USDA requires that all meat sold in the US be slaughtered and processed at a USDA approved facility (on ranch slaughter is not permitted by USDA when the meat is to be sold). There are only a few facilities in California that do both in one location and even fewer who will work with small farms. We are very lucky to have several facilities within close proximity to our farm. Many farmers & ranchers aren’t as lucky and they have to drive their animals sometimes hundreds of miles to such a facility.
We deliver the animals to the abattoir where they are inspected live by a USDA veterinarian prior to slaughter to verify their health. Then again the carcass is inspected by a USDA veterinarian prior to being processed. This ensures that you are only purchasing safe, quality meat.
We work with small abattoirs that run extremely clean, and very well managed facilites. The animals are treated with respect and calmness and the focus is on quality. They hang and dry age each beef at least 21 days, which helps to ensure robust flavor and tenderness. The meat is carefully trimmed of excess external fat and hand-cut to our specifications. It is then vacuum-sealed and frozen creating the meat you enjoy from us.
Are your cattle & lambs fed grain? Are they grain finished?
No! Not at any point in our cattle or lambs' life are they fed grain or any other unnatural feed. They are born and raised on pasture. They remain on pasture until the day they go to butcher. If at anytime we experience low grass-growth in our pastures then they are supplemented with hay to ensure they have the daily nutrition they need for optimal health.
What are your hogs fed? How are they raised?
Our heritage bred hogs are completely pastured raised and live out in open spaces 365 days of the year. They have shelters and trees to provide shade and protection from the elements. They are never confined indoors or in small areas. We provide them with water to build wallows, which they thoroughly enjoy. Our sows are allowed to build nests and farrow where they desire. They are NEVER confined to farrowing crates or kept on concrete. We do NOT clip teeth or dock tails. Their diet is primarily pasture grass & hay, and they are also given a supplemental grain ration that is corn, soy and GMO free. Grain, nuts, seeds, grasses, roots, tubers and natural sources of protein are all normal components of a hog's omnivorous diet.
How are your chickens raised?
We raise Cornish-cross chickens, which are the same breed of chicken you will find in most grocery stores, though this is where the similarities end. Our chickens arrive at our farm from a local hatchery as day-old chicks and are started in a very large brooder where they remain for the first couple of weeks to keep them safe from small predators. As soon as they are big enough to leave the safety of the brooder, they are moved onto either our pastures or into to our orchard (depending on the time of year), where they have continual access to green grass, lots of bugs, and all they room they want to scratch around and be chickens. They are protected from larger predators by electric netting, not to keep them contained but to keep them safe. They have a house to go into for shelter but are not confined. In addition to their forage diet, from day one they are given free-choice organic feed that is free of corn, soy, and GMO's. This creates truly some of the best tasting most flavorful, healthy meat you've every had. Our moist, juicy, tender, flavorful chicken is a true delicacy.
Have your animals been given antibiotics or hormones?
At no point do we administer routine antibiotics or hormones. Our cattle, hogs, sheep and chickens are not fed medicated feeds or water.