Animals on the Farm  

When we started out, we spent a good amount of time looking at many breeds of beef cattle. We wanted ones who would do well on grass, finish in 18 months and have excellent meat. They also had to be docile as we were new to cows, but not farm animals. We looked in Mass, NY, and VT.

We finally decided on 2 Vermont Raised and Grazed foundation cows from a certified Animal Welfare Approved herd, the only one in the state of Vermont, at the time. They were Simmental/Angus crosses, known for marbling and delicious healthy meat. They were known for gentleness, as they had been handled since birth.

The foundation cow, Winnie, had her second calf, Wave, at her side and was bred back to a Hereford bull. We also got a steer for slaughter in the fall of 2008. We had friends who were also getting cows with us and their cows were: a foundation cow, Taxi, half sister to Winnie; her calf, Maxwell, and she was bred back to the Hereford bull. They also got a "steer" for the fall, Taxi's daughter Moxie.

We had looked at Devon cattle and really liked them but could not afford them. So we are breeding our own cows to Devon bulls and getting outstanding calves. The meat is unbelievably tender and flavorful.

In 2012, David was injured twice while working the cows, so we decided to try something different. We bartered our cattle for grazing another Devon cattle breeder's yearling heifers each year and every other year he leaves us a steer for the freezer. So now we will run 6-7 Devon yearlings on our pastures from April to December, thereby keeping our pasture improvement ongoing. We no longer have to handle the cows, just do daily pasture moves.


For the broiler chickens, each year we tried a different breed. In 2008 it was 26 each of Cornish Cows, NH Reds, and Barred Rocks, straight run. In 2009 we scaled back to 50 birds and had 26 each NH Reds and Buff Orpingtons, straight run. In 2010, it was NH Reds and Jersey Giants, straight run. In 2011, they were Buff Rocks and Partridge Rocks, straight run.

 In 2012 we changed the flock dynamics. The broiler flock is all females except the Wyandottes, which only came as straight run. The 2012 flock was 25 Black Australorps, 7 Buff Orpingtons, 6 Cuckoo Marans, 7 Dominiques, and 6 Blue Laced Red Wyandottes. We got 3 Wyandotte roosters and 3 hens.

In the past we mostly looked for meat properties but in 2012 we decided to try some of the rarer breeds and add variety to the layer flock. We avoided birds with white as they are very attractive to predators.

For 2013 we ordered 10 Barred Rocks, 25 Black Australorps and 15 Delawares, all hens. We decided to try the white Delawares to see how attractive they were to predators. Delawares were considered excellent dual purpose birds. For 2014 the flock consisted of  15 Barred Rocks and 60 Buckeyes, all hens.

Continued on Page 2



About Us





Animals on the Farm

About the Farm

Wildlife on the Farm




Books and