Our livestock include 15-20 mature milking cows and 5-8 young stock of Jersey and Milking Shorthorn breeds. Heritage breeds were chosen for optimal protein and butterfat milk composition, and for their history as traditionally robust animals. We are reviving the Milking Shorthorn lineage by breeding our milking herd to Shorthorns, who excel in 100% grassfed herds. We are also introducing Normande genetics, which produce succulent beef as well as excellent milk components.
New Zealand-style farming practices have influenced many of our own practices and encouraged us to stay 100% grassfed. For example, we only milk our cows once a day because it reduces stress and demand on the animals. Our average dam age is around 8 years old, double the average lifespan of a conventional cow! She makes significantly less milk, but subsists on what cows are designed to eat: grass. We are so dedicated to rotational grazing that our milking herd is moved to new pasture 4-6 times per day during the summer months. During the winter they receive the best quality hay we can find.
We received the Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) certification within our first year. This status is very important to us, as we want consumers to heighten their awareness around the variances between certifications. AWA allows us to use antibiotics to save a cows life, whereas certified organic would force us to sell a sick cow as a conventional cow, and who knows what would happen to her thereafter. Though we are not certified organic, rest assured that we would never use pesticides or herbicides on our property. We use homemade herbal remedies/tinctures, homeopathy, and immune boosters as our first line of defense for any illnesses or injuries.