Our Raising Practices

"Letting animals be...well...animals"

How they’re raised

Our animals are raised the good old fashioned way…roaming freely on roughly 20 acres of organic pasture outside of Yakima, WA. They are raised outdoors in their natural environment and are never confined in "dry lots" or mud pits, and we despise the use of gestational and farrowing crates. Our sows farrow their pigs either outside in the pasture during warm months or in a big heated barn in the winter. We believe in allowing our animals to truly free range on our farm, and they live happy, stress free lives. Because of our raising practices we focus on the health and well being of each animal instead of mass production, and therefore, the number of hogs we produce each year is limited. 

What they eat

Our Berkshire hogs freely forage on organic pasture (which has never been sprayed with pesticides, synthetic fertilizers, etc.), and in the winter are provided with timothy hay when the pastures cannot be grazed. Because grass is lysine deficient which is the primary amino acid for pigs to develop properly they are supplemented (free choice) with all natural grains. Throughout the growing season our animals are treated to organic fruits, vegetables, and nuts grown on our farm, and our hogs are typically finished on apples and walnuts. Our animals are NEVER fed hormones, growth promotants, animal by-products, antibiotics, etc...EVER!

Animal Husbandry Practices

In addition to providing our pigs and poultry with a natural setting we believe in and implement excellent animal husbandry practices.  All of our animals are raised humanely and ethically, and those who visit our farm always tell us they're amazed how friendly and engaging our pigs are. It’s emotionally trying to befriend each and every animal and treat them the same despite knowing how the story ends.  Regardless, they all get pet, scratched, hugged and played with because giving them the best quality of life is the most important aspect of raising animals, and it’s our farm’s focus.

We take a holistic and an all-natural approach when raising our animals, so their welfare is our primary concern. Should a situation ever present itself where, in emergency situations, one of our animals needs a prescribed antibiotic or pain reliever we would not hesitate to administer it. We would not allow our animals to suffer unnecessarily, but proper withdrawal and processing protocols would be followed.

Humane Slaughter

All of our pigs are bred, born, raised, and slaughtered on our farm, so they spend their entire life here.  This is not a common practice on farms today. It's incredibly important to us that our animals are treated humanely every step of the way, so we closely monitor the entire slaughter process. We go to great lengths to ensure our animals stay calm and never experience fear before the upcoming event, and we NEVER process our market animals in front of or within ear shot of our breeding stock.

Our poultry are slaughtered by us on our farm in a humane and compassionate way out of view of the other birds. Our farm is licensed and inspected by the Washington State Department of Agriculture, so all of our birds are hand processed by us.

On processing day we prohibit farm visits and/or tours. This is a quiet day on the farm - a day of thanks and a time for reflection.

Sustainability

R Heritage Farm uses sustainable farming practices such as integrated pest management, soil fertility management, rotational grazing methods, and water conservation methods by using our farm’s natural resources. Examples of some of these practices include using rain barrels to water our animals and gardens, using natural vegetation to control soil erosion, pasture rotation to reduce soil compaction, and creating and utilizing our own compost. Wherever possible we use and enhance the natural resources available to us.

While our farm is not currently certified organic we do use organic production systems and practices as defined by the USDA. Instead of using chemicals we opt to use beneficial and natural predatory insects to control pests, we do not use chemicals or synthetics on our pasture or woodlands, and our animal feeds only contain natural ingredients.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Customer Comments - About us

People never believe me when I say this, but when I found out that R Heritage Farm was going to be at my farmer's market, I literally got a little tear in my eye. I don't eat meat because I don't agree with the way most animals are raised in this country, and when I saw the website for this farm I was overwhelmed. Finally a farm that does it right!


Ben and Monique are dedicated to giving their animals the most humane existence possible, even going so far as having special GMO-free feed made for their livestock. When I talk to them I can tell they really care for their animals.


I still don't eat meat, but when my family does, it's pork, chicken, or turkey from R Heritage Farm.

   ~B. Idol



 

So glad I was introduced to you and so glad you are raising such high quality animals.

 

   ~P. Goldberg



 

Thank you for doing what you do!

 

   ~M. Kjosness