed it. – a skunk had managed to get under the house and turn our nice, warm home into its home. And boy was he was reeking! Even better, since there was no way to get him out until dark without making matters worse, we just had to put up with the smell all day. It was a wonderful time.

Finally, when the sun started going down and we had come to a stopping point on harvest and garden clean up, we herded the kids inside and as soon as we walked in the door that pungent smell hit us again. It was a great reminder that my day was not over. So, I let Kassy and kids get washed up while I went back out to seal up any holes that a skunk could get in or out of – except one. I wanted his only way out to lead right into a trap.

And, since skunks are nocturnal, I knew it was only a matter of time until he would make his way out to start scavenging for the night. So, just outside the hole, I set up a live trap baited with candy. I covered it with a tarp so I could approach it and not get sprayed once the unwitting skunk followed the goodie trail into the waiting cage. Then, with it all set up, I proceeded inside to join the family for dinner. Did I mention the less-than-deliciously thick odor permeating the entire house? It was motivating. So motivating I went back outside to add a little extra bait just to make sure that a greedy skunk would find his way into the trap.

It was then as I walked out the door I caught the slight movement and realized that God had blessed our efforts. The skunk was caught!  Praise God! With the tarp covering the cage I was able to pick up the cage and move the skunk without him seeing me which would likely cause him to spray. Slowly and carefully I relocated him to his final destination and we began airing out the house. Fortunately the weather is warming up for a bit.

Tuesday evening we let the kids dress up and took them to a local church’s Fall Harvest Celebration. We took the time to make sure the kids new it was Reformation Day and what happened in 1517. You can follow the link to get the full information but it is a very important date in history and we should all know about it. The kids had a great time as they got candy and hotdogs which are typically not on our approved food choices. Plus, they had games and a hay ride.

Today we continued cleaning up the garden area. We got all the t-posts/trellises and tomato cages put up into the barn to store over winter. After getting that out of the way, we got the tractor out to spread some wood chips and also to try and get rid of a couple stumps. We have been slowly working on them the past few years as it was all that’s left from an old overgrown fence line. The stumps are small but connected with old fence which makes them difficult. Today Maryam and I were successful. The stumps are gone and now we can truly begin the backyard play/entertainment area for the family we have been talking about.

Well, till next time. Get in the Dirt & Get Growing!!!

 

Kyle – a bearded farmer

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A Bearded Farm Journal – Day 4

Today is Saturday October 28th and I have a confession this week. I have not been the super farmer that I want to be. The past couple days I have not milked and just let Poppy have it all. Poppy has been happy. In the theme of confession, I was suppose to write this post on Thursday but as we can see that has not happened. On positive note the last time I milked, I got a full ½ gallon and was able to bring it in to drink instead of Penelope getting it and it tasted good. Penelope was a little disappointed. I believe that I could have got more milk but I ran out of time. Time, my arch nemesis.

Daisy and Poppy are getting use to the routine of coming up to the barn stall in the evening by themselves. I have the electric fence set up so they are no longer being staked out which is good because we don’t have to worry about Poppy getting tangled up. When we get the perimeter fence fixed where they are fully contained no matter where they are on the farm I would like to stake Daisy and just let the calve explore(because the calf would go too far from momma and he would be contained to stay on farm) and that way we could more easily use daisy as a mower around the house and barn. Anyways back to the subject of routine, when I go out in the evening with a arm full of hay Daisy and Poppy see me and begin walking in from the pasture to meet me at the stall. I then hook momma up near the hay and take Poppy to the other side of the stall and hook him up. We have the stall divided in two by a cattle panel so Poppy can’t nurse at night that way we can milk in the morning.

It has been crazy and busy but we are so blessed. We have a tree company that has brought us two loads of wood chips and I got them to dump them in our orchard area so it will be easier to spread. I got them spread out so we have about a quarter of our orchard  covered. We are doing a really deep much to kill off the grass. The goal is to get about 12 inches deep. We also plan to cover a portion of the garden area as well. All in hopes to get ready for spring. The thing I have learned farming is that you are always preparing for the next season. I’m not great at it but I/we are getting better and striving to do better each season.

Well till next time. Get in the Dirt & Get Growing!!!

Kyle – a bearded farmer

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A Bearded Farm Journal – Day 3

Today is Sunday October 22nd and it was the first day that we decided to milk Daisy. The night before we re-watched the videos on how to hand milk a cow and got our make shift supplies together. A stainless steel pot since we haven’t got our milk pail yet, a wash rag to clean the udders, and a bucket to sit on. I was ready to go.  It was going well especially since this was my first time milking ever. We had put a piece of cattle panel to separate the stall in half so Daisy could see Poppy but he could not nurse. It worked out great. It was nice and easy to go get Daisy and leave Poppy still in the stall. I took Daisy around the corner to try and milk. Gave her a bucket of hay with some minerals to keep her busy while I tried to milk.

I had everything set up and seemed to be going great. Started by wiping the udders down which went smooth then squeezed a couple squirt from each teat to make sure there was no dirt clogged in there. It was time to milk. (took me a little longer than planned to get started milking. I put my pot down and began to milk. It started okay but by this time Poppy started calling out for momma and that made Daisy a little antsy. She started moving and kicked up dirt into the bucket. I had to pull her back into place, calm her down and start again. It went on back and forth for a little bit. I made sure to end the milking process on a good note with a steady milking and her standing still. I finished and told her good job and gave her a little rub and scratch after moving the milk to a safe distance. I then took her out to the pasture and brought poppy out with here as well. I could tell Poppy was definitely not use to this arrangement as he went straight to nursing like crazy(he must have been in the routine of playing during the day and nursing at night) because he normally didn’t do that.

All in all it was a good and valuable lesson learned for me and Daisy. The things we both learned was the new routine of being milked in the morning and that I needed to pick a better spot out of ear shot of Poppy. I learned that I needed to choose a place with a solid floor and wall. The floor so there would be less chance of dirt getting in the milk and the wall so I can press against Daisy into the wall and it will come her down. I didn’t get this entry wrote til after day 2 of the milking experience so I will tell you a little about the new area I chose. On day 2, I chose to use our processing area where we normally process our chickens. The reason for this is that it has a solid floor, roof, and now walls but a deep freezer that acted like a good wall. I set up a feeder on one side of the freezer so that I would bring Daisy’s head to it putting her side against the freezer. I used a rope to pull around from the front to her back end so that it would act as a squeeze and would resemble the milking station she was use too. It worked a lot better than day 1. She stood still except for one time she moved but with the rope and wall I was able to give a little squeeze and she stood still. We are both learning each other’s expectations. I have included a little video of the results of day 1 & 2 for your viewing pleasure. You will see that we have made progress. Penelope was very happy, as she got day 1 & 2’s milk.

Well till next time. Get in the Dirt & Get Growing!!!

Kyle – a bearded farmer

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Full of Blessings

“Children are a blessing from God…” I am reminded of this almost everytime I go out with all five of my children.

“Oh wow! You have your hands full…” This I am told every time I take out five children with me.

This evening I am reminded of both statements. Just this Monday, we brought home our newest member to our farm – Daisy & her baby Poppy. Daisy is going to be our milk cow. We are all very excited about this, but are also very unsure of what we are doing, so it is a little worrying for me.

Since Daisy & Poppy were going to a new farm & new surroundings we thought it best to stall them both in our barn. And it really has helped to keep them both calm and more accepting of this new change.

However since the barn stall is fairly small, we decided to let Daisy out to graze the field’s grass for a few hours. She was relatively easy moving to the field, just very strong (causing my nine year old to be drug all over the field until I was able to catch her.) Poppy, well he was not as thrilled about going into the field, especially on a lead line. But, we managed to get them both out and Daisy enjoyed her “salad” while Poppy tried his best to get loose of his line.

That evening putting them back up was relatively easy, just took some patient and waiting on Daisey to mosey back “home.

Now, let’s talk about today’s rotation…

Again, the kids helped me get Daisy and Poppy out, but this time it went so smooth. I walked in, hooked Daisy up and Elijah opened the gate and out we went… all the while Poppy is crouched in the back corner of the stall.

We hooked up Daisy to a different area and she goes to work eating her fill. All the while Poppy is bawling from the stall to his Momma who is contently eating her grass.

So, we go back to the stall and Elijah opens the gate for me and I go in with the dreaded “lead line.” ( I am certain he now recognizes what this means and is not thrilled about being “hooked”) And then Poppy and I begin our dance around the stall. I do eventually manage to hook him, all the while he is pulling against me with all his strength. But, as soon as I get close, Elijah opens the gate and Daisy calls to him and we are off. The tables have now turned and he is dragging me. Once he finds Momma he settles and I hook him to her. Easy-peasey.

Next, we shovel in saw dust over their night’s messes — which luckily is now mostly been smashed by my shoes. And we refill her hay feeder, with the kids helping pull hay from our round bales at the pole barn.

Then they stay, grazing the field for several hours while we go finish our other chores consisting of picking up acorns for our sow, Penelope and enjoying pony rides courtesy of Sugar our pony.

However, by six o’clock this Momma is getting pretty low on energy and we decide it’s time to put Daisy and Poppy up for the evening and bed them down. Already dreading this task, I start planning a strategy on the walk over there. Unfortunately, sometimes all the planning in the world cannot prepare you for the unexpected.

Upon arriving, it is discovered that cow poop is everywhere in the area…. Guessing they are really enjoying all that nice, green grass. So, I turn to all the kids and repeat several times… “whatch where you step, please do not step in cow poop.”

And as surely as I had finished telling them, Nehemiah is the first to plant his flip-flop right in Daisy’s fresh pile. Everybody in unison….”eeeewwww”. Flash forward to less than thirty seconds later, Elijah plants his flip-flop foot in a huge, heaping pile.

So, I have now again reminded everyone to wear their boots or tennis shoes around the animals from now on and “what where you step”. Only for me to then turn around to watch Abigail plant her jelly shoe into one of Poppy’s piles of manure. At this point, I have now turned into a broken record and again repeat the infamous words… “WATCH WHERE YOU STEP”. No sooner that I finish “step” Noah has landed his tennis shoe into the same pile as Elijah and while trying to “get it off” smears the warm, brown mush all over my calf and covers my tennis shoes with it. I am now, barely holding onto my religion and send Noah, Abigail and Nehemiah to wash their feet at the water hose.

The only reason I believe the cows went so willingly and peacefully is because they could feel hold tightly I was holding the lines and were afraid for their lives. … because it was far too easy to put them back “home” tonight.

Which now brings me to the statement… “Wow! You have your hands full.” Yes, people I surely do, as a matter of fact, I need at least three more hands to “hold” all of them.

But, “children are a blessing”…more than you know, because without my kids I could not have done anything tonight. Nehemiah playing with Maryam in the wagon while I caught Poppy helped me tremendously and without him I could not have caught him. And if Elijah was not there to help open & close the gate for me, both the cows would have been running around in a huge field and it would have taken us hours to catch them. And Abigail helping keep Noah at bay so he was not playing near the cows, keeping both the cows calm and less tense while we moved them.

So you see both these statements are so very true… my hands are full, but my heart is even fuller.

Kassy – Homesteading Momma

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