Eggcettera Update … What’s going on at the farm, May 2018

 FARM. FOOD. LIFE. EGGCETTERA.

FARMER TIM’S BLOG

Eggcettera Farm

The strong and truly farm direct relationship we have with our pastured produce supplier, Eggcettera is extremely important to Meat at Billy’s. It’s a wonderful story for those keen to listen and or learn. To help paint the picture, we want to share with you, our customer, the real time, honest & interesting everyday goings on at ‘the farm’. 

When we first asked Farmer Tim if he would be able to pass on regular farm updates, he was hesitant. He wondered what he could possibly write about that would be of interest to our customers, his customers. He was surprised to learn that some people love hearing about the things he may consider to be mundane, every day tasks. 

We love that every time we talk to Tim, we inevitably learn something new about the farm, or the animals, or his philosophy or his life on the farm. His wealth of knowledge regarding farming animals using ethical and sustainable practices, produces intriguing snippets of information in every conversation. 

We want share that with you. We’re certain you’ll love it too.

Introducing Farmer Tim’s blog series –  Farm. Food. Life. Eggcettera.

 

EGGCETTERA UPDATE – MAY 2018, written by Tim Somes, Owner Eggcettera

Fair dinkum, free range chickens

The girls are going well. We had a new flock of 400 arrive on the 25th April. These young ladies are 16 weeks of age when they arrive, and it is usually another 4 weeks until they all start laying. Being out on grass 24/7 (aside from roosting in their sheds of a night time) they take a bit of educating to lay their eggs in the laying boxes and not out in the grass. We encourage them to use the nesting boxes by putting golf balls (that look like an egg!!) in the boxes.

Consumption of the supplementary feed always increases this time of year with the cooler weather and the grass dying off due to the frosts. Production also drops by about 15% and this is understandable, due to the shorter daylight hours. We are completely comfortable with this as it fits in with our ethos – ethical treatment of the animals.

Box gum goats

Our goats are looking extremely good now. They are purchased around the 10 to 12 months of age, kept on the farm until 15 to 25kg carcass weight (16 to 24 months of age). They are in an open grass paddock with access to the abundant box gum trees to nibble on along with supplementary fed wheat.

They are all wethers (castrated males) and predominantly of Boer breeding. This breed originates from South Africa and was developed in the early 1900s. They have a superior carcass and show significantly more intramuscular fat than other breeds once fattened.

Pastured Pork

The Eggcettera pigs are all well, and pigs being pigs, are well and truly eating their heads off, compensating for the cooler weather. They have not been using their wallows as frequently in the past few weeks which is understandable with some frosts freezing their watering systems until 8am. Thanks to the cooler weather we have been steadily increasing the number of pigs down to MAB on a weekly basis, so thanks for all the customers enjoying pork cuts on these cooler nights.

The six Duroc pigs we purchased in collaboration with MAB & Barbecue Mafia have quickly become farm favourites. The breed was first developed in the United States and are reknowned for their even tempers and are not aggressive whatsoever. They have their own paddock where they are being fed a special diet developed by Billy and myself which will enhance their intramuscular fat at the same time surpassing the flavour of any pork that we have produced to date……watch this space!

Long Paddock Lambs

With the lack of rain and frosty weather we have seen consumption of the supplementary feed start to sneak up. We usually shear the lambs that are bought in Spring/Summer however during Autumn/Winter we leave the wool on them to counter-act the cold out in the paddocks. Once again, we are seeing a lovely increase in the number of lambs going down to Brisbane each week – thumbs up to the MAB customers.

Beer Malt Beef

The black steers are going well, with their lovely long winter coats. They have been reducing their intake of beer malt to some extent and are more focused on the supplementary grain in their paddock due to the cooler weather. Some of the steers are purebred Angus, and others Angus/Wagyu Cross.

They embrace the sun on these cooler mornings by laying on their sides with their tales flicking and ears flapping. As a bit of a treat we give them molasses (a sugar bi product) which they absolutely love!!

I look forward to updating you again soon!!

Tim