Managing a pasture based farm is much like conducting a symphony. Rest, eat, rotate, rest, eat, rotate, with the beat of life. We plan cattle moves around the size of the farm, growth of the grass, the weather. Our flock laying hens follow 3 days behind the cattle to help with fly control, and to sanitize the pastures. We rotate our pigs like the cattle. Everything must be in sync for the farm to thrive.
Chicks to pasture:
Meat chickens at West Wind Acres are rotated through our pastures with 2x daily moves. This year we are raising batches of 100-400, at 4 weeks of age they are moved from their warm cozy brooder, into a mobile pen, where they safely forage for their diet. Exercise, fresh air, sun, and a wide variety of foods give their meat an amazing taste, and texture, its extremely juicy as well.
With the warmer weather, and rain our grass is growing nicely. This week I split the cattle into 2 herds, one with cow calve pairs and our last few expecting cows, the other with a couple of cull cows, and our young stock.
The cattle are being moved 2-3 times per day to fresh grass. This helps them to stay healthier, by keeping their PH near neutral, keeping them in clean paddocks, with a fresh meal in front of them. They tend to grow faster as well, like humans on Thanksgiving they eat each time we put a new course in front of them.
We have a side of beef available, it will be butchered in the next few days. We can go over cut instructions together.
Several weeks ago we separated our pig herd into two herds. Our sows and gilts are on a 12 acre property in Galway that is mostly overgrown pastures. We are using our pigs to reclaim the property. To help with regrowth, I hand sow seed, a few days prior to moving them to their next paddock. We’ve used rye, and oats so far. I’ll likely play around with some other plants as well.
The second herd is comprised of our feeder pigs, they are rotating through and around the orchard at our main farm. I plan to plant oats, possibly along with field peas in the paddocks after they graze.
Over the last few weeks we have leased an additional 28 acres that our herds will graze. The search continues for more pastures and woodlots. We will be adding 120 more acres to meet my goal for the season.
Eggs eggs and more eggs:
Our flock of pasture raised laying hens are laying prolifically. Currently they are producing 12-14 dozen eggs per day.
Eggs are available at the farm $5 per dozen. We are also offering full 40-52 dozen per year and half 20-24 dozen per year egg shares $120-$200
2884 West Glenville Rd
West Charlton, NY 12010
Sunday CLOSED for Memorial Day