Here at HSF we pride ourselves with managing heritage breeds versus production breeds of livestock.
Quick point of clarity, heritage breed livestock contain a wealth of genetic code which wires them to be well suited for diverse geographical locations throughout the world. We choose to raise breeds suited for the Northeast region of the US (however, they would be just as well suited in a similar climate internationally). The cool thing about it is, this allows our livestock to remain hearty throughout the winter months without catching one case of the sniffles! They’re pretty hardy!!! They also can withstand the heat of summer. Production breed livestock on the other hand are selected for quick market weight growth, which also equals shorter life spans. We learned this quite directly when we inherited a production turkey with the purchased of our farm 4 years ago. The turkeys name was “Tom” and he became our sort of watch bird! Fortunately Tom was really, really big, but his large appetite and inability to move around much led him to his demise. He simply was not built to live long, which by the way is tough for keeping a breed alive for future generations to come! For this reason and more, we look to be as sustainable as possible and allow our livestock to live out happy and productive lives on our farm with managing the team to live out collectively for our future generations. Depending on the breed, heritage animals can live upwards of double the lifespan of a production or factory livestock animal!