No grain, ever! Our cattle herd is kept on fresh pasture spring through fall and fed grass and alfalfa hay during the winter. Many farmers use grain to maintain weight on their animals during the winter, but even our dairy cows (who naturally have a thinner build) stay in good condition with just their hay, free-choice Redmond Salt, and free-choice organic kelp.
Our cattle participate in a management intensive grazing (MIG or mob) program where they are moved to fresh pasture each and every day. They are exposed to a wide variety of wild forages and get to eat what they please out of each section. Most farm animals are quite intuitive with their diets, and know what plants to eat based on their individual needs.
The reason we don’t feed grain is two-fold. First, it is better for the cattle. Cows are ruminant animals, which essentially means that they thrive on forage alone and do not need any grains to be healthy. They are different from chickens and pigs (and even rabbits!) in this way. Forage alone is the most natural diet for cows to exist on.
The second reason we are solely grass fed and finished is because is makes the beef healthier for human consumption. Grass-fed meat has a higher omega-3 content than grain fed. Those omega-3 fatty acids are one of the things that make salmon so good for us! You’ll also find that, while often leaner than grain-fed meats, the fat on grass-fed animals is a beautiful yellow color rather than white. The reason is that it is much higher in beta carotene , the compound that gives carrots their pretty colors. Beta carotene is good for cell growth, which means it benefits our vision, immune system, and skin, to name a few benefits .
Our first choice when feeding hay is always certified organic. With the recent droughts, that hasn’t always been available to us. If certified organic isn’t available, we seek out hay that is grown without sprays or chemical fertilizers. Only if that isn’t available will we move on to conventional hay. We are always up front about our feeding practices with customers; if you’d like to know what’s in the barn on any given day, just send us a message and we’ll let you know.
We do one on-farm harvest every fall. This allows our cattle to stay in the environment they were born and raised in. Harvest days are low-stress days where beeves are left in familiar pastures, given a their favorite treat of organic alfalfa hay, and dispatched from a distance by the skilled fellows who run mobile butchers. It’s over in an instant and by far the most human way to honor the end of life for cattle who will sustain us and our community.
Fall is the best time to harvest foraging animals like cattle, sheep, and pigs. They have had the full spring and summer of hearty grass growth to eat and are actively plumping up for winter. Fall harvests offer the most flavor and nutrition in your year’s supply of beef.
We are sold out of beef for the 2022 season!
Our herd grows a little more each year as we strive to “meat” all our customers needs. Contact us now to get on the wait list for beef in 2023.
We sell beef “on the hoof” which can be pre-purchase in whole, half, or quarter quantities depending on your family’s food needs for the year.