Spring Hill Farms

  (Newark, Ohio)
Heritage Breed Pastured Pork, Chickens, Grass Fed Beef
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Love Your Farmer? Make a Call Today

PictureLet's make sure we level the playing field for farmers in America. For too  long the big players have danced around the laws to keep the smaller producers at a disadvantage. Here's our chance to stop it.

I just received this email from the Center for Rural Affairs.


Do you appreciate the hard work that our family farmers and ranchers do?

If so, please take a few moments of your day this Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday to call the White House and tell President Obama that you support the proposed Fair Livestock Competition rule [PDF] that helps independent farmers and ranchers get a fair price for their hard work. (It's also called the "GIPSA rule".)

On February 14, 15 and 16 between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST, hundreds will participate in “Love the American Farmer and Rancher” call in day because the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) proposed Fair Livestock Competition rule would greatly benefit livestock producers across the country. However, the meatpackers and processors have pushed back against the rule, spreading false information to protect their own greedy bottom line.

You can help!

  • Call 202-456-1111 to reach the White House Comment Line (you may need to call back if the line is busy)
  • Share the message below (or something similar)
  • "My name is _______ from _________ (city and/or state) calling in support of USDA’s proposed livestock rule. This rule would level the playing field for livestock producers. Livestock producers need this rule finalized to protect them from retaliation and level the playing field. I encourage USDA to finish and implement the GIPSA proposed rule as quickly as possible. Thank you."

For more information on issues related to fair competition in livestock, go to www.cfra.org/competition. Thank you for supporting independent livestock farmers and ranchers!

You can also go to the Food and Water Watch website and use their automated form.

 


 

 

 
 

A Secret Ingredient for your Water Trough

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Clean Water

Water. A crucial element of life. We spend hundreds even thousands of dollars to ensure we have clean pure water for ourselves and our families. It makes up 75% of our bodies.

What about our livestock?  How clean is the water you provide for your animals?

In the past I've been guilty of looking into a water trough and thinking "wow that might need a good cleaning!"



Hogs are constantly washing their noses off in the water and dropping feed into the trough. If left unattended it's not long before you'll have some sort of anaerobic bacteria growing in the water.

This spells trouble for livestock. A good question to ask yourself is "would I drink out of that?"  

One of the major battles in keeping any type of farm animal healthy and growing is managing the "bad bacteria" levels in the animals system.  This is one of the reasons that sub-therapeutic antibiotics are used so heavily in modern agriculture. They help keep the animal healthy and promote growth through the reduced bacterial load in the animal's gut.

Of course antibiotic over-use is fraught with side effects. Two that come to mind are residues in the meat and manure and they wipe out most of the good bacteria with the bad.

I posted about how we introduce good bacteria into our animal's system here.  In this post I only gave a part of our system to manage bacteria...how to introduce new good bacteria.

Let me pause here and say I'm not a veterinarian nor am I a chemist. Please study out these concepts for yourself and make your own conclusions based on your study of the facts.

If all we ever do is kill bad bacteria, as in the case of antibiotics, we end up with a very compromised immune system. So much so that if the antibiotics are stopped there is a huge risk of illness until the good bacteria is re-established. If you are taking antibiotics personally you might want read the previous post.

Aerobic versus Anaerobic

Good bacteria is aerobic. In other words, they flourish in high oxygen environments.

Bad bacteria is anaerobic and cannot survive in the presence of oxygen.

So, when we study the natural order of things we find laws at work to to help us keep our animals healthy. The closer we can mimic nature the better. That's the essence of natural farming.


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Food Grade Peroxide

I was first introduced to the idea of using hydrogen peroxide (H202) for something other than dumping it on a superficial wound more than 20 years ago.

Peroxide is water with an extra oxygen molecule attached to it. H202 - notice the extra 2? Now think back to our aerobic vs anaerobic bacterias.

What if we could foster an environment that encourages the growth of good oxygen loving bacteria and discourage bad oxygen hating bacteria?

Hydrogen peroxide has been touted to cure almost everything known to man. Does it work? I have no idea. I encourage you to study for your self and draw your own conclusions.

Remember the watering trough way back in the beginning of this post? Let's go back there.

When we need to clean and disinfect things around here such as watering and feeding equipment we wash it with a solution of peroxide.

Most folks would stop there. It's clean, now put some fresh water in and go about your business.

We hopefully killed all the bad bacteria in the watering trough but what if we could encourage it to stay dead and encourage the growth of good bacteria if there is any present?

That's where hydrogen peroxide comes in. We use a solution of 35% food grade and add a tiny amount to all our watering troughs on a regular basis. (Roughly 25-30 ppm)

A word of caution here: peroxide in concentrated amounts is caustic and will take the hide off your fingers on anything else you dump/spill it on.

Using peroxide as a water treatment is not new and you can find studies around the net on both poultry and swine.

Here's a link to a site about well water and hydrogen peroxide.

Other sites have information about health benefits from hydrogen peroxide.

Here are some of the claims.

When hydrogen peroxide has been used for cattle, an increase in milk production and an increase in butterfat content have been reported. Farmers have also reported less mastitis in their herds. Hog farmers have reported their hogs using less feed and a shorter growing time (as much as 30 days less). Turkey and chicken growers reported increased weight per bird using less feed. A man in Wisconsin said he has had the best reproduction rate of his buffalo by using hydrogen peroxide in their drinking water.

Some animal research indicates that when hydrogen peroxide is given orally, it combines with iron and small amounts of vitamin C in the stomach and creates hydroxyl radicals. The rule of thumb is adding 8 oz. to 10 oz. of 35% hydrogen peroxide to 1000 gallons water. Chickens and cows have remained healthy by using 8 ounces of 35% Food Grade hydrogen peroxide in 1,000 gallons of drinking water @ 30 ppm. Hydrogen peroxide application into well water, or city water can best be accomplished by a metering device / injector, which keeps the application more constant and thorough, although manual application works just as well. If you do not have an metering device, start out by using 1 teaspoon of 35% hydrogen peroxide in the animal's drinking water. This same ratio is used for all farm animals: cows, pigs, poultry, sheep, goats, rabbits, birds, etc. http://www.drinkh2o2.com

While I believe hydrogen peroxide is working on our farm as another way to keep all our livestock healthy, I can only tell you our experiences here at Spring Hill Farms.

Study it, try it, and make your own judgment.

Until next time....

 

 
 

The development of drug resistance scares the hell out of me," - Kellogg Schwab

Kellogg Schwab, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Water and Health, refers to a typical pig farm manure lagoon that he sampled. "There were 10 million E. coli per liter [of sampled waste]. Ten million. And you have a hundred million liters in some of those pits. So you can have trillions of bacteria present, of which 89 percent are resistant to drugs. That's a massive amount that in a rain event can contaminate the environment." He adds, "This development of drug resistance scares the hell out of me. If we continue on and we lose the ability to fight these microorganisms, a robust, healthy individual has a chance of dying, where before we would be able to prevent that death." Schwab says that if he tried, he could not build a better incubator of resistant pathogens than a factory farm. He, Silbergeld, and others assert that the level of danger has yet to be widely acknowledged. Says Schwab, "It's not appreciated until it's your mother, or your son, or you trying to fight off an infection that will not go away because the last mechanism to fight it has been usurped by someone putting it into a pig or a chicken."

 

Read the full article here

 
 

Most Antibiotics in the US Used for Farm Animals

As much as 70 percent of all antibiotics sold in the U. S. are fed to chickens, cattle and hogs — not to treat disease but to make them grow faster. This increases profit margins for livestock producers, but it puts YOUR health at risk.

 

Read the article here

 
 
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