Friends on the Ranch
Cattle at One Straw Ranch are pasture raised and 100% grass fed. They never receive grain. They are wintered on hay and finished on high quality alfalfa hay for superior marbling and flavor. Our herd cows are primarily Simmental, Shorthorn, and crosses of the two. Both breeds are traditionally known for producing quality beef, as well as an abundance of milk, on a grass diet. Milk production, combined with their good mothering instincts, makes for strong and healthy calves. In previous centuries, they were even known as triple purpose breeds, being commonly used as draft animals. They are very docile, low-stress animals, a trait desirable for tender beef. We recently acquired a registered Native Milking Shorthorn bull who will become our new herd sire. We are very excited about his arrival! The Livestock Conservancy lists Native Milking Shorthorns as an extremely rare breed of cattle. This addition is a reflection of our commitment to heritage livestock conservation and our goal of having a truly dual purpose herd of cattle, suitable for both fine quality beef and superb dairy production. Besides, there is nothing cuter than a roan colored calf with red, white, and/or blue speckles!
For more about the Livestock Conservancy, Native Milking Shorthorns, and other breeds of livestock, visit livestockconservancy.org.
The hardworking One Straw Ewe-nion is grass-fed and produces both lean, succulent lamb and high quality fiber. We maintain a breeding flock of purebred Romney, which are known for their delicately flavored meat, as well as unique wool. They are sturdy sheep well adapted for the damp environment of the Pacific Northwest. Some are white and some are natural colored with a beautiful range of brown and gray wool. Their wool is considered a lustrous longwool and is prized for hand spinning. We also have a Texel ram (pronounced téssel), a breed known for superior muscling, whom we use for crossbreeding. The additional brawn adds a little extra size to the leg of lamb!
Pigs at One Straw Ranch are free-living and raised on pasture, a non-gmo feed ration we mix here on the farm, whey from a local creamery, and extra garden and orchard produce. We raise primarily Berkshire pigs – a heritage breed that is known for producing pork with superb juiciness, flavor, and a beautiful pink color. It is definitely not the other white meat! However, due to their lifestyle and diet, pork from One Straw pigs is a nutritious option. With their black and white tuxedo markings, Berkshires always look like they’re dressed for a night on the town, but true to their piggy nature, they love to play in sprinklers and roll in the dirt – thereby creating the mudpuddles for which they are so famous. There is nothing as exuberant as a happy pig!
Poultry at One Straw Ranch are currently raised for egg production, but we are working towards the goal of selling pastured chicken and Thanksgiving turkey. They are raised on pasture and non-gmo feed. They are allowed to range to the extent to which they can be safe from predators, but still scratch delicious bugs out of the pasture – a sanitizing service that they happily provide for free to the benefit of the other livestock. When pasture is scarce they are the happy recipients of buckets of garden weeds, windfall orchard fruit, and alfalfa hay. All this bounty is reflected in their brightly colored egg yolks, sturdy egg whites, and strong shells. The chicken breeds were selected with the goal of making each carton of eggs look like an Easter basket. There are currently Black Copper Marans for chocolate colored eggs, Buckeyes (a breed listed by the Livestock Conservancy) for pretty pink eggs, Americaunas for green and blue eggs, and a few Brown Leghorns for white eggs. We are currently working on developing a flock of heritage Midget White turkeys, a breed listed as rare by the Livestock Conservancy. Our small flock of Coturnix quail are exceptionally calm and friendly birds and produce nutritious brown-speckled eggs. At a ratio of 4-5 quail eggs to one chicken egg, they make the most adorable deviled eggs!