There has been a lot of animal activity at the ranch this week!
Last Sunday we dropped off 4 grown hogs and 2 steers at the butcher. We hope to be fully restocked on pork later this week (it's been quite a long time since we’ve had any). To ensure we don’t run out again, we picked up 6 new little piglets. These bacon seeds will be ready to harvest late this winter. This year’s piglets are quite the eclectic crew. There’s a bit of Yorkshire mixed in with the Red Wattle bloodline in this batch. Sure does make for some funny markings on the piglets. We still have 4 of the full grown red wattles that will make their way to the butcher early August.
Just this morning we took a batch of 100 broiler chickens into the processor. The extreme heat has made raising broilers on pasture very challenging. Although we have installed a misting system to keep the chickens cool, the heat still takes a toll. Last week we lost 13 full grown chickens to heat stress. We don’t typically experience this level of heat until August, and as such, we avoid running chickens from July through September. We’re going to have to make an exception this year, however. Because we had so much trouble with feed earlier this year, we’re going to have to chance it by running a batch of broilers this August in an effort to catch up.
After struggling with chicken feed issues (and cost increases), we decided to move away from organic feed with our next batch. The inconsistent supply and the ever-increasing pricing are causing havoc with our business. By switching to conventional feed, we hope to keep our pricing the same. Our sustainable practices will not be affected by this change; we will still use organic fertilizer, our pastures will be chemical-free, and the chickens will still be raised out on grass and have the same great flavor you love. I expect this last batch of organic chicken to last us through July. As much as I understand how important organic feed is to many of you, this is one of the many tough choices we have to make to keep the lights on.
Our newest monthly subscription club, the “Loyalty Club”, lets you handpick your purchases throughout the month rather than limiting you to the contents of our current Buyers Club boxes.
As a Loyalty Club member you will receive the same discount and benefits of belonging to the Buyers Club like specialty and seasonal bonus items (eggs, turkey, lamb, fruits and vegetables) and free access to our Events including picnics and farm tours.
When you join the Loyalty Club you will pay a monthly fee of $100 that is deposited into an electronic gift card in your name. Every time you make a purchase with that Loyalty Club electronic gift card you get an automatic 10% discount. Any unused credit rolls over to the following month. At Amber Oaks, loyalty has its benefits. Sign up and start enjoying them today.
We recently received a question asking about the location of the Pflugerville Farmers Market. Heritage Park's Big Red Barn and adjacent buildings are no longer used by the market. We are setting up in the parking lot in front of Heritage House Museum at the front of the park. Customers can park in the lot in front of the swimming pool.