We raise our animals to produce healthy, tasty food that is Better Than Organic.
Animal Welfare Approved (AWA)
Cloud 9 Farms is an Animal Welfare Approved (AWA) farm. Animal Welfare Approved has the most rigorous standards for farm animal welfare and environmental sustainability currently in use by any U.S. farm program. Their standards have been developed in collaboration with scientists, veterinarians, researchers and farmers across the globe to maximize practicable, high-welfare farm management with the environment in mind. They are one of only two labels in the U.S. that require audited, high-welfare slaughter practices, and are the only label that requires pasture access for all animals.
If you want to learn more about the AWA standards, visit their website at: http://animalwelfareapproved.org/standards/
Food with Integrity
We do not use grass-finishing techniques where animals are raised for most of their lives under questionable conditions, and then "finished" on grass for only a few weeks or months before harvest. All of our animals have been born on our land and raised under our care for their entire lives (except turkeys and broilers- we buy them at 1 day old). On the rare occasion we bring new animals onto our land, we carefully select a source that closely matches our standards. We then introduce the animals as young as we can so as much of their life is spent under our care as possible.
We strive for as many symbiotic relationships on the farm as possible. Our goal is to provide an environment where our animals are safe, happy and well fed. Our animals in turn help improve the land, so the land can continue to support more animals comfortably. We care about responsible, sustainable, and holistic farming practices that work in harmony with nature. This means that we care about both the welfare of our animals and the environment.
Diet & Health
All of our animals are rotationally grazed on our diverse irrigated pasture. Our cows and sheep are 100% grass fed! When needed, they are supplemented with natural alfalfa and grass hay grown by Cloud 9 Farms and other local producers. We use no synthetic fertilizers, pesticides or herbicides of any kind on our fields.
Our chickens and turkeys are the only animals on the farm that are fed grain (our pigs are fed grain the in winter only). They receive a whole grain, organic feed that never contains any GMOs or soy. None of our animals receive hormones and all receive regular veterinary care.
All our animals have free access to fresh water, minerals and salt at all times. We practice low-stress livestock handling and believe happy, healthy, loved animals make healthy, nutrient dense food.
We care for our animals like family to make sure they are healthy and comfortable. We believe respectful care for our animals helps them stay healthy and happy, producing the healthiest and tastiest food for us. We make sure they have the best quality of food available, because we are going to eat the food our animals produce. We want to ensure that our family and your family get the best quality of milk, eggs, chicken, lamb and turkey available anywhere.
Our cow, Lucy, shares her pasture with our Katahdin and Royal White sheep, chickens, turkeys, and even Kune Kune pigs. Grazing multiple species together helps improve the soil quality of the pasture, which improves the quality of the food the animals get to eat. It also reduces pest populations. This approach keeps all the animals healthier and happier.
We rely on good management practices and strong genetics as our main method for maintaining healthy animals. We do not give antibiotics to our animals or use antibiotics for sickness prevention. In rare instances, we would use antibiotics to treat a sick animal if no other course of action is available. This protocol is allowed and encouraged by the Animal Welfare Approved program standards as part of their holistic standards for animal care.