We at DeyDey's are great believers that we are stewards of one of God's wonderful gifts to us: our planet earth. It is up to us to leave that part of our earth that has been entrusted to us for the short period we are here in a better state than when we received it. For this reason we embrace a holistic approach to grass farming. We say we are grass farmers as that is really the core of our business. We leverage that grass by putting cattle and chickens on it and turn that grass into delicous meat. We want to acknowledge Alan Nation and Joel Salatin for their contributions in this area and providing DeyDey a roadmap to follow.
As stated in our Quality Program, we start with a polyculture of grasses. Even though we live in California and most of our rain falls between the middle of January and the middle of March, we are blessed with a high producing water well. This allows us to select and grow the specific grasses which will create excellent tasting beef. The specific grasses which we at DeyDey use to get excellent tasting beef are as follows: annual ryegrass, perennial rye grass, oat grass, alfalfa, orchardgrass. Given our abundant water supply, we irrigate our pastures during the dry season (most of the year) to keep it beautifully green and luscious for our cows.
In order to get the maximum utilization of the small acreage we have, we practice mangement intensive grazing. This practice concentrates the cows in a small area for a short period of time (typically one day) and allows the cows to harvest the entire grass crop (i.e. the eat all the vegetation in that small area). Furthermore, it concentrates the cows waste products in that small area and distributes it evenly. We thus recycle the cows wastes directly back to the area where they graze.
We further enhance this system by adding chickens to the mix. We raise broilers for meat which we put in the same area the cows have visited and harvested the grass (there is typically 2-3 inches of grass remaining after a one day grazing period). The chickens follow the cows and perform three important functions for us. First, they root through the cow manure looking for fly larvae and other bugs spreading the cow patties out saving us the labor and fuel to perform this function with a tractor and manpower. Second, the not only eat the bugs in the cows patties but they vacuum up the entire area of bugs. This important function provides a much healthier environment for our cows thus avoiding the use of chemicals to combat pests. Finally, it is well known that chicken manure has a very high nitrogen content. This is perfect fertilizer for our soil allowing us to grow an excelent crop of grass for our cows.
When the cows and chickens have done their jobs, we irrigate our pasture, let the sun do its job and shortly we have a beautiful field of grass ready again for the cows.