Weekly Newsletter

May 2020 vol. 5



We'll only be selling at the Pflugerville market this week due to very low stock.  Pre-Order for pick up in Pflugerville this week using the button below. 


One of the reasons we are starting our Meat Buyers Club this July is to ensure our members don't face this problem in the future. Interested in a guaranteed supply of grass fed beef, pastured pork, or pastured chicken? Check out our Meat Buyers Club below.


The Rooster's Tale


It's a sad tale, really, the tale of Spartacus our lead rooster's death. If you've been following our laying hen saga, you'll remember that we've had some trouble in the past with predators. One on the first deterrents we tried was adding two roosters, Rocky & Bullwinkle,  to the flock. They were about as successful as you'd imagine based on their names. Soon after we figured out that one of the original hens was a him - this rooster we named Spartacus. You can see from the photo that he was a magnificent specimen. He was a large barred-rock rooster, and his flock tending skills were as hot as his looks. 


He was kind to Rocky and Bullwinkle, never picking fights, and he watched over his hens diligently. Each time we added new hens to the flock, he welcomed them under his protective wing. Even after we solved our aerial predator problem by moving the egg-mobile into the pig pasture and providing alternative shelter in our hay barn,  Spartacus never ceased his protective measures. He called loudly to alert his girls to the presence of tasty bugs and greens, he diligently watched to skies and horizons for threats, and serviced his hens faithfully. 


Recently, though, his protectiveness began to morph into assertiveness towards his owners. He never dared to lay claw or beak on either of us, but he did start running up behind us or at us in an unpleasantly assertive manner.

 Sadly, we decided that he may have to be "retired" from his position as flock leader - it seemed the power had gone to his head. 


We weren't the only ones who had noticed his threatening moves. Harley, our border collie, who frequently joined us during our chores, began to run Spartacus off when he approached and guard our backs whenever Spartacus was nearby. The final straw came when he physically attacked our teen-aged nephew last week. No one was harmed and no blood was drawn during the incident, though Spartacus did some unplanned flying off the toe of a boot. 


It was decided, Spartacus had to go. He must have known he was on the way out, being "booted" so to speak. We'll never know what was going through his mind last night. We'll never know if it was an accident or if Spartacus really did choose to fall on his sword rather than be demoted.


 Whatever the reason, we found him gasping and almost dead, head clamped in the cattle chute head holder. We'd like to assume he fell or flew towards the gate, slid down, and got stuck accidentally. Otherwise, it's just too sad. 



Hail Spartacus!


Delayed Graduation 

Results in  Super Seniors


The ubiquitous pig. Often maligned, yet so highly valued. Pigs have played an integral part of the homestead and we love them dearly, but their time has come.  Once a pig reaches about 75% of his full size, the feed to weight conversion ration plummets -  translation: he eats too much. 


As you’ve probably seen on social media, getting butcher dates has been a real challenge.  As soon as I was aware, I called my butcher only to learn that the next available date was in July (this was in early March).  We have two pigs that are ready now, but I’ll just have to keep feeding them until it’s time for graduation.  Consider them 5th year college seniors if you will.  The pigs will keep growing, but the return on investment starts to decrease - just like my kids. 


So until then, we are out of pork.  We’ll have 4 pigs graduating in July so start planning your menus.  




The Last Best News


This young man is the 18th calf born on the ranch this year, and the last for the season. His arrival brings us to a grand total of 11 males and 7 females born at Amber Oaks Ranch this year. The 2022 beef production prospects are looking good!


Amber Oaks 

Meat Buyers Club

Delivery Begins in July

Click Image for more info.


This Week's Markets


We will not be attending the Elgin & Taylor Markets this week due to low inventory.  We will be at the Pflugerville market  on Tuesday the 19th from 3 - 7 pm.

The market has been temporarily relocated to parking lot in front of Heritage House 

with customers parking in front of pool. 


Be well, 

stay safe,


John & Molly