Kyle Farms All Natural Lamb

  (Avon, New York)
A Day in the Life of an All Natural Lamb
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Rochester Public Market

Took our delicious lamb sausage to the Rochester Public Market yesterday and it was a huge success!

 

We sold out by 11am!  Thank you sooo much to everyone who stopped by our table yesterday and bought our delicious sausage!  

The everyone at the Rochester Public Market was great!  Very welcoming and kind (even the producer who showed up late and I'd been assigned his regular spot!) 

 A very nice woman from the Rochester Public Market stopped by and took pictures and notes for an article for their website, and we had lots of interest in our farm, our sausage, and also in potentially offering cuts of lamb.

 

I will be sure to let everyone know when we have more sausage available (hopefully in a couple weeks). 

 
 

Kyle Farms All Natural Lamb is Back!

Kyle Farms All Natural Lamb is Back for 2012!

After a hiatus in our local and individual lamb sales for 2011, we've decided to try a new style of lamb sales, and offer USDA inspected ground lamb for sale in 1lb increments!

 

Ground lamb is delicious as burgers, tacos, and chili for those cold winter days!  Also perfect for many greek style dishes!

We're also taking votes for the first sausage flavor we should offer for sale in February/March!

We will be offering pick up and cold weather shipping options starting in January!

Taking orders now for Kyle Farms All Natural Ground Lamb to be ready to go after Martin Luther King, Jr Day.

 

www.kylefarmsnys.com

 
 

Lamb Recipes Using Kyle Farms All Natural Lamb

A local chef purchased a half lamb share from us this spring and we're very excited because not only is she a personal chef in the area, but she has a food blog!  AND she's cooking with Kyle Farms All Natural Lamb and posting her recipes online!

 

Her website is forgoodnesstaste.wordpress.com

 

Also we're now taking orders for our fall lamb shares!  (the ewes are due to start lambing Aug 1st)  Http://www.kylefarmsnys.com

 
 

Escapee Lambs!

So I went driving yesterday on a grey Saturday, and went to see our lambs out on pasture with their mothers. We have two large pastures full of ewes and lambs right now, one side older lambs that have been processed (tail docked/castrated/ear notched) and one side baby lambs that haven't been handled yet.  Well as I may have mentioned before our pastures all have wooden hurdle jumps in the fence lines for access by the Genesee Valley Hunt Club.  Apparently our ewes have discovered the joy of bounding over the hurdles as well, and of course lambs are amazing escape artists themselves.  I managed to capture some pictures of a couple escapee lambs enjoying their freedom as I was driving around.  There is almost no purpose in trying to replace the lambs in the pastures as it ends up being a race up and down the fenceline, stressing the lambs as you go, only for them to bound right out again as soon as you leave. 

 

 

Caught red handed

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Kyle Farms in the News!

Local herders see sheep industry comeback

Shearing is an annual process usually done in the spring. Last week, from Monday to Saturday, about 2,300 sheep were being sheared in a five stand shed on Nations Road.

Matt Kyle of Kyle Farms learned the art of shearing during a three month stay in New Zealand five years ago. It’s an uncommon skill and Matt had to go to Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and even Wales to seek out the crew which was assisting him last week.

Shears consist of a hand piece, comb and cutter. During intensive shearing, cutters are swiftly dulled and need replacement every 15 minutes. A shearer will go through eight combs and 32 cutters a day. Evenings after shearing are spent sharpening.

Devastated by cheap imports during the past two decades, the market for wool in the United States hit rock bottom ten years ago, but is now beginning to make a resurgence.

“There are markets out there,” Kyle reveals. “We sell our wool to Mid State Wool Growers of Ohio.” Much of the purchased wool is exported for carpet production.

The sheep are being pastured at Seven Nations Farm in Geneseo belong to Kyle Farms, a partnership of Matt, his brother DJ and cousin Nate. Flock manager is Joe Enenheiser. Seven Nations Farms has a legacy of sheep raising, having hosted populations equivalent in number to the Kyle flock throughout many decades of the farm’s almost 200 year history.

Matt’s personal involvement with sheep dates back to a 4-H project of his youth, when his parents, David and Jeanne Kyle, were keeping about 200 ewes.

Kyle Farms is based in the Rush-Geneseo-Avon area. More lucrative than wool is the market for meat. The business goal is to produce a quality all natural lamb for the consumers of western New York.

“The sheep industry on the east coast has started to look a lot brighter,” Matt observes. “Lamb meat is healthy for you, and I think you are going to start seeing it a lot more in the grocery store.”

Kyle Farms lamb is guaranteed to have been raised on pasture and mother’s milk, has no growth stimulants or artificial hormones, and is fed a 100 percent vegetarian diet from birth to harvest.

Matt, his brother and his cousin hope to revive this part of the livestock industry which at one time was a mainstay of the upstate New York agricultural economy. He describes the partnership as “three young individuals wet behind the ears, trying to build a sustainable business.”

Kyle Farms was founded by Matt and DJ’s parents David and Jeanne Kyle over 35 years ago. Upon the death of David Kyle, the flock was downsized. After attending Cornell University and spending time in New Zealand, Matt began to re-grow the flock and seek out varied marketing opportunities.

The full Kyle Farms family is today the recently married Matt and Shannon Kyle, DJ and his wife Alexis, and Nate and his wife Kelly.

 

Livingston County News

 
 

Shearing Pictures!

The first set of shearing pictures have come through!

 

Unfortunately this first set doesn't have any of our new shearing shed, but reports from the shearers and wool handlers give it glowing reviews!  Supposedly made a huge difference in shearer comfort/ease of shearing and was much easier on the sheep then previous temporary shearing sheds.

 

So with out further ado, Shearing 2010 at Kyle Farms!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please excuse the quality as they've all been shrunk down prior to my receiving them.  

 

Our two shearers are Aaron Loux of Aaron's Shearing Service (gentleman in the green shirt in the background), and a fellow shearer Alfie, who came over from Wales to help Aaron with shearing season (gentleman in the foreground of the pictures).

 

Information on Aaron's Shearing Service can be found at www.aaronshearing.com 

 
 

Spring is a time for decisions!

Well theres no doubting its spring at Kyle Farms!

 

Lots of new things going on here:

 

All the early spring lambs have been weaned and the ewes are about ready to go back out to green grass.

Since theres a lull in lambing until mid-May, everyone has been working on building a shearing shed for shearing the flock.  In previous years we have set up shearing in a local farmer's barn with temporary raceways, or outside on pasture using our movable chute and corral system.  Both of these depend on a lot of outside factors (barn availability, and the weather!)

So this year, two old run in shed barns that happen to be perfectly situated on the corner of two big pastures with a good sized fenced barn yard attached are being turned into a shearing shed for 2-3 shearers to work in.  

Shearing is slated to begin sometime in the next week, as soon as the new shed is completed.  With ewes lambing throughout the year, and marketing groups of lambs different times throughout the year, we end up shearing many times throughout the year to decrease the stress on young or pregnant animals, or to keep lambs clean before turning out in the early spring/late fall when it gets a bit muddy or the burdock gets bad.  

This equals multiple shearers, depending on the time of year as many of our shearers tend to migrate to other parts of the country or world to meet the seasons.

We're happy to use two main shearers, Tom Horton from Pennsylvania,  and Aaron Loux from Massachusetts (www.aaronshearing.com)

This year Aaron has a gentleman from Wales shearing with him, and they will be staying at Kyle Farms for the next month while shearing our flock and other flocks in Western NY.  

I'll keep you all updated with pictures of the new Shearing Shed and of the flock being shorn! 

 
 

About Me - The Webmaster

After a lovely article in the Democrat and Chronicle about local sources of food and CSA's listing Kyle Farms and our contact info, we've gotten may comments asking who in the world does the contact phone number belong to?

So introducing......your contact with Kyle Farms....ME! :-)

I am a veterinary student at Virginia Tech.  I've worked for Kyle Farms since 2008, starting out managing a group of purchased ewes, with a lambing period spread out over 4 months.  We've had a small word of mouth all natural lamb program for many years, but hadn't officially raised large groups of lambs for this program until the start of our website in September 2008.

I currently maintain our website, all marketing, and advertising of Kyle Farms All Natural Lamb.

I also spend most of my breaks up in NY, working with the sheep and doing odd jobs around the farm.

 

On to the pictures!

I recently spent my spring break on the farm, and while spring has not quite sprung (I did see bulbs peeking their heads up), its hard to pass up the chance to take pictures of lambs out on pasture.

  

And some baby lambs almost ready for Easter and green spring pastures!

 Some very curious ram lambs in the creep area with their friends.  We've been providing high quality hay in a separate creep area, to allow us to begin to dry the ewes off with some lower quality forages.

 
 

Poll: Lamb Sausage or Ground Lamb?

A poll for all the Local Harvest blog readers!  We're considering expanding our all natural lamb sales to local stores (starting with farm markets) and are trying to decide between marketing lamb sausage or ground lamb as our first retail product.  Our hope is not to supplant our all natural lamb CSA program but to offer a product that will encourage local consumers to try our lamb and increase interest in our whole and half lamb shares market.  

 

So my question to you'all as consumers, locavores, local harvest officianadoes, etc is:

If you saw a display of Local All Natural Lamb from a family farm at a local market, would you be more likely to buy Ground Lamb or Lamb Sausage ?  

 

I'd really appreciate any replies whether as comments or messages or e-mails, as I'd really like to make this work but polling the consumer is the first step. 

 

Thanks,

Anne

www.kylefarmsnys.com

kylefarmsnys@yahoo.com 

 
 

Winter Slow Down....or not?

Well, its a new year, 2010, and a nice cold January to boot.  Here at Kyle Farms, January brings snow, cold, wind, lambs!  As of today lambing has started with a trickle.  We've had 4 lambs born so far, and all singles :-(  Hopefully things will start to pick up in the next couple of weeks.  On the plus side, the new-ish barn has been completed and all the fall ewe lambs and their guard dog puppy companions have been moved in!  This made room for more late pregnant ewes to be moved off of pasture yesterday and into the barn.  Lambing season should be condensed this year as we paid very close attention to when ALL the rams came out.  It seems like after every breeding season when we're checking body condition on the early bred ewes, someone finds a ram who managed to avoid being removed with the rest of the boys.  Hopefully lambing season will be a condensed 40-50days this season.  

Along with the pregnant ewes who are slowly getting moved into the barn as they're 2-3wks from lambing, all of the spring ewe lambs, and all of the ewes that lambed in the fall are out on pasture.  This means the warmest job on the farm these days is spending 5 hours in the tractor feeding the pastures. Last year we invested in a bale spreader that will unwind round bales on pasture, making feeding ewes in the snow much easier than unrolling bales by hand.  Also out on pasture are a large group of lambs that came this fall to be fed out on our extra pastures as the farm they're from doesn't have any winter pastures.  This means a lot of hay is fed every other day, rain, snow or wind.  

 

As you can see in the picture we're trying electronet fencing this year to utilize some old pastures without reliable fencing.  Its working great!  The ewes really respect the fence (always stay about 2ft away) and are chewing down some pastures that haven't been used in 10 years.   

 

 
 

SNOW DAY!

Snow Day! (well for some, unfortunately for us the sheep don't take a snow day)

 The snow has been coming down in Western NY today!

 

 

View of the barn from the round bale storage! at 10AM this morning!

 

 

We have taken advantage of the winter months coming in to start catching up on all the little projects that have been on our list.  The guys have been working on transforming an old granary into a barn to raise weaned lambs.  Hopefully we'll have pictures once the project is finished!

Also on the list was getting this year's guard dog puppies spayed!  We are lucky to have a great mature pair of Pyrenees/Anatolian Shepherd guard dogs, who gave us three female pups this summer, and with lots of intact dogs on the farm we decided it was best to get them spayed before they go out to pastures with the flock this spring.  So add that to the list for this winter!

Along the same lines, they finally got the grain bins put up alongside the barns, so we can store all the corn for the barn lambing ewes and winter pasture supplementation in pest proof, sealed storage, with easy access. :-)

 So everyone celebrate the joys of winter snow! and winter projects! 

 
 

Think Ahead! Spring Lamb Now Available in our Local Harvest Store

We're very excited to announce that we are now taking orders for our spring lambs!  They are available through our Local Harvest store and on our website www.kylefarmsnys.com.  Spring lamb is ideal for holidays and summer grilling! 
 
 

Last Chance for Fall Lamb Orders

This week will be the last week to order a whole or half share of Kyle Farms all natural lamb.  We will be processing our lambs for November 14th, and need to make sure that we will have enough all naturally raised lambs to fill our orders.  The lambs are growing really well and coming along quite nicely.  www.kylefarmsnys.com

Their mother's out on one of our larger pastures are demonstrating how good they are at finding fence defects for us.  One side of the pasture is bordered by a stream and the ewes find ways under the fence alongside the stream and wander into which ever other pasture they feel like.  Many afternoons/evenings recently have involved phone calls about seeing ewes in pastures that should have been empty and going and moving them back.  They're quite aware of where they should be and as soon as the dog shows up collecting them into a group they head back through whatever hole they found (a new one every time of course).  In a few of the attached pastures its easier to just pretend its one large pasture because they'll go back and forth through the day and by the time you get there to move them, they've moved themselves back to the correct spot.

 
 

October Newsletter from Kyle Farms

It’s Officially Fall at Kyle Farms!

This past weekend the Genesee Valley Hunt Club hosted their annual Hunt Races on Nations Rd.  Those who attended may have seen Kyle Farms ewes in a pasture adjacent to the racetracks.  We are very grateful to Megan for painting a sign to go in front of our ewes advertising Kyle Farms All Natural Lamb and our website www.kylefarmsnys.com

Lambing is still on going, and should be winding down as we get closer to November.  The next lambing group will be lambing in January and February, giving us time to transition the lambs out of the lambing/weaning barns and to allow the barns to rest and be completely cleaned between lambing periods.

We are very excited that Matt was invited to speak at the Cornell Sheep and Goat Symposium on October 24th.  He will be speaking on “How We Do Things at Kyle Farms,” giving attendees insight on our management practices and how one can run a profitable sheep farm (often believed to be an oxymoron).  This should be a very interesting talk, and the whole symposium looks to be fun, informative, and interactive.

(http://sheep.cornell.edu

And now for the topic everyone is waiting for: All Natural Lamb pick up date!

All lamb orders will be available for pick up on Saturday, November 14th in the morning (most likely 9-12).  I will be sending out order sheets for how you would like your lamb cut. 

We greatly appreciate your interest and support of Kyle Farms All Natural Lamb, and look forward to meeting all our customers on November 14th

 
 
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