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.