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December Newsletter

Posted 12/3/2018 11:36am by Jeremy House.

Howdy from the farm,

There will be a delivery this Saturday, December 8th. We have lots of beef, pork and whole chickens, but unfortunately no eggs at all. The hens are older and the cold has basically shut them down. We have 500 hens and they are producing less than 30 eggs per day. Our biggest expense with the chickens is the feed so you can imagine what it costs us to produce one egg right now. The feed cost is almost 10 times normal. I have been trying to get new pullets in, they are young hen chickens. The market is short organic eggs so hens are harder to come by. We are not the only farmers having this issue with outdoor raised eggs, just this morning I got a call from a small store in Rock Island asking if we had eggs as the other farmers he works with don't have any eggs. I am trying to get some hens that will be available in April. Those chicken would probably start laying in May

As for the rest of the farm we were able to finish harvest just before the blizzard. I harvested soybeans till 4am Thanksgiving morning to finish up before the rain and then snow stopped harvest. We do have some rye we want planted in, but not all. So I have been doing some research to see if rye can be planted by frost seeding. Frost seeding is sowing on frozen ground and the seed grows as the ground makes little cracks from freezing and thawing. It is usually quite successful with clovers and alfalfa, we will probably have to find out for rye. Last year I planted some late and it did not get much of a chance to germinate in the fall and it did relatively well.

Monday or Tuesday the week after the delivery I'll go get some more feeder pigs. This is an all day trip, not my idea of fun anymore. But I have a love for our pork chops and our daughter Leah loves the pork sausage, so I will go get about 60 feeder pigs and that will make sure our freezer alway has pork in it.

The cattle. I have two groups of cattle right now. One is near the house and they are getting baled hay and haylage. Which some days is a pain to take the feed and water. The other group is 8 miles from home and they are still eating grass that was stockpiled this summer. Here is a picture of some of that group. 

I am very happy with how they look right now.

My dilemma with the cattle right now is that I am short feed to get both groups through winter. So my options are: sell cows and or calves in a down market or buy feed and get them through winter. Both options have positives and negative to them.

So if you need some of the best raised and really great tasting meat for your freezer please visit our website meadowhavenfarm.com and go to the store section and place your order. We have a really great price on 1/2 beef. If you order more than $75 we will have two stewing hens for stock and orders over $100 will get a beef roast also.

We have had some really good feedback on the popcorn we raised it is $5 for a 1 pound bag. Great for snacking and for gifting. Order through the store there is now a popcorn tab.

Delivery this Saturday, the 8th.

Delivery in January will be the 12th.

Thank you for supporting our farm,

Jeremy Cherie and the rest of MHF