Field Work Friday – Rogers Cattle Company

Today we headed to Rogers Cattle Company to learn about raising animals for meat.  Coming from a dairy farm background, I didn’t expect this type of animal raising to be very different from what I’m familiar with, but it was.  

Sharon and Johnny Rogers are the operators and sole workers of this operation, and they went the extra mile to show us how their farm functions – they drove us in a haywagon!  It was a great way to tour the farm and visit with the animals.

The ewes were neat.  Knowing that it was their normal eating time, they came running to greet us.  A type of sheep that shed their hair naturally, they closely resembled the few goats sharing their pen.

We just happened to visit this one mid-shed.  I’ve never seen sheep that didn’t need to be sheared!

The rams seemed a bit antsy today.  Perhaps, with the cooler weather, they knew that mating season will soon be arriving?

These young bulls were content to hang out under a large tree and watch us watching them.  They seemed very calm and will not go out ‘dating’ for a while yet.

Of course, the heifers and the calves were my favorite.

Unfortunately, these are some of the animals that provide this farm with their livelihood – fresh beef.  Mr. Rogers shared that in order to sell fresh meat, they had to be inspected by the Department of Agriculture and that the meat had to be processed in a USDA-approved facility.

The turkeys were another story.  The first crop of turkeys for this farm, they arrived on site in mid-June and are growing quickly.  Mr. Rogers farms with a type of plastic-polymer fencing that he moves around the farm to give the animals fresh pastureland.  To keep the turkeys safe from predators, they remain inside their smaller enclosures except when there are people around.

They eat a type of crushed grain, which Mr. Rogers was happy to show us.  The children decided that this was much like the chickens some of them have at home!

Immediately after commenting that the turkeys didn’t resemble the ones we typically see displayed at Thanksgiving, this one decided to strut his stuff.  After puffing out those tail feathers, he took off across the pen.  I couldn’t get a shot from any other angle!

These birds will be kept until early November, at which time they’ll be available for purchase.

At the conclusion of the tour, the children enjoyed digging in this large pile of rocks.  Why buy toys – they need only sticks and stones to be happy!

Of course, seeing a few hundred farm animals makes their day, too.

For more information about Rogers Cattle Company or to order meat, visit their website.

Where do you purchase your meat?  Have you ever gone straight to the source?

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