From The Animals Perspective
Last week I announce that we are building an on-farm carcass cooler and fabrication room to complement our new freezer!
To help you understand, your farmer will also be your butcher. Ethan at Homestead Farm & Packing commented this will put our farm way ahead of all other farms!
Many of our customers wrote back. A sampling of the comments include:
* I love these emails!!! And am pleased and proud to partner with y’all
* So happy for your growth and smart business decision
* I am so excited to hear this!!!! Congratulations on this new venture. Am eager to place my whole pork shares with you soon
* This is fabulous!
First, a trivia question for you. As you probably know, this is superbowl weekend. How many chicken wings do they predict will be consumed during the game? Read on to find the answer.
So, how does this decision benefit our animals?
We work very hard to care for our land and animals. We strive to provide proper nutrition, fresh water, and plenty of fresh air plus sunshine.
Our pasture fencing, gates and corral areas are designed to be stress free and safe for them and us - the way Temple Grandin recommends from her extensive work.
However, when time comes to harvest the protocol changes.
After the animal lives its whole life on our farm and in the environment they are familiar with they are then loaded onto a trailer for the first time and endure a long ride. (I added up the other day that to deliver one load of beef and one load to pigs to the processor per month requires 16 hours of driving time or 32 hours when you count the trip back to pickup the meat). That is more than 380 hours per year of driving time.
Once at the processor the animal is unloaded into unfamiliar surroundings and often placed in a pin with other animals. All of this adds a lot of stress.
Some times those pins are very crowded. I can truthfully say that our beef processor (Homestead) always made sure there was fresh water available and the pins were under a shed for shade. Pins were also clean and did not smell.
I cannot say the same for our previous pig processor (Attala). Very poor attention was given to the care for the animal entrusted to them. This same attitude carried over to bad bacon & sausage curing, poor pork chop trim, etc.
As I write this I can think of at least six other farms who have contacted me about the same issues and concerns with their animals.
So, how will this change when we process "on-farm"?
Completely delete everything where we load them on a trailer until we deliver to the processor!
Instead, the animal will stay in familiar surrounding with other animals they have grown up with and know. Fresh water and feed will be available. Stress will be a non-issue.
The mobile slaughter trailer will arrive and set up just outside their area. I will ease them through the corral one at a time on a journey they have made before and are familiar with.
Bottom line: by processing our own animals at the farm will guarantee humane animal handling to the end of life.
Having our own on-farm processing does not change how we farm nor our fundamental beliefs and core values.
What this does do is improve the end of life for our livestock, improve the quality of the meat for our customers (you), and increases our farm's long term viability.
Construction Update: last Saturday our freezer walls were sprayed with a high-density closed cell foam for an R-40 plus insulation value. Additionally, the fab & carcass room rough-in framing was completed and is now ready for R-40 spray foam. Here is a picture of the freezer ceiling.
Join me next week as we consider the "Farmer's" perspective.
Feb 13 Farmer
Feb 20 Customer
Feb 27 Community