We raise a variety of livestock, all free to roam in pasture or woodlands. The livestock on our farm include…
- 100% Grass Fed Beef Cattle
- 100% Grass Fed Pigs
- Pasture-Raised Layer Chickens (for eggs)
- Pasture-Raised Broiler Chickens (for chicken meat)
- Pasture-Raised Ducks (for eggs)
- Woodland and Pasture Raised Pigs
- Pasture Raised Thanksgiving-Turkey
BEEF STEER & COWS
Why is our beef different?
The Devon Breed is originally from Devon, England. Devon are a smaller frame animal, docile, and surpasses most breeds in performance on a 100% Grass Fed Pasture System. They are raised from birth to finish on our pasture.
Having been raised from birth to finish, completely on grass results in a different texture, density, and flavor than conventionally fed or grain finished cattle. It’s leaner, denser, higher in vitamins and minerals that are required to maintain healthy physical functions in your body, and has a more natural, original taste. It is difficult to find completely grass fed cattle. Other products labeled “grass fed” let their cattle out to pasture, but supplement them with grain to fatten them before slaughter. 100% grass fed beef is lower in fat content and higher in vitamins and minerals.
We strive to give our animals the best pasture that we can give them. We leave them out on pasture all day, 365 days of the year. Their pasture is completely natural, without chemicals to suppress weeds or kill bugs. We’ve studied regenerative methods of farming taught by Allan Savory, Joel Salatin, and Greg Judy. The focus on regenerative pasture management is to learn how to increase the microbiology of the soil. This results in higher nutrient content in the grass, better absorption of water into the earth, and carbon sequestration into the soil. The embrace of a natural grazing system results in a very pleasant, natural, and comfortable life for our cattle, higher nutrient density in the meat, building of eroded soils, and the benefits of carbon sequestration in the ecosystem.
Presenting our rotational grazing system:
Managed Intensive Grazing
The image above is from the NRCS (Natural Resources Conservation Service). Scientists now realize that mob grazing, or Managed Intensive Grazing, is the best way to graze cattle. In a managed grazing system, cattle are moved daily to a different strip of pasture. They graze down a large portion of the grass, trample some into the earth, and leave standing. They also leave nutrients for the pasture behind in the form of manure and urine. The pasture then has a healing process, the grazed grass begins to re-grow, any plants trampled into the ground release the carbon in its foliage down into the soil, and the nutrients from the manure and urine are carried by the microbes in the soil to feed the growing grasses. The grazing system ensures the grazed pasture is not returned to within 30 days. This allows the grass the proper time to recover and grow, without being damaged from overgrazing. Using this system, the pasture develops a firmer root system. Grass does better when it is grazed rather than when it is just left to grow on its own.
As shown in the graphic above, a short intensive grazing period, with a long recovery period allowed develops a sophisticated root system which is better at retaining water, accessing nutrients, holding soil in place and preventing erosion, and sequestering carbon into the soil.
Please download, print, read, and circulate the Beef Raising Overview which is written for anyone interested in our holistic and natural method of raising beef cattle on pasture.
Our sheep follow the same grazing and grass systems as our steer and cows. They literally travel together sometimes because it is safe for them to do so.
Different than cattle, pigs are unable to ruminate and sustain themselves off on a completely pasture raised diet. If they were left on pasture, they would be upset that they only had access to grass to consume. They have very powerful snouts that allow them to dig up the soil and look for roots and seeds to eat. In order to feed our pigs, we would have to supplement them with grain. One pig would need 40 acres of natural, wooded pasture to be able to live off of a completely foraging diet.
Pigs do also have a very important function in regenerative agriculture. They are nature’s aerators and tillers. They do this by tearing up the soil with their snouts, lifting up the earth while looking for roots and nuts. When pushing up the earth, they till the soil, both aerating and exposing an increased surface area for seeds to make contact with the earth. Industrial farmers till up large plots of land that leave the earth exposed. These large plots of exposed earth increase the surface area for water to evaporate from the soil which dehydrates it. The pigs only root up small areas. Over long periods of time many acres the soil can be tilled and aerated without unearthing one large plot of land.
Their meat too, is dense, like the cows. It’s noticeably denser and more filling than the industry standard. They spend their whole life supplementing their natural diet of roots and nuts with an organic, soy free grain. They live a pleasant life, relaxing in the shelter of the woods, out of the harsh sun and wind, sleeping in, and foraging for roots, nuts, and berries in the woods as they please.
From May to October we raise Broiler Hens (aka Meat Chickens). Our Chicken is raised on our farm. The broiler chickens live in chicken tractors that are moved to fresh pasture everyday. They forage the grass, seeds, and little insects in the pen. Like the pigs, chickens cannot grow and survive only on grass and must be supplemented with grain. We provide for them a GMO-Free Soy-Free organic grain. This is a step by step overview of how we handle the raising and preparation of our fresh chicken.
The benefits of our chicken raising methodology:
- Organic, soy free chicken feed is healthier for the bird and the consumer
- The bird has a good life with our personal attention
- The birds live on pasture to forage and live in a healthy environment
- On site processing
- Pasture Benefits from our production system
Step 1: Organic Soy Free Feed – We start, maintain and finish our meat chickens with an organic, soy-free recipe that we purchase from a local certified organic farm. Unlike an industrial-organic that might buy their grain from Brazil, we are certain of the quality of our feed and keep the money in the local economy. Our grain costs up to 10x more than buying the grain from Brazil. However, we think it pays back handsomely with a better quality product.
Step 2: Diligent Care Under Our Supervision – We start the baby chicks in the brooders at our farm. We check on these chicks 2 or 3 times a day to make sure their temperature, food, and water are in perfect condition. We raise the chickens in batches of 300 chickens. That’s just the right amount for us to supervise and care for.
Step 3: Pasture Raised Chicken: When the chicks can handle outside temperatures as their feathers come in, we move them out of the brooder room and onto pasture to forage. We have move the pen in the morning so the chicks have fresh grass.
Step 4: Careful processing: Chickens are collected from pasture and processed on site at our facility.
Pasture Benefits: The amount of grain consumed by the chickens is not all consumed and stored into the chicken’s body. About half of it is processed and comes out the rear-end. Moving the pens each day cumulatively leads to an incredible increase in the fertility of the soil in an entire pasture. It’s noticeable how much greener the pasture is the year after the chickens graze it.
Our layer hens are securely locked in our barn at night and spend the morning laying their eggs and consuming their GMO-Free and Soy-Free Organic feed mix.
The benefits of our chicken raising methodology:
- Organic, soy free chicken feed is healthier for the bird and the consumer.
- The bird has a good life with our personal attention.
- The employee works in a healthy environment not overwhelmed by ammonia.
- Since we also buy local, every dollar stays in the local economy.
- The environment benefits as our method of raising the chickens is natural fertilizer
In the beginning of 2021, we decided to construct and design mobile chicken coops to give our birds better access to pasture. The chicken coop is placed in the middle of a field where the chickens are able to search for seeds and insects to supplement their diet. This results in a superior egg with a rich yellow, almost orange yolk, that contains higher nutrient content than a commercial only grain-fed chicken.
Organic Soy Free Feed – While the chickens do forage outside, they would not lay eggs year round if we did not feed them grain. Our chickens are fed organic Field Peas, Oats or Spelt, Flax, Argonite (Calcium), Fish Meal, Crab Meal, Alfalfa Meal, and Probiotics to keep them well fed, healthy, and provide a superior product.
Every day our farmhands collect eggs individually from the hen’s nesting boxes and gives them feed. Frequent visits allow us to have a good ‘eye’ on the flock and monitor their health, ensuring our birds are comfortable and happy.
We buy or feed from Panorama Grain, a feed supplier in Pennsylvania who custom mixes our feed. We purchase from him to ensure our feed is locally grown and milled. This keeps the money in our local economy. The feed not used to maintain the chicken’s health or produce an egg is turned into fertilizer for our fields.
Egg Washing: We use a Sani-Touch egg washer that uses bristle brushes and water to keep the eggs clean. This removes a natural antibiotic protective barrier on the egg that allows it to be shelf-stable for weeks without the need to refrigerate the egg. Everyone could have access to shelf-stable eggs, however, regulation requires this natural protective barrier is removed.
Please Download, Print, Read and Circulate Layer Hen Overview which is written for anyone interested in our holistic and natural method of raising great tasting eggs.
Our ducks, like our chickens, need to be supplemented with grain. They are granted access to the ponds and enjoy the water. The ducks eggs are much higher in fat, a characteristic desired by bakers for a product higher in moisture and softer in texture.
They are supplemented with an GMO, Soy Free, Organic grain to ensure they are getting great nutritionally-dense feed. Our duck eggs are low priced and high quality. We are frequently selling out.
The ducks are both beautiful and beneficial to our farm. They keep the insects in our multiple ponds at bay and provide nutrients for composting. Spreading the compost on the fields increases the available nutrients in our pasture. Come see our beautiful swimming ducks!
Our turkeys are allowed to forage through the woods during the fall, when there is a spike in the nutrient content of the fescue and a large availability of seeds to consume. They gladly walk around their pasture, picking up seeds, and playing with one another. They weigh much more than our broiler chickens, up to 20 pounds more. They are able to disturb and overturn the soil much more than our other poultry and provide a beneficial opening and aeration of the soil that allows for water to seep into the earth and room for the roots of vegetation to grow in. Their plumage is varied in color and elegant. Come visit our turkeys any time from the end of July up to Thanksgiving! They are processed on site and pre-ordered. We sell out every year!