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TK Ranch
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TK Ranch - Ethical By Nature
TK Ranch - Ethical By Nature

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Sugar our livestock guardian dog wondering if my camera is edible. When you buy from TK Ranch you're voting with your dollars for ethical livestock production and sustainable land management. #RanchLife #YYC #YEG #RedDeer
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“What's for dinner? All of our products on TK Ranch are raised without:
- GMO feed
- antibiotics or drugs
- added hormones
- animal by-products
- chemical insecticides
Learn more http://bit.ly/2lPFuCYhttp://bit.ly/2lPMPCc
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The temptation to cuddle and coo over new pups is so darn difficult. Especially when they are big balls of fluff that so desperately want your attention, like our Kangal pups pictured. These are the babies of our livestock guardian dogs Sugar and Attila (aka Bubby). Sugar had her pups a few weeks back during the cold weather in January. We tried to keep her up at our house where it was warm and cozy, but her instinct to stay with our sheep made her an escape artist. Any time she was let outside she vanished only to be found with our ewes happy and content. So we built her a warm house to whelp right in the middle of our sheep pen and she quickly settled in. Raising livestock guardian pups is a real balancing act because you want the dogs to bond with sheep, not with people. But you also don't want them to be aggressive towards people because this can be a serious problem. To ensure this balance is met we keep our puppies close to the sheep at all times. Daily, when we feed our mature dogs, we cuddle and pet the pups to ensure they like people, but not more than two or three minutes at a time. This ensures they grow up knowing their true place in the world as working dogs, not as pets. This is essential because much of the year our flock is on pasture kilometers from our home without the protection of a shepherd, including during lambing. In our country coyotes like to drop in for dinner whenever possible, one night a few years ago we lost 13 sheep to predation. We only had one guardian dog at that time and the coyotes split our flock into three which made it impossible for her to protect them. Today we have several dogs that guard our flock and we rarely suffer any losses. For many producers this is hard to achieve because they have grown up having dogs as pets their entire lives and cannot separate themselves from a cute little pup to let it bond properly with their sheep. Unfortunately once a guardian dog is bonded to people that is where they will want to stay. Our dog Attila, aka Bubby, is a big suck hence his nickname. He is pictured with me and my daughter Maria. We bought him as a pup and were told he was bonded to sheep, but soon after his arrival it became apparent that he loved people more. So we kept him as a sire and he guards our yard instead. It took us a lot of years to learn how to train effective livestock guardian dogs and today our flock is well protected by happy well adjusted working dogs.

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Buying direct from TK Ranch is an economical choice for many families. But making the right choice when buying meat products for your family can be a confusing process. We structured our website to make this process as easy and straightforward as possible. If you don't find the information you need, please do not hesitate to contact us with your questions. We will do our best to assist you in any way that we can. Order online http://bit.ly/2m5dAm8 #Gastropost #YYC #YEG #RedDeer

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Happy Family Day! We have extended our order deadline for Calgary NW (Feb 22) and Edmonton (Feb 25). Please have your orders in by tonight and thanks! Jocelyn is pictured with Kayla and Dexter's sons Dunn and Dace. Passing on knowledge and fostering stewardship with our children is essential at an early age. No better time than Family Day :).
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Sunday, Feb 19 is the cut off for deliveries for #Calgary NW, Red Deer and Edmonton. Check out our pickup locations #YYC #YYCEats #YYCFood #YYCGastropost #RedDeer #YEG

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I started helping work cattle on the ranch as a kid. I learned quickly that moving, sorting or running cattle through a chute was not for the feint of heart. Getting cattle to do what you want can be very challenging at times. Often it results in frustration and can easily escalate to anger. Voices are commonly raised and family relationships are often tested in the process. A common ranch joke about testing the future success of newly wed couples is to have them put a couple of 100 cows through a chute for annual vaccinations. If they both stick it out to completion and are still talking to each other, then it is likely a good match. Growing up working cattle with my siblings, and parents I saw tempers flare and feelings get hurt as a matter of routine. In my twenties I came to a point where I dedicated myself to finding a different approach. I was fortunate to spend time with a few very talented people in the mid 80's and early 90's and now have been sharing a different livestock handling approach with all segments of the livestock industry for 22 years. The article below from 2015 discusses a few general aspects of what I share. Dylan Biggs

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When things go south the impulse to crawl under my bed is almost overwhelming, especially after the adversity I have faced building our new facilities. Last week our facility manager quit for personal reasons. For almost a year I had worked closely with him to build procedures and train staff at our meat processing facilities near Calgary. Since November he had been encouraging me to move home to TK Ranch because everything was under control and in good hands. Just when I started to pack the bottom fell out of my plans, or so it seemed. I felt like I was free-falling from an aircraft but checked my behaviour when I noticed how devastated my staff were. He had hired, trained and worked with them daily to manage all aspects of our facility and was leaving in five days. They looked like the crew of a sinking ship. I immediately started the process of team building to reassure them that everything was going to be okay. A major part of this process was listening to their concerns and asking them for input and this changed everything. As a team we were able to see the big picture of what needed to be done to transition successfully. This process also allowed us to identify individuals from within our team that had the management skills to take over much of the workload. Instead of rushing out to hire a new manager I promoted from within and built team spirit. By acknowledging my staff and incorporating their feedback they have taken personal ownership in the success of our facility and moral has never been higher. I might be going home after-all.
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#Recipe: Tender Italian Baked Chicken Breasts 30min 4 servings Ingredients - 3/4 cup mayonnaise - 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese - 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder - 3/4 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs (or gluten free) - 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves cut again in half (525g) Directions 1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). 2. In a bowl, mix the mayonnaise, Parmesan cheese, and garlic powder. Place bread crumbs in a separate bowl. Dip chicken into the mayonnaise mixture, then into the bread crumbs to coat. Arrange coated chicken on a baking sheet. 3. Bake 20 minutes in the preheated oven, or until chicken juices run clear and coating is golden brown. Order online http://bit.ly/2krbQX4

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Listen to your gut After being diagnosed with systemic lupus in 2001 I was on a mission to find out why, and my gut told me it had something to do with the food I was eating. I was given a very poor prognosis which sent me into a tail-spin. Imagine living on a ranch with four small children, growing an organic garden, buying organic grains, milking your own cow, eating your own grass-fed beef and cooking from scratch only to find out something wasn’t working? My rheumatologist in Calgary prescribed copious drugs but I wanted an alternative because I was allergic to so many prescription medications. He simply laughed, called me “a modern woman” then said he would see me in the ICU. Needless to say we parted company and I proceeded to put my life under the microscope. After several weeks of serious navel gazing I felt defeated and almost went back to my rheumatologist to eat my words. Luckily fate intervened and while nursing my sister in California I was told the story of a young woman who had been bedridden with systemic lupus for 8 years. She had tried every option, been on drugs for years and her health had only deteriorated. Just when she thought there was no hope she found research that linked systemic lupus to celiac disease. She omitted all gluten from her diet and within 3 months was back at work and pregnant with twins 6 months later. I had nothing to lose by following her lead and immediately changed my diet. Seven years later I went for a follow up exam at the U of A Hospital in Edmonton and after extensive testing they found no sign of the disease. Without medical treatment they were curious about how I had healed myself. When I told them I had omitted gluten they laughed and said “you actually believe that food affects your health?” The Head of Rheumatology told me I was the first person he had ever examined that had recovered from such a poor prognosis. This taught me to look at all options when faced with adversity, especially when it comes to serious illness. Don’t get me wrong, doctors have their place, but I believe that environmental triggers like gluten (or dairy, corn, soy, chemicals, etc.) play an important role in disease. It’s not easy to change old habits, walking by freshly baked croissants in France was painful, but my health is worth the sacrifice. This is why all of the processed products we offer are made without gluten, soy, MSG, corn, dairy or chemical preservatives. I needed a trusted source for my dietary needs to ensure I remained healthy and found it was easier to make them myself, but don’t worry I am happy to share.
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