Harp Turkey Ranch

  (McCleary, Washington)
Where farming meets natural living
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Animals have jobs too

Here at the ranch all the animals have jobs too. Their jobs are to do the back breaking work of clearing and tilling the land, at the same time fertilizing and spreading it too.

The pigs have gotten more done then I first thought they would. They have to till up about another 1/2 acre or so and then they have a date with the freezers. As we don't keep our pigs through the summer months. It is hot and the pigs need WAY too much water mud to wallow in and they start to stink no matterf what you do. So our solution to this is to raise them through the winter season, this way they are cheap to buy and all the growing is done for the year and they are allowed to till the areas we need tilled. Plus the ground is softer and they get more done faster. They need less water and they don't stink and the manure is washed in to the soil after all winter of rains we get here. 

 Pinky & Maxx enjoying a fresh green salad



The goats are very important on the farm as well. They help keep the brush and weeds in check all year long. They clear out the thickest parts and they don't even complain one bit. The boer goats are the cows of the goat world. They never stop eating and they are good to eat. As the year goes on they will also help keep the grasses from growing too tall. After a batch of broilers are done let the grass rest for a week or two and then let the goats graze through it till they get it back down to 3-4" and repeat as it warrants.Doing all this work you would think they would complain at some point, but they don't they actually love you for letting them do all this work.

Goat Kids Growing Fast

The chickens and turkeys have probably the specialist job of them all. They help restore the nitrogen back into the soil. They eat every bug and grass hopper they can come across. If it flies or crawls on the earth and they can catch it and fit in their mouths they eat it. This eliminates all uses for chemicals and pesticides for bugs. They even hit the bugs were it counts, in their eggs and larvae. After you move the chickens and turkeys to a new area the worms move in and help break their manure down and leave all their valuable castings. Plus they really go after the seeds that the weeds leave behind and the ones that are hidden in the ground, they can seek and destroy them with great ease. The turkeys even keep the grass lengths in check as well. They do need help from the goats from time to time.

Here is some before and after pictures of what the pigs and goats have gotten done, so far this year, even collected and spread over a ton and half of chicken/turkey manure and spread it on the fresh tilled areas and let the rain wash it in to the soils to help rebuild them for the grasses and legumes to thrive in.





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