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The Animals of

Easter Rising

Chickens

From Spring to Fall we raise chickens of the Cornish-Rock variety. As chicks they are kept on deep bedding for three weeks until they are strong enough to live outside, where they are kept in open-bottomed pens out on the pasture.

Poultry moved onto fresh plants everyday are very different from simply “free-range” poultry.  Our poultry are not raised in a barn with access to a yard.  They are moved to new, clean, green plants once, even twice daily. We supplement this with a feed mix composed of: whole oats, limestone, probiotics, soil minerals, seaweed, soybeans and corn.

Even USDA ‘organic’ chicken is not raised on fresh, growing vegetables. Our chickens are grown on antioxidant-rich, vitamin dense pasture. They then pass this nutrition on to you. 

They are never given antibiotics, arsenicals, or hormones, as are conventionally raised poultry.  We also offer GMO-free chicken.

Conventional processors use electrocution and mechanical evisceration. The resulting fecal contamination of meat requires washing the meat with chlorine.

We butcher our chickens here on the farm, by hand. We give an attention to detail, care, and cleanliness that is impossible for conventional poultry companies.

Pigs

We breed our own pigs at Easter Rising, and offer several sales each year. Our breeding stock are a Tamworth sow and a Gloucester Old Spot boar. All of our pigs are raised in open pens on soil and fresh bedding, and are fed our feed mix. They are not fed antibiotics or hormones. We also feed our pigs clean scraps, and raw milk from our dairy cows, when it is available.

Our piglets nurse from their mothers until naturally weaned (much longer than conventionally raised pigs), to develop healthy immune systems, and tender, nutritious meat.  This also helps give them a natural herd life, and minimizes stress.  Conventionally raised pigs often eat each other’s tails due to mineral deficiencies and stress. We do not dock tails, and have no problems with malnutrition or overcrowding, and the concomitant tail-biting. We do not confine our sows during farrowing.

Our porkers are grown to a weight of about 250 lbs before they are ready to be butchered. Our pigs are currently butchered at a local state-inspected abattoir. The butcher will prepare the meat to your specifications.

Cattle

Our herd is composed of a variety of breeds. Hereford, Shorthorn, and Angus genetics are the most prevalent in the herd, along with some Devon; these are British breeds of a smaller frame. We are breeding smaller framed cattle that will grow easily on pasture, to produce tender, healthy beef. We also keep Jersey cows for our own dairy needs. The photo to the left is of May, a Jersey-Normandie heifer calf. To the right is a portion of our herd.

Our cattle are entirely pasture-fed. They flourish on a diversity of pasture forage. We give them open access to a supplement of salt and kelp (a natural, and balanced source of vitamins and minerals), so that they can round out their individual nutritional needs.

We only use quiet, calm methods to handle the cattle. We are with them every day, so as to have a cooperative routine.

We breed our cows to calve in the spring or summer, which is a less stressful, more natural schedule than winter calving. We time our steers to be ‘finished’ in the fall, on lush cool season forage. As with the pigs, our cattle are butchered at a state-inspected facility.

 

Turkeys

We raise Double-Breasted Bronze turkeys from midsummer into the fall, for sale at Thanksgiving. Our turkeys are raised in a similar fashion to the chickens. They are purchased as chicks and raised in the brooder until they are strong enough to live outside, where they spend the rest of their time in movable, open-bottomed pens on the pasture. Their feed is identical to the one given to the chickens. They are never given hormones or antibiotics.

We butcher the turkeys ourselves, in the same manner as the chickens.

 

 

S h e e p & L a m b s

Our flock is made up of old breeds such as Katadhin, Dorper, Barbados, Suffolk, and Jacob’s sheep. We aim for a medium frame sheep that will do best on a natural, all-pasture diet.

We shear our sheep ourselves, and work with them daily to minimize stress. They are never given insecticide wormers, as are most sheep, and are purely grass-fed.

Our lamb and mutton is finished over the summer and into the fall. We take orders for sides and wholes, and your lamb and mutton is prepared to your specifications by our local butcher.

To the left is a Suffolk ewe whom we call “the bell sheep”, since she wears the bell, and, being the friendliest sheep, leads the flock when we work with them (more or less...) Her cooperativeness has earned her tenure at the farm.

To the right is our Jacob ram, the dominant male in the flock.

 

A Note on Worming Methods

At Easter Rising, we do not use artificial wormers to treat our livestock. By feeding the animals only their natural foods and making sure they have a mineral rich diet, we avoid disease and parasite problems, rather than merely treating them. A natural herd-life, rotational and inter-species grazing, and strong immune systems keep the animals healthy without the use of chemicals.

We use several methods to ‘worm’ our livestock: Shaklee’s Basic H, wood ash, garlic, and Diatomaceous Earth. Shaklee’s is an all-natural surfactant derived from soybeans. Diatomaceous Earth is a powdery substance composed of pulverized diatom fossils. We administer both through the animals’ mineral supplements or water.