Spring Hill Farms

  (Newark, Ohio)
Heritage Breed Pastured Pork, Chickens, Grass Fed Beef
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Are You My Mother?

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Are You My Mother?

On my rounds the other morning I glanced in one of the stalls and had to rub my eyes and look again!

There perched on top a baby Tamworth pig was one of our 4 day old Freedom Ranger chicks.

How on earth it got all the way from the brooder to the front of the barn where some of our gilts are with their babies is a mystery to me.


I wanted so bad to get the picture a bit later of the baby chick sitting on mommas side while the pigs nursed. But by the time I got the camera it had hopped off.


Just another day here at Spring Hill Farms!

Until next time...

 PS- To learn more about our pastured poultry go here 


 

 
 

Building a Temporary Brooder

Randy and I will building a temporary brooder today. The barn we had a brooder set up in burned down last Spring.

We have a batch of Freedom Ranger chicks coming in eight days so I though we better find somewhere to put them!

I didn't want to get birds this early but since we are having trouble keeping up with the demand I decided to get going as soon as possible.

The Freedom Ranger birds are part of the Label Rouge program from France.

We were looking for a bird that has a more aggressive nature to forage than the standard Cornish Cross birds that many folks use for pastured poultry.

The Freedom Ranger birds fit the bill! The meat is also excellent. They take a couple more weeks to grow out than Cornish Cross but as with any animal that matures slower, they are flavorful!

These birds remind you of old breed birds because they are! They are several different colors and are noticeably more active than Cornish Cross.

We are running them in poultry netting instead of movable pens or chicken tractors as some people call them.

You can see our philosophy on pastured poultry here.

I'll be sure to post more on these birds through the growing season. 

 Well I'm off to get started!

 

 Until next time...

 


 
 

Chicks on the Way

I ordered our first batch of chicks Friday morning. We have pretty much quit using Cornish Cross birds and went with birds from the Label Rouge program.

We have always had good luck with the Cornish, but I've never been happy with the amount of foraging they do.

By genetic nature they are lazy birds. They don't scratch like a heritage breed bird does either. 

I have not ran them in poultry netting only movable pens because they don't seem like they would go very far in a open pen type arrangement.

All of the stock we select at our farm is based heavily on their nature to forage on grass.

That was why I went with Tamworth pigs. Then worked with them through selection to eliminate as much grain as possible and still get a nice finish.

Around here it's eat lots of grass or you're off to another farm or the processor.

Hopefully when these birds are ready to come out of the brooder we can get them on pasture, but who knows with two feet of snow on the ground now!

Guess we'll have to wait and see!

 

Until next time...

 

 


 
 

New Building Framed Up

Our new building is framed up and ready for metal. We'll use this to farrow pigs in the winter and brood chicks when pigs are out on pasture.

 

I try to plan buildings for multiple use. For the first several years the only building we had was a yard barn. As we have grown we have put up some barns for storage and shelter. The pigs are normally in huts that we keep straw in for warmth.

 Tamworth pigs are known for there ability to with stand cold temps but they still need something to protect then from the wind and wetness of Winter and Spring.

 

I'll put the sows in this about a week or so before they pig so they can get used to it and prepare for the little ones.

 

New Building
 

 Here's a shot of the pole building we put up last year. I hope to use it for farm tours etc.

 

Pole Building

Well just a peek at what we're doing.

 

Until next time....

 
 
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