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, November 27, 2013

Rabbit Update

 Last weekend, I finally got around to adding an extra layer of fencing around the big rabbit tractor so that we could get rid of the xpens we had surrounding the whole thing. Having to unlatch and move the extra layer of fencing every time we wanted to move the tractor was getting old. Hopefully the added layer of protection will keep the rabbits in and the predators and nosey goats out.

That same day I discovered that the rabbits had taken it upon themselves to start building their own housing. This is always a possibility when housing adult females on the ground. That hole was deep enough for me to sink my arm all the way to the elbow!

  Right now we have four does and a buck living together colony style on the pasture. So far everyone is getting along just fine. As long as we move the tractor on a regular basis, we don't have too much trouble with the bunnies digging. The only problem we have is that since they are housed with a male, we aren't sure when these girls are going to kindle (give birth) for the first time. We plan on putting them in the raised cages in poultry house when the time comes. Best we can do right now is just a keep a close eye out for any of the girls plucking out chest and stomach fur and trying to build a nest.

This is one of the pretty chinchilla colored bunnies from our last group. We have a male and a female in this color, and I am really looking forward to seeing what colors these guys produce. Following our philosophy of letting nothing go to waste, Big Onion has been dabbling in hide tanning. We are hoping that these rabbits' offspring should produce some really beautiful furs.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Just our goats clownin around

  It's getting chilly out there! 
Gwen says a color coordinated scarf does wonders to keep a little goat warm on a chilly winter morning! 

 Luciano prefers hats. 

"Pretty cunning, don't ya think?"




Friday, November 22, 2013

Turkey Time

 Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and we have already started processing turkeys.

  We ended up with about 16 to sell and all are already accounted for. Next year, we will have to increase our numbers again. We have even talked about raising two batches and keeping the first batch in the freezer until turkey eatin' season rolls around. This year we decided to stick to the faster growing broad breasted whites and bronzes. We are hoping that by next year we will have a few of our very own farm bred heritage Bourbon Reds to offer in addition to the commercial breeds.

  We learned a couple really important lessons about turkey rearing this year. For one, darker birds really are harder to pluck and end up with a carcass that just isn't as clean and pretty looking as the whites. We also discovered that you get what you pay for with poultry feed. We made the mistake of trying a new brand of feed with the young turkeys that was slightly less expensive and saw an almost immediate halt in their growth. Finally, we learned that giving vaccinations for fowl pox is absolutely essential when raising turkeys. We actually lost a couple of birds to this early on and a few others had to be very carefully nursed back to health. I think the combination of these things resulted in us having smaller birds than we would have liked in the end.

  Speaking of Bourbon Reds, our two adult toms must know that it is that time of the year because they have decided to start harassing Luna. Poor Luna is so well trained now not to be aggressive that if I'm not paying attention, those toms end up chasing her around the pasture, feathers puffed and looking ridiculous. I actually saw one of the toms trip on a chicken and do a full face forward tumble while trying to go after the dog. It's hard to look dignified with your big ugly turkey head face down in the dirt!

Don't fret for poor Luna, though. One word from me, and she is more than happy to go after those birds barking, snarling, and pulling out mouthfuls of feathers until those suckers back down. I took the picture above just after Luna read that turkey the riot act. You can see him way back there next to Josie, missing breakfast for being such a jerk. We will probably be processing one of those toms for our own table pretty soon. Hopefully that will help knock the other guy down a couple notches and make life easier for our poor farm dog.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Copper wire particles and our goats: Take 2

  It has been about 6 months since we gave all the goats a dose of copper wire particles, so we decided it was about time to treat them again. If you'll recall, last time didn't go so smoothly. This time I was going out by myself, but I was determined to make things go as smoothly as possible this time.


  We had purchased the large cow sized pills of copper to save money. I started by weighing out the copper and packing it into small gelatin capsules. This was easy to do with the help of a tiny plastic funnel on which I had widened the end slightly.
 
 The normal dosage for copper wire particles for goats is 2 grams for young or mini goats and 4 grams for adults. We decided to split the difference for Gwen and Eve and give them 3 grams each since they are both somewhere in between (around 50-60lbs).

  The secret to my success this time was supposed to be this. It's called a "pet piller," and it works great for cats and dogs. I have even been using it with Gwen on a regular basis with no problem. I was soon to learn that not all our goats are as easy to handle as our Gwen.


Monday, November 4, 2013

Gettin Hitched!

  I would like to apologize for the long delay in posts here. You see, the Big Onion and I have been a little busy the last couple months....getting married! 

  We had the wedding here on the farm so life got a little hectic for a while with all the planning and preparations. We also provided a lot of the food for the wedding including our very own chicken, rabbit and lamb. We provided our baker with blueberries from our bushes and lemon curd made from our trees and eggs for the cake filling. Big Onion even had a selection of homemade brews for people to drink! We entertained our guests with a viewing of the Saints game for the reception and had a huge bonfire out in the pasture afterward.  

  It was a crazy couple of months, but we managed to pull off a fun, if unusual wedding that was a real reflection of us as a couple. I'd like to share a few of our engagement and wedding photos with you...

 We had to get a shot with our little Gwenny. 

 Of course we wore our boots for the shoot, and I wouldn't be caught dead without my trusty hat! 

 The sheep were happy to provide an interesting backdrop. 
On to the big day....

 Little miss Gwen was our flower girl. She wore a lovely wreath around her neck and a wonderful and trusted friend armed with pockets full of corn walked her up the isle for us. She kept herself occupied during the ceremony by nibbling on the front hedges. They needed pruning anyway.

 Luna was our ring bearer, and of course she took her job very seriously. We wouldn't have dreamed of having our big day without including these two girls in some way!

 And of course we had to get some shots with the birds. Can you believe they got me in a dress and make up?!

Wonderful day.