April 2011

Posted by on Apr 25, 2011 in Skyelark Ranch

The Lark ‘Ewesletter, April 2011.

Spring Chickens are Ready!

After a nervous first month, where every sound coming from near the chicken pens or  any slight change in temperature would see us springing from the Airstream, flashlights and hot water bottles in hand, we have settled down and are getting the rhythm and needs of our daily chicken chores down to a more refined system. I would say an art, but that would be a bit of an overstatement. We now only twitch the curtains whenever we hear one of the resident Barn or Great horned owls, and are confident that our chosen chick housing is secure and comfortable enough that the chicks don’t really require us to be waiting on them wing and foot, like butlers at the Royal Wedding. It has taken us a month to get all our ducks (or chicks) in a row but are now happy to see our first chicks steadily moving through the pasture and doing what they do best.

Chickens lounging after a move to new pasture

Our first chicken harvest will be on Thursday April 28th with drop‐offs occurring over the weekend. The second batch will be available the weekend of May 21st. Please visit our  ordering page for information.

Goings On

There are vast differences and several developments on Skyelark Ranch since early March. We have increased our herd size substantially, which now includes one goat, six sheep, seven ducks, 200 chickens, and one shy, but (so far) effective llama. Our little flerd (flock/herd) is no match for the amount of forage we have growing around here, but we hope to continue to increase our numbers over the next few months.

Capay Valley Mother’s Day Country Garden’s Tour is May 8th starting at 11:00am in Esparto. Visit the beautiful gardens of the Capay Valley. Come join in the delight of spring flowers, strolling through many of the Valleys’ finest gardens. For information visit       www.capayvalleygardentour.com

The Sheep and Their Llama

As mentioned above, we are now the proud owners of six Katahdin sheep. Katahdins are a breed of hair sheep and the large clumps of white fluff that are appearing on the trees around the orchard is evidence enough that they are just now starting to lose their winter coats. The meat produced is naturally lean, and mild flavored, and the lambs….? Well, so far so good.  They will be ready for market in June so we are happy to announce that we are now accepting pre-orders on grass-finished lamb! We have wholes, halves and quarters available.

Michelle Keeping Watch!

Our guardian llama, Michelle is a welcome addition to our flerd. She is finally getting used to us and accepting bribes of alfalfa, which will apparently coax even the shyest Camelid into an enclosure. Michelle has never been handled by people and has never been shorn, which makes our husbandry tasks that much more difficult, but thanks to the advice of some local alpaca experts we hope to have her trimmed up before the summer heat begins.

As for her guardian abilities, she has so far proven effective against visiting friend’s dogs by standing her ground and making bizarre sounds reminiscent of a car turning over. This tactic apparently distracts the dogs just long enough that they run into the electric fence! We can only hope that Michelle’s defense system works on coyotes and not just visiting Labradors.

Lamb Shares Now Available

Each share will come with a variety of cuts and will provide you with a freezer full of wonderful grass-fed lamb!

  • Whole Share

$6.99/lb and weigh ~45 lbs

  • Half Share

$ 7.49/lb and weigh ~23 lbs

For detailed information about the cuts provided please feel free to contact us.