Our 100% grass-fed cattle are rotationally grazed on certified organic pastures containing a mix of legumes, naturally growing herbs, and grasses. The grazing season runs from May through November in Eastern Iowa. In the winter, they are given organic hay that is grown on the farm.
All our steers and heifers are at least half Devon. We chose the Devon breed for their ability to finish out on grass alone, and for their tender, flavorful meat. When crossed with the other English beef breeds, this produces an animal with excellent hybrid vigor and a moderately sized frame, perfect for 100% grass-fed beef.
Our pasture-raised hogs have access to the outdoors 24/7 with plenty of fresh air and space to run around. This in turn provides their meat with increased marbling and a vibrant red color. In addition to being on pasture, the pigs are fed a diet of organic grains grown on the farm, including corn, wheat, oats, roasted soybeans, vitamins, and minerals.
We choose these heritage breeds because of their natural mothering characteristics which are helpful during farrowing. They also showcase premium meat quality with their vibrant red coloring and higher fat content, which results in a higher level of marbling in the loins. Because our hogs can better withstand living outdoors, their immune systems flourish. This allows us to raise happy, healthy hogs that pass these traits onto their piglets.
At just a day old, chicks come to live at the farm under heat lamps for a few weeks until they are ready to transition to outdoor living conditions. Once chicks are well established to the indoor/outdoor climate, they are permanently housed in a moveable hoop house out in a pasture. There the chickens spend days foraging on a rotated pasture until they are finished out at approximately 10 weeks.
Our Freedom Ranger birds are shipped in from Pennsylvania. We prefer these birds because they have a slower rate of growth, which results in healthier bone structure preventing leg complications. Freedom Rangers are also naturally apt to excel in foraging and grazing on pastures. Our customers have found that OOA chicken meat has a firmer texture and robust flavor, which can be attributed to the daily exercise they get from foraging all day.
Not only do our chickens thrive in fresh air conditions, but they partner with the cattle after they have grazed off a paddock. We do this so the chickens benefit from the increased insect population after the cattle are moved out of the pasture.