Waiting!!!


Calf watch is officially on!

Part of our farm dream is to establish a quality herd of cattle. We are well on our way. Our two heifers were impregnated in November and are due at the end of this month. Similar to humans, the gestation period for cattle is about nine months. Like any pregnancy, the due date depends on a lot of factors and first births can be as early as two weeks before the due date.

Pregnant heifers re

Today, both heifers look very pregnant. Callie seems a bit bigger than Cherry. We hope both births go smoothly and the calves are a good weight for a first birth.

The bull, Pedro, is a calm, laid-back Black Angus. Our heifers are Red Angus. Cherry is a Maine-Anjou cross and Callie is part Shorthorn. Based on their genetics and their dispositions, we should have some very nice calves soon.

Just like women who are pregnant, we’ve been watching their feed. Plenty of good hay is always available. They are on pasture, so they can graze if they want. And they get supplemental feed to make sure they don’t lose weight, but not so much that they get fat.

Once the calves are born, we will have a whole, new routine here. But mostly watching the young calves being introduced to their world and just having fun!

KeiLin Farm, a producer of farm fresh beef and eggs, as well as premium hay, is located in Rose Township, Michigan and is in the process of acquiring the required licenses to become a small wine maker.

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Golden Beauties


Dandelion field

The beginning of May turns our farm into a field of gold – dandelion gold. And though most people who want a lush, green lawn do everything in their power to kill off the dandelion, this flower is so beneficial.

Dandelions are a source of vitamins. This is why they have been used in herbal medicines by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans. They have been part of Chinese traditional medicine for over a thousand years. Dandelion tea is a gentle diuretic that can flush toxins from the liver and keep the digestive system functioning properly.

They are important to bees and other insects. Interesting enough, although the dandelion has a nectar that has been labeled the first food of the bees in spring, they do not require the bees or other insects for pollination. Dandelions have a root system that will continue to produce those beautiful golden flowers. The roots can grow as deep as 15 feet and, if the root clones are divided, one inch of root is all that is needed to start another dandelion!

The roots are beneficial if you have clay soil as they break up and aerate the ground. They pull up the calcium from the ground that could be useful to other plants. So, in a sense, dandelions can help fertilize the lawn!

Dandelion roots have been used as a coffee substitute and can be priced at over $30.00 a pound! At the table, dandelions are a powerhouse of nutrition. The leaves have more vitamin C than tomatoes and more vitamin A than spinach. They also contain potassium, iron, and calcium.

In addition to salad and tea, dandelions give cookies, jelly, and ice cream a unique flavor.

At our farm, May is dandelion picking time. We use eight cups of dandelion petals in every gallon of wine that we make.

boiling dandelions

So, don’t reach for the herbicide if you see dandelions in your yard. Pick them and enjoy them with your favorite meal as a side dish or a drink!

KeiLin Farm, a producer of farm fresh beef and eggs, as well as premium hay, is located in Rose Township, Michigan and is in the process of acquiring the required licenses to become a small wine maker.

What Are the Popular Cattle Breeds in the United States? — Facts About Beef


Cattle come in many different shapes and sizes – much of which can be attributed to various breeds of beef cattle. Not all cattle breeds are created equal – some are well-known for their meat quality while other cattle breeds are well-known for the amount of muscle they possess. Here’s an introduction to five popular […]

via What Are the Popular Cattle Breeds in the United States? — Facts About Beef

Have a Great Burger!


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Nutrition has always been a primary interest of mine. For years, when my children were growing up, I would freeze and can fresh fruits and vegetables when they were in season. Often, I would take the kids to the farm so we could pick our own. I think the “farmer” gene has always been in me, even when we lived in the city.

Now that we raise our own cattle for beef and hens for eggs, I’m very conscious about what we feed our animals and how we can produce the healthiest food for the table.

The controversy over grass-fed and corn-fed cattle has been going on for quite a while. Now, with the government looking at how much meat we should really consume, there are more and more studies that look at the nutritional value of our meat.

One of the latest studies that was published by researchers from Texas A&M University’s Department of Animal Science1 compared ground beef from grass-fed cattle with traditional, grain-fed cattle and the risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and type II diabetes in men. The conclusion? No significant difference.

What they did find is that ground beef is one of the most important sources of the healthful monounsaturated fatty acid in our diet. The interesting thing is that although grass-fed beef is higher in omega-3 fatty acids, something we would expect, it is also higher in saturated and transfat. This is the fat we should monitor and eat as little of as possible.

Premium beef, on the other hand, although lower in omega-3 fatty acids, again as expected, it was higher than grass-fed beef in monounsaturated fats and lower in saturated and transfat.

But what this study did not take into account is how some cattle farmers feed – which is neither 100% grass nor high concentrations of corn.

We feed our cattle free choice pasture and hay, much like most grass-fed herds, but, we offer our cattle a small amount of a grain feed, which is blended for us at the feed elevator. It is a mix of corn, barley, and other grains to provide a more balanced feed that is both nutritious and contributes to the marbling that is required to produce premium beef.

So, go ahead and treat yourself to that burger. Grass-fed or grain-fed, it’s great for dinner.

  1. http://animalscience.tamu.edu/2013/12/07/ground-beef-from-grass-fed-and-grain-fed-cattle-does-it-matter/
KeiLin Farm, a producer of farm fresh beef and eggs, is located in Davisburg, Michigan.

Eggs! For Your Health!


double_yolk

I was rather surprised when I read an article earlier this year about a woman who is 116 years old. Yes, 116 years old. No type there.

She lives in Italy, and when asked about what she contributed her longevity to, she first mentioned her daily glass of homemade brandy, but then quickly added, she eats two eggs a day – one raw and one cooked. This diet was suggested by her doctor when she was 20 years old and had anemia. She’s been doing it ever since.

Yes, she does eat a small portion of meat and pasta, cereal and milk – yes milk – usually two glasses every day. She is in good health – and takes no medication. Wow!

It was the eggs that intrigued me. I remember when eggs were bad for you and was told they contributed to high cholesterol. Yet, this woman has been eating two a day for almost 100 years! So I decided to find out the real story about eggs.

About six months ago I blogged that eggs were good for your eyes because the yolks are a source of lutein and zeaxanthin, both of these may reduce the risk of macular degeneration. What I also learned is the egg contains choline which can enhance brain development and memory.

Although the egg contains a large amount of cholesterol compared to other foods, it is no longer labeled as a risk for high cholesterol. In fact, while the egg can raise the HDL (good cholesterol) level, it also changes the size of LDL (bad cholesterol) from small to big. Big LDL is ok for your blood.

Low in calories – only 77 in an average egg – it is packed full of the vitamins and minerals your body needs – 9 essential amino acids, iron, phosphorous, selenium, vitamins A, B12, B2 and B5, and, if you eat eggs from range fed hens, Omega 3!

Now for the best part. Eggs can help you lose weight! In a study that provided overweight women with two breakfasts that were identical in calories – a bagel or an egg – the group that ate the egg for breakfast ate less for lunch and ate less over the next 36 hours! [ref] At the end of 8 weeks, the egg diet participants showed a 61% greater reduction in BMI and a 34% greater reduction in waist circumference. [ref]

I’m beginning to understand why that 116 year old woman is so healthy! I’ll pass of the raw egg, but I’ll take mine over easy every morning from now on.

KeiLin Farm, producer of farm fresh beef and eggs, is located in Davisburg, Michigan.

Got Beef?


Steak dinner from farm raised beef
Beef! It’s what’s for dinner.

 

It’s National Beef Month and whether you enjoy steaks, roast, burgers or any of the other cuts, beef is a staple for most families. And if you are like many, you want your cuts to be tender, flavorful, and nutritious.

To celebrate this month, here are some beef facts:

  • The basic cuts of beef are the chuck, loin, rib and round. The names for some cuts of meat can vary from one area to another.
  • There are 50 breeds of beef cattle in the U.S. The breed most recognized is Angus. Hereford, Brahman, Maine-Anjou, and Charolais are among other breed raised for beef.
  • A 3 ounce serving of beef provides more than half of your required protein for the day.
  • Beef is an excellent source of all the necessary amino acids.
  • The United States provides 25 percent of the world’s beef, but only has 10 percent of the world’s cattle.
  • A 3-oz serving of lean beef contains about 150 calories provides about the same amount of protein as 1½ cups of cooked black beans which is about 341 calories

Purchasing your beef by the quarter or half from a local farmer allows you to see the growing conditions of the cattle. Most farmers are more than willing to discuss the feed sources for their animals. Many grow their own hay to ensure that their stock receive the best hay available so you get the best beef possible.

Beef! It’s what’s for dinner at our house. How about yours?

KeiLin Farm produces farm fresh beef and eggs and is located in Davisburg, Michigan.

They’re Good For Your Eyes!


Yolk information

So many of our customers have remarked how good our eggs tasted, how orange the yolk was, and how nicely they stood up in the pan.

I knew that the fresher the egg, the more body the yolk had. Since we have a steady stream of customers for our eggs, and a waiting list in the winter months when the hens slow down, I knew our eggs were very fresh when sold.

But what about the color?

So I started researching the color of egg yolks and came across some interesting information regarding eggs and their yolks.

The color of the yolk is dependent on what the hen eats! Our hens free range in the mild months and are only in the coop when the cold could damage their feet or combs. Yes, hens can get frost-bite in the bitter cold!

But I also learned that the yolk is very nutritional for your eyes! The color indicates the beta carotene level and is also a source of lutein – both of which are very beneficial for your eyes!

So, scramble them, fry them, stuff them, or hard boil them. However you enjoy your eggs – they are an excellent source of nutrients to keep your eyes healthy!

 

KeiLin Farm, producer farm fresh beef and eggs, is located in Davisburg, Michigan.