It's really quite obvious: farm animals benefit from the attention and companionship of humans.
A recent study in the UK demonstrated that milk cows who have been given names produce 3-4% more milk than those who do not have names.
Why would naming be significant?
As I've discussed here, naming implies respect and companionship, and naming is not incompatible with our need, as humans, to consume animal products.
It makes sense that milk cows, having been separated from their babies (their calves), would greatly benefit from all the affection we could manage to give them. After all, they are grieving. Continue reading
When we first arrived at the farm, we were fortunate to be following in the footsteps of my older brother, HighTrail. He had read extensively about grass-based farming, and was eager to share what he had learned with us. He saved us a lot of time and heartache by sharing his knowledge and experience with us.
When we were ready to get our feet wet with chickens, he introduced us to the Plasson poultry drinker. With this waterer, or "drinker," we were able to go on weekend trips and know that our chickens wouldn't run out of water while we were away. It can be used with chicks, young fryers, or full grown layers.
The tubing can be attached to a low pressure (not house pressure) hose or a 5-gallon bucket so that gravity feeds the trough. (We used a bucket.) An adjustable, internal ballast controls the water flow/level.
The dome shape keeps birds from roosting on top of the drinker and fouling the water. It's an ingenious device. Highly recommended.
This is for all of us who eat meat. Continue reading
Several years ago, I was at a high school reunion, gathered with a group of 5-6 of my classmates. Someone asked what I had been up to lately: how I was supporting my growing family.
"I'm trying to do it by farming."
Awkward silence. Continue reading