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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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And the Four Country Gals thought things would slow down after the market season…

Wrong!

We’ve been busier than bees foraging for pollen.

After the Farmer’s Market season, we moved into the next phase with our udderly incredibly addictive Cajeta. We have now received our official “Process Authority” letter. That means as long as we follow our formula precisely, including the process we use, we may, in fact use the traditional raw goat’s milk.

Getting that approval saves us thousands of dollars, and a lot of labor. That means the prices for our Cajeta will remain in the ballpark of our projections. It also means we can move forward with building our facility, and awaiting kidding season. We now have 7 girls who we believe are pregnant.

We lost our prized matriarch,  Posey, and that will be another blog post later.

100_7793Just this morning we were looking at the remaining kids and will probably send two more of them to the buck this winter.

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Posted in Around the farm
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A summer review of our DHA Family Farm activities

During the summer, we get all wrapped up in our day-to-day operations. From late spring when the babies are born, and planting all the veggies, it seems day runs into night, and back to day again.

So, here we are, smack in the middle of summer harvests.

This year, we began using the new twin high tunnels, most often referred to as hoop houses. We began planting April 22, nearly a full two months earlier than our normal outdoor planting dates.

We’ve harvested sugar snap peas, radishes, green beans, tomatoes,  broccoli, squash blossoms, beets, swiss chard, two kinds of arugula, basil and cilantro. Still to come are more tomatoes, more broccoli, cauliflower, kale, spaghetti squash, peppers, radicchio, carrots, and potatoes.

Along with those veggies, we also have straw-bale beds with several kinds of lettuces, spinach, peppers, and more potatoes. And, then there are the onions,

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Posted in Around the farm
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Are we done with winter yet?

Enough with this weather! We have goats due to kid  about February 14 with lambing starting in March. We still need to finish the  two hoop houses and  then have to rebuild the  aquaponics system.

Besides that, we’re getting cabin fever.

Sheep in pen
Sheep are ready for breakfast.

Throughout the bad weather, our animals have made us look bad. The sheep insist on sleeping under the  stars, even though they have shelters. When we go out in the morning for chores, there they are, laying in muck. They get  up and  shake the ice crystals off their warm wooly coats and head for the feed.

More often than  not, our heifer has spent the night outside  although she has two covered wind breaks. She sleeps really close to her feed area, in case she wants to snack.

Zena, the Alpine goat has really frustrated us.

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Posted in Around the farm, Seasons
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Below zero temps with livestock to feed

Damn! We’re so tired of the below zero mornings while doing chores, only to have to repeat  the process with the windchill below zero in the afternoon.  Mind you, this is an area that routinely hits 100+ degrees in the summer time.

Let me share with you exactly what we do on a typical week day in this weather..

Mom usually starts the day shortly after 5 AM. It’s lights on in the kitchen and check the coffee pot time. Even though the machine is on automatic, Mom doesn’t trust it. We don’t trust that Mom set it right, but that’s another story. The kitchen is her domain until she gives it up.

Bev is next up about 5:30. By shortly before 6:30 she’s out to pre-trip and start the school bus. In below zero weather, all kinds of things can happen. She’s already had two dead batteries,

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Posted in Around the farm, Farm Tales
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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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