With The Click of The Mouse

I’ve done something that I’m not sure if I will regret….I put in my first order for baby chicks!!!  YIKES!  Murray McMurray Hatchery required a minimum order of 25 chicks…..so, I ordered 25!  They ought to be laying by the time Winter settles in.

Here’s what’s coming: 5 Barred Rocks, 5 Rhode Island Reds, 5 Buff Orpingtons, 5 Silver Laced  Wyandotte, and 5 Black Australorps.

They are due to arrive the week of August 14.  I seem to think that push always comes to shove!  I’m in no way ready for 25 more laying hens, but I will be by the time they are ready to go outside.  Right now, I only have room for 6 hens!

Honey asked, “What are you going to do with them?”  I said, “well, I’m going to dip their noses in water to teach them to drink, and give them some starter feed and they will live in a box with a light and ………..”  I don’t think that’s exactly what he meant…..then he asked, “where will you keep that box????”  and I said, “in the basement…..”  He guffawed again!  He’s been doing that a lot with me lately!!! 😉

You might be asking, what I will do with that many eggs???  Yea, Honey was asking that question too!  Well, I figured that if I could raise virtually free eggs by feeding my hens clabber made from my Jersey cow along with all the bugs they free range, then I could give eggs away to some folks in our church who are now unemployed with children to feed.  Plus my own kids are constantly keeping me searching for more eggs.  And if I have extra then I will sell them.

Eggs are a wonderful source of Omega-3!  The yolks are rich and healthy.  You will find NO soy or GMO feed in my chicks!

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The Benefits of Omega 3

When I first started to recover my health 2 1/2 yrs ago, it was the information from Rebuild From Depression that taught me the most.  Amanda Rose went through a horrible postpartum experience and came out on the other side….well….smelling like a Rose!  But it wasn’t after doing tons of research to write her long awaited book titled non other than….Rebuild From Depression which will hit the shelfs this summer!

Here is her MOM in a video cooking Salmon which is a great Omega 3 food.

Amanda is having a great give away for some wonderful Omega 3 supplements.  If you’d like to win or read about it you can visit her here.

Chicken Salad

Joel Salatin coined the phrase “Salad Bar Beef”, well I have “Salad Bar Chickens”.

My chickens LOVE salad! I pick-up “compost” from my local groceries and feed my chickens salad. Yesterday we must have picked up at least 50 lbs of compost! That’s FREE food! They just LOVE little tomatoes. Sometimes there’s salad bar fixins with peas and beans. This is the highlight of their week!

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Boomer was so jealous.

I pick out all the twisty ties and rubber bands that I can find. However, the chickens don’t eat them so I can pick-up whatever is left behind when they finish their salad.

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Abigail Adams is doing really great!!! Her little head has healed so well!

As you can see they don’t eat Coconuts! or Oranges of Lemons!

But I leave them so that they will decompose and attract insects, which they do eat! I can’t even get this compost pile to grow, because the chickens eat this salad as fast as I can bring it home!

You will find that if you feed your chickens salad, especially in the winter, their egg yolks will be a delicious bright orange! The nutrient levels of Omega 3 go way up with “grassfed” chickens and that includes salad! Plus, there is less total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories and they have more vitamin E, beta-carotene, and vitamin C.

My chickens also get an organic feed and once our cows freshen, they will eat clabber as their only source of protein. At that point our chickens will be pure profit!

Sunny Side Up Please!

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My friend Tammy and I both had our minds on eggs the other day. Maybe it’s our wish to see the sun and our need for Vitamin D. Tammy found some great info from Mother Earth News that says, eggs from pastured chickens (meaning-chickens who roam free eating bugs, grass, lettuce and the sort) have 4-6 times as much Vit D compared to a regular supermarket egg. That’s fanominal!!!!

Here are some other good nutritional facts:

• 1⁄3 less cholesterol
• 1⁄4 less saturated fat
• 2⁄3 more vitamin A
• 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids
• 3 times more vitamin E
• 7 times more beta carotene

You can read the entire article at Mother Earth News

The eggs in the picture show the back egg from pastured chickens eating bugs, grass and old produce. The egg in front is from uncaged chickens on organic feed but no greens. Your goal is bright orange yolks.

Chicken Dance

dscn2397My two new hens. Abigail Adams is on the left. She has a crooked butt. Henrietta is on the right.

I visited my sis the other day and she gave me two of her Rhode Island Reds. For some reason I got the runt of her group. She must really have a complex, because, seriously her butt is crooked!!!! I’m not kidding. She looks like the hunch back. The hen that is…..NOT my sister!!!!!!

My hens didn’t take to these new girls very easily. They shunned them for three days. Poor little Abigail Adams was picked on mercilessly. Those hens went at it in the coop. Feathers were flying.

Yesterday morning, I noticed that they were now trying to make up. I’m guessing that Annie, my Coo Coo Moran is the top hen. She allowed Henrietta to eat with them and roost with them. But poor Abigail Adams was still too afraid to go near Annie. Last night I had to put her up in the roost with the others. But I don’t think she stayed there. She was huddled in the corner of the coop again this morning.

Everyone seemed to be on speaking terms this morning. But poor Abigail Adams is still keeping her distance. I hope they warm up to her soon.

I wanted to show you the difference between hens that get lots of greens and those that eat organic feed. Not to dis my sis.

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My egg (rear) from hens that eat greens and my sis’s egg (front) from hens fed organic feed.

Not only is the yolk oranger, but the taste is unbelievable and the nutrients are greater.

Here are some important facts about egg yolks taken from The Incredible Edible Egg Yolk

“One important set of nutrients that should not be overlooked is the long-chain essential fatty acids. Egg yolks contain the long-chain omega-3 fatty acid DHA, which is necessary for the brain and proper retinal function in the eye, and the long-chain omega-6 fatty acid arachidonic acid, which is required for the healthy skin, hair, libido, reproduction, growth and response to injury. These fatty acids are primarily needed by young children, pregnant and lactating women, and people with degenerative diseases involving oxidative stress, especially those of the nervous system such as Alzheimer’s. While fatty fish and cod liver oil supply DHA in larger amounts, egg yolks have an advantage over these foods because they also contain arachidonic acid and because they do not contain EPA, which interferes with arachidonic acid metabolism.”

Arachidonic Acid makes up 12% dry weight of the brain!!! It’s really an important nutrient. Every morning I eat 1-2 raw eggs in my shake. My brain thanks me.

The Benefits of Eating Grass-Fed Beef

I have a copy of this article from Mother Earth News dated 2002. We started eating Pasture Raised Beef in 2000. The facts are eye opening. We buy from our local farmers to support our local economy and we like knowing where our food comes from and what our food eats!!!!

Entire Article Taken From Mother Earth News

Jo Robinson is a New York Times best-selling writer and the author of Pasture Perfect — a book documenting the benefits of pasture-raised animals.

Grass-fed meat and dairy products have less fat and more vitamin E, beta carotene and cancer-fighting fatty acids than factory-farm products. All across the country, farmers and ranchers are returning to this ancient and healthier way of raising animals. Instead of sending them to feedlots to be fattened on grain, farmers are keeping animals home on the range. Cattle graze, lie down, chew their cud, graze — a soothing cycle, repeated day after day — and chickens hunt for seeds and bugs as their ancestors have for eons.

Although raising livestock on pasture is viewed as a radical departure from modern ranching, it is simply a return to a more balanced system. Ranchers boycotting the feedlots are hardworking pioneers whose goal is to make a living selling their products directly to customers or farmer’s markets, restaurants and natural food stores. By eliminating some of the middlemen they hope to accomplish what can seem like an impossible dream: making a decent living from a small, family farm. Many of the ranchers have another goal, as well. In addition to feeding their families, they want to create a workable, profitable alternative to agribusiness-as-usual.

After three years of examining this grassroots movement, I’ve become convinced these farmers are on the right track. Raising animals on pasture is better for the animals, ranchers, environment and health of the consumer. It’s one of those rare situations in life that is a win-win-win-win.

More Omega-3s

I became interested in pasture-based ranching several years ago when I was writingThe Omega Diet with Dr. Artemis P. Simopoulos, an authority on nutrition. The book focuses on the health benefits of a Greek Mediterranean diet and stresses the importance of eating a diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3s have been proven to lower the risk of a long list of diseases including cardiovascular disease, cancer, depression, allergies, auto-immune disorders, obesity and diabetes.

To get the benefits of omega-3s, most people eat fish, flaxseed, walnuts or take fish oil pills. Few realize these lifesaving fats are also found in the products of grazing animals. The reason is simple: Omega-3 fatty acids are created in the green leaves of plants, where they are essential for photosynthesis. When animals eat lots of greens they naturally accumulate more of these essential fats in their bodies. For example, steak from grass-fed cattle has two to six times more omega-3s than a steak from grain-fed cattle according to research at the University of Hawaii. When we eat the steak, the omega-3s are passed on to us. It’s often said, “We are what we eat.” The truth goes deeper. We are also what our animals eat.

An Abundance of the Good Fat

In 1999 researchers discovered another health benefit of grass-fed products: They’re the richest known source of another good fat called conjugated linoleic acid or CLA. CLA may be one of our most potent cancer fighters. Animals given very small amounts of CLA — a mere 1.5 percent of their total calories — had a 60 percent reduction in tumor growth in a study published in Cancer Research. CLA may fight cancer in people, as well. Finnish researchers recently found that the more CLA in a woman’s diet, the lower her risk of breast cancer. Women who consumed the most CLA had an amazing 60 percent lower risk. According to the research team, “A diet composed of rich foods, particularly cheese, may protect against breast cancer in postmenopausal women.”

What the researchers failed to mention is that cheese from a grass fed ruminant has five times more CLA than cheese from a grain-fed animal, according to Tilak Dhiman — a professor in Utah State University’s Animal, Dairy and Veterinary Sciences Department. Professor Dhiman estimates that if you are an omnivore you may be able to lower your risk of cancer simply by eating daily one serving of meat, one slice of cheese and one glass of milk from a grass-fed cow. If the products are from an ordinary grain-fed cow, however, you would have to eat five servings of meat, cheese and milk to reap the same benefits.

The nutrient-rich milk from grass-fed cows is not a “designer” food that came about through genetic manipulation or the feeding of exotic ingredients: It’s the milk nature provides. Whenever cattle are allowed to eat their truly traditional diet, their dairy products contain high amounts of CLA. When you switch to butter, milk and cheese from grass-fed cows, you are restoring to your diet nutrients factory farming took away. (Might I add RAW Dairy is Best!)

You are also reducing your intake of something you don’t want: saturated fat and calories. Feedlot operators feed grain to ruminants because it makes the animals grow faster and fatter, resulting in highly marbled meat. All that marbling adds a lot of calories. A 6-ounce steak from a grain-fed steer has almost 100 more calories than a 6-ounce steak from a grass-fed steer, according to a report in the Journal of Food Quality. If you eat a typical amount of beef (66.5 pounds a year), eating grass-fed beef would save you 17,733 calories a year without requiring an ounce more of will-power. At that rate you could lose about 6 pounds a year.

Beyond Organic

Many people confuse pasture-raised animal products with organic products. An organic label does not guarantee that animals spent most of their time on pasture. It simply means the animals had access to pasture, weren’t given antibiotics, hormonal implants or injections, and their feed, whether grass, hay or grain — was organically certified. These rules allow organic meat and dairy producers to feed their animals significant amounts of grain, a proven way to speed their growth and increase milk production. The more grain in a ruminant’s diet, however, the lower the amount of omega-3s, CLA, vitamin E and betacarotene in their products.

A pasture-based dairy farmer I know hired an independent lab to compare the amount of CLA in his cows’ milk with milk from one of the leading organic dairies. The milk from his 100 percent grass-fed cows had 19 milligrams of CLA per gram of butterfat.

The milk from the organic, grain-fed cows had only 5 milligrams of CLA per gram. For optimal nutrition, it’s gotta be grass-fed. Some ranchers raise their animals on organically certified pasture, the best of both worlds. When you buy products from one of these farms, you are taking home nutritious food that also meets the strict guidelines of the certifying agency.  (Raw Dairy is best!)

In addition to robbing dairy and meat products of vital nutrients, feeding grain to ruminants is stressful to the animals. Ruminants are not designed to eat large amounts of grain. All grazing animals get small amounts of grain during the time of year when grasses go to seed, but the bulk of their diet comes from green leaves. When they are fed large amounts of grain, their guts become unnaturally acidic, which can lead to a condition called subacute acidosis. A calf afflicted with this disorder will kick at its belly, eat dirt, pant, salivate excessively, go off its feed or have attacks of diarrhea.

According to an article in Feedlot magazine, a publication for feedlot operators, this degree of suffering is the inevitable consequence of fattening animals on grain. “Every animal in the feedlot will experience subacute acidosis at least once during the feeding period,” the article says. It then reassures feedlot operators this is “an important natural function in adapting to high-grain finishing rations …” In other words, making calves sick to their stomachs is agribusiness-as-usual. Subacute acidosis can be much more than a bellyache, however. If the condition goes untreated, the animal will develop an ulcerated stomach and a diseased liver. It might even die.

I am an omnivore and eat a considerable amount of meat and dairy products. But I don’t want animals to suffer needlessly before they are slaughtered. I am happy to say the beef I now eat comes from an Oregon family who raises about 40 head of cattle on 120 acres of organic pasture. When the grass is growing, the animals get all their nutrients from grasses, clover and a random assortment of green plants. In the winter when the grass is dormant, the cattle eat organic hay plus a side helping of kelp for added vitamins and minerals. They are never treated with hormones, antibiotics, acid buffers or chemical additives. I have the privilege of eating meat the way nature makes it.

Emphasis is mine.