Welcome!

Welcome to HighTail Farms, LLC! We're a small farm located in Hammond, Louisiana. We are dedicated to providing people with ethically raised and humanely processed pastured poultry and sheep, fresh eggs, and raw meat for pet food.

Please follow the links in the top bar for more information on our products and their availability. Continue reading below for our blog where we detail the adventures of raisin' animals and whatnot.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Front yard vegetable gardening

 Over the weekend I built two more raised beds from pallets for the front yard vegetable garden. We've got beans and peas out there, also tomatoes, bell peppers, carrots, squash, and potatoes. Eventually I'd like to have a full two rows of beds out there.
  Despite the face that we have about 8 acres of pasture, gardening in the front yard makes sense for us because it is away from hungry goat mouths and scratching poultry feet. This area also gets full sun all day long. It may not be pretty, but over the winter we made many a meal from the cabbages and broccoli growing out front.

 The potato plants are growing like crazy in the deepest and biggest containers I could get my hands on. I'm hoping we'll have luck growing them like this, though I suspect that we will end up with some oddly shaped tubers.

  I seem to be having a problem with some kind on fungus on the cucumbers and squash. I've been spraying them with a diluted milk solution that 'the interweb' swears works on this sort of thing. I guess I'll just have to wait and see.

 Proof that I can, in fact, grow tomatoes. Every year, I dream of bumper crops of tomatoes that I can turning into a pantry full of canned sauces and salsas. Every year, our tomato crop just flops. Not this year, darn it! This year out motto is tomatoes or bust!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

How (not) to Administer Copper Wire Particles to your Goats

  Last weekend we went to a Small Ruminant Field day at one of the local universities. In addition to learning how to do fecals, getting our FAMACHA certification, and connecting with a lot of other local people who raise sheep and goats, we learned about using copper wire particles as part of a worming regimen for goats and sheep. 

  Our area is very copper deficient, so supplementing the goats with copper is essential to their health. Recent studies have shown that dosing both sheep and goats with copper can reduce their worm load by 30-90%, and since our area IS copper deficient, proper dosing should not cause a toxicity problem with sheep. 

Friday, May 10, 2013

Home grown

Things out in the garden are doing well. The raised garden beds turned out to be a great idea with our less than super soil. I have been buying a combination of the cheapest dirts at Lowes (organic compost, hummus, and top soil) and mixing it with all the sheep and rabbit poop I can load into my garden cart and drag up to the front yard.  The neighbors probably think I'm crazy stirring up a giant pile of dirt and poop on a regular basis, but the veggies are growing like gangbusters. A couple weeks ago, we got to enjoy of the fruits (well, veggies) of my labor...


 Behold the brussel sprouts! 

I tried for years and years to grow these pesky vegetables and never had one lick of luck growing even one single sprout. I had actually sworn off the things completely, refusing to even attempt to grow them for many years. I would classify this stalk as a minor success considering it was the only one of the 6 plant I had out there to make anything resembling brussel sprouts. 


I also managed to grow a respectable number of turnips from seed despite my complete failure to thin the patch once the seeds had sprouted.

Our dinner that night was all things grown right here on the farm. One of our delicious chickens with steamed brussel sprouts and roasted turnips. It's a really good feeling to sit down to a meal where I know exactly how everything was grown and raised. Plus all this homegrown goodness just tastes way better than anything you can buy in the stores!

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Lousy with Lambs!

Here on the farm we started lamb season a little later than everyone else....


 Marcie is getting bigger every day. In fact, she is growing so fast that sometimes at a distance we confuse her with the yearlings! A couple weeks ago she scared us by developing a swelling around her jaw that we were just sure was bottlejaw. This was a little mystifying since she has been growing so fast and looking so healthy. We checked her eyes and they were as pink as could be. (Normally, bottlejaw is an indication of severe anemia due to parasites). We gave her a dose of dewormer and waited. She stayed fat and healthy, but the swelling just would not go away. A little more research and we realized that she actually had a milk goiter which is completely harmless and should go away once she is weaned. I guess we should thank Pepper for making such good milk!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Hopping mad


 Today Gwen learned that getting caught jumping the net fence around the chick pen is a bad idea. She knows better than to go over that fence so when she got caught she tried to book it back on the other side only to get tangled up in the netting and face plant in the mud. I snapped this picture after I stopped laughing at her. If goat looks could kill.

Meanwhile, the latest batch of bunnies are doing well. They are about a week old so they are covered in a short coat of soft white fuzz, and their eyes should be opening pretty soon.

 Clover had 9 bunnies. T had 7. Both very respectable litter numbers. Clover had two more that she gave birth to outside the nest box. They got too cold and died before we found them. Since then we have had no more bunny losses. Always a good thing. The giant bun in the picture above is one of T's. This is her second litter and both times she had huge, monster babies.

 The older bunnies are living large in the giant rabbit tractor that Big Onion built for them. It has an extra layer of x-pens around it because certain canine miscreants decided they needed to get up close and personal with the bunnies.

The bunnies are doing a great job of mowing the backyard for us. Plus having them on the ground cuts way back on feed. Now we just need about four more tractors like this and we'll never need to mow the backyard again!