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We’ve been feeding Chaffhaye for a week now

You really need to watch our animals to see their love of Chaffhaye.

The goats get into the bucket before we can get into the pen.

The sheep do all but climb over their feeders, as do the milking goats.

What makes it so irresistible?

It could be the kiss of molasses that is sprayed onto the freshly chopped alfalfa, or it could be something far more simple, and something most animals in our valley have never tasted… absolutely fresh alfalfa, cut when it is most nutritious, yet tender and tasty.

I find it very interesting that both goats and sheep are in love with it. After all, sheep are grazers, and I would expect them to love it. Goats, however, are browsers. They are happiest when  allowed to trim our trees, munch on  tumbleweed,  or other miscellaneous weeds on our farm.

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Posted in Around the farm, Chaffhaye, Goats
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Chafffhaye, a new way to feed animals on small farms and ranches.

Four Country Gals is becoming the first SW Utah dealer for Chaffhaye, a revolutionary way to feed ruminants and other small animals.

Chaffhaye is produced in Dell City, TX, about 70 miles east of El Paso. That area is much like this valley, high and dry. The good news is they saw a need and are filling it.

[embedyt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10g0AnIfBLE[/embedyt]With six very consistent cuttings per year, they are able to take their alfalfa from the field to the finished package within four hours of being cut. It’s fermented for two weeks before being sent to the customer. They add a small amount of molasses to provide the necessary sugar for all the beneficial bacteria… bacteria which helps to pre-digest the nutrients, making them far more available and useful than dry cut alfalfa.

We’re jumping in as dealers because we see a need.

Here in the Escalante Desert Valley,

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Posted in Around the farm, Chaffhaye
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Things we know about our produce and meat…

Are you the least bit curious about where your food comes from? If you’re not, you should be. With all the rumors, misinformation, special interests, it’s very difficult to know exactly what is true, and how it affects you.

Here at DHA Family Farms, aka Four Country Gals, here’s what we know to be true. When you purchase produce from us, it is grown organically. We are Certified Organic, and that means we must track everything, be subject to audit, and testing of both our soil and our plants. We can tell you beyond a shadow of doubt exactly how our produce is raised, and why we believe it is healthy, succulent, safe to eat, and good for you.

Our lambs, goats and rabbits are all raised on our local farm, never leaving us to go “to the mountain”.  We feed 100% alfalfa (generally 2nd cutting),

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Posted in Around the farm, Certified Organic Garden, High Tunnel
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How Four Country Gals deal with a critter invasion…

.410 for critter controlAll over the Escalante Desert Valley, you here the sound of gunfire. Yep, we’ve been invaded and as farmers/ranchers, we’re fighting back.

The main critter is a chisler. This little guy looks a lot like a tail-less squirrel. He has a voracious appetite and loves everything from alfalfa to zucchini. They breed frequently and have simply exploded this year.

The next critter is the cotton-tail rabbit, one we normally allow 10% of a crop… but, that 10% was taken long ago. So… it’s on hit list.

The last critter is the jack rabbit, a large eared, long legged rabbit that is only good for coyote bait. We’ve got so many jacks, the coyotes are exceptionally well-fed.

Around here, we practice a “live and let live” policy, until the ecosystem gets “out of balance”. We determine the balance. If a critter is in our yard and eating something,

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Posted in Critter Central
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Alfalfa in big bales only this time

What a shock when I called our regular alfalfa supplier for an update on this year’s hay. You know it’s been way dry when nobody could bale 100# three string bales. Everything in the valley went into big bales (1300 pound average). These suckers are about 4 ft by 3 ft by 8 ft… way to big to fit into our little tractor bucket.

Hmm, what to do…

We could try to find another supplier, but that would mean cash up front, and no guarantee as to quality. Not a good idea.

We could put our big girl pants on and deal with it. Great idea! We have a tractor that we can use to move the loose hay around.

So, Steve brought us 8 big bales, the minimum his squeeze could handle. The bales averaged 1320# each, so that’s a little over 5 tons at $220/ton.

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Posted in Custom Meat Program, Goats, Sheep
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  • Goats helping photographer
    Hey, we'd love to help you take your pictures.
  • Coco's little calf born July 30, 2014
    Coco's little calf born July 30, 2014.
  • Cindy feeding Chaffhaye
  • working in the kitchen
    Bev recording milk weights, Shari stirring the Cajeta
  • The first two little doelings.
    The first two little doelings.
  • Mom with Thor
    Mom is cuddling our new buckling, Thor.
  • cargo trailer
    Our Farmer's Market cargo trailer.
  • Hand digging trench
    Shari pitches in and digs up broken water line.

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