Monday, August 23, 2010

Broiler Feed Rations

I have just started using a feed ration that is designed by Fertrell (a producer of organic and natural products for soil and animals) I have used it now for almost two months and am so far impressed.

Here is the formula I am using to make my 19% Broiler Grower Base mix

1,015 lbs. ground shelled corn
625 lbs. ground roasted soy beans
100 lbs. oats
100 lbs. alfalfa meal
75 lbs. fish meal
25 lbs aragonite
60lbs Poultry Nutribalancer

At this point I must admit it is a bit more expensive than purchasing the grower feed from the local Co-op. BUT - at the same time, I am assured that I am not feeding any hormones, antibiotics or anything else that I am not interested in eating. The only issue I may have is with GMO's in the soy beans. I am researching and looking for a good alternative for this. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Oh how life changes things...

So much has happened since the last time I posted anything, it would be a total bore and way too long to read in a short period of time.

In February, Kami and I took a class to get our concealed carry license and went on a couples retreat.
In March, we went to Illinois for a long weekend.
In April, my son Eben was born and once again life changed dramatically.
In May, I went to Missouri for a few days to visit a fellow cabinetmaker.
June brought my oldest daughter up to the three year old hash-mark.

And now it's July and things continue to change as life moves along.

I have been fairly busy with work, new customers calling and I have also had a recent spike in return customers which is always nice.

Through the course of events that has transpired over the past two or three months, my desire to farm has been strangely revived and charged. As many people know, I have for a while now had chickens and have been raising them for eggs. I have been selling eggs to a number of regular customers and have always enjoyed it. Recently, I have been introduced to a new concept. Grass farming. Yeah, I know it sounds weird, but really, it's not. The whole concept centers around farming in such a way that we are stewards of the bottom of the food chain.

Most farmers nowadays when you ask them will say "I'm a dairy farmer," or "a chicken farmer," "pig farmer," etc. This is all well and good and that statement is true because that is truly what they are. The paradigm shift comes when a farmer stops thinking about his source of income, the pig, the cow, the chicken, or whatever as his object of stewardship and focuses more on what sustains his source of income. What most people don't understand or believe is that given a chance most animals can care for themselves. They simply need management in order to produce to their optimum potential.

This is where the idea of grass farming comes in. To put it in a nutshell, the whole idea is that you can, by intensive and intentional management practices, use farm animals to grow grass to feed all the animals on your farm, greatly reducing the intake of purchased feeds and greatly increasing the health value of the animals and people eating them. And as a byproduct, actually create a decent cash flow in doing so.

So over the course of the next few weeks, months and possibly even years, I will be putting my hand to the plow, so to speak (but not literally - a big no-no in grass farming). I am going to start my venture with broiler chickens and, Lord willing, move onward and upward from there.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Crazy Days

Sorry I haven't posted much lately, I have been going what seems like seven ways from Sunday. I guess life has its seasons, and this is the season of incredibly busy for me.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Music in Praise and Worship

Certainly this topic is way too broad and vast to definitively cover in just one post, but here are a few thoughts.

I just finished reading a thread on facebook about traditions and the place of music as it relates to worship and praise in the church. I agree with much of what was written and share a disdain for the traditions of men tainting the true meaning of worship and praise in the church. I remember as a child having a legalistic dogma drilled into my head banning guitars, drums, saxophones, etc. and any music associated with them. (The mentality of, "if it has more than a piano and organ it is of the devil.") I believe this was simply an overreaction by those who loved me and loved the Lord to protect me and keep me from the world. The funny thing about that is, they forgot the passage where God says "ye are in the world but not of the world". And that we are to be the "salt of the earth and shine as lights in the darkness." The only way we can accomplish this is to be different from the world. The world is looking for something different. We all know that. Our spiritual parents would have done many of us a favor to have not necessarily kept us from it, but to teach us the simple truth of God's Word. John 8:32 says "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." How different would our childhoods have been had we known the truth of what God says about music and the place it holds in worship and praise?

"But the hour cometh , and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him." John 4:23. The fact of the matter is, that the world "worships" many gods in many different ways. Music is often associated with that worldly worship and therefore church leaders make blanket statements and "rules" against any such music. With good reason. It is widely accepted in Christian circles that Satan (Lucifer) was created as God's minister of music. He has a "corner" on the market, if you will. If we are to be different from the world, how can we worship like the world and yet worship a different God? Is your God like their god? Is he worthy of a worldly style of worship? I challenge you to read Isaiah 55:8-9, and submit to you that He is above worldly worship. Therefore, I believe that music with a worldly beat and sound has no place in a praise or worship service of the church. Conversely, I also believe that many of the hymns so dutifully sung in churches today have lost their savor not because the message is dead, but because many leaders of today's fundamental churches have so fervently embraced their traditions and have removed themselves from the world that they are no longer connected to reality. Mark 7:13

We must be careful about hiding behind sincerity, using it as an excuse to justify worldly practices of worship. Many people are sincere about many things, but often are sincerely wrong. Some are sincere about working their way to heaven, but you and I both know they will never get there on their own. Ephesians 2:8-9. I can be sincere about fixing an electrical outlet but if I just stick the screwdriver in the socket I am in for a shock because that is the wrong way to fix it. Someone can be sincere about fixing a tire, but until they plug the hole, all the air they pump into the tire is a waste of time and energy.  Philippians 4:4-8 is a great passage on worship and praise. And notice the first thing God lists in verse eight. Truth. I believe God would have us to look for truth rather than sincerity.

I commend so many for seeing the fallacy in tradition. And I challenge you to search the scriptures and compare scripture with scripture and to not compare yourself with other men's ways. II Corinthians 10:12-13 Find the truth and cling to it. Make it your own and don't let go.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


For the past two or three years I have had trouble keeping my chickens out of the garden. I would put up fences to keep them out, but two or three of them would always find a way to get in. They love the open dirt where they can scratch for bugs, worms, grubs and small aggregate for their gizzards, but they inevitably tear up the plants in doing so. Besides that they also eat the foliage off of many garden plants.

I had a voila moment this morning when I looked out at the chicken coop and saw this:


Apparently they don't like to walk around in three inches of snow.

So now, all I have to do is figure out how to keep a three inch barrier of snow around my garden this year.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Lot Can Happen In Twelve Months

I don't remember where I heard it, but the other day, I heard someone say, "A lot can happen in twelve months." How true it is. If you think back through the past twelve months of your life, what has changed? If you are anything like me, there are too many things to count - and that is just speaking of the things you remember.

As I was looking back through the archives of the pictures we took this past year, I found myself saying, "Oh yeah, I guess I did that this past year too." Due to the new fiscal year, my wife and I just recently went through all of our receipts from 2009. Boy, how some of the memories flooded back with the help of those little paper reminders. And yet there were a few that I just knew somebody else had sneaked into the pile because I clearly had no recollection of purchasing a 102702 EW PNE E&C 5/16"X3.5"X8' from Lowes.

Anyway, the point is, life happens. Time marches on, and try as we may to prevent it, we are all getting older. I have always been amazed, when certain landmark moments circle back around every year, how much things change. The people in our lives, our influences, our family, our possessions, our financial position, our outlook on life. When you consider the big picture of your life - are you concentrating on what is most important? Have you defined what is most important to you?

Are you where you want to be, doing what you want to do? Are you where God wants you, doing exactly what God wants you to do? Are these one in the same? They can be. Psalm 37:4 says "Delight thyself also in the Lord; and he shall give the the desires of thine heart." I believe this goes both ways. Not only will God give you what you desire, but he will give you the desire.

Think back over the last twelve months of your life. If you could do it over again, what would you do differently? Consider today as God's gift to you to start doing things differently. Change your future. Disturb your present.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

New Chickens

Yesterday morning, I hopped on the computer and started trolling around Craigslist just to see what kind of "deals" I could find. Usually I go to the Free page first just to see if anyone is giving away anything useful, then I go to the Farm and Garden page most of the time looking for things related to poultry. Well, lo and behold, I get to the Farm and Garden page and what do I see - a listing for 11 Rhode Island Red hens for only $3 each. What a deal!!

Well, being quick at math it didn't take me long to figure that for less than a steak dinner at a fancy restaurant, I could have nearly a dozen bug chasing, egg layers. So I called the number in the ad. As I spoke with a lady on the phone, she told me why she had to sell the birds. Apparently, she has a new puppy that thinks chickens are sporty little chew toys pre-programmed to incite a pursuit, thus she was fearing for their lives.

I just happened to be headed to her neighborhood yesterday so it worked out perfectly. When I got there, however, we found that someone had miscounted and there weren't eleven but twelve birds. Luckily I had the extra three dollars in my pocket and was able to keep them all together.

Now they are getting adjusted to their new home. I think they will settle in just fine.

My total head-count now is thirty-seven:

- 18 Rhode Island Red: 17 hens, 1 rooster
- 6 Amaracauna: 5 hens, 1 rooster

- 5 Golden Comet hens
- 4 Barred Rock hens

 - 2 Black Australorp hens
- 1 Half-breed rooster

 - 1 Amaracauna/RIR mixed hen