Dawson Valley Free Range

Dawson Valley Free Range

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Pork Delivery Postponed

We will have to postpone the scheduled pork delivery for this week coming. Obviously things are a little wet. I'll have to wait until we see what happens over the next week and then we will re-schedule. The good news is that those people in Theodore, Moura, Baralaba and Woorabinda may now be able to order ham and bacon, as we can hopefully send the pigs down with enough time to do that. I will keep everyone posted as soon as we know ourselves.

Our new bridge at Baralaba is under water - it's first flood and it's out! We always knew that it would go under in a big flood, and we're certainly having one of them. What we don't know is how much water is still going to come down from Taroom and Theodore areas. We won't be able to take pigs to Monto until the bridge here is clear - we can go a long way around, but will wait and see if we need to.

On another note, thought I'd post some pictures of our latest additions to the farm:
This chicken was sitting on some eggs in a 44 gallon drum half full of grain. It seems to be a favourite spot for chickens to lay. When I took this photo, she had hatched 5 out of 7 eggs. She has had another one this morning - it's brown and stripy. There breeding is Rhode Island Red x with Indian Game.
I will have to lift them all out, but thought I'd leave them for a bit longer. It's so wet and miserable still, and we have a heap of piglets roaming around and they may upset the babies! We had to let some of our weaners out, so there are about 30 pigs roaming free.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Wet, Wet, Wet

We've had some rain over the last couple of days. Last count it was 225mm. Pigs are happy, but wet!

There's more pictures and info on the Healthy Farming Blog.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Deliveries for January and February

I have finally managed to get the dates for the next month or so sorted out. We have been very busy on the farm lately - this heat just creates so much more work - mostly making wallows for the pigs to keep cool.

I have done up a new order form with a few minor changes.

We are offering 2 types of fresh pork packs – the two together would be similar to our old 10kg packs, just thought we’d break it up for those that have smaller freezers.

Ham and Bacon Pack is different this time as we want to trial the shoulder ham – this would be great for lunches as there is no bone.

We have been delivering our pork direct to you, but this has proved to be costly in time and resources. It means we take the pigs over to Monto one week and then collect them the next, then deliver to the various towns. Monto is about a 6 hour round trip from Baralaba. We started this way as we really wanted to develop our market and also to get to know some of our customers, as we feel it is important to have that relationship. However, we are going to trial using a third party to deliver to some of the towns. It will mean that we can offer delivery every month if need be. It also means that it will be delivered to your door. Kim and I will still do some deliveries, for example, Theodore, Moura, Baralaba and Woorabinda.

We are hoping to also be able to offer delivery to Emerald, Dysart, Middlemount and Moranbah, so if you are in these areas, please contact me asap so that I can organise a delivery date for those towns.

Dates are as follows:

• Theodore, Moura, Baralaba and Woorabinda – Delivery 30th and 31st January. Sorry for the short notice, but you must get your order back to me by this WEDNESDAY, the 23rd January. Please Note: This will be for fresh pork only. We had a special order for 3 pigs, and so we can only fit it in if we do fresh pork. Kim will be delivering this, so we will meet at a Central Location in Theodore and Moura (to be advised later)

• Biloela, Calliope, Tannum and Rocky – Delivery will be 14th and 15th February. You will need to get your orders in to me by Friday, 1st February. The full range on the order form will be available for these orders. We look forward to the year ahead and will keep you all posted on any changes or updates via this Blog or via Facebook.

Saturday, January 12, 2013

Pork in 2013

Happy New Year to everyone! I'm excited about this year, we are really going to be powering ahead with our Free Range Pork. I'm finally getting back into the swing of things and need to start our delivery's again. Our pig numbers are up, so we will have a great supply of pork, and when they are ready to go, they are ready! If we leave the pigs to long, we end up having trouble with them getting too fat. We are meeting with our butcher tomorrow and will then plan our new order form for this year. We will also work out our delivery schedule for the coming months.

I would love any comments or requests that might help me with the order form.
  • What do you like (or not like) about the packs we have offered so far?
  • What other cuts of pork would you like us to offer?
  • Do you like the bigger 10kg packs or the smaller 5kg packs?
  • Are roasts or chops your thing?
  • Where would you like to see us deliver to?
  • Are Saturday's for a delivery day okay?
I would appreciate any feedback you can give me. If you want to say a lot, can you please email me at anabank@bigpond.com

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Hot Weather

It's been so hot lately, that it's really testing our pigs out. We need to keep constant wallows up for them, as this is really the best way for them to cool down. They lie in the mud and then go and lie in the shade. It's quite interesting, because if their wallow dries out, they drink a lot more water. They don't drink nearly as much when they have a good wallow.

In Queensland, free range pig farmers are not "encouraged" to use wallows. I'm not really sure what the problem for the authorities is, whether it's causing dirty run off or whether they worry about breeding disease. We change our wallows quite regularly, because if they are in one spot too long, they do get a bit yukky, so while it's clean mud, it's okay. The mud not only keeps them cool, but it helps to keep away lice and other insects. It protects the pigs from sunburn, mosquito's and flys.

And the pigs love it! One of our Boars often comes over to us and grunts and carrys on when we renew the wallows, as if to say "Thankyou!" Pigs are very responsive and appear to be truly grateful for the way we look after them. It breaks my heart when I think of pigs being kept in pens and in sheds! They are really far to intelligent for that!