BLUESTONE RANCH ANIMALS
Our beef is 100% grass-fed. Our cows eat quality hay in the winter and are out on green pasture all spring and summer. They have scenic hills with running water to graze in; and are quite happy. We feed them a “treat” which consists of an organic custom mix of barley, oats, wheat, flaxseed, and molasses. They have access to 12 different minerals year round. Read about our mineral program here.
We are pleased to offer a small amount of pastured pork each year. Our pigs are pastured in a forested area, where they can truly be pigs. Pasture raising adds real value to the meat. A pastured pig is always on fresh grass doing what God intended them to do; root, dig, and run. This definitely improves the quality of the animal’s life and the quality of the meat. They have plenty of shade, lots of foraging, and room to disappear for days. Yes, we have worried about them turning nearly feral, but as you can see… they love the food we bring for them too much! In addition to foraging, our pigs are fed a transitional [see definition] mix of 14% corn and soy free pig grower. They also get fruit and veggie scraps as well as extra raw milk.
We have chosen two heritage breeds of hogs to raise.
The Gloucestershire Old Spot pig
The Gloucester Old Spot is the antithesis of the principles of modern industrial farming. The British Pig Association website describes it as “a large meaty animal with a broad and deep body and large hams”. Such poetry. That’s why it was once the bacon pig of choice. The GOS tends to carry a greater depth of fat than your modern industrial meat machines, and where there is fat, there is flavour to savour. <Source: the guardian.com>
The Mangalitsa Pig
Mangalitsa pigs are a unique lard-type breed which originated in Hungary. Its name means “hog with a lot of lard” and is pronounced mahn-ga-leets-ah. They have a curly coat which resembles a sheep. Raising a Mangalitsa pig can cost three times as much as a regular pig. It takes 15 months to raise one to market weight, compared to five months for conventional pigs. Mangalitsa pigs have more unsaturated fat (versus high levels of saturated fat) than commercially bred meat-type pigs.When cooked, Mangalitsa pork is exceptionally, juicy, tender, and marbled. Chefs rave about the meat and lard’s versatility—the lard can be whipped, and chefs don’t need to dress up the meat’s flavor with excess salt or spices. When cured, Mangalitsa meat makes unsurpassed hams, charcuterie, and salamis, due to the high monounsaturated fat content (versus high polyunsaturated fat in commercially produced pork).
ORGANIC, SOY/CORN-FREE, FREE RANGE CHICKENS & EGGS
We have a variety of breeds of chickens. They are free-range, fed organic feed free of corn and soy, and supplemented with kelp and all the delicious bugs they can find. With the deliciously dark yolks and artful array of shell colors, you will never want go back to store-bought eggs!
A recent nutrient study by Mother Earth News shows how pasture-based eggs compare to factory-farm eggs found at the grocery store:
- 1/3 less cholesterol
- 1/4 less saturated fat
- 2/3 more vitamin A
- Two times more omega-3 fatty acids
- Three times more vitamin E
- Seven times more beta carotene
- Three to six times more vitamin D
While these results are astounding; it makes perfect sense. If you watch the chickens, they make rounds around the ranch all day pecking and foraging around for grass, worms, seeds, leaves, frogs, berries, and pretty much anything else they can peck at. They are happy and healthy… thus, a completely different product will be produced than a chicken commercially confined and fed.