Cows
Cows

Pigs
Pigs
We raise grass fed registered black angus cattle. Our cows spend their spring, summer and fall rotationally grazing on over 100 acres of pasture in West Boylston. During the winter cows are fed a dry hay which is grown on our cousins dairy farm. Our pigs are raised on wooded lots foraging and rooting for feed. Because pigs are not ruminants like sheep and cows, they need some amount of grain in their diet to survive. Besides what they forage for, they also eat leftover fruits and vegetables, as well as natural grain produced here in Massachusetts.

Sheep
Sheep

Poultry
Poultry
We have a very mixed flock of sheep, consisting of st croix, dorset, dorpers, and kathadins. Our sheep are raised on rotating pastures with hay during the winter and suplimented with a small amount of local natural grain during lambing season. We breed for mothering ability, disease resistance and rate of gain. We raise cornish broilers for meat, they are raised on natural feed and brought up on rotating pastures. We also raise broad breasted white turkeys for Thanksgiving.

Animal Processing

arlier this year one of our CSA members asked a great question regarding the humane handling of our animals during the harvest process. We thought a greater explanation was necessary for everyone to read. Of the 6 USDA facilities which process our meat, 3 of them have kill floors, the other 3 we bring already harvested meat to them to turn into items like our all natural meat sticks, jerky or nitrate free kielbasa. We pride ourselves on our animals and humane handling from the day they are birthed to the day they are harvested. Just last month we purchased a new (To Us!) chute system for safer/calmer loading of cattle.

Poultry we load up typically around 4a.m while it is still dark, so they are still resting, and much easier to catch! Once at the harvest home chickens are immediately put into a cone and the throat is slit, this kills them instantaneously. There is only one person harvesting chicken, and they are done in small batches of four at a time. They are only open on Tuesday, and we are typically the only ones there harvesting over 20 birds.

95% of our red meat is killed at Adams Farm in Athol. They are one of only 2 USDA slaughterhouses in the state, and the only facility in New England designed by Temple Grandin who is world renowned for humane slaughter design and oversight. From the minute the animals are unloaded off the trailer Adams employees treat the animals with calmness and respect. They are moved from holding pens where they provided with fresh food, water and bedding to a carefully designed chute system which leads them calmly to their final destination. Here a captive bolt is use which kills the animal immediately. A USDA inspector oversees this whole process, and if something so much as a misfire occurs the slaughterhouse will be shut down for weeks. Adams kill floor is very calm and organized. They are never rushed to process animals, most of the time the kill floor is waiting on the cutting room to be able to accept more carcasses. We have been working with Adams for over 4 years now and could not be happier with them, they seem like family at this point. For more information about them check out this great article!

We also just tried The Local Butcher in New Hampshire this week. They are a very small scale slaughterhouse started just over a year ago by former dairy farmers. When we dropped pigs off on Tuesday they were the only animals being harvested that day, and were unloaded into very well done, palatial pens. The gentleman that helped us unload them was very calm while he ushered the pigs away with just a few clicks of the cheeks, and was very complimentary of what nice looking animals we were dropping off. The same process of the captive bolt is utilized here.

We welcome anyone who is interested in this process to ask any questions, or join us in a trip to the slaughterhouse. We are very transparent in all our processes!