Want to learn more about skyr? Check it out!

How We Guarantee Balanced Organic Diets for Healthier, Happier Animals

November 17, 2021

One of our primary concerns at Painterland Farms is providing our animals with optimal nutrition. Nope, we don’t do this to get the highest yield. It’s to keep our animals the healthiest they can be so they can live long, happy, fulfilling lives. 

But what, exactly, does “balanced organic diets” involve? Let’s start with the three pillars of balanced organic diets for our livestock: 

  • Free access to pasture. Our animals eat fresh from the pasture salad bar in the warmer months and dry pasture in the colder months.
  • Variety of plants. Alfalfa, legumes, ryegrass, clover, and so much more!
  • Organic, non-GMO feed. May include corn, soy, and oats grown on our farm supplemented with molasses, minerals, and salt for optimal nutrition.

We do this by producing our own organic feed and giving the animals freedom to roam the pastures and graze daily throughout the grazing season. This means all of our cows, pigs, sheep, and chickens get to live their naturally healthy, happy lives! Not to mention, animals that eat clean diets and enjoy stress-free environments result in the most flavorful, nutrient-dense foods. 

Read on to learn more about what type of food our farm animals eat and their everyday lives.

Our Signature Organic Feed

To ensure our furry and feathered friends enjoy balanced organic diets, they eat non-GMO feed that’s grown, harvested, and milled by our family right here on our farm! We use Painterland’s organic crops to create a unique combination of food and nutrients to best promote healthy growth and longevity for each animal.

Here’s an overview of what we feed our animals and what that provides for them nutritionally:

  • Pasture (fresh whenever possible) = Energy & Protein
  • Baleage (partially dried pasture) = Energy & Protein
  • Silage (chopped and fermented entire corn plant - stalk, leaves, silk, and kernals) = Energy & Protein
  • Hay = Fiber
  • Corn = Energy
  • Oats = Fiber
  • Soy = Protein
  • Alfalfa = Protein, Calcium, & Fiber
  • Molasses = Mostly flavor but also energy
  • Triticale (variety of wheat) = Energy & Fiber
  • Minerals = Building blocks for optimal health
  • Salt = Building block for optimal health



What’s on the Menu: Diet by Animal

Of course, each animal has specific nutritional needs, so we formulate their food accordingly. Check out their individual diets below.

Cows: Grass Based Diet

Cows are ruminants, meaning they are able to digest and obtain nutrients from grass and other coarse vegetation. Healthy cows require a lot of hay and other quality forages. Rather than feeding them grain and high energy meals to get the highest milk yield, we support their overall growth and balanced gut health. 

To take it one step further, we provide cows in each stage of growth with a specific diet: 

Calves

  • Mostly Milk
  • Supplemented with Oats, Corn, Soy, Molasses, Minerals and Salt

Steers/Heifers

  • Mostly Hay and Pasture
  • Supplemented with Oats, Corn, Soy, Molasses, Minerals, and Salt

Milking Cows

  • Mostly Alfalfa baleage, Regular baleage, Alfalfa dry hay, Regular dry hay, and Silage
  • Supplemented with Soy, Minerals, and Salt

Dry Cows

  • Mostly First cutting balayage, Dry first cutting hay, and Silage
  • Supplemented with Minerals and Salt

Sheep: Grass Based Diet

Like cows, sheep are ruminants, so they also need a diet that consists primarily of hay and grasses. Our sheep enjoy a diet similar to that of our calves:

  • Mostly Hay and Pasture
  • Supplemented with Oats, Corn, Soy, Molasses, Minerals, and Salt

Pigs: Grain Based Diet

Did you know that pigs have a similar digestive system to us? This means their ideal diet consists of high-energy, rapidly digestible food. Our pigs also have free access to pasture, which is especially important for them as they are highly intelligent, curious animals. Their organic feed includes:

  • Mostly Corn, Soy, and Oats
  • Supplemented with Minerals, Salt, and Molasses



Chickens: Grain Based Diet

We feed our layer chickens an organic diet that supports both their health and daily egg production. They roam the pastures freely, foraging seeds and insects that help make the eggs extra delicious and nutritious. To top it off, we feed them a mixture of:

  • Mostly Corn, Soy, and Oats
  • Supplemented with Lyme Stone, Minerals, and Salt

We take organic farming practices seriously. We’re always focused on providing our pastures and soil with love and care, our livestock with balanced organic diets, and our customers with the most nutritious meat and dairy. If you’re ready to taste the difference, shop our products today or contact us with any questions. 

Meagan Dortlon

What is Skyr Yogurt & Why Do You Need This Delicious, Nutritious Snack in Your Life?

Oct 22nd, 2021 Read more...

What is Organic Farming? + 11 Key Benefits

Sep 24th, 2021 Read more...

The Impact of Women in Agriculture: Past, Present & Future

Aug 20th, 2021 Read more...