Our Cows

What makes our cows different than conventional cows? First you have to know what a conventional cow's life is like. What they eat, how they are cared for, and what their end-of-life experience looks like.

Conventional beef (also called grain-fed or grain-finished) is from cattle that spend most of their lives grazing on grass in pastures but are 'finished' for the last 120-200 days in a feeding operation where they receive a scientifically formulated diet of grain, roughage and nutrient supplements.

Stick Leg Ranch beef is grass fed and grass finished.  Our cows spend their whole lives grazing out on pasture.  They eat a mixture of grasses that is good for their health as well as the soil.  They have access to fresh water running through creeks and ponds strategically placed throughout the land to optimize grazing and increase soil health.  During the winter months, in north central Montana, our cows eat grass hay and an alfalfa, oat, grass blend hay, most of which is grown on our ranch.  

Grass fed steers yield smaller cuts of meat directly proportionate to grain fed steers the same age.  However, there are many benefits to grass fed cattle.  Grass fed beef contains less saturated fat. Fat is not bad or something to shy away from, in fact it is a necessary part a diet, but not all fats are created equal!  Grass-fed beef contains more of the healthy good fats!  It contains a higher amount of Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA), which comes from grasses.  CLA has been linked to improved cardiovascular health, and who doesn't want that?
Some more health benefits of grass fed beef are that it contains smaller amounts of LDL cholesterol (the not so friendly kind), so, if that is a concern of yours, choosing grass fed beef could be a good choice.  Grass fed beef contains Omega-3s...we've all heard about the brain-boosting benefits of Omega-3s, which are often lacking in so many people's diets and it is very important for heart health as well! Grass fed beef is loaded with lutei (eye health) and beta carotene as well as macronutrients that will help support and maintain blood sugar levels.  What is not to love about how nutritional and delicious grass fed beef is? 
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Pigs eating grain on pasture on stick leg ranch in Montana