FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

 

GENERAL

What forms of payment do you accept?
We accept cash, personal checks and credit cards--Visa, Master Card, Discover and American Express.  (Note:  There is a 3% processing fee on all credit cards.)  With the exception of a $50 deposit required on whole and half hog orders, you do not need to pay for your order until the time of pick-up. 


Do you accept EBT and SNAP?
We do not accept EBT or SNAP at the farm or the West Bend Farmers' Market, but we are able to at the Milwaukee Winter Farmers' Market.  When you enter the greenhouse at the winter market, stop at the first table on the right and they will give you wooden coins to use with all of the vendors at the winter market.

How do I place an order?
Go to our website Order Form and fill in the number of meat items you are requesting.  The chicken and turkey listings have a date next to them.  That is the day the birds will be available fresh for you to pick up.  The pork and beef dates are not listed, as they are quite variable, and we will contact you when your order is ready.  If there is an individual cut of poultry, pork or beef you are looking for, please check our Product List and Pricing to verify if it is available.  You may request individual meat items in the Comments section at the bottom of the order form.  

Where can I buy your meats?
We accept appointments at our farm Mondays through Saturdays for you to come and shop.  We are at two farmers' markets throughout the year.  Please see our Farmers' Markets page for dates, times and locations. Also, we make monthly deliveries to the Greater Milwaukee area:  Grafton, Menomonee Falls, Brookfield and southern Milwaukee.  Please see our Delivery Service page for specifics and the next delivery dates and times. 



 

POULTRY

What does "pastured" mean?

We offer pastured poultry which means the birds are raised outside, eating fresh greens and bugs from the ground while getting plenty of sunlight and fresh air. Our pastured poultry is raised in a bottomless pen, outside, which is moved to a new plot of pasture every morning giving them the fresh eats and bedding every day.  


Is your poultry considered "organic"?

All of our animals are raised naturally, strictly on pasture, with no hormones or antibiotics. We are not certified organic but use organic principles in our farming practices.  We buy grain from our neighbor, who is a conventional farmer.  We choose to buy local, rather than shipping, because we are very comfortable with his farming practices, plus we know exactly when the grain was harvested so we know it is fresh. 


How big are the birds?

The chickens range from 4 to 5 lbs. We offer BIG chickens (frozen) once a year, which will average 5 to 6-1/2 lbs. The broad-breasted white turkeys range from 15-22 pounds with a few toms that top the 25-lb mark. The heritage turkeys average 6-14 pounds. 

What is the difference between the two breeds of turkeys, the Broad-Breasted Whites and the heritage Bourbon Reds?
There are a few differences and many similarities between the two breeds of turkeys we raise.  First, the similarities:  Both breeds of turkeys are raised on our organic pasture, spending 24/7 on the lush Dominion Valley Farm grasses, full sunlight, fresh air, same feed.  They are both protected from predators in our bottomless pens, which also offer shelter for them to get in from the driving winds/rain and hot sun rays.  Their pens are moved to a new plot of fresh grass every day, giving them fresh bedding and lots more bugs and greens to nibble on.  Second, the differences:  There are a few main differences between the Broad-Breasted White turkeys and the heritage breed turkeys, of which we raise the Bourbon Reds.  The Broad-Breasted Whites are a domestic white turkey, but they are definitely not "domesticated"!  They are known for their larger breast size and are very tender and juicy.  They have been bred to have a double layer of breast meat, so a LOT of white meat.  The Bourbon Reds are considered a "heritage breed," meaning they are one of the original turkeys that were bred in this country.  The Reds have had no special breeding; in other words, science has not altered anything in the breed - they are the same now as they were when the Pilgrims had them on their Thanksgiving tables.  The Reds originated in Kentucky during the 1800s.  The quality stands out in this slow-maturing bird with its flavorful fine meat and great taste.  They have a robust "turkey" flavor.  Due to the longer growing time, smaller frame size and higher expense to start the heritage turkeys, you will notice a large difference in the price per pound.  The beautiful part is that BOTH the Broad-Breasted Whites and Bourbon Red turkeys are exclusively raised on pasture, receive no antibiotics and no growth hormones.


How long do you raise the birds before processing?

The chickens are raised to 9 weeks of age (young and tender) while the turkeys are 18 weeks old when processed for Thanksgiving.  The Bronze Ranger chickens take up to 12 weeks.  

How much does the poultry cost?

Please see "Product List and Pricing" for a price list of all of our poultry products.

When can we pick up your products?

Birds are available fresh between 9:00 a.m. and noon on the specified pick-up dates, to be picked up at the farm. We also have frozen chickens available year round, pending availability. 

Are the birds dead when we receive them? (We actually receive this question quite often!)

Yes, the birds are dressed, bagged and oven ready.

What is the difference between the Cornish Cross (whites) and Bronze Ranger chickens?
The Cornish Cross breed of chickens have been raised to have a double layer of breast meat.  Thus, you will have a LOT of white meat.  They are very moist and tender.  The Bronze Rangers take a bit longer to raise and do not get quite as big in size as the Cornish Cross (a couple of reasons why you see a bit higher pricee).  The white to dark meat ratio is more proportional, meaning the breast meat is not going to be as large as the other breed of chickens we raise.  The Rangers are excellent foragers and obtain much of their diet from our organic pasture.  You will notice a very "robust" chicken flavor, plus a moist and tender meat. 


How long can the poultry be left in the refrigerator before needing to cook it?

We suggest the chickens should be in the refrigerator for no more than five days. The turkeys will stay fresh in the refrigerator until Thursday, Thanksgiving Day.  If you are planning to prepare it for a meal later than Thanksgiving Thursday, freeze the turkey right when you pick it up on Saturday until just days before preparing.   Thawing time estimate is one day per 4-5 pounds of meat. You may actually freeze the poultry for over one year and still have a very juicy and tender meat. Believe it or not, we are still eating some chickens that we processed even before last season and every time I make a meal with these, Brandon cannot believe it is one of "last year’s" chickens!

If you don’t use any vitamins or antibiotics, how do the birds stay healthy?

Because we do not have our birds cooped up (no pun intended) inside, they are receiving part of their vitamins and minerals from the fresh greens and bugs they consume outside and part from the natural ingredients in their feed. They are actually much healthier than a bird injected with synthetics because their immune systems are required to keep them strong and healthy rather than relying on man-made synthetics.

Why can I buy chicken at the store for half the cost?

The difference is in the raising and processing. Factory birds, those raised in exorbitant quantities to sell to stores, are raised inside a factory with a million other birds: No sunlight, fresh air, fresh greens, etc. They are often injected with hormones to contribute to a quicker and larger-grown bird and are finally processed and frozen in a manner that will allow them to transport to stores and sit until purchased by the consumer. For a detailed look at how we raise, feed, process and get the birds to our customers, please see the "Poultry Info" section. 

Are your birds de-beaked?

No, they need to be able to pick at the grass and bugs. This is especially important for the turkeys because they need to forage quite a bit. Because their bodies know they are receiving all of their needed nutrients, this diminishes their "cannibalism" tendencies.  


Does your poultry have "bloody bones?"

No. We take care in the butchering process so as to bleed the birds as well as possible to limit this problem.


PORK
 

What cuts are available?

Please see our Product List and Pricing page for a regularly updated list of available products.  If you order a 25-pound box you would receive shoulder and Boston Butt roasts, pork chops, pork steaks/country ribs, bacon, deli ham, brats/brat bulk, 2 kinds of breakfast sausage, plain ground pork, Italian seasoned ground pork, an optional half ham (approximately 6-9 lbs.), possibly lard and spare ribs. If you order a whole or half hog, you will be put in contact with our butcher to request your own choices of cuts and packaging sizes appropriate for your family. Cuts available from the butcher include the following: Whole or half ham - fresh or smoked, ham steaks - fresh or smoked, deli ham, bacon, roasts, pork chops, pork steaks, spare ribs, country ribs, bratwurst, brat bulk, breakfast sausage (two kinds), plain ground pork, Italian seasoned ground pork, hocks, liver and lard.

What's the difference between a 25-lb. HAM box and a NO-HAM box?
Please see previous question for all that is included in the 25-lb. pork boxes.  Both boxes weigh the same and are the same price.  If you choose a ham box, you will get a 6 to 9-lb. smoked half ham, along with all of the other items you see listed.  If you choose a no-ham box, we will put in additional roasts and chops to equal the 25 pounds. 


How do I order?

You may place your order either online by clicking on Order Form or by calling us at 262-629-9423.


Where do I pick up my pork?

You may pick up your pork here at Dominion Valley Farm.  As our butcher (Quality Cut Meats, Inc., 125A Milwaukee Avenue, Cascade, WI, phone 920-528-8424) may be quite a driving distance for our customers, we will gladly pick up your whole/half pig orders and have them here at the farm.  Of course, if it would be more convenient for you to pick up at Quality Cut Meats, please make these arrangements with us.  We ask that you pick up your pork at the farm in a timely manner, as we will not have adequate freezer space for all orders.   


What is the bottom line cost?

Please see Pork Info for a detailed breakdown of prices.  


How much do the pigs weigh?

The weights of hogs differ due to breed, length of time raised and a host of other factors, but the average live weight is 200-260 pounds; thus, a half hog has an average weight of 100-130 pounds. The amount of meat in pounds you would take home is 75-80% of the hanging weight. The 25-pound box is approximately one-sixth of a hog. Please click on Pork Info for more explanation on the live weight versus hanging weight versus take-home pounds of meat.  


How much space will this take up in my freezer?

The 25-pound boxes of pork are 12” x 12” square. Each cut is individually wrapped so can be removed from the box and arranged to fit your freezer space. A half hog of 80 pounds would take up almost three times as much space, and a whole hog of 170 pounds six to seven times as much space.  
 

Is a deposit required for the 25-lb. pork boxes?

No deposit is required. You pay when you pick up your box.  Please note that there is a $50 refundable deposit for the half and whole hog orders. 


Is your pork considered organic?

“Farmer Certified Organic Pork” – Our pork is raised naturally, strictly on pasture, with no hormones or antibiotics. We are not certified organic but use organic principles in our farming practices.



BEEF


How do you sell your beef?

We sell our beef in 25-pound boxes and also individual cuts.  Due to limited quantities we do not sell beef by the half or quarter.  Please see the Beef Info section for a listing of cuts included in the 25-lb. boxes.


Is your beef considered organic?

“Farmer Certified Organic Beef” – Our beef is raised naturally, strictly on pasture, with no hormones or antibiotics. We are not certified organic but use organic principles in our farming practices.  Our Galloway beef is 100% grass fed and grass finished. 

How is grass-fed beef different?

Our Galloway grass-fed beef is a much leaner meat and thus is much healthier for you. We do not need to finish our steers on corn or any other grain to get the much-desired “marbling” effect because the Galloway breed begins to marble intramuscularly at a young age.


How do I cook this lean meat?

Because of the lower content of fat, you will need to reduce your cooking time by approximately one-third.  We will provide you with some delicious recipes and cooking tips using Galloway lean beef, or you can go to Recipes and Cooking Instructions on our website for other great ideas. 


How much space will this take up in my freezer?

The 25-pound boxes of pork are 12” x 12” square. Each cut is individually wrapped so can be removed from the box and arranged to fit your freezer space.
 

Is a deposit required for the 25-lb. beef boxes?

No deposit is required. You pay when you pick up your box. 


How do I order?

You may place your order either online by clicking on Order Form or by calling us at 262-629-9423.



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