Organic Livestock? Is there a such thing?

Organic Livestock

Wanted to share a video feeding our livestock produce. We give this to cows, chickens, pigs, etc. This is almost 100% all natural organic.

Does this mean we have almost all natural organic livestock?

I’m not sure if we do or not, but we are probably as close as possible. We have an agreement with a store that we will pick up what they believe cannot be sold or the consumer won’t buy. We have been doing this for years!!! I highly recommend finding yourself a place of this nature. As you can see from the video below the animals just love it. We believe in trying to make our animals be the closest they can to organic livestock. Their nutrition value has sky rocketed. It’s really amazing seeing how shiny their coats, fur, etc is. If this stuff was considered garbage I really couldn’t tell you what is the bigger garbage disposal. The cow or the pig. Although each species seem to have slightly different preferences they both will still eat everything put in front of them. I’m talking from pineapples to bananas to cabbage to carrots. It is truly awesome. We are also helping our contact stay green by them not throwing this precious organic livestock feed in the trash.

Also we need to keep in mind what people feed their produce as much as what they feed their animals. If their feeding all kinds of pesticides, fertilizer, etc. to the produce then it’s in you and anything else that consumes it. These are some things we all need to consider when buying at the local grocery store and in our experience the best is what you grow or buy from a small farmer.

When doing this it is a enter at your own risk type deal.

Compost pile 2015

Our compost pile consist of hay and produce we feed to the cows plus their manure, cardboard boxes the produce come in and the chicken dropping from when they stir it all up. This was pushed up into a pile 2 days before the video and with almost 4 inches of rain and about 62 degrees its a steaming active pile of wonderful goodness. This is gonna be great stuff. Below you can see some pictures of our compost pile and a video describing our compost pile.

 

Here is where we fed the cows all winter.

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Boxes from the produce we haul for the animals.

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Also got wood chips from the county to mix into the compost.

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This is the wood chips, boxes, manure, and hay being pushed up.

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These two pictures will give you a size comparison of our compost pile versus the tractor and cows.

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This video has a bit of a description of our compost pile.

 

 

Compost and pigs

We decided to do something different with our compost area. Figured we would let our little boar piglets turn the compost for us. Here you can see one of our compost turners.

Things are much easier when you have help. Let your animals work for you. They will actually enjoy it and you will get more work done in a shorter amount of time.

 

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Picking up left over produce / compost.

One of the ways we get feed for our animals is to pick up left over produce or what some call compost. There is always all kind of goodies for the animals. We feed this to all of our animals, but do have to be careful depending on what we are giving to which animal. This is a great way to cut feed cost, mingle with great people, spread the word about local farming, and just get a quick break from the farm.

 

Full load of goodies for the animals. The hog will be eating high on the hog tonight.

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Loading the goodies in the tractor to distribute to all the animals. Our tractor has to be on of the most useful tools we have. Its like having 20 more people working for us. The Mahindra 4wd 4025 model is what we have and we love it.

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We always have to be thankful for our kids because they always lend us a helping hand. Kids love animals and what better reward for them, but to spend time feeding and watering animals. there is always entertainment watching the chickens peck.

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Here is a few of our AGH piggies chowin down on the wholesome goodies. These guys are so easy goin. They love these wonderful treats they get a few times a week.

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Turning the compost

Turning the compost we think is important, but what maybe real important is how often. Some people turn theirs once a week and some dont turn theirs at all. We think at least once every two months. Sometimes we do it as often as every two weeks. As long as you monitor your compost you will know when or when not to turn. Also yes we are human and we forget and dont always turn ours when we should so dont feel bad if you miss a turning date.

It boils down to a few things.20140705_142046

  • How active. If it is active then we leave it till it starts to become inactive. It needs to do its thing so lets let it. Remember activity creates heat. Lots of activity makes lots of heat.
  • How hot. If it is HOT then we dont touch it. If we do anything we add water if it gets to extreme. When your pile gets active it will get hot and remember activity creates heat and you are on the right path, but you will need to monitor the heat. We use a compost thermometer.
  • How wet. Being in such a dry climate in south Texas it is very important to watch the moisture in the compost. We always add water when turning the compost. Sometimes we will add water even when not turning. Especially during our hot summer months. Remember the little active microbes in there are living and need water. We use a moisture meter also.
  • Oxygen. The little living microbes, worms, bugs, etc. need air like we do. So try to make sure you have something in your compost such as straw, cardboard, etc. to trap and hold oxygen in the compost pile.
  • Fertilizer. You dont need much if any fertilizer when composting. Also puts us in more of a natural gardening sense. If you do need some fertilizer or something in your soil you can add it to the compost and it will help your so20140705_142029il along with the compost.
  • Dont turn it!!! Sometimes people turn their compost to often and it never has the chance to get hot or active enough. If its hot then, then its active. If its active it will get hot. So if its hot and active dont touch it. You need to turn it when it begins to cool down and starts becoming less active.
  • Tools. Not so much about the compost, but makes doing it easier. Right tools and the job is easier. In this case you can see we use our tractor. It makes short work and since we always have very little time it really speeds up the process. Its like having a dozen people with shovels and wheel barrows.

 

There is a lot more to composting than just what we have mentioned here, but this is great basics to get you going. Below you can see the thermometer and moisture meter we use. Good Luck.