Spring Hill Farms

  (Newark, Ohio)
Heritage Breed Pastured Pork, Chickens, Grass Fed Beef
[ Member listing ]

The USDA - Antibiotics and Chicken

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Bacterial Chicken!
Poultry are heavy consumers of antibiotics in mainstream agriculture. The establishment has assured us for years that it is not really a health hazard. The reside left in the chickens is harmless. Yea, right.

So I wonder why The United States Department of Agriculture has a team of scientist working on introducing what they call "competitive exclusion cultures." They introduced these cultures of 29 different bacterial species into farm raised chickens as part of their diet and then exposed them to salmonella. They found that chickens exposed to the bacterial culture had 99 percent less salmonella colonization than unexposed chickens according to Discover Magazine, March 2011.

Interesting! I blogged on this very topic a while back. I'd love to think the USDA scientist read my blog but the truth is, as always, public outcry over several studies that have been done in the last several years have consumers getting worried about antibiotic residue in their food.

That coupled with the deluge of antibiotic resistant bacterias that are surfacing (which is what prompted the studies no doubt) not only in livestock but humans as well have scientist worried.

So many consumers have been opting out of the antibiotic laced factory farmed chicken and buying from a small farm that doesn't dose their chickens with medicated feed.

But don't be fooled. The USDA is trying to figure out a new way to leave chickens in huge confinement barns and not have to dose them with antibiotics. Granted it is better to have confinement poultry that is antibiotic free than what is available now.

I wonder if they can come up with something besides Roxarsone (an organic version of arsenic) as a growth promoter? I seem to do fine without putting it in my chicken feed.

To me this whole thing is just proof that you can't rely on regulations and inspectors to make sure your food is healthy and safe.

Buy from a local farm. Visit the farmer and ask questions. A good local farmer has no secrets about what they feed their stock and how it's raised.

At Spring Hill Farms I have been growing good bacteria for our animals to ingest for a long time. Maybe that's one reason why I never have a need for a veterinarian.

Until next time...


 

 
 

Poison-Free Poultry: Why Arsenic Doesn't Belong in Feed

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Snow Bird!
I have been talking about how unhealthy chicken is from the conventional store forever it seems like. Just in case your not convinced, here is yet another report on just how bad it is.

Spring Hill Farms pastured poultry is not fed roxarsone or any other type of growth promoter, or disease killing poison.

  U.S. poultry farmers have used drugs containing arsenic, a known poison, to control the common disease coccidiosis for decades. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the arsenic-based drug roxarsone as a feed additive in 1944. The chicken industry discovered that roxarsone promoted growth, increased feed efficiency (pounds of chicken produced from each pound of feed), and improved flesh pigmentation as well. Between 1995 and 2000, 70 percent of broiler chicken producers used roxarsone feed additives. [more]

 

 
 

How to Make a Chicken Catcher

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Buckeye Rooster
While catching chickens to be processed this last time my brother and I were having an ongoing discussion about who could make the best chicken catcher.

We laughed about how as kids we would make one and then snag every hen in the barnyard a couple times each. And if you caught the rooster it was a huge deal. (we had educated him after just a few times of catching him)

This was way before the internet, video games, and a million channels on TV.

It brought back the time a few years ago when the boys were getting old enough to help, which means they could walk a few steps without falling down, and I declared we needed to catch all the broilers in the next few days to butcher.

They ask "how we gonna ketch em'?"

I'll make a chicken catcher I exclaimed. Of course they were on point then! Especially my youngest as he wants to know how to make everything or at least "see how it works."

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Home Made Chicken Catcher
So we went on the hunt for the materials which consist of a piece of number 9 wire and a pair of pliers. I explained how as kids we would rob a wire coat hanger from the closet (without mom seeing us of course) and use it to make the catcher. This sparked a whole new line of questions about how could you bend a hanger? So I explained how clothes hangers used to be metal wire not the plastic ones you see now.


That was almost as weird to them as making a chicken catcher.

So with both of them following along behind I grabbed a pair of pliers and cut a piece of #9 wire about three feet long or so.

I then bend a U shape in the end. I then send the boys after a stick about the size of a chickens leg or a bit bigger and place it inside the U making sure it is against the bottom of the U shape.

Taking the pliers I squeeze the U almost shut up against the stick which leaves a long tail.

I then make a few fine adjustments based on years of making chicken catchers and then promptly losing them after one day of use. (I should find three with the mower this Spring)

I flip the now finely tuned instrument around and bend a handle on the other end and say there we go!

The boys both look at the wire and then look at me and say, "how do you catch a chicken with that."

So off we go to demonstrate. I open the movable pen, reach in with the wire, and before they know what has happened I'm pulling a bird to me by the leg...and my youngest is screaming "let me try!"

And so it goes on the farm. I am always amazed at what I learned as a kid on the farm. Some things I have completely forgotten until one day I'm doing something and think,  "I know what I need! I need to make a.........."

Until next time!

 

 
 

What's in your Chicken?

What's in chicken? 

In my opinion one of the worst meats you can buy in the grocery these days is chicken. It is one of the most adulterated meats in the store!

 Laced with residues and other products deliberately added to enhance flavor, you would greatly enhance your over-all health by switching to local, small farm, pastured poultry

Pastured poultry is actually going to help you enhance your health vs tax your immune system with toxins you need to rid your body of.

 Check out this great video by Dr Oz on what's really going into your store bought, industrially raised chicken.

 

Watch the video here.

 

 
 

Pastured Freedom Rangers and Carcass Weight

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Freedom Ranger 5 1/2 lbs 68 days
We just processed a batch of Freedom Ranger Broilers we ran on pasture. Actually in movable cages on pasture.

This was the last batch of the year and we were pushing it to have birds on grass the last day of November.

These birds have impressed me ever since we decided to go with them instead of the industry standard Cornish Cross birds.

Compared to Cornish they are aggressive foragers. More like old time chickens than the souped up meat birds of today. We tried for several years to get something besides the latest and greatest meat bird genetics that produce a bird ready to slaughter in 45-50 days.

Finally the Freedom Ranger came onto the scene in the last couple of years.

Although our customers had always been happy with the standard meat bird, I wanted something more suited to sustainable farming and outdoor operations.

Exceptional taste was also something I always strive for and I knew that old heritage breed birds have a flavor that blows away the Cornish type meat birds.

The catch to using old meat bird type chickens is they grow extremely slow. The carcass is so far from what most people are used to in a chicken that it's very easy to turn customers off regardless of how great they taste. Mainly since the breast on these birds are not "double breasted."

The Freedom Ranger broiler answers all these problems!

They are a double breasted bird that grows out in about 70 days. The taste? Out of this world when raised on pasture.

PictureThe bird pictured here weighed 5 pounds 12 ounces in 68 days. We had some break the 6 lb mark! This was in late September through the end of November. We had quite a bit of temps down in the 30's at night and 50's through the day. Several times we had storms with strong winds and gusty winds for a day or two after.

Not the perfect weather I always hope for, but these birds still did quite well.

The carcass is longer than the usual grocery store chicken or Cornish type bird but every bit as meaty. Since they forage so aggressively they've got to be loaded with Omega 3's.

If you are looking for good chicken that forages for grass, bugs and worms like the old time chickens of yesteryear, look no further than Freedom Rangers at Spring Hill Farms.

 

 
 

The Best Eggs For you and Your Family, Come From the Pasture

Time and time again science proves nature is the best provider of food. Human cleverness, as Joel Salatin calls it,can never quite get all the pieces of the puzzle together.

 

Here's a great video showing the nutritional profile of pastured eggs vs industrial agriculture eggs.

 

See it Here

 
 

Why you don't want to buy organic eggs from the grocery store

Dr Mercola let's the cat out of the bag on organic eggs at the grocery..

 

Read it here

 
 
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