We get some lovely yellow butter off all our cream. I’ve also made several batches of yogurt, which I’m trying to perfect the consistency of.  Next on my to-do list is cheese, then finally… ice cream.  🙂

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Molly came to us a few weeks ago now, back on December 4.  She’s a jersey, just like Ruth, but a little bigger, a lot younger (by 8 years!), and a totally different color.  Her first week with us was a rough transition, same as it was when Ruth came.  We’re still very new to this milking operation, but I’m beginning to see how disruptive change can be for a lactating cow, both the girls’ productions dropped significantly when they moved here, Ruth’s dropped again once the grass went dormant.  Time for new calves to bring us more milk!  We’ll cover that in the next post.  By now Molly has settled in nicely.  She kicked at me every day for the first week she was here (no injuries to report), I’m really hoping we’re past all that.  She gets along great with Ruth, overall seems to have a sweet personality, but we’re still building trust.

We’ve been milking Ruth outside since she came to us in August.  It’s a prettier view than the side of the barn you see here, but the temp was 0 degrees when I went out to milk this morning, so I’ll sacrifice the scenery for the warmth.  Today is a day I’m very grateful for the shelter of the four walls in this barn.  We’re making some minor changes to this simple stanchion as time reveals potential improvements to us; since this picture was taken, we’ve added a feeder that sits up a little higher so the cow’s head can be tied tighter when necessary (ahem, introducing Molly).  We’ve also added a couple rubber hooks to the front of the hip board to keep the milking lines up off the ground. You can’t see from this view, but there’s also a swing board on the left side of Ruth that allows us to pull her over nice and snug to the right hip board so I don’t have to reach so far; you can just see the rope twirled around the post near her right hip, that’s holding the swing board on her left side in place.  We’ve been talking about raising the floor up 8-12 inches so her udder would be more in front of me, but that’s still in the talking phase.  For now, this seems to be meeting our needs.

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Today Ruth came to live at her new home with us. Isn’t she cute? She’s an older girl with plenty of experience (that I lack), and a whole lot of patience (which she’ll be needing while I get through this learning curve).  I’ve been looking forward to a dairy cow for years, I’m so excited to start milking. We do have Martha here, a jersey heifer we bought in early spring, but she miscarried what was supposed to have been a summer calf, which meant we were a lot further away from milking than we had originally intended, a whole pregnancy! Ruth will be filling in that gap nicely. 😊

Breeding ewe for sale – commercial Katahdin hair sheep, 2 years old.

She was born a twin on our farm on 1/24/15. We have both the dam and sire on site. Asking $200. She had a ram lamb in January 11th that I’ll sell with her, $300 for both, or the lamb alone at $150; will castrate lamb upon request. Please contact Nicole Dodson via facebook, or text 248-336-2532, or phone 810-245-2711. Thanks for your interest.

We’ve got 2 lambs available that will be going into slaughter this week.  Price has not changed… $5 per pound hanging weight plus $40 processing.  You can email me at love4acr@yahoo.com if interested.

We are going to try something new for us this year – piecing out cuts of meat for sale instead of offering whole hogs.  Here is the price list that we have come up with, let me know what I can put together for your family!

BONE-IN PORK CHOPS…. $8.00 per pound

RIBS…………………………$9.00 per pound

GROUND SAUSAGE………$5.00 per pound

BACON……………………..$6.00 per pound

PICNIC ROAST…………….$8.00 per pound

BONE-IN HAM……………$7.00 per pound

HAM STEAK………………..$7.50 per pound

BUTT STEAK……………….$6.50 per pound

11-13-15ram3It’s time to say goodbye to our ram and bring in some new blood, he has done an excellent job keeping our girls bred, is in great health, and ready to move onto his next home.  Born in 2011.  Contact me for a possible trade or price at love4acr@yahoo.com, text 248-336-2532, or call 810-245-2711.

Pigs are amazing, truly.  It was early June when we got these piglets, a cross between a heritage breed (Landrace) and a tried and true traditional breed (Yorkshire). They did phenomenal, grew fast, grazed exceptionally well, were easy to handle, it was a good year for pigs here.

They went from this little pile of pigs…june piglets

to this much larger pile of pigs…pig pile october

And now they’re close to their ideal weight for slaughter.  They’ll be going in to be processed soon and will be ready for your freezer after they’re hung, cut, and wrapped.

I’m going to offer up the details of ordering here and if you or anyone you know would like to order a whole hog or half a hog, please let me know.

This is our 5th year of raising hogs here at our home.  We always search for a hardy breed that would not need to be routinely medicated. We aim for a breed that will thrive when pastured, as opposed to the more conventional swine industry practice that chooses hogs that are bred to grow in smaller lots on hog feed alone.The 1 acre pasture we keep them in provides them lots of room to run and play, building lean muscle in the process. The grass and roots they eat increase the omega-3’s in the meat also. This is unique, grass fed pork so it is premium quality and full of flavor. They thrive on the foraging, grazing, and rooting they do while we supplement their diet with antibiotic and hormone free feed that is locally milled.  This meat is leaner and lower in cholesterol. Most hogs raised to be sold at the store will never feel the sun on their backs or taste a blade of grass, so that meat lacks the omega 3’s that we’re missing in our American diet. Eatwild.com is a great site to learn more about the benefits of grassfed meat.

Our pigs also have lots of shade trees to lie under if they choose, and in the fall they have two big apple trees in the pasture that drop yummy treats down to them everyday. Their pen lies adjacent to our garden, so they get lots of garden goodies over the fence as well.

Our animals are processed in a local USDA facility, you can customize your cuts through them directly, and will be notified by them once your meat is ready. We’re charging $2.00 per pound based on hanging weight at the slaughterhouse. Hanging weight is usually around 250# and then your cut and packaged meat will generally total about 70%, give or take. You can plan on a whole hog taking up about 4-6 cu. ft. of freezer space. There is an additional processing fee from our USDA butcher, it’s also based on hanging weight and how much you want smoked, but it’s typically around $120. You can customize your cuts to fit your family’s needs and preferences directly with the butcher. You can take a whole hog or half a hog, most take half to start out with when trying it for the first time. Our family of 8 goes through about 2 -3 hogs in a year. Rule of thumb is you should take the amount your family would eat for about a year. If you can’t find a family to split your hog with, we may have one in mind, just ask.

Thanks for your interest. If you’d like to reserve your hog, please message me through facebook or text me at 248-336-2532.

She was born a twin on 3/27/15.breeding ewe front breeding ewe rear breeding ewe sideShe’s looking at the camera in this picture, her dam in on the far right.  Her twin has some white on her and her grandmother is all white, so she’s likely to throw some white color in her babies as well.  We have both the dam and sire on site.  Asking $200, please contact Nicole Dodson via facebook, or text 248-336-2532, or phone 810-245-2711.  Thanks for your interest.