Local Farm Visit…Glenrock, WY
Wednesday the kids and I took our first trip to a farm. It’s been a busy couple of days so this posting and a few others are delayed! We drive past lots of properties that are ranching or small farming on our way to other destinations but today our journey was to one of them!
Only one block away from home Big Boy was chanting, “Farm, farm, here we come!”
Even in the wilds of Wyoming where farms are side by side, it can be difficult to find a farm that can sustain more than itself at times let alone have enough to sell. Big farm productions outstrip the small farmer every day, many times costs that are out of the small farmers control – feed, livestock loss, market prices – simply make it impossible to break even. I advocate visiting your local farmer because they are the backbone of our country – buy American!!!
My local farmer for this challenge is “Doris” whose Dad was relocating the family from Nebraska to Idaho in ‘44. He made a stop in Wyoming and the family stayed. She is widowed, has 6 children and about 25 grandchildren. Living in a mobile home about a mile from the farm, her sister still lives in the family home while their brother and his son live in trailers on the driveway leading into the property. The farm is set back by the railroad tracks in town and there are a few outbuildings.
These are questions to which I needed answers for my Egg-Cellence Challenge and Essay Contest submission. My first question when I met Doris was to ask for a tour and I was happy to hear her say, “of course”, and away we went. She told me a little about herself, the farm, and about the other animals as I drove. I was carrying Baby so I wasn’t able to take photos or write notes, so I’ll have to call/visit her again to get the information again.
1) Are your chickens raised on pasture? If so, how long are they exposed to the sun?*
No, the chicken coop is divided into three sections: a “laying area” (my husband said these are called “roosts”) with perches and boxes filled with soft shavings and straw, a roof covered shaded area out of the elements with straw bales and boxes (they don’t lay eggs in those boxes, just sit in them), and a 5-sided chicken wired pen area which gets plenty of sun. There is a chicken door from one covered room to the next and a person door that is kept open dawn to dusk each day.
2) How often are the chickens rotated to a different field?
3) What is the ratio of chickens to pasture?
N/A regarding pasture. Doris has about 30 chickens currently.
4) Do you use antibiotics or growth enhancers (feed additives as such)?*
Doris chuckled when I asked her that, and said, “no, we don’t need to, they don’t get sick and their nutrients are in their feed. When they get too old to lay, we eat them.” ‘Nuf said.
5) Do you know what ingredients are in your chicken feed? If so, what?*
Doris was well versed in the type of feed, but I’ll have to ask her about it again.
6) Do you feed your chickens marigolds?*
No, and literally there were no flowers on the property.
7) How much feed are your hens given?*
Not asked specifically
8 ) Do your chickens keep their beaks?*
They were BEAUTIFUL birds. Dark, dark red in color, with shiny coats. They had their feathers, beaks, and feet.
9) Can I see your animals or have a farm tour?*
This was my favorite! Doris also has cows, goats, mini chickens, pigs (slaughter, wiener**, and 4H) and even peacocks! **My husband once again corrected me, it’s not wiener, its weaner (as in “weaned off”). lol – lots to learn!
I was lucky enough to go to The Herbal Remedies Store, Inc., store which also carries local farm fresh eggs brought in weekly from Whitney Farms. The Whitney’s have about 100 chickens and are acquiring another 100 or so due to demand. Their supply is also found at Alpenglow of Wyoming Natural Foods and Grant Street Grocery & Market (neither of which have an online presence yet). Oddly, the owner at Herbal Remedies was a bit surprised at how fast the eggs were snatched up – 6 doz by one woman ad shortly thereafter by another buying 5 doz, both were put on the “call” list when eggs arrive. I laughed and told her that when I make food from scratch, plus use eggs for egg salad or just breakfast eggs, a dozen eggs can be gone in 2 days OR LESS. For the Whitney’s $3.49/doz. (their cost + the store markup) after my purchase of $1.50/doz. my husband said that the fresh eggs wouldn’t be cost effective for us, I’d have to let it go and go to my grocery store for the 18-count $2.00 eggs.
*Friday, Feb 10th – I thought I’d add that there are 2 eggs left of 1 doz. eggs from Doris. That is light use 3 days!*
Posted on February 10, 2012, in Challenges, Foodie and tagged Alpenglow of Wyoming Natural Foods, Chicken, Egg-cellence Challenge, eggs, Farm, farm eggs, farm fresh eggs, Grant Street Grocery & Market, RealFoodFreaks, The Herbal Remedies Store Inc, Wyoming. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.