Sustainably Managed All Natural Pasture Raised Meat

Pasture Raised Frequently Asked Questions

 

When will my order be ready?
How do I schedule my order to be delivered?
How much meat will I get?
How much freezer space do I need?
How is the meat packaged?
Do you feed grain to your cows?
What do you feed your chickens?
What do you feed your pigs?
Why should I eat pasture raised meats?
How should I cook pasture raised meats?

When will my order be ready?

One of the draw backs of raising animals on pasture and in a grass-based production system is that our meat production is seasonal, susceptible to the environment and has a finite capacity.  We strive to keep our lead times updated on each product order page.  We typically only take orders on animals that will be going to butcher within 30 days.  We take pigs and cows to butcher on a bimonthly schedule, the beef and pork is ready to be invoiced in approximately 3 weeks.  Once the meat is aged, processed and wrapped we will send you an invoice for the final amount due and schedule a time and date to deliver it.

Poultry we only butcher quarterly and typically has a longer lead time than beef and pork.

Back to Top

How do I schedule my order to be delivered?

Once your meat is processed and frozen, we will contact you via email to arrange a delivery time and date.  It is important that once you pick up your meat you do not leave it in your car to thaw, especially during warmer months.

Back to Top

How much meat will I get?

The butchering process is more complex than you think at first glance.  Once an animal is slaughtered, all the inedible portions (skin, head, brains, intestines and feet) are removed.  What is left is called the hanging carcass and is just meat and bones.  The weight of the hanging carcass is called the hanging weight, which is what we use to sell our meat.  After being weighed the hanging carcass is then aged until it reaches the appropriate pH level before being processed.  During the aging process the glycogen reserves breakdown and moisture evaporates from the carcass thus shrinking the weight of the hanging carcass even more.  Once the animal is ready to be cut, the type of desired cuts will dictate how much meat is wrapped and delivered.  Boneless cuts will weigh less than bone in cuts, for example a New York strip weighs about 1/3 less than a T-bone.  The more grind you get the less take home weight.

A live pasture raised pig weighing 245 pounds will have a hanging weight of 176 pounds and will produce 123 pounds of boneless cuts.

A live grass finished cow weighing 1312 pounds will have a hanging weight of 787 pounds and will produce 472 pounds of boneless cuts (no T-bones or bone in rib steaks).

All of poultry is sold as whole carcasses.  A 7-pound live chicken will produce a 5-pound carcass with liver and heart.

Back to Top

How much freezer space do I need?

A rule of thumb for pasture raised meats is that one cubic foot of freezer space will hold 25 pounds of packaged meat. A quarter beef requires approximately 5 cubic feet, a half beef requires 8 to 9 cubic feet and a whole beef requires at least 17 cubic feet of freezer space.  Half of a pasture raised pig requires 2.5 cubic feet and a whole pasture raised pig requires 5 cubic feet.  How meat is packaged can increase or decrease the required amount of freezer space. For example, 12 steaks individually packaged will require more space than the same twelve steaks packaged 4 steaks together.

Back to Top

How is the meat packaged?

All our meat is vacuumed sealed and packaged in boxes; a quarter cow fits in three boxes.  Ground meats unless otherwise ordered come in 1-pound chubs.

Back to Top

Do you feed grain to your cows?

No.  Cows are herbivores, they are designed to eat grass.  On occasion we do have to feed hay due to weather.  When we do feed hay we feed pasture and source verified hay, free of synthetic fertilizers.

Back to Top

What do you feed your chickens?

We feed our chickens a free choice GMO free grain ration we have specifically mixed for our farm.  We feed our chickens at night after they have spent most of the day foraging on fresh grass, this ensures that our chickens and turkeys get at least 60% of their diet from grass, bugs, seeds and whatever else they find on pasture.

Back to Top

What do you feed your pigs?

We raise all our pigs on pasture and over 60% of their diet consists of what is found on pasture.  Our pigs do have access to a GMO-free grain ration specifically mixed for our farm.  During the winter months we also feed free choice synthetic fertilizer free hay.  Gestating sows are also feed farm raised eggs and vegetable scraps from our garden.

Back to Top

Why should I eat pasture raised meats?

Because pasture raised meats come from happier animals.  Herbivores (cows and sheep) are only designed to eat grass, thus in a pastured based system they only consume grass and grass is what fuels their growth and development of exterior and intramuscular fat.  Omnivores (chickens, turkeys and pigs) need to have access to pasture to insure they can choose what they want and or need to eat.  All our omnivores receive more than 60% of their diet from what they forage on pasture.  This insures that both our herbivores and omnivores are eating food free of pesticides, synthetic fertilizers and only eating food they are designed to eat.  Another aspect of pasture raised meats is management intensive grazing which requires the animals to continually move on to fresh pasture, making sure that the animals have access to clean and nutrient rich forage.  In turn this eliminates the need for antibiotics and vaccines.  In 2011, 80% of all antibiotics used in the USA, totaling more than 30 million pounds where given to livestock.

Pasture raised meat has been proven to have higher levels of beta-carotene, vitamins E, D and B, calcium, magnesium and potassium than conventionally produced meats.  Pasture raised meats have 3 to 4 times the amount of omega 3s and 5 times more CLA than conventional grain finished meats. Conventionally produced meats have four times the amount of fat, per 3 oz serving, more calories and higher omega 6s than pasture raised meats.  This large difference in meat nutrition is primarily due to the fact that in a pasture raised system the cows, pigs, chickens and turkeys eat healthier foods; foods they are designed by nature to eat. 

Back to Top

How should I cook pasture raised meats?

DON’T OVERCOOK OR YOU WILL BE DISAPPOINTED!

  • Preheat your cooking surfaces (pans, grills, ovens etc.)
  • Pasture raised meat has less fat, use this to your advantage and add yummy moist cheeses, veggies, sauces, or marinade 4-6 hours
  • Pasture raised meat should be allowed to get to room temperature before going on the grill, Don’t takes it straight from the fridge to the grill
  • Since you’re working with less fat grease/oil cooking surfaces
  • Medium temperatures are better
  • Reduce oven temps by 50 degrees vs cooking grain fed
  • Pasture raised meat usually takes 1/3 less time to cook
  • Don’t stab or cut your meat as you turn it, use tongs to avoid letting the precious juices escape
  • Let it rest……… before cutting into it

Back to Top