How do you define the common buzz words used to describe animal management?
Pastured- Soil beneath their feet and open skies above their heads. This environment provides plants to forage on and fresh air to breathe.
Free-range- Room outside to run and play. Yes, they do play.
Grassfed and Finished- No grain or grain by-product. Ever! 100% forage and hay.
Natural- Without the use of anything synthetic ...that includes antibiotics, growth hormones and medicated feeds as well as pesticides and herbicides. As the saying goes, "a picture is worth a thousand words", so we host Open Farm Days in the spring and fall to allow folks to experience the farm and see for themselves how we care for our animals. The USDA and other producers have their own definitions, so be sure to ask questions. In short, know the people and visit the farms who produce the food you eat.
Is Schacht Farm Certified Organic?
While the way we care for our animals exceeds standards set for organic certification, we are not certified. We use mineral supplements and apple cider vinegar that are certified organic. The grain we feed our poultry and hogs is non-GMO, but is not certified organic. We do not spray our land with any kind of chemical nor do we treat our animals with any chemical.
What breeds of animals are raised on the farm and why were they chosen?
All of our hogs are heritage breeds, mostly Tamworths, known for their foraging ability. Our focus here is on raising happy animals that produce the most amount of meat (or eggs) on the least amount of grain possible. For this reason, we chose a slower growing breed of hog that has the instinct to find their own food which in the long run produces more pork with less grain. The issue of low grain inputs is a huge consideration when choosing the breeds of poultry to raise. Our hens are Golden Comets, a small hybrid breed that forage well in our pasture based model while producing the greatest number of eggs on the least amount of grain possible. The same is true for our broiler (meat chicken) and turkey breeds. They seem happy foraging out on pasture and produce the most meat with the least amount of grain possible.
How are the animals killed?
As this is an important issue for us, you can find detailed information here.
Nutrionally, how is pasture-raised meat better than coventionally raised meat?
Pasture-raised meat and eggs are healthful! For a basic primer visit here, or to a more lengthy answer visit here.
How many acres is Schacht Farm?
The farm is 54 acres. We use about half of it for our livestock.
As a small family farm, how much food do you produce?
In 2012 our 950 hens produced 20,000 dozen eggs, 3,500 broilers produced 15,000 lbs. of chicken, 120 hogs produced 18,000 lbs. of pork, and 850 turkeys produced 15,000 lbs. of turkey.
How many people work on Schacht Farm?
Several. The farm represents the work of so many friends and family members. These kind souls do everything from unloading tons (literally!) of pork into the walk-in to wrangling turkeys in the dark before processing...and almost always with smiles on their faces.
Do you allow visitors?
We absolutely love sharing the farm with others, but unfortunately, the majority of our time is spent taking care of our animals. We set aside certain days each spring and fall to host Open Farm Day, where folks can come for a visit.
How can I purchase your products?
We have not have a farm store and instead make our products available in the these ways.
Do your products require different cooking techniques than conventionally raised products?
Yes. You can find tips on preparing our products here.
I make a lot of chicken stock. It seems like you are always out of chicken backs and necks. How can I get some?
Check with us in early fall and plan to "stock" up then.
How can I stretch my food budget when purchasing your products?
As folks who have had to shift our priorities in order to farm, we can relate to those who have to alter their spending habits in order to eat well, for less. We have been truly humbled over the last few years to hear how customers have sacrificed so many things to stick to their convictions about eating humanely raised food produced in their community by folks they know. Some suggestions on getting more bang for your buck with our products: Purchase whole chickens. After using the chicken in various dishes throughout the week you can make stock out of the carcass for some amazing soups and other wonderful dishes. Our ground beef and beef roasts are less expensive than steaks. Our ground pork products and shoulder roasts are less expensive than chops and tenderloin and are full of flavor. We also offer meaty beef bones and pork bones that are wonderful for stews.