Prairie Chicken Viewing

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We look forward to seeing you in 2020 at our Central Wisconsin Farm.  Morning & Afternoon viewing options for viewing - call soon so you don't miss the show.

 

Prairie Chickens and Hay        IMPORTANT PLEASE READ!!

https://www.gofundme.com/f/funding-for-hay-and-pizza

My name is Carol Flaig and I am asking for help to buy hay for my dairy cows. You see, my husband and I have a 100% grass-based Organic dairy Farm. The cows are grass-fed and cannot eat anything else such as corn. The realization that we are not going to harvest enough hay to get through the winter because the spring and summer has been too wet is now sinking in. We have never ever been this short of hay.

Finding the hay to buy is much easier than finding the extra money it will take to pay for it. We really need your help to buy the feed for our cows and their babies. If you can find it in your hearts to help, it would be greatly appreciated. 

Farming, taking care of the animals, the land and his family, is what Carl, has always wanted to do since he was 7 years old. It is his passion and love. I have watched him work through migraines, colds, flu and broken bones. He is strong, not only physically, but mentally and emotionally, too. He can give everything he has, sleep for a few hours, then wake up and do it all over again. Sadly, this is a situation that working harder will not fix.

The farm is much more than a home for my family and animals. It provides pasture land of short grasses that is so attractive to many species. It maintains the delicate balance of plant, insect, bird and other animals. Our farm is a haven for the threatened and endangered animals that live here. The Greater Prairie Chickens, Bobolinks, Meadowlarks, Bald Eagles, dung beetles and more. 

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We practice preservation of wetlands and restoration of the grasslands. A farm that believes in doing no harm to the earth, water and animals under our care. We care for the land using holistic practices that maintain the health of the plants and animals, build soil and clean water.

A farm that is brave enough to break away from the typical factory farm system. 

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Small farms continue to disappear. Less people are able to experience the birds and wildlife. We began sharing and encouraging others to visit our farm by offering Prairie Chicken viewing in the spring. We have met so many extraordinary people that we otherwise would not have known.

We are putting the finishing touches on a food trailer, so we can have a Pizza Night. This will allow many others the experience of the sight and sounds of a farm.

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Your donation will help us buy the extra hay we must have to feed our cows. We want to continue to share our life, love and experiences of farming with others. Please give today because I want to be able to greet you at our up-coming Pizza Night on the Farm, and not become part of the 94% (https://www.agupdate.com/agriview/markets/dairy/supply-management-focuses-on-smaller-dairies/article_a64456d4-8361-5135-9296-bab6c721c7ae.html - 8/15/19)

https://www.gofundme.com/f/funding-for-hay-and-pizza

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 January 29, 2016 - The prairie chicken population was dealt a harsh blow by the extreme cold winter of 2013/2014.  Only the hardiest survived that winter and it appeared that it was the younger population.  Without the adults to guide them the small numbers found were scattered and wide spread.  Two mating seasons have come and gone without having any mating pairs visit our lek.  As the seasons progressed last year, I started to see groups of young prairie chickens on our farm.  The prairie chicken scouts have told me that there are about 40 prairie chickens around our farm feeding in the nearby grain fields.  We are excited to hear that the birds are again making a comeback and are hopeful that they will return to our lek in the spring.  Pretty soon the young males will be starting to practice their dance in hopes of attracting a female this spring.  I will be watching for their arrival and will post the results here.  By mid March I should have an idea if the population will be strong enough to allow limited viewing.  We will post further updates as we know more.

March 8, 2015 -We Have Again decided to not place our blinds out on the lek this year, 2015. More information about this decision will be added soon.

March 1, 2014 -  I believe that everyone would agree that this past winter was difficult  and very cold for humans and animals alike.  Whereas humans had houses that provided warmth and shelter from the brutal winter, the animals did everything they could. Sadly, for the animals, it has become apparent that the death loss will be higher than we want it to be. 

               This is the first year that the prairie chickens have not returned to the lek, and I was born here.  The prairie chicken scouts have reported seeing them in areas that are not usually known to have a population.  The chickens that they see are young and it appears that without the older birds to show them the ancestral booming grounds, they are lost and scattered.  It has many people concerned.

               As a result, I will not be setting out my blinds this year.  I will carefully watch, hoping that some mature males will have survived and be able to make their way back to the lek, and if they do, I don't want them to be stressed in any way.  Right now, that is all we can do, and I will do my part by continuing to farm in the manner that the birds found so inviting.  I want to thank everyone for their past, present and future support.

               It is fortunate that a prairie chicken study was scheduled to take place this year.  It will be important to understand which chickens have survived, and what we might be able to expect in the future.  

February 12, 2013 - A group of prairie chickens was seen this week.  There was a count of about 70 birds!

April 17, visitors also saw a coyote on the booming grounds, meadowlarks & various raptors can also be seen at various times.   

 Check out this video Prairie Chicken Mating Display:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s2_wdMmEupQ    This video is from Missouri Dept. of Conservation, the description is the same for our Wisconsin birds.   

To reserve a seat in a private blind on the Milk Crystal Dairy in Central Wisconsin call Carl Flaig (715)570-0782 or email stargazing2@gmail.com     Displays take place in the early morning AND late afternoon through late May.  A wheel chair accessible blind is available. Ask about group packages.  April Sightings:  18 males & several  females consistently visit the blinds in the morning; Afternoons fewer arrive but they still put on a command performance! All 50-75 feet from the blinds.  Western Meadowlarks are also a common siting.    

Milk Crystal Dairy, LLC   5417 County Road M, Junction City, Wisconsin 54443

Carl will escort you to the blinds just a few hundred feet from the road.  A Donation of $25.00 is requested.

"It begins in the dark, pre-dawn silence of an early Wisconsin spring.  A small gathering of Greater Prairie Chicken males begin their dance.  Their booming resonates so loudly you might think these colorful birds are abundant.  Yet, what you see are among the precious few that have survived.  This is a "come back story" of a bird with a past and, thanks to the continuing efforts of many people, a bird with a future.  Thir original prairie habitat may be gone, but these remarkable birds now thrive in the  "surrogate" grasslands of Central Wisconsin where the age-old sounds of territorial aggression, conflict and competition are heard each spring." Carl Flaig   

POWER POINT PRESENTATION is available which highlights the history and mating behavior of Prairie Chickens. download on attached page or email stargazing2@gmail.com for a free copy to present to your group.  

Thanks to the Minnesota Prairie Chicken Society for sound recording.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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