Dawson Valley Free Range

Dawson Valley Free Range

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Hot weather, Cold weather, Wet weather......

We seem to get it all with the weather - hot, cold, wet - and we are never happy, especially when it's too dry! Recently we had some beautiful rain, but it was a tad too much on our pig paddocks and did cause some stock losses - just too much rain in too short a period and it was very cold as well! It is now absolutely glorious weather and so warm that we will get full benefit from the rain, which is unusual for winter rain events. Unfortunately for us (and our loyal customers), it was the hot weather last summer that is still having a dramatic effect.

With pigs, there is a condition called summer infertility. It is what it sounds like - pigs have trouble making babies when the weather is too hot. We thought it was just a boar thing, but on doing more research, we are finding out that it's a problem  for the sows as well. Without going into too much detail, the upshot is that when you have long hot summers like we did this/last year, you don't get many successful pregnancies. Our pigs are between 5 and 6 months old when we send them off to market - that is why it's affecting us now, and has been a problem for the last few months. We have a lot of babies on the ground now and hopefully this will continue going forward. We will also be doing some planning now to work out better ways to keep the breeding herd cooler during the summer to come.

Why am I telling you all this???? Well, we are going to have to cancel the markets in August! Yep, none! Hopefully by September we will have something available to take and that we'll be right from then onwards. I am so miserable about this because we have such a supportive customer base and I just hate not being able to supply you!

One of our many baby goats!

This is one of the leaky weirs we put in the creek following our work with Peter Andrews. These are simple log structures that slow down the water, to prevent further erosion. They are working really well. I've written more about them on my other blog. Healthy Farming Healthy Food

Friday, July 1, 2016


Life has been crazy busy lately! I'm sorry I'm getting this notice out a bit late, but better late than never! We will be at the markets in Yeppoon and Rockhampton this weekend. Yeppoon Community Markets 6-9.30 am and Rockhampton Kern Arcade Markets from 6-12pm.

Our pig numbers are still very slow to coming on - I don't think pigs like making babies in the heat and we had such a long hot summer! So we won't have a lot of pork this weekend. We will have beef, goat and lamb. Not a lot of lamb so it'll be first in first served. The lamb is from Brenda and Anthony Lipsys of Blue Sky Heritage Eggs fame. We bought a few wethers from them to put through the markets. This is the first one.

Amongst all the usual, we will have bacon bones and bacon hocks, broth bones, lard and dog bones.

Another thing I wanted to mention is that while the pig numbers are low and while we are still getting the meat processed at Monto, we will only be doing a market once per month. This will be for the next 3 months at least. So I'm really sorry about this inconvenience but unfortunately there's not much we can do about it.

I look forward to catching up with you on the weekend.