Formerly,Bar None Ranch, of Berlin, NY, we are now Climbing Tree Farm, of New Lebanon. We raise PASTURED POULTRY, LAMB, GRASS-FED BEEF, and WOODLAND/PASTURE-RAISED, MILK-FED PORK. We keep our animals true to their instincts- letting our pigs dig, our chickens range, our sheep graze. We feed rotationally graze on pasture and silvo-pasture (in the woods). We work with a local dairy to feed our pigs Jersey milk. We are conscientious stewards of the land, and our animals.

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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Beauty and Danger in the Air

Above is a photo of a particularly beautiful, and particularly hungry neighbor of  ours. We recently sold our flock of laying hens and this pretty bird is one reason why. He/she was dining twice a day on chicken! While it was a bummer to lose our birds, the silver lining was getting to see this hawk up close, watching it swoop and dive at the"bird food" in the field. It moved with unbelievable speed and precision. 
Predation is a constant problem on our farm. Each predator has a different style; for example, weasels sneak in and slaughter the whole flock, raccoons love chicken breasts, and the hawk seems conscientious. It eats all of the meat off a chicken. We have not figured out how to deal with hawk predation (we move our birds at least weekly, so a covered run would be impractical). Because the hawk is the least wasteful and puts on the most beautiful show of the predators on our farm, I think I like and respect them more than our other chicken-hungry neighbors. Our short term solution to our hawk problem was selling off the layers for the winter. We will have layers again in the spring and are looking for a successful hawk deterrent, besides shooting them, which hardly seems fair to a neighbor who pre-dates us at the farm, and will only encourage another bird to take its place (and is illegal). If you know of a possible solution please pass it along, we'd love to give it a try! No idea too ridiculous.

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