General Farm Information:
Do you do farm tours? Can we come see your farm and make sure you aren't just a little CAFO with a trumped up website?
We host an open house every other Sunday from 12 -3 pm during the non-rainy season. To get up to date information on farm open house events please subscribe to our newsletter.
What are your prices?
What about heads/feet/giblets? Can we get these?
The processor adds hearts, livers, gizzzards and necks (for stock) in a ziplock inside the bird. I'm told that the best chicken stock flavor comes from including feet. Feet are often available for purchase at a price that barely covers the labor of bagging them in 1 or 2 lb bags of feet. If you want feet, see you at the farmer's market.
When do we pay for the chicken, at order time, for the whole season?
We no longer take pre-orders for chicken. We are growing lots of daily-move chicken, the best way to figure out where we are selling our products is to sign up for our mailing list.
We are wondering if you have predator issues and, if so, how you manage this, as we do not wish to support any poisoning or shooting of wildlife.
I do have predator problems. I have been hit by: racoons, skunks, weasels, foxes, opossums, 1 mountain lion got 2 lambs once, domestic dogs and Cooper's hawks.
I would not put poison out because I have lots of free range animals myself and also I'm in farming because I want to help the environment. With poison its hard to prevent another animal from eating the poisoned target animal and thus getting poisoned itself.
I put a hot wire on my mobile chicken pens so when one of the mammals visits they get hit on the nose with a little voltage and they don't come back. I get shocked by these regularly so no worries, they are fine after the experience (I've had a small number of entanglement accidents). The hawks cannot get my meat birds because instead of day ranging I move bottomless but fully enclosed pens every day to new grass.
I have my egg laying birds surrounded by portable electric-net fence. They can go in/out of their roosting structure at the crack of dawn and as late as they please in the evening. Their only protection from hawks is their roosters, about 1 for every 15-25 hens. Roosters are watchful and usually see the hawk in time to warn the flock and that alarm call tips the advantage to the chickens.
The way to reserve a lamb is to purchase a deposit for one in our online store. The link is on the main page.
When we harvest, we will weigh it, and we'll email you with the balance that you owe us (total weight * price - deposit). At this time you will call Bud's and say you have Felton Acres lamb #3 (for example) and they will discuss with you your options for how much ground lamb vs. stew meat vs. chops, how many per package you want etc. You pay the harvester feed and the cut & wrap fee when you pick it up at Bud's. At this time cut & wrap is $0.78 for bulk, $1 for bulk sausage, and $2.00 for link sausage. (these prices set by butcher and are subject to change without my knowing it, for reference only)
so its really 3 payments:
2-balance upon harvest
3-harvester; cut & wrap fee to butcher shop
The way to reserve a whole or half hog is to put a deposit down with your credit card in our online store. This has streamlined everything for us as we get everyone's phone number to provide the butcher shop this way. When we harvest, we will weigh it, and we'll email you with the balance that you owe. At this time you will call Bud's and say you have Felton Acres hog #3 (for example) and they will discuss with you your options for sausage, thickness of chops and bacon you want etc. You pay them the harvester feed and the cut & wrap fee when you pick it up at Bud's. At this time cut & wrap is $0.78 for bulk, $1 for bulk sausage, and $2.00 for link sausage. (these prices set by butcher and are subject to change without my knowing it, for reference only)
What kinds of sausage can they make?
They can make a variety of sausage, and for your convenience I will list the sausage types from one local butcher here. I imagine they would reserve the right to change this list at any time, and we generally go with the butcher that we have gotten the most positive feedback about from our customers (and the least negative feedback) but at the time of this writing Willowside Meats can do the following:
Can they make sausage that can avoid the following food I am allergic to? gluten, wheat, egg, dairy, soy, garlic, pea, lentil
Yes. Probably you can't get "Smoked Garlic" if you are allergic to garlic; in other words, they'll tell you what your options are based on your particular food allergy/intolerance. The best strategy in this case is to call one of the butchers in the Santa Rosa-Petaluma area and make sure they will use a recipe that you can live with. Then, when you place your deposit make it clear that it must go to a particular butcher for cut and wrap.
Just how much "stuff" is 1/2 hog?
About 2 banana boxes worth.
What if I am intimidated by 2 banana boxes or I cant get enough stuff out of my refrigerator freezer to make room for 1/2 hog?
My first time ordering a 1/2 local pastured hog, we split it with a neighbor (1/4 each). It worked well, I would not recommend trying for less than that. Buy from a meat buyers club or someone doing USDA cut & wrap but still raising pigs on pasture and moving them. We coordinated the entire order with the butcher, and our neighbor wrote us a check for half the amount. We picked up the boxes at the butcher (brought a nice big cooler) and went directly to the neighbor's house and just made two piles: your ham, my ham. bacon for you, bacon for me, bacon for you, bacon for me, chops for you, chops for me, etc. There was maybe one or two odd packages where we had to decide who would get the 3rd package of something and who would get the odd item. This is the only way to do it, they will not deal direct on a 1/4 hog order.
Just how much will a whole lamb or a half hog cost?
1/2 a berkshire hog costs $4.25/lb for the live weight. I will try to get the hogs to be 200-220 lbs when I harvest them which is considered the standard weight for a "market" hog. The total cost is going to look as follows:
100*4.25=$425 -> felton acres
cut & wrap~=$110->butcher (I'm guessing and it changes with your preferences)
you end up with ~65 lbs of meat, so $595/65=$9.15/lb which is a good deal for pasture fed hogs. You get tenderloins for that price!
A lamb ends up with a lower percentage of edible meat relative to the live weight. So it works out to be about the following:
$350 -> felton acres
cut & wrap=$55 (minimum) -> butcher
you end up with ~35 lbs of meat, so its around $12.50/lb all told. loin chops, leg of lamb, shepherd's pie, mmm....
To secure your orders of lamb or pork purchase a deposit for one at our online store. A deposit reserves your animal in the order in which it was received.