Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Chicken Experiment

OK..... Just a warning, this might get a little gross. Lyle and I were not sure we should post these pictures. But it is a perfect illustration of one of the reasons our chicken is better than "store bought".

Lyle wanted to can three chickens, one of ours, a organic chicken and a regular store bought chicken. He tried to do exactly the same thing to each chicken. First he stuffed it in a jar. Next he filled each jar with water. Then he put them all in the canner, filled the canner a third of the way with water and cooked them. He became frustrated with the plan when some of the water started to boil out of the jars (there was no lid on the jars, and no lid on the canner). So finally at about 10:30 pm he gave up on the experiment, placed the lid over the canner and we went to bed. The next morning things got busy on the farm with chores and the chicken experiment was forgotten. When I came into the house at around 12:30 to make lunch there was an icky smell in the kitchen. I called Lyle in and told him that he needed to take care of his mess, it was stinking up the house. He said that it couldn't smell bad, it had only been 14 hours. BOY was he wrong! We got the jars out of the water and started to take some pictures........ maybe the experiment had worked. The jar with our chicken (as you can see in the photo) had clear broth, a little yellow fat on the top and did not smell bad (it smelled like a cooked chicken). The second jar was the chicken from Coleman organics. It did not look so good. The water in the coleman chicken jar was hard to see through. It had white and purple floaty things in it. The fat on the top was a very pale yellow. Then came the real test, I smelled it. EWWWW..... I don't know how many of you have smelled spoiled chicken before, but yuck! The smell was pretty bad. The last jar we checked was a Tyson chicken from Walmart. There was no way you could see through the "broth". There was gobs of purple and white gunk in it. The fat on the top was grey. So I got brave and took a whiff......... I ended up leaning on the fridge and choking , trying to keep from throwing up. The smell was putrid! Now remember..... each chicken was treated exactly the same, and this smell test was conducted 14 hours after they were put in the cooker.

What more can we say.......... our chicken is safe, tastes great and is worth the money!!!!

Just a side note........ organic chickens are fed differently than conventionally raised chickens, but they are both processed the same. If you want more information do a web search for factory farmed chicken. Or ask us we would be happy to give you some sites to do research, or tell you what our research has found.

Happy eating !

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Last calf of the year

Myrna the cow FINALLY calved today. She is named for my mom. this morning when I was doing the chores I noticed that Myrna was missing from the herd. I found her and her calf hidden near the willows. It was great to watch the little calf try to stand for the first time. Nothing beats a new baby! We decided to name the little calf after my sister Lorri (hope its a heifer!). Lorri was feeling left out since we had several cows named after relatives. Now she is "famous" too.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Busy weekend

The rain has finally let up so we have been busy. We got our chicken tractors whipped into shape and put out in the field so we can move the years first batch of broilers out of the brooder. We also castrated our 6 bull calves (Levi learned how to throw a calf and 2 of the calves learned how to throw Levi). This evening we held the first annual Running Water Farms Testicle Festival. Since we only had 11 testicles or "Rocky Mountain Oysters", we had to augment the dinner with Sage Pesto, Apple Plank Grilled Pork Chops. I know what you're thinking "6 calves, 11 testicles, that's....odd." Well, in the mother of all ironies, Uno had only well, uno. May have found some Berkshire breeding stock in Arizona so another road trip in our near future. I think we are the only farm in Wyoming with anything but cows or sheep.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The babies are here!

Our first batch of baby chicks are here! They are cornish cross broilers (meat chickens). Sarah loves the babies.

Chicken RV

Our chickens needed a vacation. So we got them a camp trailer. Actually our yard and garden needed the vacation from the chickens. We free range our chickens and their ranging ruined our yard. Biff is going to fix that for us. Any way.......... We bought an old camp trailer and gutted it. Lyle added nest boxes and roosts. Now the chickens are out in the hay field and loving it. They spend the day scratching and eating bugs and grass and seeds. They spend the nights in their cozy safe trailer. We can move the trailer from place to place so the chickens always have a fresh place to eat. Pretty nifty huh!?!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day

Yesterday was a good day. I use to hate mother's day, I would listen to all those talks glorifying mothers and feel inadequate. It made me think of all the things I wasn't doing and all the things I needed to do better. Now that four of our kids are adults, I know that I was right, there were things I needed to do better and things I didn't do that I should have done. But I also know now I really did do the best I knew how in the circumstances I was in. My four "kids" turned out great! They are thinking, caring, responsible people who support themselves. Are they perfect? NO! But that is ok. I now know that they get to choose, and I need to stand back and let them. Now for the present, and this mother's day. I went to church with the two little girls. They refused to go up on the stand with the rest of the primary to sing, they said they were too scared. Hannah sang softly in my ear though. When I got home, I talked to my MOM which I really like to do. Biffy made dinner for us. There was a present from them all (Sarah had a hard time keeping that secret!). We had fun and talked and laughed through dinner (my favorite thing in the world is to spend time with my family). Then Biffy and Beky cleaned up. The little girls played and Levi got ready for a fishing trip. Then the big girls stuck around and we visited until about 9:00. Lyle missed all the fun, he is at work until Thurdays night. I went to bed last night feeling like maybe, just maybe I had done an OK job at being a mom. Thanks kids!!!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

Uno is born today!

Our first calf was born today. It is out of a light colored red angus cow (#744). Obviously the bull was black! The little girls were so excited. We went to take pictures right away. They have decided to name the cow Freckles. She has a pink nose with black spots. Since this is our first calf we have named it Uno.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The next generation all ready outstanding in their field!

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Lyle with one of our boars.

Today we took some pictures of our younger boar. He is a Large Black pig. It is a heritage breed that is not very common, especially in the west. Hannah likes to call him "Jacko". Lyle was busy today getting things ready for his regular 8 days at work. He works in the Jonah oil field and is gone from home for those 8 days. He always has the feed for the pigs and chickens ground and in the barns to make it easy for me to do the chores. We have found that the pigs and chickens do much better on fresh ground feed. We also can control what they eat if we mix our own. We tried the "ready bagged prepared" feed from the stores and were not satisfied with the results. Lyle is always resourceful and found a feed grinder on ebay and we started to grind our own feed. Thank goodness for a wonderful high school ag teacher who taught us how to figure feed rations (Thanks Mr. Wallace)! We saw instant results. Our animals were much more active, and just acted healthier. Plus we KNEW what they were eating for sure............