We are currently feeding conventional feed but plan to transition to organic feed.
In 2016 I will be setting up feed storage so that we can buy bulk organic grains. Buying retail bagged organic feed is very cost prohibitive. If egg, rabbit and chicken buyers are willing to pay the extra cost we can switch to bagged organic feed until we are set up to start buying bulk feed.
We do not feed antibiotics, hormones or steroids.
We only use antibiotics if we need to save a sick animal. There is serious warranted concern about antibiotic resistance developing because industrial farmers feed “sub-therapeutic” amounts of antibiotics. Most often the feed the farmers use has a small amount of antibiotics in it to boost weight gain, not to treat an illness. We only use antibiotics on the rare occasion that an illness needs to be treated.
We strive to raise our animals on pasture, or with access to pasture as much as possible. When that isn’t possible, such as with our rabbit breeding stock and during winter months, we feed hay and fodder crops. We are also working to produce more of their food here on the farm. In 2016 we will be growing crops specifically for our livestock including: turnips, squash, black oil sunflower seeds, millet and mustard.
We practice minimal-till gardening. 90% of our soil work is done by hand with hoe, garden fork and shovel.
We do not use synthetic fertilizers. It has been used on the property in the past though. We use manure, green manure and compost to fertilize our crops.
We do not use non-organic certified pesticides. We very rarely use even organic certified pesticides. Almost no pesticides have ever been used on the property.
We create and plant wildlife and insect habitat to create biodiversity to combat pests.
We use management practices ( row covers, soil amendments, altering plant growth habits, mixed species plantings, insect traps, watering methods) to combat pests and diseases.