Greetings from Baker Heritage Farms;
We are still here.
We have had several "events" since the last posting in October, so we will try to bring everyone up-to-date.
First, as you know, we have been losing chickens on a regular basis. About 3 weeks ago we lost "Red", our beloved (yes, we loved to hear him crow, though we could do without his attacking us) rooster. Red was grabbed very quickly. Debbie had been outside and had just come back in when she heard a ruckus in the backyard. Sure enough, there were lots of red feathers but no Red. Donald went into the woods looking for the perpetrator, but found no sign of Red. He did, however, find two areas with piles of hen feathers (from our first two hens that were taken). No bones, no blood, nothing but a few feathers. We finally determined that our local red fox is grabbing them and taking them to his (or maybe her) den. Since then, we have lost several more hens. Adam saw a ruckus in the backyard about a week ago and scared off the perpetrator; however, since he is from the city he could not identify the suspect. He was sure that it was not a dog (or coyote). We lost another one this morning and Donald tried to track it into the woods, but he was in the wrong attire (he was on his way out to his other "work"). Our chickens are "free range" and "cage free" so we are going to have the problem until we determine how involved we will be in raising chickens.
We have actually been selling eggs wholesale (though we try to give most of them away to those in need). We even had an order that took all of our stock and we still were unable to meet their full request (no promises were made).
The turkeys are still being a problem - but not for long!!!!! We have finally located a processor that will do turkeys. They are a USDA processor (we are not getting USDA certification, though) and are Animal Welfare Approved. Unfortunately, they are located in Van Buren, Arkansas and only take turkeys on Thursday mornings - before 7 am. Donald will have to be up and on the road by 5:30 am or so, and, as he will not be here the day before, Debbie and Danielle will have to get the turkeys caged up by themselves, before they go to the trees to roost for the night.
The processor is Garner Abattoir Meat Processing and are great to work with. You can access their web site at http://www.garnerabattoir.com/. It took us forever to find someone that would do the turkeys, in fact, Donald was about to just let them loose in the woods.
We will be processing 8 turkeys this month and 6 next month. We are donating 3 or 4 turkeys to Heavener First United Methodist Church for the Thanksgiving dinner that they provide the community each year on Thanksgiving Day. Two have been sold to friends and business associates, and we will need at least one.
We are in the middle of some life changing events that may result on our putting the farm (at least the commercial aspects) on hold during 2014. However, we have learned a lot and hope to post the results of the various projects on this blog by the end of the year. We had a very productive crop year in 2012 and what is turning out to be a very productive poultry operation this year. We made a lot of mistakes, but hopefully have learned from them all.
We will continue to keep you updated as we wrap up 2013, though updates may be sporadic due to our schedules.
Blessings from Baker Heritage Farms.
"Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls." Thomas Edison