M-Rockin-C Ranch, owned and operated by retired US Army veteran, is raising egg laying chickens, pastured boiler chickens. We are currently expanding our operations to include rabbits, turkeys, hogs, goats and bees for local harvested honey in Houston County, Texas. All of my poultry and livestock are free ranged and live on pasture supplemented with non-GMO feeds using no antibiotics or hormones. My goal is growing all of the livestock in an environment outside where they can live normal lives eating bugs and grass; enjoying the sun and rain and through holistic management creating more sustainable pasture land for the future.
Boilers – Meat Chickens
We have 50 to 100 Cornish Jumbo Rock Boiler chickens on pasture starting every two weeks now. These are great hybrid meat birds which will reach a live weight of 8-12lbs in just eight weeks. What does this mean for you? You get on average a dressed out bird that weighs in at around eight plus pounds with rich succulent thick breast meat, huge drumsticks and wings that actually have a good amount of meat on them.
The next 50 chicks are here (arrived 21 Sep) expected harvest date is estimated at 9-16 Oct. Call to reserve your meat bird now!
We have a selct number of just weaned yearlings available 300-600lbs. Call to reserve your best tasting beef ASAP!
Need eggs our ladies are from several breeds and hybrids of chickens in order to give you the best eggs and size ranges possible. We are still deciding on a good white egg layer.
- Easter Eggers – The Easter Egger chicken is not truly a chicken breed but is instead a cross between different chicken breeds. This cross is usually between Araucana and Ameraucana birds, but truthfully, Easter Eggers are rather mixed and can be produced when other birds are crossed with either the Ameraucana or Araucana. Easter Eggers can lay a variety of egg colors, from blue to green, olive and sometimes even pink. These girls can lay 3-5 Medium to XL eggs per week.
- Barnevelders – The Barnevelder chicken is a dual-purpose, winter egg-laying breed originating from the Netherlands. They lay 3-4 dark brown to light brown Large eggs per week.
- Buff Orpingtons – They are very calm and stately – they sort of glide across the barnyard – unless they are running for treats, in which case they hike up their ‘skirts’ and run like crazy! These ladies provide us with a reliable supply of 4-6 Large brown eggs per week.
- Black Australorps – The Black Australorp is a beautiful sight when the sunlight hits their black feathers which become a breathtaking iridescent green. She is one of the best egg layers around and can lay more than 5 light brown Large eggs every week. The Australorp breed holds the world record for egg production 364 eggs in 365 days!
- Welsummers – The Welsummer is a light, soft feathered, active chicken that is an excellent forager and does very well free-range. In its native land of Holland, it is known as the Welsummer, with the spelling being closer to that of its place of origin, Welsum. Welsummers are known for their 3-5 large dark brown egg per wek. The dark eggs and rich brown speckled egg color of a Welsummer chicken comes from a dark brown substance called Porphyrin. It is a kind of dye applied to the egg during its passage through the oviduct and creates a colored egg. The speckles visible on the eggs are places where this dye accumulates more densely. The gland responsible for producing the brown dye can’t always keep up with the number of eggs a hen produces, and eggs become lighter and lighter in color as the season progresses. The dark brown speckles will continue to remain, and it is possible for the chicken egg to eventually become very pale with dark brown speckles. For this reason, only the darkest brown eggs are selected for breeding purposes. The Welsummer has two claims to fame.
- If you’re familiar with Kellogg’s Cornflakes, you may well recognize the rooster that was first emblazoned on the packaging back in 1957. The rooster, named Cornelius, or Corny for short, was designed to remind folks to “Wake up to Breakfast.”
- The second immortalization of the Welsummer is a statue of two Welsummer chickens that stands in front of the church in Welsum in Holland, where the breed originated.
- Barred ‘Plymouth’ Rock – This is one of Americas’ oldest breeds, first putting in an appearance in the mid-1800s’. The production breed excelled in the eggs and meat areas and nearly drove the purebred heritage hen to extinction. Fortunately, the heritage bird has enjoyed a resurgence of popularity and now is listed as ‘recovering’ by the Livestock Conservancy. These ladies provide 3-4 Medium to Large light brown eggs per wek.
- Sex-link Hybrids – Mongrels, crossbreeds, and hybrid chickens are all terms that mean the birds are not pure breeds. Purebred poultry could be relied upon to produce predictable results, generation after generation. Hybrid chickens could be relied upon to grow slightly faster and lay well and earlier. Poultrymen noticed that these various crosses of breeds with different colors did produce pullets that laid very well. They also noticed something interesting—the chicks from these crosses often had easily noticed differences in down color, which made it easy to learn how to tell the sex of baby chicks for these crossbreeds. In other words, the color of the male and female offspring from these crosses were linked to the sex of the chick. And so the “sex-link” chicken was born. Because sex-link chickens do not produce offspring that look and produce as well as they themselves do, they are not breeds. They simply do not fit the definition of a breed. So what are they? Since they are the result of crossing two (or more) breeds, they may only be termed crossbreeds. So what are the various types, or kinds, of sex-link chickens? We can divide these as either red sex-links or black sex-links. Popular names under which they are marketed include: Cherry Eggers, Cinnamon Queens, Golden Buff and Golden Comets, Gold Sex-links, Red Sex-links, Red Stars, Shaver Brown, Babcock Brown, Bovans Brown, Dekalb Brown, Hisex Brown, Black Sex-links, Black Stars, Shaver Black, Bovans Black and California Whites.
- Amberlink. For Amberlink, the pure breeds could be Rhode Island Reds and White Plymouth Rocks or White Island Reds. This graceful white and amber-colored sex link can lay eggs like no one’s business, even in the cold dark winters. It is derived from the ISA genetic line and does not disappoint in egg production and cold-weather hardiness. It is a very well-balanced bird that lays 5-6 nice large – brown size table eggs per week. They are docile and make great foragers.
- Amber Star Sex-link. These hens thrive at egg production and can produce about 300 eggs in a single year with proper care and if they are in good health. They also have been known to begin laying as early as 16 weeks. Our girls will lay 4-6 large to XL eggs per week.
- Turkeys: should be available late 2023 we missed being able to get them on pasture this year. Secure your poult early once we have them in. Raised by special order only!
- Goats: Boer Billy and 20 Spanish Nannies. Great hybrid with lots of meat and hardiness for our southeast Texas weather and parasites. Check back spring 2023 for when our first kidding should happen – harvest 6-7 months after birth. (available mid to late 2023)
- Rabbits: We are looking at several heritage breeds currently. The rabbitry is being built and soon will have our breeders hard at work producing top-quality meat for your dinner table. (late 2022 to spring 2023)
- Blanc de Hotot
- New Zealand White
- American Chinchilla
- Silver Fox
- Hogs: In mid-2023 we will have four of our five heritage breeds available.
- Red Wattle known for its earthy, vegetal and herbaceous meat with a hint of cinnamon.
- Guinea Hog known mostly for its charcuterie (cured meats).
- Duroc provide dark red meat with lots of flavor
- Mulefoot provide red marbled meat
- Our Kunekune hogs are one of the slowest growth heritage hogs but well worth the 14-18months of pastured living which gives their red marbled meat such great flavor. We hope to have them available by spring 2024.
Why buy local and why pastured raised matters…
“From the Farm to the Fork” is the heart of the system. My primary goal is raising high quality birds, rabbits, goats, hogs and local harvested honey from my bees that is delivered to our clients with no middle-man. Moving the pens daily provides fresh pasture daily to our birds along with rotating our animals on pasture nearly daily in order for our holistic system to produce the highest-quality poultry and livestock products. My bees forage local flowers within several miles of our property and we collect this nature made nectar of the Gods for your enjoyment and benefit.
Products from pasture-raised animals are healthier for you to eat than those from grain-fed animals for many reasons. Animals get more readily available nutrients from fresh pasture plants than from grains, so their products contain more vitamin E, beta carotene, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and omega-3 fatty acids. Vitamin E and beta carotene, the precursor to vitamin A, are powerful antioxidants that, among other functions, help our bodies cope with toxins. Conjugated lineoleic acid prevents many types of tumors and breast cancer in post-menopausal women.
Grass-fed meat is naturally high in vitamin E, according to Welch researchers, and this potent antioxidant keeps the meat from spoiling. This finding contradicted the hypothesis that meat from grass-fed cattle, with its more abundant and easily oxidized omega-3 fatty acids, would spoil very quickly. After two weeks of storage, grain-fed meat was brown but grass-fed meat was still red. (“Control of beef meat quality,” by Nigel Scollan, Annual Report and Accounts 2001, Institute of Grassland and Environmental Research)
Pastured broilers have higher concentrations of omega-3 fatty acids than grain-fed broilers. Eggs from pasture-fed hens have more folic acid, vitamin B12, vitamin E and carotenes – especially lutein and zeaxathin, which reduce macular (center of the retina) degeneration – than grain-fed. Turkeys benefit even more than broilers from pasture, because they naturally tend to forage more. Milk from sows on pasture has more vitamin E and selenium than grain-fed, as does pork from those piglets. Putting rabbits on pasture results in healthier, tastier, more tender meat, according to a study funded by a Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education grant. (www.sare.org)
One reason pasture-fed animals – and their products – are healthier is that the animals eat more on pasture because they like it. This is their natural behavior. On the other hand, confined, grain-fed animals are subject to unnatural, stressful environments, such as overcrowding and excessive ammonia in chicken houses. Likewise, when feedlot cattle are taken to slaughter, their hides are often caked with dried manure that is difficult to remove and may contaminate the meat with E. coli 0157:H7, the bacteria that can harm people. Grain-fed beef animals have a much higher concentration of acid-resistant than of non-acid-resistant E. coli 0157:H7. The acid-resistant bacteria are a greater concern for people, because they survive more easily in the acidic contents of the human stomach, where they can cause disease. This research was done first at Cornell University (Diez, Bonzalez, T.R. Callaway, M.G. Kizoulis, J. Russell, “Grain Feeding and the Dissemination of Acid-Resistant Eschericia coli from Cattle,” Science, 1998, vol. 281, pgs. 1666-1668), then repeated at the USDA Meat and Animal Research Center in Nebraska (Scott, T., T. Klopfenstein et al., 2000 Nebraska Beef Report, pgs. 39-41, published by USDA).
The improved health of pastured animals has an additional advantage: Antibiotics and other drugs are used less in these animals, so fewer antibiotic-resistant bacteria develop. A study reported in Applied Environmental Microbiology (Langlois, B.E., K.A. Dawson et al., 1998, “Effect of age and housing location on antibiotic resistance of fecal coliforms from pigs in a non-antibiotic-exposed herd,” 54(6):1341-1344) showed that pasture-raised pigs had less antibiotic resistant bacteria than confinement-raised pigs. On February 15, 1998, the entire Danish poultry industry voluntarily stopped using antibiotics as growth promoters. This “did not result in major disease problems in the flocks.”
The Institute for Environmental Research and Education showed a gain of one-half ton per acre per year of carbon on land that is converted from tilled cropland to grassland. Native or planted grasses remove CO2 from the air by photosynthesis and store it in the soil as organic matter or rotting plant parts. This process, known as sequestering, reduces greenhouse gases. Grassland ecosystems evolved with animals and produce a natural flow of nutrients.
The environmental impact of livestock production is reduced with pasture-raised animals: Less fossil fuel is required to raise and harvest feed or spread manure. With grain-based systems, more animals are kept than otherwise could be supported by the farm without purchased feed and supplements. The resulting excess manure applied to the limited land area of a farm overwhelms the soil ecosystem, and leached nutrients pollute the surrounding areas.
Earthworm numbers in the soil of a permanent pasture system are much higher than in one rotated with field crops. This is just another good indicator of the positive environmental impact of pasture-raised livestock.