Sunday, July 20, 2014

Polyface Farm Field Day

Yesterday I participated in a field day at Polyface Farms in Virginia.  The Salatins have become adept at marketing their version of sustainable meat production through books that Joel Salatin writes, speaking tours, and events on farm.  During yesterday's visit, the animals seemed content, living in a low-stress environment, doing what they liked to do, with access to light and fresh air.

The trick is, the Salatins raise animals in an ethical way and still turn a good profit, by using their land to "stack functions".  They also lease land to run animals on, they don't own all the land they use.  An example of stacking functions is running broiler chickens on the same land that cows just came through, since different bugs and parasites affect these species...the birds are able to glean protien from the cow patties and "clean up" after the cows.  

The weather was lovely and the rain held off til the end of the day.  All in all, great to see the things I have read about this farm in person.

Small apiary with electric netting for bears
The Raken House: Chickens stir the deep bedding under the rabbits to mix in the manure and keep it fresh until the young rabbits go out to pasture.
Rabbits on Pasture.  Daniel Salatin has bred a very hardy line of rabbits.
Burly Ass Trellis
Cornish Cross Broiler Shelters moving across pasture, cleaning up after the cows (eating parasites and bugs in the cow patties).  
Cornish Cross shelter with simple gravity watering system
Chick Brooder
Khaki Campbell Ducks under Paw Paw Trees.

Hoop House 30' x 120'
Kitchen Garden



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