The Moore Family is committed to sustainability and therefore has chosen Heritage breed livestock to fulfill that mission. Our family has a five generation legacy of ranching in California.
Heritage breeds are defined as those that were once traditionally used for food production, but whose numbers have dwindled rapidly due to the pressure of the agricultural revolution. In the last 15 years alone, over 190 livestock breeds have become extinct. All heritage meat is from non-hybrid animals.
Heritage breed meat not only has a better flavor, but is generally much better for you, boasting lower cholesterol and higher protein values along with high levels of antioxidants.
We carefully select only the finest breeding stock that have all of their natural instincts to breed, deliver their young and mother their progeny with care and affection. They are hardy and represent the genetic diversity of our planet. We only choose full pure-bred stock. We do not do any crossing. While crossing breeds may sometimes increase vigor, more often it tends to produce the dominate poor qualities that are present in each breed. All of our stock is registered and we are proud of the hard work and dedication of the farmers and breeders before us. To honor that end, we continue to breed only the finest and the highest quality.
Their strong genetics make them more resistant to disease and parasites which naturally reduces the need for pharmaceutical intervention.
Our animals come from sound genetics and are treated with dignity and kindness. Heritage livestock take longer to mature than commercial meat, permitting the full, delicate flavor of the meat to develop.
To that end, we have developed a sustainable small farm system that allows each part of the land to utilize its potential without damage, commercial fertilizers, herbicide or pesticide sprays. We support omnivore living, recognizing that this is the food source of our human species for over 5,000 years. Biologically, we are structured to the heights of health as omnivores, eating a a rich array of locally produced meat, vegetables and fruits. Study after study continue to show that a healthy diet is vital to a strong immune system and defense mechanism against disease. Many of the vital nutrients that are contained in that diet are from the original heritage meat sources that we offer. Below are some other questions that are answered more completely about our process and philosophy.
What is sustainability?
As complicated as the definition can become, at it’s core sustainability is the ability to continue one’s way of life. At Moore Natural Ranch, we attempt to preserve dying heritage breeds while also providing wholesome meat for our family members and our customers.
What are Heritage breeds?
Heritage breeds are pure breeds that were traditionally used for food production. Popular in a simpler time, all heritage animals are non-hybrid. While crossing breeds may sometimes increase vigor, more often it tends to produce the dominant poor qualities that are present in each breed. However, due to the pressure of the agricultural revolution, Heritage breeds have rapidly declined. In the last 15 years alone, over 190 livestock breeds have become extinct.
Why choose Heritage meat?
One of the few ways to keep these breeds alive is by popularizing them for their original purpose: food production and the many by-products such as soap, candles, wool and leather. Without being raised for meat, many more of these breeds will die out as they’re replaced with more modern breeds.
However, it’s not just for love of the breed that we choose Heritage.
Heritage breed meat not only has a better flavor, it is also often much better for your health. Heritage livestock takes longer to mature then commercial meat, permitting the full delicate flavor of the meat to develop. At the same time, many Heritage breeds boast lower cholesterol levels and high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, as much as six times higher than those of conventional breeds.
All our animals are registered with their respective organizations. We are proud of the hard work and dedication of the farmers and breeders before us, and we continue their tradition by continuing to breed only the highest quality. We carefully select only the finest breeding stock that have their natural instincts to deliver and mother their young with care and affection. Their strong genetics make them more resistant to disease and parasites which naturally reduces the need for medical intervention.
Why is your meat so expensive?
Our meat is actually cheaper than non-organic meat from the grocery store. However, it can seem more costly because our prices include all cuts across the board. For example, 1" thick top loin lamb chops from the grocery store could cost you about $22.99/lb, but a leg of lamb may only be about $9.99/lb. Our price per pound of lamb ( any cut) is about $9.50, making our price below commercial lamb of lesser quality.
What makes your farm different than other local growers?
Our farm is unique in the fact that we feed high quality diets of fresh foods to our animals. Many small producers feed their swine in particular moldy leftovers from various outlets. We never feed our animals anything that we would not eat ourselves.
We are an exclusive heritage breed ranch. We do not mix breeds with commercial lines. Commercial breeds have been specifically bred to convert feed quickly to muscle and usually have very unhealthy organs and illnesses that cause early dispatch and medicated feeds or antibiotic supplementation. While mixed breeds can still be raised effectively, we have found that this breeding practice often compromises the incredible flavor of Heritage Meat. WE ENCOURAGE YOU TO KNOW YOUR FARMER.
If you are purchasing free-range chickens and they are Cornish Crosses, White Mountains, Freedom Rangers or Ginger Rangers then you are purchasing a commercially bred chicken similar to any commercial brand at your local supermarket. These commercial chickens cannot breed on their own, have a short lifespan of less than 12 weeks primarily due to abnormal organ function and are fed primarily on sack feeds. They usually do not forage because they have lost all of their instincts to do so. If you purchase free-range broad-breasted white or bronze turkeys, then you are purchasing a commercially bred turkey like any grocery store brand. These birds cannot breed naturally, cannot fly and have lifespans of only about 9 months due to organ failure and broken bones. If you purchase swine and they are Yorkshires, Durocs, Chester Whites, Hampshires, Landrace, Spotted, Poland China or Berkshire Crosses, then you are purchasing commercial pork. These animals often have enormous litters that they cannot mother with high piglet mortality rates. They usually also need medical vaccinations of various types due to their poor immune systems.
Why do I have to purchase either whole or 1/2 animals?
At this time we do not sell single cuts of meat. We are in the process of certification and will begin offering single cuts to our customers and selling meat to stores and restaurants soon.
Is your Meat Certified USDA and Eggs Compliant?
Yes, All of our meat is certified USDA and all of are Eggs are California Agriculture Compliant. We use several different dispatch facilities to accomplish this goal of inspection. While in our hearts, we feel this is a very weak link in our animals lives. However, we live in California and therefore comply with the laws of our county, state and country.
Are you animals Certified Organic?
No. Our livestock are pasture-raised and eat a variety of fresh vegetables and fruits, and our poultry are free-range, allowing them to eat insects and grasses. In order to gain the label of Certified Organic, we would have to use only Certified Organic Feed from sacks rather than the fresh foods they currently enjoy. Insects found in our animals’ pastures can never be certified by an outside agency, meaning we would have to drastically lower the amount of time our animals enjoy in the pasture. We hold our animals’ health and well-being over any certification, and believe they gain more from a happy, pastured lifestyle than being Certified Organic.
Are your animals Certified Humane?
Not at this time. We have researched several Humane Certification programs and have found that most have guidelines that do not meet, or even contradict, our high standards. Furthermore, most Certification programs are extremely expensive, meaning we would have to raise the price of our meat. If you are concerned about the welfare of our livestock, we encourage you to come visit us at the farm and see first-hand the high standard of living they enjoy.
Are your animals Soy-Free?
Yes and no. We feed only whole grains and forage to all of our animals. However, since our chickens are free-range, they also occasionally enjoy some of our horses' grain scraps. There are trace amounts of soy in some of the formulas we give our Friesian horses, so we cannot guaruntee that our chickens and eggs are completely soy-free.
How long does it take to receive an order of meat?
That depends on what you order. Some of our products, like lamb, pork, and eggs, are offered year-round. However, our turkey and chicken are seasonal products that are only offered in the fall and spring, respectively. Therefore, depending on the season and the wait-list, time will vary. Generally, you will receive your box of meat about two weeks after it is sent to the butcher. Most of our animals sell out quickly, so it is good to add yourself to a wait-list if you would like to enjoy our meat on a regular basis.
Can I visit the ranch?
Of course! If you are interested in purchasing the finest quality meat for you and your family and friends to enjoy, then come and say hello. At this time, we are open by appointment only to keep our animals safe and healthy. Unfortunately, we do not offer school visits or family visits just to see the animals. However, we look forward to fully opening to the public and providing educational classes and tasting dinners soon. Call 916-532-6622 for more information.