Concharty Heritage Acres

A Home For Heritage Breeds Of All Kinds!

   Dec 30

Before You Meet Our Animals…

At Concharty Heritage Acres, the animals are the center of what we do.  Our preference is for heritage breeds, though not all of our animals fall into that category.  We don’t make pets out of our livestock, but we do expect them to be friendly toward us, as we are towards them.  We get a great deal of enjoyment out of interacting with them and watching their antics.

Whether it’s an impromptu (and unwanted)  pig parade around the yard, two bulls vying for supremacy in the pasture or just a turkey or chicken taking a peek through the living room window, they never cease to entertain us.  In addition, they teach us something new nearly every day!

Before we had  livestock, it was our goal to buy most, if not all, of our food from local farms.  This is important to us for many reasons, including keeping money in the local economy, refusing to “reward” the practices of industrial/corporate agriculture, taste, nutrition, and the avoidance of genetically modified foods (aka GMOs).   As our interest in local food progressed, we found that we really wanted a more “hands on” relationship with our food- thus leading to where we are today.

When we began adding livestock, we gave consideration toward how we might best produce our own food on a relatively small plot of land.  Our second consideration was the preservation of heritage breeds.  This lead us to the Dexter cattle and American Guinea Hogs, as both are/were endangered heritage breeds that were smaller sized animals and are great foragers.  More modern breeds require greater “inputs” to support their massive frames, which were developed for corporate/industrial agriculture’s profit.

Today, we know where all the meat on our table came from, what it ate, and how it lived its life.  We are constantly amazed at the wonderful differences in flavor and texture from meats that are sold in the supermarket.  We are able to go out and observe the habits and preferences of our animals.  For example, did you know that goats LOVE bell peppers and bananas?  We didn’t!  So when possible, our animals get “treats” that they love and brighten their days.   I don’t know where it originated, but we’re fond of saying that we only want our livestock animals to have only one bad day in their entire lives.

We haven’t yet achieved all of our goals.  For example, some animals are fed commercial feed, simply because we don’t yet have a viable alternative during this drought.   But, we’re moving in a direction away from it.

While we don’t plan to seek certification as organic, we strive toward operating as if we were.  We don’t spray our pastures with herbicides or insecticides.  We don’t use medicated feeds or any sorts of hormones.  We try to feed species appropriate diets, as natural as we can provide.   Our animals are extraordinarily healthy, but when we need to treat them, we use essential oils and herbal remedies whenever possible. At the same time, we recognize that there are sometimes emergencies and some of them are beyond our abilities. At that point, we will seek appropriate conventional medical advice and/or treatment in order to make that animal well.

Truth be told, our problems are few and far between. It’s one of the benefits of letting our animals roam as free as we can, using sustainable farming practices and not stocking more than our land will support. Just as a breath of fresh air is welcomed by us, the animals like it, too.  If you have questions about how our animals are raised, please don’t hesitate to ask.  While we are not yet where we want to be, we’re honest about where we are along that path.

 

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