Tuesday
Aug312010

Predators

Living in an open space and having chickens in our front yard has been a challenge for us. Especially because our chickens are free range and have pasture to graze on. Being outdoors, enjoying the sunshine and fresh air, they are a prime target for the foxes we have roaming the fields around our farm. We have taken precautions to keep our chickens safe including:

- Fencing the pasture with non-climb horse fence

- Burying fencing wire three feet deep to keep predators from digging underneath.

- Adding electric wires to the top of our fence to deter the foxes from climbing.

- Keeping the chickens inside their coop at night where they are safe. Night is usually when the foxes are out and about

stock photo - not an actual picture of the snake that scared shaynEven with doing these things througout the past year, we have still lost a chicken here and there to a clever (determined?) fox who figures out how to get into the pasture. We are currently redoing our fence to be taller and hopefully impossible for the foxes to climb. I think the foxes are beautiful and hope we can all happily exist in the same area without losing any of our chickens!

On Saturday we also discovered we have a large snake trying to snack on our chicken eggs! Shayn, Alpine and Sully went out to gather eggs and discovered a four-foot long snake hanging out at the coop until he slithered off into a hole.

When Shayn came inside he commented that it seems our chickens are being attacked from both sides by predators; foxes after the birds and snakes after the eggs.

Such is life on the farm!

 

Thursday
Aug262010

Moo

Are you thinking about buying some beef? It can be a big decision - calculating freezer storage, the amount of meat your family needs, the investment, etc. We've received quite a bit of feedback from customers on our beef and have a few items to let you know about:

1. We are adding the option to purchase 1/4 cow. This will be available with standard processing only.

2. If you are thinking about ordering some beef, now is the time to do it. We will be butchering cows in three to four weeks and the meat should be available the end of September/beginning of October.

3. Is 1/4 still too much beef for your freezer? Do you want to try our beef before your commit to purchasing a whole cow? Beginning in October we will have individual cuts available for purchase. Customers will be able to buy a few steaks, some burger or a roast. (Or all three!) We are currently working on a price list for those and will post the information as soon as it becomes available.

We know you will love the beef from Utah Natural Meat. It is healthy, homegrown, grass fed beef and the taste can't be beat! Please visit our beef page for more information and to place an order.

Monday
Aug232010

Slippy? Slappy? Swenson? Swanson? 

Nah! It's SULLIVAN!

We'd like to introduce the newest member of our family! Our new fourteen-week-old standard poodle. He really looks more like a sheepdog right now, but I just don't want to cut off his puppy hair yet. He's so soft and fluffy!

It was a bit of a process in finding him. After our first standard, Endora, had to be put to sleep a few months ago, we weren't sure what to do. We knew we wanted another dog for our boys. They both love dogs and loved Endy.  But we didn't know what  breed we wanted. We started discussing which we would like and tossed around the idea of a few different breeds. But we ended up back at the standard poodle. No, it's definitely not your typical farm dog! But they are some of the best dogs. Calm, intelligent, loyal and wonderful with kids. 

So we began searching and stumbled upon Sullivan. He is such a smart dog, so good with our boys. He loves to play with them and they love him. He's can be found right next to my feet most of the time. He plays with the cats, is curious about the chickens and enjoys being outside with us doing the chores each day. And somehow he manages to find a mud puddle to jump in on a daily basis. He is getting used to a bath very quickly.

Sully is a perfect fit for our family and I love having a dog in our home again!

Thursday
Aug192010

Salmo-what?

You may have heard, or may not seeing as it hasn't been in the news too much, of the latest salmonella outbreak in eggs (you can read about it here). It's crazy to me that 380 million eggs in seventeen states are affected by this outbreak. That is a LOT of eggs. The only good I see from a story like this is the hope that more people will realize buying local is better. Buying free range eggs is better. Better for you, better for your family, and better for our local economy. When you cram thousands of chickens in an enclosed, overcrowded area, you are not going to have healthy chickens. 

Yes, any egg can contain salmonella bacteria. But the likelihood of an egg from a free-range, pastured chicken having salmonella is very unlikely. Our hens are healthy and happy! They are outside on a half-acre of grass. They roam and forage. They get fresh air and sunshine. They produce awesome eggs.

Have you tried them yet? Well, c'mon, what are you waiting for?

Saturday
Aug142010

Hi! We're the Bowlers. Nice to meet you!

And welcome to Utah Natural Meat!

I can't tell you how excited we are to get this website up and running! We are thrilled to share something we love with others. So how did we get to this point? There are a few factors that came into play:

1.) We have grown our own beef and raised our own eggs for years, sharing with friends and family along the way. This year, however, we noticed a difference. There were many, many more people interested in buying some beef from us. What used to be selling some beef to my cousin, Jenna, turned into selling some beef to Jenna's-neighbor's-sister's-boss (whew!). We needed an easier way to accomodate a growing number of customers.bowler boys on the tractor

2.) We watched Food, Inc. Have you seen it? Heard of it? It really changed the way I think about the food I'm feeding my family and how the animals are treated. When it was over I found myself asking, "We raise our own beef already and have the ability to raise our own chicken. Why aren't we doing it?" I know that everybody can't raise their own chickens, or will even want to. But I feel like we all deserve the option to purchase clean, healthy meat for our families. Our goal is to make grass-fed meat available and affordable for everyone.

3.) My husband, Shayn, is a farm guy. He loves it. He grew up hauling hay, shoeing horses and changing the irrigation water at 2am. I can see the benefits of his upbringing and I want the same for my boys. They learn to work and to appreciate the animals. They gain an education they can't get anywhere else. We want to sustain this way of life because we love it!

I hope our website is easy to navigate and understand. I'd love to hear any comments you can give us. What would you like to see on the site? Is there any information we should add? Do you have any questions for us? Let us know! Your feedback is what will make us better.

Thanks for stopping by. We hope to see you again soon!

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