Normande Dairy Herd

Twice a day we bring our dairy herd in from our pastures to be milked. Kyle Schlatter, our herdsman, manages the daily rotation, moving the 90 cow herd and upcoming heifers through the pastures in a waltz of pasture management and livestock health.

We are breeding for A2A2 Normande cows, achieving our first 7/8 calves in 2016. The Normande breed is a centuries old dual purpose breed from the Normandy region of North-West France. Its milk is prized for making cheese as Normande milk contains high levels of the casein proteins responsible for gelling and curd formation due to the breed having high occurrence rates of the B Kappa Caseine genetics; this property allows us to make a higher quality cheese with greater consistency.

Being a dual purpose breed means that in addition to milk, the meat from our Normande herd is exceptional as well. Normande cattle have good marbling through their meat that lends itself to good flavor and moisture when cooked.

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Grass-Fed Beef

For several years we have been raising our Normande bull calves as beef steers, while their meat is exceptional they are fairly large framed and take a long time to finish. To get a quicker turnover, we started a beef herd using mostly Red Angus cattle. These smaller framed animals finish faster on their grain-free diet of summer pasture and winter hay, achieving excellent marbling, good flavor, and plenty of moisture when cooked.

Like our dairy herd, our beef animals are rotationally grazed, moving across the pasture in daily paddock shifts. This ensures that they get enough fresh growth and a good variety in their diet. It also facilitates greater pasture health, enabling us to graze for a greater percentage of the year.

During the winter we feed our cow-calf pairs hay on pasture, this keeps the calf on its mother longer, making weaning easier come spring. Meanwhile, the finisher animals are housed under open-sided sheds on with a deep bedding pack and are fed both dry hay and hay baleage. In the spring, we turn and compost the bedding and use it on our fields to build soil and increase fertility.

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Grass-fed Lamb

Our flock currently consists of Katahdin sheep with a few bought in stocker lambs to help fill orders. We currently move them several times per week using electrified net fencing. During winter we house them in open sheds with deep bedding and feed them dry hay.

Katahdins are medium sized hair sheep that don't need shearing. The lambs finish lean and have a more mild flavor than some other sheep breeds from eating exclusively pasture plants and dry hay.

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Pigs and Poultry


Whey-fed Pigs

 

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Pastured Broilers

We start our broilers as day-old chicks in our indoor brooder facility. Once they are hardy enough to be outside we move them out to floor-less shelters that are pulled forward daily to give them access to fresh, clean grass. Throughout their lives they are fed a non-GMO grain ration.


Laying Hens

Our laying hens are housed in a hoop greenhouse with deep bedding; during the summer we allow access to a grass run or use mobile coops for them to free range from. They receive a non-GMO grain ration year round.


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Pastured Turkeys

Our turkeys arrive as day-old chicks that we brood in the same fashion as our broiler chickens. Once they are hardy enough to be outside they are housed in portable shelters for several weeks as they get bigger. When they reach a certain size we allow them out on pasture where they can continue to forage plants and insects on a larger area. To round out their diet we feed a non-GMO grain ration throughout their life.