In a previous newsletter I shared my thoughts on the Wagyu breed. At that point, I believed that they didn’t fit my program because they were too tall and took too long to gain weight on grass alone. Of course this was based upon my limited observation over the last four years, and I’m always open to changing my mind.
We had a Wagyu - Angus cross steer butchered earlier this year - the animal was magnificent and the beef well-marbled with good flavor. I don’t know if this resulted from the fact that he was finished on winter oats (a first for me) or a result of his Wagyu heritage but I was very impressed.
Well, I was scanning Craigslist (a daily ritual) when I came across an Akaushi Bull for sale only 30 minutes from me. Akaushi is one of the four Wagyu breeds from Japan and are also known as the “Japanese Reds” (yes, I like redheads). I had already been thinking about replacing Gaston (our Red Angus bull) as I am going to keep several of his daughters. Gaston was a fine bull and provided us some fine calves. I’m hoping our new Akaushi bull can fill meet and exceed Gaston’s performance here at Amber Oaks.
Our only concern is that we haven’t come up with a fitting name yet. You should be seeing a Facebook Post soon asking for ideas on naming our new bull. Please submit your ideas, and “like” the other names submitted. Those names that get the most likes will be offered up in a voting pole and the wining name will be used to christen our new Akaushi Bull.
- John Pantalone
Doubling Chicken Production
Due to your increasing appetite for Organic Fed, Pastured Poultry, we are doubling our broiler production. Friday I purchased a new brooder (700 gal stock tank) and this weekend I started fabricating a second chicken tractor. This will allow us to run 200 birds (2 batches of 100 each) at the same time. My first chicken tractor had a wooden base and supports. It worked well for a few batches, but then the wood started to crack because of our rough terrain (gopher mounds). I ended up having to reinforce it with some thin metal angles to splint the wood together. This new tractor will have a steel frame. The steel is still light-weight, but hopefully will have better longevity. The superstructure will still consist of cattle panels and chicken wire as well as a wooden door frame.
We are so glad you enjoy our chicken and I look forward to having to build a third chicken tractor next year! We still have lots of whole birds, breasts, and drumsticks available. And the next batch will be going to the processor in 3 weeks - so Eat More Chicken!