May 2024 Newsletter (4/27/2024)

Clearance Sale! 

Big Discount on chicken drums and bone- in thighs.

As most of you are aware, our chickens are raised on pasture in the summer in movable hutches where they get fresh grass twice a day. Since we like to eat chicken all year round, that means we must estimate the amounts of each cut that will be sold over the winter and have them in the freezer when the last batch is harvested in the fall.  This year we have run out of wings, bone-in breasts and boneless thighs, but have an oversupply of drums, and bone-in thighs.  These have to be moved before our first harvest of chicken in June, so if you like dark meat, now is the time to stock up.

While they last: Organic Pasture Raised Chicken

20 lb box of Drums : $100.00 – Saving of $60 (Link to bundle)

20 lb. box of bone-in Thighs – $120 – Saving of $80 (Link to bundle)

10 or more whole chickens (4 – 5 lbs.)  $5.00/lb. – (Link to whole chickens. Add 10 or more to see the discount!)

Piglet time and the older meaning of AI

Zettel Family Farms welcomes the first two litters of piglets from Gilts (the term used  to describe a female pig that has not yet had babies) that we raised from our own stock and inseminated artificially. (Picture or video) The cattle industry has used Artificial Insemination successfully for decades, but the technology used for pigs is different.  While cattle ovulate with one or two eggs and the cow either conceives or doesn’t,  a pig releases eggs over a period of 12 to 18 hours, so that insemination too early will result in pregnancy, but only a small litter.  We want as many piglets as possible, so two inseminations are used, the first, as soon as the animal comes into standing heat (the time when she will stand for mounting by the boar or the attention of the technician), and the second closer to the end of standing heat.  We got 19 piglets from the first two pregnancies.  This is lower than we would like, but not bad for a first attempt.  We still have a lot to learn. 

That brings to mind a humorous anecdote from the early days of our marriage.  We were milking cows and the protocol to have a technician come and inseminate an animal was that you had to call before 8:00 am to get her bred that day.  It was fairly common that if standing heat was observed sometime after 8:00 a farmer might phone his neighbour, and if the technician was coming there, he would get the message.  So one morning when Christine, relatively new to farm life, was looking after the baby and I was in the barn, she answered the phone and heard the caller say; “Hello.  It’s Harvey…  Is the artificial man coming to your place today?”  Not knowing who or what the artificial man might be, and having only a vague recognition of Harvey, this question threw her for a loop, and conjured up images from the current science fiction shows.  The common parlance between farmers was “the breeder”, but in an effort to respect the sensitivity of a young lady, Harvey had thought it better to avoid such a direct reference to the delicate subject of reproduction and chose instead to ask for “The Artificial Man”. Christine had a good laugh over it after the meaning was revealed,  and Harvey got his cow bred.

Let us know what you think…

We love to get comments from our customers.  Most are positive, especially when it comes to the quality of our meat.  Over the past year we have been striving to make the order and delivery process more user friendly, fine tuning the way we receive and fill orders.  It is very helpful to hear from you about your experience of dealing with Zettel Family Farms.  What can we do better?  What do you like or what do you find burdensome?  How can we serve you better?

We are constantly reviewing our policy on delivery.  Delivery is free in Bruce and Grey counties for orders of $200 or more.  Further away we have delivery charges depending on the location.  With the price of gas constantly rising, we want to expedite the delivery process, and get as much product out as possible on each trip.  Our goal is to make your shopping experience trouble free.  Let us know how we can do better.

Subscriptions Anyone?

Many vendors who have on-line ordering and home delivery are offering a monthly subscription, an idea we have discussed internally a few times. We have held off on initiating an offer for monthly pre-set orders.  We are not convinced that having people sign on to a monthly delivery is better for the customer.  But the truth is we just don’t know.  So we’re putting it out there and asking for feedback.  Would you like to receive a box every month or every two weeks?  You could choose from a variety of mixes and sizes and switch between them . Would it be a benefit for your family? We try to respond to the needs of our customers and believe firmly in the principle that what serves the customer best is best for us as well.

In the spring, it seems new calves are everywhere! We liked the one with the black body and white face. What a cutie!