Our livestock live their lives eating our lush pastures and stored forages until they reach the appropriate age, weight, and quality to be individually selected for processing. The ruminants (cattle and sheep) are fed a diet they are designed to eat: mother’s milk, high quality forages, and naturally occurring minerals. They are not fed any supplements that are incompatible with their digestion method, such as commercial feedstuffs, grain, corn silage, urea, or animal or fish by-products. Our hogs are rotationally grazed and do eat grain, as their digestion is designed for it. The animals do not receive antibiotics, vaccines, or synthetic growth hormones. Our handling methods minimize their stress, as stress reduces meat quality and animal health. We accompany the animals to the abattoir (processor) to ensure they are treated and handled in a proper, respectful, and low stress manner.
We purchase our lambs and piglets from several farms nearby at weaning age and then raise them until harvest. The young lambs and piglets are raised according to our strict standards from birth until harvest.
We practice mixed species grazing where we graze our sheep right with the cattle, as they are naturally designed to complement each other and enhance each other’s performance. Llamas guard our lambs.
We harvest beef twice a year because we have very strict standards for harvesting and cattle can only achieve the proper rate of gain (as determined by the quality of the grass – which is seasonal) in the spring and early winter as long as they are grazing perennial pastures as opposed to planted annuals. Note that we graze year ‘round and rarely feed hay – that’s how we can get high weight gains in the winter. We test our winter grass and hay and found our winter grass is of better quality than our best hay. Most of the cattle we harvest are around 2 years old, an ideal time for grass finishing (marbling).