Spring Time is here!

After our VERY long and snowy winter last year, we held off all breedings to plan for late March – May babies! We are very happy to say that the lambing this year has been great and so far we have 5 lovely little Babydoll Southdown lambs romping around the property!  All the Ewe’s and their babies are doing great!  We are now into a rainy period and it doesn’t seem to phase these healthy critters.  

Betty and her twins (girl/boy)Aurora with her ram lamb
Emmie with her boy(black)/girl(white) twins

 

Next up is our lovely KuneKune sow Panama who is due in the next week or so with our first 2018 litter of piglets.  She’s always a solid mom and was bred to Chester, a goofy fun smaller sized boar.  Panama’s daughter, Ophelia, is hopefully recently bred for a June litter – also to Chester.  And we are hoping Nora may also be pregnant.  

Panama – expecting in the next 1-2 weeks

Finally, the cattle – We know that we have at least one calf on the way and potentially two – due anytime in the next 4-6 weeks.  It will be a fun time in the next month!  Grass is growing, rotational grazing has started and soon it will be time to put the gardens in. 

Bossy the cow and last years heifer calf

Each season offers something different – spring is definitely an awakening!

 

 

2018 Live animal and meat requests

As a light dusting of snow falls outside, we are forced indoors to work on planning!  As a result we have been able to start our 2018 animal request spreadsheets!  Doesn’t that sound like fun!!

 

If you have been looking to add Babydoll Sheep, KuneKune Pigs, or Scottish Highland cattle to your life, let me know. We anticipate lambing to start in mid to late March, piglets should start early April, and calves will drop April or May.  

 

We will also start meat share lists for lamb, pork, and potentially beef. What is available depends on animals being retained or sold for breeding.  If you prefer to raise your own meat, we can accommodate that as well.

 

Feel free to reach out with which list(s) you’d like be on and any questions you may have! As always thank you for your support of us and all small farmers!

Oh, how time flies!

I am not sure where the rest of the fall went after August, but here we are in Winter and 2018!  Our lovely Scottish Highland bull Arturo, did find a lovely new pasture to make beautiful babies!  We trust he is doing well in Yakima, Washington.  The farm is doing well this winter and the animals are enjoying not being in 3 feet of snow! We did get one storm come through, but only produced about 6 inches of lovely light, fluffy snow!

We also added a few more pigs to our mix – a breeding pair Nora and Chester; acquired a new breeding ram for our sheep and reduced the number of ewes this year; We also gained a foster cat – Muffles (shown checking out Nora below and snuggling with his buddy Poco)! Whew!  


Ophelia (Jenny x Mahia Love) – born in 2017, will be growing up at Balanced Earth Farm for potential breeding 2018 or 2019!

Finally, we also had a hen decide that October was the perfect time to hatch out that clutch of chicks she’d been wanting all year!  On the night of a predicted 4″ of rain – she came out with her babies, proud as can be!

Life is always an adventure here and sometimes we are too tired to post, but please always feel free to email us!  Looking to get on prospective lamb, pork, beef, piglet or live lamb lists – drop us a line at dana@balancedearthfarm.com!

 

Selling Our Bull

We have decided to sell our 4 year old brindle bull. He is unregistered, but from a breeder that breeds registered cattle. My understanding is that he is Unable to be registered. He has sired several calves for us and has done live cover services locally. He is relatively calm and gentle, loads and trailers pretty easily, although we do not work with the cattle to be halter broken. We have decided to keep two of his lovely heifer calves and do not run a large enough operation to have multiple folds. We are asking $1400.

Poco and his Pigs

Poco is such a good protector and loves all creatures great and small (I think there is a book title in there somewhere 😉 ).  When the piglets get out and run around – he loves hanging with them and is so patient as the snuffle all over his body.  

We strive to have balance in all we do here on the farm.  Poco is a great example of this goal.  He can catch rodents, protect piglets and love with the best of them!

Some weekends are more eventful!

We had a slightly unanticipated busy weekend here at Balanced Earth Farm!  

With less than 24 hours notice, we received word that our amazing (74 y.o) sheep shearer would be arriving on Saturday.  We feel so luck to have such an amazing person shear for us, we drop everything to make it happen and we help our other local sheep friends get their sheep ready to!  Shearing day is definitely a community.  

Before…getting difficult to see!

After – Whoa – look at all the green grass I get to eat! 

Then….early this Morning our always stead and stellar sow Panama delivered 4 live piglets!  All double wattled. KuneKune babies are the cutest!

Born where Panama chose in a shed with straw.  All nursing and doing well.  All without us intervening!  This is why we love this breed. 

From Top to Bottom: 1) Ginger and Black Boar 2) Ginger gilt with with cream belly 3) Ginger and Black gilt 4) Cream Gilt

Fuzzy Calf!

We are so excited at our lead cow Bossy delivering another happy calf all on her own (and in her own time)!  I swear she waits until she knows we are not around to deliver, but she always delivers well is a great mom!  

So sometime yesterday Bossy delivered a little red heifer calf, that so far we are calling the lil’ lil’ heifer – which may get shortened to Lily!  She had quite the rainy first night, but was tucked away in some heavy brush and seems no worse for the wear tonight!

Camo Cow! Bossy always does a good job finding a protected place to have her calfs.  

A big rain storm can’t even get in the way of her awesome fuzziness!

Her sire – Arturo and her sister (born 4/1/16) Heffa. 

Chicken Feed

Today was a busy day here as we received a 2500 pound order of chicken feed for our laying hens and meat birds.  We work hard to find good, small producers of high quality feed.  We seek to feed Non-GMO food to supplement the grazing our birds do.  We also want to work with like-minded farmers who value the work they do.  The circle of sustainable farming can be achieved even when sourcing outside feed.  

We were very happy to find and work with a small feed mill out of Colville Washington: Red Bridge Farm.  Brad and his family are sourcing and milling high quality grains and creating a feed source that is healthy for the animals and as an extension those of us who may consume the products from these animals.  

If you are looking for a feed source in the Pacific Northwest, I would encourage you to take a look at Red Bridge: www.theredbridgefarm.com.  

 

Our chickens approved immediately!

The Second coming of beef!

SOLD OUT – Thank you again to our wonderful customers who support our small operation!  We really could not do this without the local support!

 

Did you miss out on Fall Beef? Well we are going to have another animal ready soon and we only have 1/2 share left! Let me know if you are interested!! This is 100% pasture fed organically raised beef. If you are going to eat meat, why not support sustainably raised products!  Our animals are born outside, live their lives in pasture and mixed forest and managed with intensive grazing practices which is better for the land AND the animal.  In the off season they are fed organic hay.

Scottish Highland meat is super lean, high omega content, and the taste is similar to beefalo (buffalo cross).   

Our cattle are NOT big cattle, therefore 1/2 a share is great for a larger family or share with some friends!

Bottle lambs happen

We’ve had a mixed lambing season with seven live lambs and two that didn’t make it.  The count is 4 ewes and 3 rams.  As happens sometime, we had an experienced ewe reject one of her twins.  We tried to see if we could convince another ewe to take him on (called grafting), but without success.  And so…we introduce Norbert: 

We will bottle feed him until we are able to wean him and move him back into the flock.  He’s a feisty little guy with quite the voice!

The dogs seem to be taking it all in stride: 

Poco is very protective of Norbert and will often not allow Pharaah near them. 

Norbert does enjoy cuddling up with Pharaah the ‘herding’ dog!