Twin Creeks Farms- Wesley Stephens and Bethany Stephens

  (Council, North Carolina)
Providing layers, natural beef, pork, & fresh chicken
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This year's corn crop

We are finishing up this year's corn crop. We had a good growing season and our corn turned out very well. We cut most of it for silage and saved some to pick as ear corn. The heirloom variety we planted- Boone County White- produced some very tall stalks and large, full ears. The tallest stalk we measured was 14'. We will soon be planting winter annuals and turnips for winter forage. Since last year we have begun raising hogs on a limited scale and have added rabbits to our livestock operation. Currently we only have enough hogs for our own consumption, but we hope to expand next year and offer pork for sale. Our cattle are coming along nicely and we should be ready to sell beef by late fall. If you are looking for layer pullets, live or dressed rabbits, or high-quality beef, please let us know.
 
 

Chickens for Insect Control

Here in southeastern NC, flies on cattle can be a problem in the hot, humid summer. We were reluctant to use pesticides on our cattle, so we found an effective alternative. We free-range roosters with our cattle and they do an excellent job of keeping flies under control. In the late fall, we sell the roosters for meat and we have had excellent feedback on the quality and taste of the meat. The only drawback we have seen is loss due to predators, but our mule Fred does a pretty good job of keeping predators chased out of the pasture. We have about 30 roosters now that will be large enough to safely free-range in a few weeks when it starts warming up, and we will probably add more as we go.
 
 

Our recommendations for feeding laying flocks.

We have had a lot of questions about what our customers should feed their laying hens after they purchase pullets from us, and here are our recommendations. We use a good quality starter feed of approximately 20% protein until chickens reach about 16-18 weeks of age and switch them to a layer ration with oyster shells offered free choice. There are many quality brands available, and the brand you choose will probably depend on which feed dealer is most convenient. Since starter/grower and layer feeds are complete rations which are scientifically formulated to meet the dietary requirements of poultry, we advise against the use of scratch feed, as it effectively "dilutes" the nutrients present in a complete feed. Nutritional deficiencies can manifest themselves in many ways, often with very detrimental results.

Questions have also arisen about the feeding of vegetable scraps, and we have found this to be a good practice. When birds are free-ranged, we recommend offering feed, especially to laying hens. In an area with plenty of natural forage, it is quite possible for chickens  to perform very well without supplemental feed, but if there is any doubt about whether or not your chickens can obtain enough nutrition from nature, feed should be offered. Regular feeding in the same place also keeps chickens roosting there and makes management much easier.

 
 
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