HOW OUR Cattle are RAISED
Our Angus cattle are raised on grass, hay, grain and sunshine in an open pasture next to our home with access to the barn. Our family hand feeds and interacts with each one. Good food and scratches behind the ears make for happy, stress-free critters. They eat unlimited grass and alfalfa hay plus freshly ground feed from our non-GMO grain grown right here on our 200 acre farm. This combination of grass and superior quality, non-GMO grain produces the tastiest beef. Our animals are not given added growth hormones or hormone implants. We limit the use of antibiotics as much as possible. We do not use them as a preventative. As with our pork, if an animal becomes ill, we will treat it because it’s the humane thing to do.
WHY Do We include GRAIN in their diet?
You may wonder why we feed our cattle GMO-free grain at all, instead of exclusively feeding grass. The answer is, because grain in their diet plus slower growth produces a better product. Our cattle grow slower than a feedlot animal, in part because we don’t use hormones. But the slow growth and low stress environment results in more marbling. Marbling is the fat within the muscle, and it adds flavor. Prime beef is graded prime in part because of the amount of marbling. Our beef has exceptional marbling and flavor. Why is marbling so important? You can read more about the science behind it here.
Ok, I’d like some. So how does this work?
We have small groups of about 25, available every year. You can purchase beef by the whole, half, or quarter animal. Our price is $3.50 per pound hanging weight, and that includes delivery to the locker of your choice. Hanging weight is the weight after the animal is butchered and on the rail. You would pay Breezy Lane Farm for the animal, and pay the locker separately for the processing. We will deliver to any locker within 60 miles of Nora Springs, Iowa. We will deliver further than that for a small per mile charge, unless we are delivering multiple animals. In that case, the fee would be reduced. And, if you’re not sure which locker, just ask us. We can recommend some. In northern Iowa there are many to choose from.
If you would like to reserve beef, it requires a deposit of $100, and you will be guaranteed the next one available on the waiting list. You can also reserve beef from groups in the future, if your freezer is a little full now. Without the deposit, we can’t guarantee availability. The deposit will be applied to the final purchase price.
How much beef will I get?
We raise our animals to a target weight of 1300-1400 pounds, live. If we hit our target, the hanging weight of that carcass would be about 800-850 pounds. If you buy a half a beef (based on our example), it would end up to be approximately 260-290 pounds of finished, fresh cut beef. If you were to buy a quarter of beef, that would be about 130-145 pounds. The amount of meat you take home also depends on how you have it cut by the locker. The more bones you remove, the less volume you take home.
We recommend that you read this document from Iowa State University Extension, the Beef and Pork Whole Animal Buying Guide. Click on the PDF version, it is free. It will walk you through the process, explain terms, discuss freezer space required, different cuts available, and generally answer all your questions about purchasing beef directly off the farm. The locker you choose will also be able to explain and answer your questions. Of course, if you still have a question, feel free to ask us!
Find more information on what is available on the Availability & Pricing page. If you have been eating only grass-fed beef, try ours. You will be amazed!