You’re sold out of what I want! Do you have a waitlist? No. We have a LOT of customers who eagerly await news of available meat. To be fair to everyone, we email our Mailing List and post to Facebook when we open orders. Our ordering process is first come, first served.
Are your chickens/pigs/turkeys/lambs 100% grass fed? Only the lambs are 100% grass fed. Lambs are ruminants (like cows). This means they have a special multi-chambered stomach that allows them to digest and obtain proper nutrition from grass alone. Our other animals are monogastric, which means they have a single stomach (like us!). While these other animals are raised on pasture and can eat grass and broad leaf greens (like clover) as a supplemental feed source, we also provide high quality non-GMO grains (corn and soy free) to make sure they have the protein and nutrition they need to grow and thrive.
Can I come visit the farm? Yes, but only on specific days we schedule in advance (like Pop Up Shops or tour events). We are very busy here at the farm and cannot acccommate everyone who wants to check out the farm individually. Join our Mailing List to stay in the loop about opportunities to visit!
Do you take volunteers? No, not usually. Our farm is our business, and we need to be as efficient as possible. While we appreciate that many people would like to gain experience on a farm, we don’t have the time to train new volunteers who may not able to commit to a full season of hard work. If you’re interested in employment or an internship please send us an email.
How do I buy your chickens? You can reserve chickens in 20lb boxes here (~6-7 chickens per box).
Your chickens are already sold out! Do I have to wait until next season? Maybe! We typically undersell our chickens to give us a little wiggle room. If any extra chicken reservations (20lb boxes) become available, we will announce it to our Mailing List and/or on Facebook. Otherwise you may be able to buy chickens from us at the Orting Valley Farmers Market (view our calendar here), or at our various Pop Up Shops. Join our Mailing List to stay in the loop.
Why do you only raise chickens during the spring, summer, and fall? Our chickens are raised outside on pasture! The winter months are too cold and damp for chickens to be outdoors. They also can cause damage to our pastures when the ground is wet, so we like to give the soil (and ourselves) a bit of a break during the winter months! If you want chickens year-round, make sure you stock up when they’re available!
Do you transport your chickens for slaughter? Nope! We own and operate our own WSDA certified mobile processing unit (MPU). This means that we are humanely harvesting 100% of our own poultry here on the farm.
Can I buy fresh chickens? No. We usually don’t have fresh chickens available, since we get them into our big walk-in freezer within 24 hours of harvest. This is the best way for us to maintain high food safety standards. Fortunately our chickens are vacuum-sealed, so they will be perfect in the freezer for up to a year!
Are your chickens Halal? Click here to read more about our Halal process.
What does buying a whole or half hog entail? To reserve a whole or half hog, you will place a deposit ($100 per half) when they are available. Then when your hog is ready for harvest we will have it slaughtered here on the farm. The carcass is then taken to Mtn. View Meats butcher shop in Tacoma. There they will weigh the carcass (usually ~100lbs per half), and then cut and wrap your meat. You will pay us (the farmers) on the hanging weight of the animal, plus the slaughter fee. Then you will pay them (the butchers) for their work cutting and wrapping your meat when you go to pick it up. The meat will be frozen at pick up. You can expect to take home ~60-70lbs of pork per half hog.
Can I butcher my own pork? Yes! You can pick up your half or whole hog from the farm for self-butchery. It will be cleaned and ready for cutting. Scald and scrape (hair removal) is available for an extra fee (only available on a whole hog). Otherwise please note that the carcass will be skinned. Email us for more details.
Are all your pigs slaughtered on the farm? No. There are two types of pork sales: Custom and USDA. When we sell whole or half hogs, we are utilizing a Washington State exemption that allows us to pre-sell the animal while alive, and then have the slaughter happen here on the farm. When we sell individual cuts of meat (like bacon or pork chops) we are required to go through a USDA process. That means our pigs must be transported to a USDA inspected slaughter facility, as well as a USDA inspected butcher shop. Fortunately we are lucky to be located fairly close to USDA facilities, and our pigs don’t have to spend more than 90 minutes in transport.
What breeds to you raise? We have some purebred Berkshire hogs, and some mixed breeds (including blends of Red Wattle, Duroc, Tamworth and Berkshire).
Do you sell BBQ hogs? Nope! A BBQ hog is usually a smaller pig that hasn’t had much chance to grow. Our ethics dictate that we allow our animals to grow nice and big so they provide ample meat for your family. If you have a big event coming up, consider buying several roasts, or even a half hog well in advance.
How do I buy your lamb? At this point we mostly sell whole lambs. Like the pork, you’ll pay a $100 per lamb harvest, and the slaughter will happen here on the farm. The carcass will be taken to Mtn. View Meats butcher shop in Tacoma. There they will weigh the carcass (usually 40-50 lbs per lamb), and then cut and wrap your meat. You will pay us (the farmers) on the hanging weight of the animal, plus the slaughter fee. Then you will pay them (the butchers) for their work cutting and wrapping your meat when you go to pick it up. The meat will be frozen at pick up. You can expect to take home 25-30lbs of meat per lamb.
Can I butcher my own lamb? Yes! You can pick up lamb carcass from the farm for self-butchery. It will be cleaned and ready for cutting. Make sure you tell us your plan in the notes when checking out or email us for more information.
I want a lamb for (insert holiday here)! Why don’t you have them available that time of year? In our region, for the most part, sheep are seasonal breeders. They breed in the fall, and lambs are born in the early spring. We usually begin reservations for lambs in the spring, but they are typically not ready for harvest until the fall. We like our lambs to get up to around 80lbs live weight before harvest. Not only does this make the most sense economically, it’s also more ethical. We prefer our animals get as big as possible so they can provide a substantial amount of meat for your family. If you like having lamb for specific holidays, we recommend buying ahead of time and saving some in your freezer. That’s what we do!
What is mutton? Mutton is a technical term for meat from a sheep that is older than one year. Sheep under one year are considered lamb. From time to time we will need to harvest a ewe (female sheep). We usually have the meat from these animals ground up and turned into phenomenal garlic rosemary “mutton” sausages. The flavor is still that of our mild lamb, but since the cuts of meat would be larger and a little less tender than those from a lamb, we opt to grind it. If you are interested in purchasing the meat/cuts from a ewe please send us an email.
What is a heritage turkey? A heritage turkey is a term used for a wide variety of domesticated turkeys that retain some of their wild traits. Unlike the more conventionally grown broad-breasted turkeys, heritage turkeys can fly and reproduce naturally. They are also much slower growing, have smaller breasts, and intensely flavorful meat.
How do I reserve a turkey? You better be on our Mailing List! We only raise ~100 turkeys each year, and they sell out very quickly, months in advance of Thanksgiving. We will email our Mailing List once we open reservations, and then it’s first-come, first-served for ordering.
Why do your turkeys cost so much? These are very different creatures from the Butterball in the grocery store. Our turkeys spend over 6 months on our farm! That’s over half a year of daily labor making sure our birds are healthy and happy. Please know that our price reflects the amount of time, care, and high-quality inputs (like non-GMO feed) that have gone into each and every one of our turkeys. These are very special birds, and will be a wonderful centerpiece for your Thanksgiving celebrations.
Are turkeys only available for Thanksgiving? Our heritage turkeys are only available around Thanksgiving time. Because it takes so long for the birds to grow, we get them in spring and harvest them in time for Thanksgiving. Our larger birds (the toms) are usually harvested in October. Turkeys will be shrink wrapped or vacuum sealed, and will store fine in your freezer if you prefer to save them for another day! We may offer additional off-season turkey products in the future...stay tuned!