Provide the Best Animal Care

R.G. Shipley was very fond of an old Scottish adage – “the eye of the master fatteneth his cattle.” We believe it is every bit as important that animals are well cared-for as it is they are well-bred.

There is no better place for an animal to spend its life than the lush pastures of the Southern Appalachians.  Our animals are “pasture-raised” – which means they spend their lives in a pasture, without being confined to a pen or feedlot.  Our pastures are thick with clover and rich with nutrients, and they drink fresh water straight from mountain streams or drawn from natural springs and wells.

  • Our pasture-raised practices provide not only for a happier animal, but also a healthier one. While we give up some cost savings by not using feedlots, animals that are kept confined are more prone to getting sick, due to concentration of waste and other factors, and being closer together, sickness is more prone to spread throughout the herd.
  • Keeping animals on pasture, and using “rotational grazing” practices that allows the grass to recover and allows for healthier pastures, lets us avoid the steady use of antibiotics that is sometimes needed to control infection and disease in feedlot environments.
  • We monitor the animals’ health daily. In the rare case an animal gets sick, we treat that specific illness, only as medically necessary – just as you would for your own children.

Many consumers are paying more and more attention to what is in their food (wisely, we think), with particular attention paid to antibiotics. While we recognize the application for antibiotics in high volume confinement production environments, our standards avoid using them for our animals. No growth promoting antibiotics are ever used. If antibiotics were ever required for a sick animal, we would give the animal the best care and treatment we can. Once the animal is restored to health, it is our practice to wait at least double the recommended withdrawal period for any medication used prior to a treated animal going to slaughter. Packaged meat from a treated animal would either be removed from our system (i.e. kept for personal consumption), or be sold with full disclosure as to the treatment received to certain of our customers for whom the limited use of therapeutic antibiotics to treat acute illness is not a concern.  You can be sure when you buy Shipley Farms meats that there are no antibiotics in your food.

Next, how we provide the best animal nutrition.