David Losure & Heidi Marttila-Losure
th St. Frederick, SD
Our cattle spend two summers on grass before being sent for processing. The cattle are fed some oats along with hay over the winter for energy and in order to get some marbling in the meat. Typical feedlot cattle only get one summer on grass before being pushed to reach butcher weight quickly on a high grain diet. Our cattle are never pushed onto a high grain diet, implanted with hormones, or given antibiotics in order to promote fast weight gain. We believe that healthy cows make healthy meat.
Our pigs spend their days outdoors, with lots of room to run, root and forage. They have small huts in their pens for shelter from the sun and wind, and straw to sleep on. The only time they are ever on concrete is when they come into the old barn to farrow (have piglets) and during blizzards. They are heritage breed hogs, so will have more fat (and ﬂavor) than the ultra-lean conﬁnement hogs sold at the grocery store. We don’t use antibiotics to promote weight gain or other drugs commonly used to make pork leaner.
As long as the weather allows, our chickens travel about the farmyard in porta-ble shelters. They are too tasty to be allowed to roam freely. New baby chicks start in the chicken coop, and laying hens over-winter there. Otherwise our birds are out mowing and fertilizing grass for us. They are never given drugs of any kind. Meat chickens are butchered outdoors using a scalder and plucker, then wrapped and frozen. The chlorine bath step that supermarket chicken go through is left out. The weight that you buy is all meat—not a mixture of meat, chlorine/saline solution and, umm, other things.
Our laying ﬂock includes three breeds: Buﬀ Orpington and Rhode Island Red, which lay brown eggs, and Ameraucana, which lay greenish-blue eggs. Like Easter eggs without the dye! The chickens are fed local grains, and in the sum-mer they also forage on grass and bugs, which not only helps the farmyard (they do a great job cleaning up in the garden) but also makes the eggs tastier and the yolks a beautiful bright yellow.
What makes our meat better?