Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Flip Flop Ranch

Spring has been here and is gone and summer is going by quick.  The garden is growing and we have tons of little babies running around.  Our new flock of Cotton Patch goslings looks almost like a flock of full-size adult geese!  They grow so fast you can almost see them change in front of your eyes.  We’ve added some other endangered animals to our flock as well.  One is the Dorking chicken.  We’re particularly proud of this accomplishment because it took me over a year to track down a breeder and get eggs. 
Dorkings are a very special -- and very endangered -- breed. They’re one of the first breeds of chickens that were domesticated by humans for eating and were even around during the Roman Empire.  Julius Cesar might have even eaten a Dorking!  Dorkings have five toes and really short legs.  They’re supposed to be exceptionally sweet birds so we’re looking forward to them growing up and showing us their personality.  The Dorkings are nearly extinct so we’re very happy to be raising this chicken as well as offering them next year for eating (in limited quantities so put in an order soon!). 
Now a lot of people ask about the ethics of eating endangered animals.  Eating endangered livestock encourages farmers to raise endangered breeds and this is the only effective way to prevent the extinction of the species.  Chickens can’t be released into the wild and most zoos aren’t interested in raising chickens for exhibit.  Chickens are farm animals, but farms have to make a profit or they go out of business.  Therefore, farm livestock have to be sold.  When raising endangered livestock, farmers keep the best of the breed for breeding more and better animals and sell off the culls or the animals that aren’t perfect (e.g. a Dorking with four toes instead of five would be a cull).  This keeps the breed strong and healthy.

Husband University

Speaking of keeping things strong and healthy, the therapy program at the Ranch is picking up speed as well.  We’re currently working on designing a program for men on the brink of divorce called Husband University.  This two-week program would be a male-friendly line up of classes and activities designed to show husbands that they have power to alter the course of their relationship.  We at the ranch believe that men are valuable and necessary to relationships—to their wives and children. Research shows that men have a huge influence on their children’s cognitive ability, educational achievement, social behavior and psychological well-being.  Women who are happy in their marriage are better mothers and have an easier time dealing with their children.  Sons of fathers who treat their wives respectfully are significantly less likely to act aggressively towards women.  Daughters of involved, respectful fathers are less likely to enter into violent or unhealthy relationships.  On the other hand, research has shown that husbands who display anger, show contempt for, or who stonewall their wives (i.e., "the silent treatment") are more likely to have children who are anxious, withdrawn, or antisocial. In short, fathers have a powerful and positive impact upon the development and health of children and some research shows that fathers have a more powerful impact on children than mothers, even when (maybe especially when) the father is absent.
If you have thoughts about Husband University then please get in contact with us.  We’re interested in your ideas about what men should learn and how they can save their marriage.  And if you’d be interested, or know anyone who would be interested, in attending the program then please let us know that as well.  That way we’ll know that we’re on the right track and that this program would be valuable

Thanks for supporting the Ranch!

The Ranch Family

P.s. Turkeys are sold out for Thanksgiving 2010, but we are taking reservations for our heritage turkeys for Thanksgiving 2011.  The earlier we know you want a turkey, the better we can plan for next year.  Also, next year we are offering both Bourbon Red and Midget White turkeys.  Midget Whites are a smaller turkey suitable for a single person or a couple.  However, they’re also considered the number one tasting turkey.  Bourbon reds are a close second and get much bigger.  Check out the website for more information! 

P.s.s.  We are also contemplating on purchasing a cow this coming year.  Please let us know if you’d be interested in buying a share of the meat.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Midget White poults

Midget White eggs are HUGE compared to other turkey eggs and the poults (baby turkeys) hatch much bigger than other turkey poults.  However, Midget White turkeys only grow to be maybe half the size of other turkeys.  Hence, the name Midget (and they're white so that explains the rest).  Midget White turkeys start life with irony and I have a feeling they will continue to live and develop as a breed that is very unique in its personality.  When the Midget Whites started hatching yesterday morning, I knew within a few hours that their personality was different than the Bourbon Reds. The Midget Whites were curious and spent most of their time looking out the window of the incubator to see the world around them.  Whenever I shown a flashlight in the incubator to check on everyone, they jumped up and tottered towards it.  Now that the poults are in their brooder box, they stare intently at anyone who walks by.  Also, everyone who raises turkeys says that the poults aren't that smart and they sometimes starve or dehydrate to death before figuring out how to eat and drink.  Not these little guys.  Within a half hour of being taken out of the incubator they were eating and drinking.  So far Midget Whites seem like a very intelligent turkey.
 Everyone at the ranch thinks its going to be really fun raising these turkeys!  I'm happy to have them at the ranch as they are the number one tasting turkey and they are also extremely rare.  Our plan is to raise some for Thanksgiving next year as well as raise them to sell as pets and breeding stock.  

Cows for domestic violence

Hi all!

We’ve decided to go ahead and get a couple of cows due to popular demand :-D  We're probably only going to get 2 for our first year so make sure you get in contact with me fast.  Two cows means 8 people can purchase.  Through talking to cattlemen and looking at typical prices for beef, we are offering beef at $10 per pound (plus processing fee) with 30% of that purchase being tax deductible.  This part of the purchase is used to support Flip Flop Ranch’s efforts to lower domestic violence and build stronger relationships. If you purchase a ¼ side of beef (about 100 pounds), it will cost (about$1000 and $300 of that purchase price can be taken off your taxes.  So this actually drops the price down to $7 per pound after the tax deduction.  This is the average price you’d pay for beef at Costco or a similar store, but now you are supporting a good cause, you can see your cow as it grows, come visit it and know that it has been raised happily and healthily.  Our cows will also be grass fed.  Although grass fed is healthier, some people prefer the taste of a grain finished cow.  Please specify if you want this. 
 Standard 1/4 Beef
Grass fed cow for sale
(Cuts and weights are based on average yields and will vary) CUT
Number of Packages
Back Ribs
Ball Tip Roast
Chateau Briand
Chuck Boneless Roast
Chuck Eye Steak
Cross Rib Roast
Cube Steak
Fajita/Stir Fry
Filet Mignon
Flat Iron
Ground Beef
London Broil
New York Steak
Rib Eye Boneless
Sirloin Tip Steak
Stew Meat
Top Round Tend. Steak
A deposit (nonrefundable) of $200 will reserve your quarter of a cow.  Remember that a ¼ of beef can easily be split between two people, although we ask that you decide between yourselves which cuts you would prefer.  A ¼ beef will take up about 6 cubit feet of freezer space.

Look forward to hearing from you!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Since one of my Rhode Island Red chicks hatched three days ago, it hasn't stopped screaming except occasionally when it's dead asleep.  And yes, I mean screaming.  Chirping at the top of it's voice to the point I have to sleep with a fan on in my room to cover the noise from the chick (who is in a box in the bathroom next to my room).  I checked the chick over multiple times to see if something was wrong with it-nothing I could see.  And the temperature was fine so it wasn't cold.  Plus, the other chicks were absolutely fine.  I figured the chick must have something wrong with it and would die, but it's still alive and has continued to scream...until tonight.  I finally called my mother who doesn't have chicken experience, but has baby experience and asked her what she thought.  Find a stuffed animal she said.  A stuffed animal for a chick?  My mother must be crazy I thought, except....take a look for yourself...

And now the chick is chirping contentedly for the first time since it hatched!

(The screamer is at the very bottom of the pile. You can see its little bum sticking out)

Maybe it's a little silly, but I think this is an important lesson of what parents mean to their children and what love means to everyone.  This poor little chick was extra sensitive to the need for love and affection just as human babies as well as older children, teens and even adults desperately need love and affection.  And while the one chick cried out for more attention, all the other chicks were just as quick to cuddle the stuffed animal.  Just because someone doesn't verbalize the need for love doesn't mean they don't want it.  This is what teenagers and husbands (and fathers) are especially prone to do.  They don't realize they need/want the love, are afraid to ask for it or don't know how to ask.  But when it's offered, it's appreciated.  Read more about the importance of love an attention here...

Dorking chicks

Our Dorkings are almost two months old now and getting big.  It's amazing how many colors there are for one breed.  Our two roosters are already crowing, which is adorable in their little high pitched squeaky rooster voice.
Colored DorkingGrey Dorking ChickenSilver DorkingIMG00969-20100806-1511