The overwhelming majority of cattle in the United States are “fattened up” on corn in feedlots. Cattle fattened in feedlots are fed small amounts of hay supplemented with grain, soy and other ingredients in order to increase the energy density of the diet. The debate is whether cattle should be raised on diets primarily composed of pasture (grass) or a concentrated diet of grain, soy, corn and other supplements.
We don’t think the practice above is best for cows, for the environment and, most important, for your health. So, we do things a bit differently for you and your family. We know you care about what your family eats … well, so do we!
Our cattle are raised 100% on grass for their entire lives. We move them to new pastures daily … sometimes twice a day. This way they have access to the freshest, most lush forage, and provide the rich fertilizer our pastures need to thrive. And, we give them fresh water daily from our well.
Our cows are never fed grain of any kind! Just ask American Grassfed, which audits our ranch every 15 months.
You see, chickens love to follow behind cows, just as wild birds followed the buffalo across the Great Plains. They have a symbiotic relationship, cleaning up behind the cows by scratching through cow dung.
What the chickens are doing is hunting for fly larvae, which gives them the protein they crave. Ignore those “vegetarian diet” claims you see on egg boxes, because chickens are not vegetarians, as every cricket and earthworm knows.
As they hunt for larvae they are also spreading the manure, incorporating it into the soil. This not only hastens the breakdown of the fertilizer, but also allows the cows to more fully graze the pasture when they return. You see, cows won’t graze near one of their own fertilizer spots (this is to avoid parasites). So the chickens fix it where it’s gone by the time they return and they’re free to graze the entire paddock!
Everyone wins! The soil is enriched, the cows are happy, the chickens live a great life outdoors and you get the most nutritious eggs and chicken imaginable!
No Animal By-Products
No Artificial Hormones, Steroids, Drugs or Antibiotics
Our cows are never fed anything but grass and minerals. And, of course, we never give drugs or antibiotics. If an animal were to get sick, it would just be removed from the herd.
Non-GMO, Soy-Free & No Corn!
It makes no sense to use so much American farmland to grow corn and soy for livestock feed, when animals are perfectly capable (and thrilled) to harvest and hunt for their own food. If only they were allowed to do so.
On Rafter W Ranch, they are. So our sheep, cows, hens and broilers are never fed corn. Why is this important? Because 80-90% of corn is GMO and we don’t want to eat GMO’s if we can avoid it.
When we dry age our organic grass-fed beef, the whole carcass is held fresh and is exposed to the air so that dehydration can further concentrate the meat’s flavor.
Of course, this process is costly because the meat loses weight from dehydration the longer it is aged, but ultimately results in a more tender, flavorful product.
And, let’s be honest…when you buy dry aged beef you’re not paying for excess water, which you would be if you bought beef that wasn’t dry aged.