GMO’s

Open source outdoor broiler chicken production. How we do it. The regenerative impact on the land.

As with our pig operation and our egg laying operation we are happy to share what we do so that you don’t have to pay the school fees that we have. If you don’t want to see the photos, videos or witty comments below then click on the protocol and on the pdf drawings of the enclosures Chicken Broiler-sides and Chicken Broiler-plan and Chicken Broiler-sections by Mr W Hammers, master draftsman. These drawings are to scale if printed on A3.

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Resilience in agriculture relies on creating soil. Every gram of soil organic matter (SOM) holds 8 grams of water. By rotationally grazing our animals around our farm we have since 2011 (which is when we started taking soil samples) increased our SOM by 42%. Please note that the farm average is still 1.87%, which is marginally better than beach sand.

I have written here about how our pigs create soil, here about how our laying hens in their Eggmobiles do the same. Here are more details about our cattle operation. Central to our cattle operation is the free choice mineral lick.

The underlying principle is that all the animals and their housing move regularly. The cattle are moved 4 times per day. The broilers and layers every day and the pigs once they have completely trashed an area which takes about 5 days. This ensures that the farm is neither overgrazed or overfertilised. Whether the conventional farming operation is caged or so called “free range” the housing is fixed and so the animals are under constant disease pressure as they live with their manure.

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This picture explains why the vegan and vegetarian option is defeatist. Only animals managed properly, in this case broiler chickens, can regenerate soil. The dark green strips are where previous batches of chickens grazed in their enclosures and in the background the paler grass indicates that they have not grazed their yet. Sustainability is also a defeatist belief. Regenerative agriculture is the only option that we have left if we are to survive as a species for it is agriculture that is destroying the planet.

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Above is a chicken we spatchcocked, marinated with herbs from the garden and enjoyed on the farm on which it was raised. Tasting our produce is one of the compulsory perks of the job.

If you don’t want to see any of the photos below and simply want our protocol then click here. It has the following sections. Daily tasks, additional tasks, materials sheet and vaccination program.

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The chicks on day 1. Note the feeders, drinkers and heating lamp.

Our broilers operation is simple. We get the birds as day old chicks. We raise them inside a building for 3 weeks and then outside on the pastures for 4 weeks. Thereafter they go for slaughter in Hopefield.

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The yellow on the beak at 11 o’clock is the yolk left from hatching out of the egg this morning.

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The photos above are of a batch of 225 day olds on the day they hatched. We are lucky to have access to Ross chickens. We tried Cobb a long time ago and they were not as tough outside.

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The greatest help you can be to your day olds is get them vaccinated and then fed and watered as soon as possible after hatching. More on our vaccination program in the protocol. Then you need to make sure their bedding is comfortable. We combine Zeolite (you can buy it from Agring – details in the protocol) with shavings. This is important as Zeolite binds to 27 Oxygen molecules, which enables it to help with your ammonia issues. The space that they are in is 3 metres by 3 metres. I would not put more birds in that space than 225. We have a second space for the other 225 that make up our 450 birds weekly.

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Note the other lighting option. Also the drinkers have changed to bell drinkers which we buy from Poltek. Ditto the tube feeders. As the birds get bigger they are able to eat and drink from these devices which are easier to handle. They also move over to this feeding system when their food changes from the starter ration to the grower ration. It is very important that the birds get starter (Day 1 to Day 10), grower (Day 11 to Day 24) and then finisher (Day 12 to the end). You are wasting money on feed if you don’t stick to this.

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The shavings/Zeolite combination needs to be turned every day. This is the best tool. It is a modified garden fork.

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It is very important to have these hand sanitisers at the entrance to each room as you don’t want your staff handling the birds of different ages without sterilising their hands.

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The enclosures on the land are 4m x 6m. It is critical to galvanise the metal. I promise you that if you try to do this with non-galvanized metal you will end up having to throw away your rusty enclosures. We have ours made by Rouan who is available on +27 76 197 1413.

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At the back of the enclosures you need the wheels above so that you can move it daily. The daily moves are critical.

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This is what we have made to attach to the tractor to pull the enclosure. Daily moves ensure neither overgrazing or undergrazing. The chickens very soon learn to accompany the enclosures on their moves.

The covers are made for us by SA Shade. Best to speak to Rudi on +27 84 503 6169. Under the shadecloth is a clear plastic which keeps rain off the birds. The sides are only shadecloth. You must have the ventilation along the sides at the bottom.

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The team from Hopefield Abattoir where the wonderful team under the supervision of Essie and Tyrone do the job. Essie is on +27 82 7433 566

The birds have to be inside for 3 weeks as it is only after three weeks that they have enough feathers to handle the cold night time temperatures. These birds only reach sexual maturity at 20 weeks of age which is when they will be fully feathered and considering we slaughter at 7 weeks they look slightly bedraggled.

We have written a detailed protocol for this operation. Please click here Broiler chickens, nov 2017 to download it. The plans for the enclosures are here Chicken Broiler-sections and here Chicken Broiler-plan and here Chicken Broiler-sides .

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I filmed the video below with my drone. Here I am showing Never, Murehwa and Khayalethu how it works.

Angus

13 December 2017

 

 

Glyphosate revisited and the subjectivity of science.

The ubiquity of this poison is an example of epistemicide. I elaborate on epistemicide at the bottom of this blog.

The chemical that is added to keep Glyphosate in suspension in the herbicide is what lab people give lab rats to create tumours.

I wrote this article on Glyphosate (the active ingredient in the herbicide Roundup and its generics) in November 2015. I wanted to make a few comments on the comments about this article that have been made since writing.

First, a note on scientific peer reviewed studies. Science lost it’s credibility a long time ago. Science lost it’s objectivity long ago. The vast majority of scientists will find what their paymasters want them to find. The bigger the industry the more hysterical the so called scientists clamour to defend it, see tobacco, cell phones, pharmaceuticals and of course agricultural chemicals.

To critically evaluate scientists we need to ask the following questions.

  1. Who paid for the research?
  2. Who did the research?
  3. Where did the researcher work before?
  4. Where does the researcher aim to work in the future?
  5. Has the researcher ever served on the boards or worked for the companies in the industry that is being researched?
  6. Has the researcher ever worked for any government agency that regulates the industry being researched?
  7. Have you examined the whole content of the research in the light of common sense?

Many times the summary statement or conclusions do not match the actual data or results.

Second, not everything that exists is measurable. One of the favourite daggers hurled at me when I discuss one element of BioDynamics, namely the energetic part of life, is that for scientists or real farmers to take any of this seriously it needs to be measured. Love is not measurable, not even in grams or millimetres. Hence the scientist has never loved.

Third, Glyphosate is merely the tool through which the agricultural chemical and seed companies are trying to establish their monopoly. It is a very powerful and clever way to achieve what every business wants. The side effects, like those of pharmaceuticals, are beside the point to these corporates who only care about their stock price. In my Goldman Sachs days I completely understood the quarterly driven mania for good results. What Glyphosate is doing is taking agriculture out of the farmers hands and into the corporates. Farmers care about their grandchildren whereas the nature of corporates is to care about the next quarter. These are incompatible values.

Fourth, the best video on Glyphosate is the one below. By retired geneticist Thierry Vrain. Once you have watched this you will understand this poison and it’s ubiquity. It’s chelating, desiccating, antibiotic and herbicide effect.

Fifth, the ubiquity of Glyphosate in our food. There are many butchers in the country who now claim to be supplying their clients with grass fed beef. This is  very easy to validate. Earlier this year I tested the meat from many of the butcheries around the country to see if there was any Glyphosate in the meat. If there is Glyphosate then the animals has been fed grain as all grains in this country are grown or killed with Glyphosate. There are a very small handful of grain growers who do not use Glyphosate. I tested lamb and beef and as you can see below there were 8 samples that tested positive. See the photo below.

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Finally, Epistemicide, a term coined by Jonathan Code, author of the book Muck and Mind, refers to the cide (the Latin word for killing or death) of epistemology. In other words, the killing of a way of knowing.

What we are never taught, but need to be aware of at all times, is that there is never only one way of knowing. There might appear to be only one but there was never one at the beginning and killing a way of knowing does not make it any less valid. Furthermore all ideas stem from an individual and we all know that no human has access to absolute truth, if such an idea exists.

Very few people are taught to question what is behind the way of knowing. Is the way you were taught mathematics the only way? The same applies to science. Who questions the unquestioned beliefs in society? Unquestioned beliefs only exist because of epistemicide.

The dominant paradigm in the world today is one of reductionism. Where everything is isolated, reduced, quantified and objectified. All of these principles are in violation of life which is not only the opposite of the abovementioned but also contextual. How can anyone claim confusion as to the parlous state of the world when the system is in violation of nature and life? This proves how powerful epistemicide is.

In the world of agriculture and gardening the use of Glyphosate is total. Only the certified BioDynamic and Organic farms do not use Glyphosate. This is an example of the epistemicide of farming and gardening without the use of herbicides.

Angus

2 July 2017

Ways to enjoy our produce as of 21 February 2017

Now that we have upgraded our product range we are updating how you can source our produce. The new products have no nitrates or nitrites added during production (Click here for more on this cancer free meat). If you don’t want to scroll through the photos from some of the work on the farm then please click here or go to BUY MEAT at the top of the blog.

06 JANUARIE 2017 NUUS RAPPORT Werkers by Spier deel die wins wat die plaas uit die verkoop van koolstofkrediete gemaak het. Die omgewingsvriendelike boerederypraktyke sluit in dat diere gereeld geskuif word en net elke ses weke na dieselfde stuk weiding terugkeer. Angus McIntosh is die boer aan stuur van sake. Foto: CONRAD BORNMAN/NUUS RAPPORT SUID Storie: Aldi Schoeman

Everybody loves a back rub. More on our outdoor egg operation here. Photo: Conrad Borman/RAPPORT

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Talent and Mzukisi proud of the bacon coming out of the smoker. They made the brine that the meat soaked in for 24 hours prior to being double smoked.

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We processed our first pigs from the farm last week, hence the different label (Farmer Angus’ Pork as opposed to Farmer Angus’ Meat where the pork comes from other free range farms). In picture is the pork rump which is on the menu at Spier’s Eight restaurant.

 

 

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The great regenerative farmer, Bertie Coetzee from Prieska, checking up on the organic maize he has planted for us. This is the second year that he is planting and so far the harvest looks a lot better than last year. Luckily he planted before he became a Dad. You can read about his organic maize exploits here.

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Thankfully Giles Edwards decided to leave London and come back to the sun. He blesses us with his food at La Tete. Above is a dish with our egg and our pig’s blood as well our pig’s head.

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28 day dry aged rump on bone. Expertly cut by Spencer. Available at Spier’s various restaurants, La Motte or at the PicknPay in Stellenbosch Square.

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Brined and then double smoked.

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Keeping a steady hand on all proceedings in our on farm butchery is our 72 year old Spencer Nicholls.

Please click here or go to BUY MEAT at the top of the blog page.

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