Food Recovery Program

Food Recovery Program

Feeding Time

Feeding time at the ranch embodies the essence of sustainability in today's modern agriculture. The sight of young children scurrying about, the sounds of pigs squealing, and the smell of fresh fruits and vegetables, captivate the senses and ignite curiosity. We strive to infuse education in everything we do at the ranch, and the type of feed, and the way we feed, are no exception.

  • How We Feed
  • What We Feed

How We Feed

We practice a holistic, multispecieation, rotational pasture grazing method with our animals. This basically means that we use the natural, symbiotic tendencies of our livestock to benefit both themselves and the land. In nature, herbivores travel in herds in order to protect themselves from predators. Many times, several different species of herbivores travel, eat, and commune together. This is most commonly seen with the wild herds of wildebeest, zebras, and gazelles of the African Serengeti grasslands. During this process, these animals each consume their own unique pallet of forage, fertilize the soil with their manure and urine, and thus, expose and provide and environment for insects. These herds are followed by a host of different birds who feverishly consume their new bounty of food.

This symbiotic relationship is being mimicked with great success by farmers and ranchers across the globe. The true uniqueness in the methods by which we manage our herds and flocks, is that we have no natural or irrigated grasslands. Our small acreage, arid climate, and sandy soil make innovation a necessity. Our ability to manage our livestock in this holistic manner, without the aid of pasture land, is made possible because of our Food Recovery Program. In contrast to the wild grasslands and irrigated pasture laid out ahead of these herds, we provide a new, fresh salad bar in a different paddock each and every day.

The makeup of the produce department at the grocery store provides a food source of great diversity. The natural, contrasting food preferences of our cattle and goats enables them to thrive on this diversity. Their cohabitation ensures that virtually nothing is wasted. What one species does not eat, another will. This is why we follow our herbivores with pigs. Though they are provided with the same fresh salad mix as the ungulates, they thrive in an environment where they can root, dig and scavenge for their food. Through this process, the pigs act as rototillers by turning the nutrient rich manure and other organic material into the ground and thus rehabilitating the top soil.

And last, but not least, come our chickens. By the time they have rotated into the paddock, thousands of small bits of food have been left as well as thousands of small insects have been exposed or born. The chickens also get their share of the fresh salad bar, however, their true joy comes in their scratching hunts for those small critters and tiny food bits. This feverish production cleans the soil of those pesky bugs and pathogens that might otherwise cause problems for our herbivores.

By the time the cattle and goats get back to the original paddock, they have a clean, healthy plate, ready for their daily ration of colorful salad mix.

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Food Recovery Program — 2 Comments

  1. Pingback: Secret Feed Source Revealed! - Galloping Grace Youth Ranch

  2. Great post with a lucid description of a great program. Well done.