Our Commitment to Animal Welfare

Beyond the Certification

At Caney Fork Farms, we have nothing to hide. We go beyond the certification to prove to you that animal welfare is our top priority. It's our promise to raise animals with care and respect, each and every day.

Collapsible content

Freedom to Express Their Natural Behaviors

For each species of livestock that we raise, we acknowledge the millennia of evolutionary and ecological circumstances that shaped the animal’s lives. At Caney Fork Farms, we honor that history by allowing each animal to express its natural behaviors.

Ruminants: we regularly rotate our cattle and sheep through our pastures, allowing them constant access to the freshest and highest quality forages, mimicking the way their ancestors traveled around grasslands in herds.

Pigs: our pigs are also rotated across our pastures, and in addition to munching on forage, they are able to root around in the soil, digging up tubers, insects, and more, fulfilling their drive for curiosity and foraging. 

We offer all of our animals ample space to move around, run, scratch against trees, interact with each other, and let them do their thing. We do not confine our animals.

100% Grass-Fed and Finished

Feeding ruminants grass (and only grass) is an animal welfare practice in itself. When ruminants eat grain, they develop an unnatural increase in acidity in their rumen. This reactionary process occurs in order to digest the grains, leading to bloating and discomfort. Because ruminants evolved in grasslands, they are made to digest grass. They’re only able to digest grain as an evolutionary backup plan. We acknowledge that it takes longer to finish animals on grass and grass alone. But the health and comfort of our animals is something we’ll never sacrifice.

Late Weaning

We allow our calves, lambs, and piglets to stay with their mothers for an extended period of time. Nine months for cows, six months for sheep, and 8-10 weeks for pigs. 

This is a crucial window in which the animals receive maximum nutritional and immune-system benefits from their mothers. Additionally, weaning naturally occurs around the times stated above, so late weaning minimizes stress on both the young and mothers.

Access to a Healthy and Safe Environment

Each and every one of our animals has constant and unlimited access to forage, mineral supplements, water, shade, and dry ground year round. On a farm where animals are moving to new pastures every day this can be a lot of work, more than some may see as necessary, but for us there is no question. 

Constant Animal Observation

Our livestock team performs twice-daily vigilant animal observations. This allows our team to catch sickness or injury early, before it evolves into a more serious issue. And when issues arise, we have protocols in place to minimize animal suffering.

Calm, Easy Handling

We are grateful to work alongside the livestock on our land. We build a relationship of mutual trust and respect with our animals each day, by spending a great deal of time close to them. We honor this relationship by handling them with calm, easy care. Anyone on our farm who will be handling our animals is well-trained beforehand on low-stress and safe ways to do so. We use a Temple Grandin style working facility and chute. We select for demeanor when breeding. All of this allows us to move and handle our livestock in ways that are low-stress for them, and safe for us.