Here is a listing of the current animals and equipment we have for sale:
After six years of gradually building up our small grass-fed milking herd, with the plans and equipment to establish a small creamery for cheesemaking, we are (with some sadness) throwing in the towel. We need to focus on our other projects and simply do not have enough time to get this off the ground, plus we’ve conceded that we really do not have enough pasture to ensure our herd would always have access to prime grazing for production and health. Accordingly, we are selling our milking stock and some dairying equipment.
This is a portable milk pump, bucket milker, and NuPulse milking claw set-up for sale. Rated to run this one cow bucket milker or two goat/sheep milkers. Included 8′ of new silicone tubing, plus spare parts and inflations for the claw milker, and an unused jetter cleaning assembly. Also have detergent and acid cleaners.
We’ve used this since 2012, milking between 2 and 8 cows per day. The pump has worked fine down temps in the teens in the barn in the winter, however, the NuPuls pulsator will not work below freezing, so either needs a heater blowing on it or a warmed something on top (e.g. sock of rice placed in the microwave…)
For inquiries, use our contact form here or call Five One Eight – Two Nine Three – Five One Seven Four
Selling the remainder of our small herd of pasture-fed Jersey cows, having decided (after six years!) to discontinue our farmstead creamery plans. We have 4 cows still available for sale (individually or together) out of 9 originally. $3400 for all four, or $900 each.
Our herd was built up from cows and heifers purchased at a few herd-dispersal auctions in 2012, 2013, and 2014, many of which were Registered, and in turn bred to Genex bulls, meaning all but one (below) could be registered as well.
We graze them on pasture May through November, feed hay over the winter, and besides salt/minerals and 1-3 lbs of grain per day during milking, they are otherwise grass-fed. Electric fence trained. Have been milked in and (over the winter) tied in tie-stalls, thus handled closely. We’ve typically moved to once-a-day milking after 2-3 months fresh. Production did dip down this year, between the summer heat and flies, decline in pasture growth, and we had to feed 1st cut hay for a while before our second cut came in, so they are producing between 2.5 and 4 gallons per day, once-a-day with very little grain.
Two were checked pregnant in mid-August, and the other two have continued to be run with a Milking Shorthorn bull.
We think all would do well joining a larger herd, or being family/homestead cows. All are quite docile and most lead well. All are being machine milked currently, some have been hand milked on occasion, and we expect all would be fine being hand-milked.
“Bridgette” – b. 6.3/2012 Registered
Does not do well in our tie-stalls over the winter, needs free- or box-stall long chain with space
Three-teater, but still a better producer for us
Great nurse cow; has readily adopted and suckled calves in the past
“Cairo” – b. 1/26/2013 Registered
Bit of a slow milker, but best producer we have
Tested negative for Bovine Leukemia Virus
“Summer” – b. 8/15/14 sire Valor, dam Mascot (R, ¼ Holstein, making Summer 1/8 Holstein)
Suckled on a cow as a calf, so was not tied and handled much, is the one cow that does not lead well
Shorter teats, might be hard to hand milk
There are also 2 heifer calves available:
“Esrom” – b. 4/20/18 to Bridgette
“Feta” – b. 4/27/2018 to Summer
Both calves were sired by a ½ Red Devon ½ Jersey bull (from North Country Creamery)
For inquiries, use our contact form here or call Five One Eight – Two Nine Three – Five One Seven Four
We also have a portable bucket milker and pump for sale (can only go after all cows are sold)
Busy busy at the farm (notice we haven’t blogged in a while?). Wrapped up a first-cutting of hay with the neighbors (1100 square bales for our steers, heifers, and dry cows over the winter), but we’ll still need winter hay for the milkers. Our hands, arms, and legs are still healing from the scratchy hay bales!
Just finished setting up some electric fencing on our neighbor John’s land above us for some additional pasturage for the non-milkers, and moved those animals into their new paddock. It’s a mix of open meadow/hayfield as well as grassy (and not-so-grassy) wooded area – scrubby and young growth that has gradually encroached into the hayfields over the past few decades. It’s cool watching the animals feed here, as they browse leaves from the trees and scrub just as much as they graze grass along the ground, guided by internal cues about what nutrition is best for them at the moment.
Poured a small concrete pad for the 3 ton grain bin we had lying around (literally), and set it upright and got it bolted down. Awaiting a delivery anyday. By buying in bulk we’ll be able to save money over buying by the bag (which we were already receiving by the pallet load, saving over store retail costs). The organic grain we use for our pastured meat chickens, turkeys, ducks, guinea, and laying hens, and new-to-us this year, geese – although now that the geese are out of the brooder and barn with access to the pasture, they really prefer grazing.
Speaking of pastured meat chickens, we just started butchering our second set and will continue over the next couple weeks. If you’re interested in a bulk order (10+) for your freezer, let us know, and save 50cents per pound, plus we can cut and package to order.
Dairy-wise, progress is still slow, but small steps are being made. When we poured the grain pad, we poured a new foundation for one corner of the attached garage that will be converted to the creamery. When we went to start on renovations, we discovered the bottom sill and lower portion of the walls studs were rotted or rotting. In fact, if you squeezed some of the them, water oozed out – not good! So we needed to raise the wall foundation and reinstall some framing, one section at a time. We’ll be doing this concurrent with some concrete work in the barn, pouring new footers for some of the loft support posts, along with new stalls for the cows and floor for the parlor, milkhouse/washroom, and alley. Then with that done, we can move onto electrical, plumbing, and wall and ceiling coverings. The list is long, but doable.
Expecting a calf to be born anyday now from our new heifer, Bridgette. Stayed tuned for updates…
From the auction Josh went to last Saturday, he came home with five new cows! Two cows that are being milked, one that is due to freshen (birth a calf) next week, and two bred heifers. Our original three cows spent the week on the yard and we gradually moved out the rest of the cows as they were trained to electric in the barn (we weren’t sure how familiar they were with electric fence). We also moved our young beef cow and heifer in with the dry cow, new heifers, and our four beef cows – all out onto the main pasture this week.
Just today the cows moved from the yard to their first piece of pasture. The yard is fairly well “mowed”. We love seeing them on pasture because they clearly love being outside and grazing – even our new cows, who we don’t even know if or when they ever had fresh grass. It’s been a long winter and cows on the pasture are proof that it’s over!
We’re expecting our next batch of meat bird chicks to arrive next week and the brooder is ready and waiting. The first batch is well settled into their pasture home.
The pigs were also moved to fresh pasture this week. It took some convincing – their organic grain was not as tempting as the delicious grass we were asking them to walk through to get to their fenced in area of pasture. But after much negotiation, they are where we intended them to be, coincidentally next to our dairy cows. The two species are conversing occasionally but are mostly too busy chomping on the grass on their side of the fence. Hopefully the pigs will stay put – they’ve been notorious escapers on our farm!
We’re a month out from our annual SolstiCelebration – mark your calendars for June 21st. It’s a potluck with a bonfire and pig roast. Yum! We’re hoping for a dry day, but in the event of rain, as we learned last year, the (mostly) empty hayloft is a welcome dry spot if needed! All are welcome.
In the meantime, we’ll see you at the Plattsburgh Farmers and Crafters Market tomorrow from 9-2 with duck eggs, chicken eggs, artisan bread, blueberry muffins, pork chops, smoked hams, bacon, duck, chicken, and more. See you there!
We’re finally seeing green, growing grass! It’s exciting. We’re anxious to get the cows out onto the pasture but know that putting them out too early will result in poorer pasture growth later in the season. The pasture looks amazing in comparison to what it’s been like this time last year and the year before. It’s so gratifying to see the results of intensive rotational grazing of both the chickens and cows. Still, as green as it is, it’s short and thin still. Fortunately the yard isn’t! So as in past years, the cows are the doing the first “lawn mowing” of the season. And as usual, it’s the most enjoyable thing to witness – cows on spring grass!
In the meantime, geese have taken up residence at the pond and surrounding pasture. It started with 2 but has grown to a flock of 10, and they come and go. They’ve learned to share the pond with our ducks and we haven’t seen them help themselves to any chicken feed, so far so good.
We also moved our first batch of meat birds from the brooder to the pasture. They are loving the pasture and we’re excited to see them out scratching and foraging through the day.
Josh brought another batch of pigs for USDA processing this week. We have two pigs ready for anyone interested in a whole or half pig.
The puppies are wandering farther and farther around the farm. They impress us because they are excellent at following our lead. They race behind us (sometimes underfoot a bit too much, but less and less) and then settle down wherever we stop to work, ready to jump up and follow whenever we move on to a different task. If you know anyone interested in livestock guardian dog puppies, we still have 3 available for sale.
There’s an auction this weekend with several jersey cows. It’s a bit sooner than we’d like (there’s still a ton of work to do to get the creamery up and running) but you don’t see jerseys available everyday. So we’re jumping on this and anticipate having our herd up to 6 for the summer.
The Plattsburgh Farmers and Crafters Market started last weekend, and we’ll be there again this weekend with eggs (both chicken and duck!), pork, and duck, as well as homemade organic breads and milk soaps. We picked up a glass topped display freezer this week, so we’re hoping to bring that and have that set up this week at the market! The market is on Saturday from 9-2. See you there!!
UPDATE: We no longer breed and do not have puppies available!
We’re loving these adorable puppies as the grow, play, and learn!
The puppies’ parents, Eden and Wesley, are working livestock guardian dogs here on our farm, both pure Great Pyrenees. Puppies were born February 24.
We currently have three out of seven puppies still available for sale, all males, 2 white and 1 badger patterned. Puppies have all received their first round of vaccines and are currently learning the ropes of being a farm/livestock guard dog. They are well socialized with humans, chickens, cows, sheep, pigs, cats, and ducks.
Puppies are $400 and are ready for their new farms! Please contact us with any questions or arrange a time to come and meet our working dogs.
Updated puppy pictures 7/14:
While there are still freezing nights (mostly) and chilly-to-warm days, we frost seeded clover on our pastures. We’re excited to see the improvement this summer! When we first arrived at this farm a little over two years ago the pastures were very much in disrepair. We’ve spent the last two seasons rotating animals and seeing a dramatic improvement! So this will be the icing on the ever-improving pasture. Part of our mission is to be good stewards of our land and livestock. It’s so gratifying to see our dedication paying off in thicker, lusher pastures.
The “experienced” chickens have been wandering out of their barn shelter and pecking enthusiastically at the ground as the snow receeded. While they’ve had the option to go outside all winter, they have wisely avoided the snow. It’s fun to see them wandering far and wide across our yard seeking sweet young grass as well as any bug-type creature that is brave enough to show its face this early in the year!
Another sign of spring: the first batch of meat chickens arrived. Every time – especially the first batch of the spring – I’m surprised once again at how tiny these birds start! We start them off with whey in addition to their organic chick starter. They whey is an electrolyte-filled jumpstart for these little guys. They’ll spend approximately 3 weeks in the brooder and then be moved to the pasture for that delicious grass and grubs that the older layers are already enjoying.
Back in December, right before Christmas, we ordered close to 100 egg layers. This is not what we’ve typically done in the past (ordering chicks at the beginning of winter) and is not the norm in general. But, when chicks arrive in the spring, they start laying in earnest in the fall – about the time the more-active farmers’ market comes to a close and the pasture output decreases dramatically. So this year, we started egg-layers-to-be in December, and we expect them to start laying any day!
To make room for the meat chicks, we moved these “teen” layers-to-be to the chicken camper-coop. They’ve spent a few cool nights tucked up toasty with their peers. In the next few nights we’ll move over the experienced girls and then let everyone out of the coop to explore the pasture, within an electric net (for their protection – we don’t mind if they fly over it to explore further afield!).
When Josh went to the auction a few weeks ago he was able to snag the biggest piece of equipment we need for the creamery – the vat! Woohoo! It’s waiting for us in the barn while we continue to ready the creamery space.
Several pigs will be going for USDA processing in a few weeks. If you are interested in a half or whole pig, speak now!
… and mud season is just starting! We can see most of our driveway now! It’s exciting. The seeds really need to be started now.
The cows are anxious to get outside. Don’t be fooled. We still have feet of snow and we’re no where near ready for cows to be on the pasture (except the beef cows who have been out all winter). That doesn’t stop the cows from longingly looking through the crack in the door of the barn, or out an open window and sniffing deeply.
Shadow, the cow we’ve had the longest but is probably the youngest of our small herd, has been cracking me up. She turns in her stall and makes a big show of leaping over the gutter (not so gracefully, I might add) before proceeding to the gutter in front of the milking area. And then it’s a repeat: her hesitation, her bold leap, and slight slide of her hooves as they hit concrete on the other side. For the record, this gutter is maybe a foot wide, if that, and maybe six or eight inches deep. She is the most graceless cow we have and totally clueless about how laughable her antics are, because she’s so determined and serious about the whole thing.
The puppies are rocking the cute-ometer! They are so distracting. You go in to the barn with every intention of giving the calves a bale of hay, feeding the pigs, and chickens, and then leaving. But you find yourself stopping to pet each of the seven puppies and ooh and ahh over how soft and friendly and all around completely adorable they are! They happily follow us all over “their” barn. We have 3 males not spoken for – so if you’re interested, speak up!
In dairying news we had our loan approved to go through with the creamery! Talk about exciting! We’ve been cleaning out the to-be-creamery space in preparation for the ground to thaw. The first order of business construction-wise is to install drainage. In conjunction with this we’ll be bracing two walls in the to-be-creamery space and improving the foundation, which is too shallow and not frost-proof at the moment. We’ve also been toying with the idea of purchasing equipment now as much of it is custom made when using the equipment for this scale of an operation (micro-dairy). Then, Josh’s dad happened to see an auction happening in Cambridge, NY tomorrow where many of the equipment needs we have could be met! The extra awesome thing about this is that this equipment is already being used in the State of NY so will pass inspection with little to no finagling. Whew!
Unfortunately this means missing the twice-monthly winter farmer’s market this Saturday. But if you’re looking for those duck eggs we’re starting to swim in, pork, and whole duck – they’re all here at the farm ready for you!
Spring is coming, despite the continuing snowfall. We can tell because Shadow has started shedding her winter coat. Her transition from winter to summer fur is dramatic. It always makes us nervous because it’s so sudden and happens when it’s definitely not warm enough to be thinking about spring! And yet, her body knows, and her thick fur sheds readily with thin buzz-cut looking fur left in its place.
Another sign of spring is that the ducks are getting more and more …. chatty. Our Muscovies don’t quack, they hiss. It’s a Muscovy thing. Usually they’ll hiss when something has alarmed them. It could be that the dogs have wandered in to the barn (something we don’t usually let happen), or a duck from our laying flock has entered the Muscovy flock, something like that. Every morning this week the Muscovies have been up in arms! They are hissing and flapping and clearly agitated. The first time, I finished putting the milker on Dana, and walked over to the ducks, tucked behind the tractor, hissing and carrying on. I couldn’t see what the fuss was about. There were no intruders, no oddities. Then I realized, the ducks had circled to hiss encouragement (or not) to the two drakes in the middle trying to gain top-drake status. Spring is coming. The drakes want first mating rights.
Despite the snow, there are chore times when after bundling up in multiple layers, we find ourselves shedding coats, gloves, and hats in the barn as we work. It’s getting -dare I say – hot! Even so, one morning early this week I woke in the dark (time change:: curse you!) and stumbled through getting dressed. I stoked the fire, layered up in outerwear, put together the milker while filling a bucket with warm water (to thaw the inevitably frozen rabbit waterers), and made my way to the back door. The red outer door, you know the one? It was stuck. The freeze-thaw cycle had caused ice to adhere to the back door and it was impossible to open. Feeling discouraged and sad I made my way back in to the house as quietly as possible, snow pants sh-sh-shing as I walked.
“Josh,” I whispered, “I can’t get the back door open.”
Groggily he got out of bed. He had done his share of morning chores and was looking at a very long day at his off-farm job that day.
In pjs he went out to the back door, yanked, then pried the door open with a mattock lying close by, and the door was open. He grabbed a handful of the nearby salt and flung some on to the ice before making his way back to the warmth of our bed.
So it’s not quite spring weather yet. Or maybe this is spring weather.
This time of year, we’re numbering the days by remaining haybales. There are about 80 second cut bales and each cow eats about a bale a day. This gives us about a month of second cut hay left, not enough to see them through till new grass. Fortunately we have plenty of first cut bales, some of which are fairly good quality for a first-cutting, and while they are not preferred by our milkers, they are munching them down grudgingly as we attempt to spread the second-cut-yumminess into the spring.
A Wholeshare order is being placed on March 31st. We’re half-way to the minimum order, so if you’re interested in ordering, go add your items! At the farm the ducks have been generous – so come pick up yours! We are out of chicken until our first batch this coming summer (see? Spring is coming if we’re talking about our first batch of chickens for this season!). However, we still have whole ducks and all the pork you can imagine! Speaking of pork, if you’re interested in a half or a whole, we have some pigs that are almost ready. Let us know if you’re interested!