A year and a half in Pauley’s Rowdy Acres
Jim Pauley grew up on a farm so he was very pleased when Stephanie indicated strong interest. Purchased about a year and a half ago, I visited their 30 acre farm, Pauley’s Rowdy Acres, last June and posted a blog then. When I heard there was a new goat kid I wanted to meet her.
This is a LaMancha dairy goat.
One of the first things I noticed is that it has tiny little ears, unlike other breeds, like the Alpines that are also on the farm. Stephanie says the LaManchas are friendlier than the Alpines, but Alpines generally are better milk producers.
The Pauleys are strong advocates for raising heritage breeds. They raise animals for meat: Tamworth hogs, White Holland turkeys, Chinchilla rabbits, and White Brahma chickens. These chickens will ready around the end of April.
Until farming became commercialized into an industry in the last 30 years, most breeds raised on farms for meat were what we now call heritage breeds. The industrial farms have developed hybrids using several of the primary breeds to find characteristics that would produce meat that is consistent These hybrid animals are raised in pens, typically inside, and fed diets that result in faster than natural growth. An animal that grows quickly costs less to raise and the meat sells for less at the supermarket. The American consumer seems to prefer inexpensive food to food that tastes good. In fact, so many people have been eating the hybrid meats for so long that they have no idea what the original taste is.
It is more expensive to raise a heritage breed to maturity because no hormones or steroids are fed to the animals to induce muscle mass. No antibiotics are used because the animals have room to roam and are not in crowded unsanitary conditions. This means that when you eat this meat, you also are not taking antibiotics, hormones or steroids into your body.
The other thing I noticed at Pauley’s Rowdy Acres is similar to what I have seen on other farms where Wild Ramp Market Producers raise animals. The animals look healthy. They even look happy. Typically, they come over to the farmer, eager for a head scratch or petting. As we walked around the farm, Jim was carrying a feed bucket and of course you would expect the animals to react in an excited fashion. But what happened with the pigs made us all laugh.
They saw us approaching and they jumped the fence! These are huge animals that have been doing a fantastic job rooting and grubbing, clearing a 6 acre electric single strand fenced area that Jim will prepare for a garden once he moves the fencing for the hogs. They have been getting enough food, supplemented with minimal amounts of grain, scraps and leftover milk but they saw us coming, got excited and ran towards us. Jim met them and together, the three hogs, the goat that was following and the small dog walked back to the pen where the pigs cooperated by going back in and then got their treat.
“The characteristics of the Tamworth reflect the breed’s centuries of selection for an outdoor life. Pigs of this breed were expected to find their own food, especially mast (or acorns) of oak and beech forests”. You can find more info at www.albc.org/cpl/tamworth.html
The Pauleys have constructed a small greenhouse and are starting seeds inside for planting.
You can see by the fogginess of the photo how humid it was inside. Their first goal is to raise food for their own family; four of their sons are still at home. But they also plan to bring excess produce to The Wild Ramp where we will get to enjoy freshly picked ripe beans, corn and tomatoes.