By Diane Schivera, MAT Introduction The basis for organic livestock production is the development of a harmonious relationship between land, plants, and livestock, and respect for the physiological and behavioral needs of livestock. This is achieved by: Providing good quality organically grown feed Maintaining appropriate stocking rates. Designing husbandry systems adapted to the species’ needs.
By Diane Schivera, MAT Introduction Feed is the most expensive portion of the cost of raising chickens, and this expense is magnified by the fact that most folks feed a ground mash or pellet that is formulated and produced by a feed company. In an attempt to reduce this cost, you can feed laying hens
By Diane Schivera, MAT Revised June 2017 Introduction Many natural barriers help prevent bacteria from entering eggs. The “bloom” or “cuticle,” a gelatinous covering that dries after the egg emerges from the hen, helps seal the pores in the shell, reducing moisture loss and bacterial penetration. The many egg membranes also help prevent the passage
2019 Poultry Processing Workshop Thursday, July 25, 2019 MOFGA’s Common Kitchen at the Common Ground Education Center, Unity Fee: $75. $60 for MOFGA members Information: Email Diane Schivera or contact the MOFGA office – (207) 568-4142 Join Diane Schivera, MOFGA’s Livestock Specialist and an elite crew of poultry processing professionals for a workshop about
By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. Raising geese can be a joy – or a headache. Any farm or homestead venture needs to suit your property and personality, and must work cohesively with other activities. If you like peace and quiet, don’t acquire very vocal African geese. Weeder geese for use on a greens growing operation is
Johan van Achterberg, a farmer in Easton, Connecticut, worried every time he and his wife went out in the evening. Would an animal get into the hen house and decimate his layers before he got home? Even when he stayed home, he would find himself waking up in the small hours and saying, “Barbara, did
By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. On the first Friday of every month, MOFGA hosts its “Common Ground” radio show on WERU (89.9 Blue Hill, 99.9 Bangor, weru.org). I was on that show in April discussing backyard chickens. The information below follows up on a couple of interesting questions that callers asked. Lighting for Pullets One caller
By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. This summer I got many calls from chicken owners about ectoparasites. These pests are rarely problematic in the summer when birds have access to the outside, with sunshine and many places to dust bathe. However, folks in other New England states had the same comments this year. The cause is a
By Diane Schivera, M.A.T. Selling organic eggs in Maine requires knowing the regulations for licensing, certification, labeling, etc. Here’s a summary of some of those rules, with links to more extensive information. Licensing and Labeling If you raise fewer than 3,000 laying hens, you don’t need a license or inspection from the Maine Department of
Dana Manchester of Shady Hollow Farm in Morrill, Maine, talks about guinea fowl at MOFGA events. Photo copyright Shady Hollow Farm. By Jean English The Small Farm Field Day held at MOFGA’s Common Ground Education Center in Unity in late May offered a wealth of information and inspiration for those who want to raise fowl.