Food can be quite confusing, there are many “labels”, some are honest, others deceitful, each consumer, and farmer look at them differently, and there is no legal definition. I read through several definitions this morning, now my head is spinning! Take a look at how we define a few of these labels. Remember West Wind Acres is transparent, our customers can visit the farm at anytime.
West Wind Acres Defined
Pasture Raised Eggs:
Our laying hens live in a mobile chicken coop, each morning (5 am-8:30 am) they are moved to a new paddock that is fenced off using electro-net, we open the doors to the coop, and out they fly. Their pasture is full of grass, weeds, bugs, insects, worms, and much more that they forage on. We also feed them non-gmo grain, which does have corn and soy in the mix. Without grain our hens would lay far fewer eggs. We collect eggs 2-3 times per day. At dark the hens hop up into their coop, we lock them up so they are relatively safe for the night.
Pasture Raised Chicken:
Meat chickens are much more fragile then laying hens. They arrive to our farm as day old chicks, they spend the next 4 weeks in a brooder, where they grow in size, they also grow feathers that will help them to regulate their temperature. Around 4 weeks of age they are brought to the field pen enclosure where they will live until harvest. Each day their pen is moved to a fresh spot(s), where they forage. As they grow larger the pens are moved more often. They are also fed non-gmo grains that contain soy and corn. Corn-soy free grain is possible but much expensive we are looking into currently as an option.
Our meat chickens are in an enclosure to help keep predators at bay. In the past we have raised them in electro-net, predators became a huge challenge. Last year our local eagles, hawks, falcons, and owls ate really well, and our customers not nearly as well. So this year we decided to go back to enclosures.
Grass-fed Beef and Lamb:
Our cattle and sheep are fed grass, forages exclusively. They are never fed corn, or other grains, we don’t grass them on corn that hasn’t yet seeded.
We use rotational grazing practices during our grazing season. Each day the cattle are moved to fresh paddocks of grass 1-12 times per day. Many variables effect how often they are moved. To name a few; weather, paddock condition, grass growth throughout the farm, weeds in the paddock, and time of year. Our cattle are also offered a cafeteria style mineral feeder, they choose what their body needs from 18 choices. As we grow our grazing season will eventually graze 12 months of the year, until then we will feed hay, stored grass, throughout the winter.
Our grazing season starts in early spring March-May weather plays a huge role in when we start. This year we started our rotation fairly early, but needed to go back to hay because the cool weather wasn’t allowing the grass to grow.
Pasture and Wood Lot Pork:
Pigs at West Wind Acres are born to mothers who are ranging through out paddocks on or farms. Throughout their lives they are rotated through paddocks in our pastures, and wood lots. Much of their diet comes from their foraging, they are also offered non-gmo grain, and occasionally whey, cheese, or milf from a local dairy.
Stock Up for Father’s Day
Father’s Day is right around the corner, our pasture raised meats make the perfect gift.
2884 West Glenville Rd
West Charlton NY 12010