Standards and Practices
Pasture raised & Grass fed:
We believe in and implement a high-forage diet with absolutely no grain, animal by-products, antibiotics or growth hormones. USDA defines “pasture raised” livestock as spending over 50% of their life on pasture. Our lambs and goats spend 90 to 100% of their life on pasture with appropriate shelters for weather protection.
Quality of life for livestock:
Our livestock spend their days in the open air and sunshine grazing our lush, green pastures in familiar settings. Our young stock spends the majority of their time safe with their mothers within the protective flock learning to choose from diverse forages.
Our animals are humanely treated from birth to harvest, following scientifically proven humane principles and holistic management practices. We have worked with Dr Joe Regenstein, Cornell University and through his connections, with Dr. Temple Grandin (well known internationally for her work with humane livestock handling systems and methods) since 2006 to ensure that our production and slaughter processes are animal friendly and respectful.
The Spirit of Humane website was developed in collaboration with Dr Regenstein to provide guidance to other small producers on these issues. Our ultimate goal is to always actively improve the quality of life of our animals through the reduction of fear, discomfort and avoidable stressors. Our animals routinely carry out their natural behaviors such as grazing, browsing, lactating and exploring their environment as appropriate to their species.
Holistic resource management:
We are a small family farm with limited resources. Our lives center around our family, sheep, goats and guardian animals. We use sustainable farming practices that improve the soil, increase biodiversity, and are beneficial to our local community’s environment. In practice, this means what we take out of the environment we put back in, so land and resources such as water, soil and fertility can be replenished and are available to future generations.
We use methods of protecting our vulnerable lambs and kids that encourage predators to retreat rather than attack. These non-lethal methods include electric net fencing, guardian dogs and llamas (see guardian section) that bond with the flock and aggressively threaten intruders, and relocation to more secure locations if this fails.
Our products are USDA inspected, vacuum-packed for quality, and meet high standards for freshness, tenderness and flavor.