-Grassfed and grass-finished. No grain, ever.
-Raised without hormones or antibiotics
-Slow grown, birth to harvest
Naturally raised from birth to harvest on our family ranch an hour south of Calgary our grassfed and finished cattle have no grain in their diet. They are born, raised, and finished on grass. Respect for the land and animals is foremost in our operation. The land thrives without the use of chemical herbicides or fertilizer. The cattle herd is small and closely managed. Low-stress livestock handling, a method of working with cattle that recognizes their innate instincts, keeps our animals quiet and relaxed. Everything is done slowly. Rather than rushing to harvest with the use of growth hormones, our cattle grow the natural way, slower and safer, enhancing the tenderness and flavour of the meat.
Our cattle free range on pasture year-round with access to shelter and fresh water. They live the way cattle were evolved to live and are part of the natural life cycle of the lush varied grasses in our area. Eating grass keeps cattle in optimum health and makes their meat healthier than commodity beef. The plants they choose to eat give their meat a healthy balance of Omega-3 to Omega-6 fats, and high levels of essential minerals and vitamins including cancer-preventing, muscle-building conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). Grazing is good for the cattle, the land, and in turn, for you.
The cattle go to our small local artisan butchers when they are between 27 and 29 months of age. This is at least a year longer than the lives of feedlot beef. This lengthy process (along with breeding, a forage-only diet and natural healthy lifestyle) accounts for the superior nutrition, tenderness and flavor of our beef. Each animal’s death, like its life, is handled as quietly and humanely as possible which is important for ethical reasons and for the quality of the meat. The cattle go directly from the field to a small artisan butcher who uses humane handling practices.
The identity of each animal and carcass is systematically traced from birth through to freezer. The “wet carcass” weight is determined right after slaughter. The sides of beef are dry aged from two to three weeks (this varies with size of carcass and the amount of fat cover for optimum quality) under precise conditions. The cutting and wrapping is done according to your instructions and the knowledgeable butcher’s expertise for optimal results.
When you order a half or whole animal, the butcher will consult with you for your cutting preferences, and it will be custom cut and wrapped for your needs. If you are new to this way of acquiring beef, we and the butcher will be pleased to talk over your choices. If you order a quarter, your cutting instructions will be semi-custom. All are mixed-quarters, which means you will receive a mixture of cuts that come from both the front and back of the side of beef. If you would like any of the super-nutritional “extras” such as organs, tongue, shanks, soup bones, it is important to let us know that before slaughter so the butcher can save them for you. Your cuts will be wrapped, labelled and flash frozen then put in boxes with your name on.
The carcass weight of a quarter may be 165 to 210 pounds. “Shrinkage” (the amount lost to aging and cutting) varies with each animal and with your cutting instructions. Since we dry age, rather than in sealed plastic bags with added water like super-market beef, pound for pound your meat will be more nutritionally dense and flavorful. See “How to order” to calculate what your meat will actually cost.