Spring time = running!

It’s been a busy two months since the last update!  The lambs are all doing amazingly well and are growing well on the lush grass!  Our milder winter, early warm weather, and then moderating temperatures over the last few weeks have led to thick, nutritious pastures.  Hard to tell the lambs from the adults! This years crop of meat lambs are going to be big, lean, and ready in the fall!  Reserve your share today!

Unfortunately, farming isn’t all happy news.  Bossy our herd lead, lost her calf.  There were no apparent deformities, but he was premature and unable to survive.  She’s a great cow and we are hopeful she will breed back this year.  (Bossy, mugging for the camera in the winter of 2017).

Bossy’s daughter – Heffa (out of our former bull – Arturo) – did successfully calf a little heifer of her own.  She did what our Highlands have always done, found a secluded spot and delivered in the bushes.  Fiona, had a little bit of a difficult time figuring out life at first, but Heffa was patient and the pair are doing well.  As hoped Heffa has her dam’s mothering instincts!

Believe it or not – there is a baby cow in all that grass!

Last, but certainly not least on the baby front: PIGLETS!  Sweet Nora delivered 6 healthy KuneKune piglets on June 7th.  4 boars, 2 gilts – all are double wattled and cute as can be.  They will be DNA’d in ~3 weeks.  Expected parentage: Nora (wilsons gina) x Tabor (boris).

 

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.

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. 

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!

Winter weather is here with 17″ of SNOW!

I love the first snow of the year!  So quiet and peaceful; everyone slows down (at least for a little while!).  The whole town seems more like the quaint mountain town we are.  Even with the extra work needed on the farm, I still love the snow!  It is a time to allow ourselves to relax a little – at least after chores!

Thankfully for this storm we had some warning and we were able to get the pigs tucked into super insulated shelters!  The cows and sheep seem to mind less, but (as you will see below), we did move the sheep out from the trees and into an area with more traditional shelter.  We ended up with just shy of 17″ in this first storm with more due this week.  I hope you love the snap shots of the farm in winter!  

Hauling water out to the pigs and sheep!

Pig Train coming out of their straw insulated Pig-loo.

Checking out the fresh water, wondering where breakfast is!

Tabor – our little boar from Loreen Milbrath at East Island Farms!  He’s such a poser!!

These large trees also help shelter the pig lot – allowing an easy place for them to feed. 

Pharaah the farm dog having fun in the snow!

Love Machine and Panama are not so sure about all this stuff!

The Cattle enjoying their Organic Cabbage scraps from Oregon Brineworks!  Check this company out if you need amazing fermented foods or the best hot sauce around!

Poco helping lead the sheep to more sheltered pastures!

MORE fun for Pharaah!

Morning light!

Beef Share available

We have 1/2 a beef share left for 2016.  Scottish Highland meat is lean and lower in cholesterol than other beef.  These animals have been raise completely on pasture with minimal intervention from us.  Utilizing natural means of intensive pasture rotation, interspecies mixing, and a varied foraged diet we are able to keep them in optimal health without all the traditional means.

Pasture raised beef has higher omega-3 fatty acids and a better ratio to omega-3 and omega-6 than other beef.

 

Fall Additions to the Farm

Fall is definitely upon us in the Pacific Northwest.  We would like to welcome our newest members to the farm:  Charlie, from Portland Oregon,  is a Ginger colored Rona Kunekune gilt who we are looking forward to breeding for a spring litter.  And Kennedy, from Oregon City, Oregon: who is a lovely deep blond Scottish Highland Cow who is expecting a calf late winter/early spring!

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