What our cattle eat is critical to the integrity of our farm. After all, if they are eating it, so are you! Cattle have evolved to graze on grasses, legumes, and other plants, and that's all that our cattle eat. Our pastures consist largely of native prairie grasses that have been growing here since the time, long ago, when herds of southern buffalo roamed these parts. Seasonally, we plant different forage crops for our cattle to graze to ensure a robust and nutritious diet and to ensure great quality grass fed beef! Additionally our beef is 100% free from added hormones, steroids, or antibiotics.
Our cows spend 365 days per year in the pasture doing what cattle are supposed to do. They graze, they nap, they drink clean water that comes right out of the ground. We work hard everyday to provide for our animals and to ensure that they are healthy, safe, comfortable, properly nourished, and free from unnecessary stress. We take that responsibility very seriously.
All of our beef is humanely harvested and processed at a boutique USDA Inspected Processor to ensure the highest standards of safety and animal welfare.
PASTURE RAISED EGGS
Our happy hens live out in our pastures, eating bugs and seeds and leafy green plants along with a custom milled supplemental feed, roosting in their mobile pasture coops at night, and enjoying fresh air and sunshine everyday! We plant forage crops for our hens (and cattle) and rotate them around our pastures regularly to ensure fresh forage and a clean environment for them, and an evenly fertilized pasture. We believe that by allowing our hens to live a natural life, with the freedom to do what chickens instinctively do they'll be happier and healthier than confinement raised or 'free range' hens, and that matters to us! The extra bonus? The BEST EGGS YOU'VE EVER HAD!
WHAT ARE YALL FEEDING THOSE BIRDS??
Good question! A large part of what our hens eat comes from our pastures. Bugs, worms, grasses, other plants (think turnips, clover, vetch, rye grass, oats), you name it! We NEVER spray our pastures with herbicides or pesticides and we NEVER use antibiotics or hormones!To ensure that our birds always have the proper nutrition we also supplement them with custom milled feeds. We have two flocks separated by feed type. One flock is on a regular CORN AND SOY based feed ration and the other flock is on a SOY FREE/CORN FREE/NON GMO ration. Both of our feed rations also include a mix of vitamins/minerals and probiotics to keep our birds feeling great! We think both options are equal in quality and yolk color and we eat both here at the farm! If this is important to you be sure to look at our labels to make sure you're getting the variety that you want!
HOW DO YALL GET THOSE ORANGE YOLKS??
Yolk color is determined by the hen's diet. Orange yolks are the result of a diet that is rich in the class of Carotenoids known as Xanthophylls. Foods that are high in this particular type of Carotenoid include Alfalfa, Kale, Marigold, Turnips, Spinach, Celery, Beets, etc! We put in a lot of extra work to ensure that our birds have lots of leafy greens to eat on the pasture but we also ensure that their supplemental feed ration is high in these nutrients too!
In addition to coming to the farmers markets, you can (and should!) buy our eggs from the following awesome retailers!
PASTURE RAISED CHICKEN
As with our laying hens, we raise our broilers (chickens raised for meat) on pasture with 24/7 access to the fresh air and sunshine and the ability to forage for bugs and plants and to do what comes naturally to them. Our broilers are moved in their open air chicken tractors twice per day by hand to fresh grass. While foraging for seeds, bugs, and grass represents up to 30% of their food intake, we also supplement our broilers with a Certified Organic feed and clean water and that's about it. We guarantee you'll notice the difference between our chicken and the stuff from the grocery store.
ABOUT THE FARM
In the mid 1800s, Wilhelm and Mina Kramer emigrated to the US from what was then Prussia. They built a sturdy wood frame house, worked the land, and raised a family at a time when Texas was still very much a wild frontier.
Today, we continue that tradition with the goal of bringing local and wholesome beef, chicken, and eggs to people in the Austin and Houston areas (and everywhere in between), while raising our own family in the very same house built by the Kramers so long ago.
Shirttail Creek Farm remains completely intact after more than 150 years and sits on the rolling Blackland Prairie just outside Brenham, TX, about halfway between Austin and Houston.
The farm is a vibrant and busy place! When we're not working our cattle or collecting eggs from our hens, you can typically find us repairing fences or other infrastructure on the farm, stacking hay, or shredding the pastures. Sometimes we might even take a break to crack a cold one and go fishing in the creek.
We endeavor to run our farm in the most simple, environmentally friendly manner possible. As such, we do not spray our pastures with chemical herbicides or pesticides. We also do not use hormones, preventative antibiotics, or steroids on our animals.
© 2018 Shirttail Creek Farm LLC