About Our Animals


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About Our Animals:

Chicken
Turkeys Laying Hens Lamb Pork Beef Rabbits

Chicken:
We raise two breeds of broilers for meat, the Contentnea Red and the Cornish Cross. The heritage bloodlines that went into the creation of the Contentnea Red makes it an ideal “rotisserie” bird. The Contentnea Red bird serves equally as well for frying or barbeque. The breast size of the Cornish Cross makes it the ideal choice for individual cuts. The method of production that we use produces chicken with a firmer texture while maintaining an incredible tenderness and without the fat found in most chicken. The superior taste of Rainbow Meadow Farms Chicken comes from the diet of the chickens which consists of approximately 30% grass/herbs and insects. Once the chickens are feathered out, they are moved into pasture where they rotate paddocks after the sheep and cattle have grazed. We not only offer whole birds and cuts, but Gourmet Chicken Sausages and Ground Chicken as well.
 
The USDA doesn’t allow the use of synthetic hormones in poultry, so you will not find any in what we produce. We mix probiotics, herbs and natural plant extracts into our feeds to aid in the immune system development of our poultry so that we do not have to use pharmaceuticals.

Turkeys:
We raise both Mammoth Bronze turkeys as well as heritage breeds such as Blue Slate and Bourbon Red. Our turkeys are raised following the same production and health protocol as our broilers. We produce both whole birds (seasonally) as well as Ground Turkey and Sage Turkey Sausage.

Laying Hens:
We have a laying flock of 900 hens spread out over the different farms. The breeds consist of Production Reds, Dominque, Americauna and Barred Rocks. The laying hens move throughout the pastures on our 3 farms, consuming a diet rich in plants and bugs and supplemented with grains and oyster shell for calcium. Some of the hens use portable sheds or eggmobiles to roost in at night. Some of those hens come inside at night to roost in our Raken (Rabbit/Hen house) where they help to create compost from the rich rabbit manure.

Lamb:
A mild, tender and delicate flavor is the hallmark of Rainbow Meadow Farms Dorper Lamb. We chose the Dorper breed as it is especially well suited to the pasture-based rotational system of sustainable farming employed by Rainbow Meadow Farms. The delicate flavor of our lamb is embued with subtle variations based upon the seasonality of the grasses, legumes and wild herbs in our pastures. All the lambs are born and raised right here on our farm from a flock that we have spent the last 14 years developing through importations of the best genetics that we could find from around the world. We have selected our breeding stock for their hardy foraging ability, maternal characteristics and the ability to provide a year-round supply of lamb. Once processed, the carcasses are dry-aged for one week before being processed into labeled kitchen-ready cuts, vacuum-sealed and frozen. We also offer value-added products such as our Gourmet Lamb Sausages.

Pork:
Rainbow Meadow Farms Berkshire Pork can be described in two words, "lush and incredible". It was our desire to produce pork that tasted the way pork used to taste. No more "hard as a brick" pork chops. We knew that producing tender pork would require different genetics than the lines commercially available. It would require genetics from pigs maintained on pasture for generations. It would require genetic lines that produced a pork product richer and deeper in color with good marbling. Pork is NOT "The Other White Meat". Berkshire pork is known throughout the world for exceptional juiciness, flavor and tenderness. Thus, Berkshire-sired pork was the obvious choice for our farm.

We maintain a farrow/finish operation with the sows farrowing on pasture when the weather allows. The pigs are given access to pasture as soon as they can get up and walk around (weather allowing). The production model that we use to raise our pork naturally produces a hardy, healthy pig.

The USDA doesn’t allow the use of synthetic hormones in pork, so you will not find any in what we produce.

The flavor of Rainbow Meadow Farms Berkshire Pork is enhanced by what they feed on: grasses and herbs, acorns, small grains such as barley and millet and vegetables such as turnips, Our pork offers a uniquely distinctive taste experience. Our growing line of pork products includes a diversity of cuts of pork as well as fresh sausages that do not contain MSG, Nitrate/Nitrite-free Applewood Smoked Bacon and European-style Charcuterie.

Beef:
Good beef starts with a good calf. A good calf starts with a good genetics. That is what sets Rainbow Meadow Farms Beef apart from the competition. From the very beginning of the farm’s history, our family has raised beef cattle. We selected for animals that were compact in size, hardy and efficient foragers, easily converting even sub-optimal forage to muscle mass. However, for about 30 years we altered our herd genetics to those desired by the feedlots for commercial synthetic hormone-enhanced grain finishing as we were selling our calves into this market. This was a major mistake as we compromised the quality and taste of our beef as well as the sustainability and hardiness of our herd. When we decided to go back to marketing our own beef directly to customers, we decided to go back to the bloodlines and conformation type that the settlers recognized as sustainable. We use a process called linear measurement to select the breeding animals for our herd. Our goal is to produce an efficient, well-balanced animal which has a hardy foraging ability, docility and rich milk. The American Devon was chosen as the sire for our herd due to the fact that the breed has continuously been selected for sustainability in forage-based systems. Devon have the conformation and qualities desirable for the future of a sustainable beef system.

Today’s commercially available industrial feedlot beef receive an average of 5 implants of synthetic hormones. This started over 35 years ago, this industrialization. The addition of synthetic hormones in beef reduces tenderness and flavor. Our animals are not raised in that manner. Commercial beef carcasses are cut shortly after slaughter, bagged and wet aged for a few days. This does not allow for the natural tenderizing affect. We dry age our beef for 3 weeks to increase the flavor and tenderness. Also, dry-aging has been scientifically proven to significantly reduce bacteria levels on carcasses.

A commercial hamburger can literally contain DNA from over 1082 cows of both domestic and international sources (*1998 University of Colorado) Our beef is processed 1-2 times per month with just a few steers at a time being processed. Commercial ground beef is often produced through AMR (Advanced Meat Recovery) system which has been implicated in several major ground beef recalls for E.coli O157:H7. The AMR technique grinds bone and meat to make a paste which is used in the production of commercial hamburgers. (See Food, Inc.) That is why the USDA encourages all hamburgers to be cooked to well done. We do not use AMR because we do not believe it’s healthy. We just grind the old fashioned way.

Our herd is a cow/calf herd. Calves are born and raised on our pastures. Because they are not under a feedlot situation, they stay healthy. This traditional method of beef production provides for the best possible quality of life for the animals and the best possible meat quality, while constantly improving our soils with valuable manure from our animals.

Upon completion of the dry-aging process the carcasses are then hand-cut into smaller pieces and vacuum-packaged into convenient portions. Because of our small size and low volume, everything we do involves the greatest care and attention to detail. We offer individual cuts with discounts for volume purchases. We also offer value-added items such as Pastrami and Roast Beef for sandwiches.

Our beef is processed under USDA inspection and tested for E. coli. Our lamb and pork as well as our poultry processed under USDA inspection is tested for Salmonella to verify that we are producing a healthy product.

Rabbits:
Our rabbits are housed in the Raken (Rabbit/Hen) barn where they receive alfalfa pellets and hay or green grass. A group of our laying hens help to break down the rabbit manure into rich compost which will serve as a high quality fertilizer for the pastures. All rabbits are born, raised and processed right here on the farm as whole rabbits. Our rabbit is a very popular item and we often sell out as soon as a batch is processed.
 

 

 

 


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252-747-5000
E-mail:  sandra@rainbowmeadowfarms.com

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