At Rain Crow Ranch we are passionate about the welfare of our animals. We believe in allowing an animal to be raised in a biologically and behaviorally appropriate environment. Cattle should be raised on open pasture consuming a forage diet. Pigs should be allowed to act like pigs complete with wallows and rooting. Chickens should be allowed to range and peck for bugs and worms meant to supplement the grain in their diets.
Global Animal Partnership is nonprofit charitable organization with the core mission of improving the welfare of animals in agriculture. GAP brings together farmers, scientists, retailers, consumers and animal advocates with the common goal to bring improvement to animal agriculture. The GAP program uses the 5-Step Animal Welfare Rating Standards.
This tier system, from Step 1 to Step 5+, has specific requirements that must be met and audited by a separate authorized 3rd party certification company.
Step 1 is a confined operation that prohibits cages and crates.
Step 2 is a confined operation that requires environmental enrichment for indoor production systems.
Step 3 is confined but has outdoor access.
Step 4 is a pasture-based operation where the animals are raised on open, forage covered pastures except for specific and temporary times when the well-being of the animal would be at risk.
Step 5 is an animal-centered approach with all physical alterations prohibited (no castration).
Step 5+ requires that the entire life of the animal is spent on one farm and harvested there.
Each identified step is applied by the certification company upon a yearly farm visit. Each Identified step is awarded a distinct label aimed to identify to the consumer exactly the Step level the farm and its product has achieved.
Rain Crow Ranch grassfed beef, pasture raised pork and pasture raised poultry achieve a Step 4 rating. This is the highest you can get without slaughtering on the farm and finding a market and management for bulls.
Concern for the treatment of animals in agriculture continues to grow and become mainstream. A quick online query for “farm animal welfare” brings up an incredible 302,000 listings in a popular search engine and 124 books sold through a leading U.S. internet reseller. Surveys conducted across the United States tell us that 95% of Americans say that how farm animals are cared for is important to them and 76% believe that the well-being of farm animals is more important than low meat prices. (http://www.globalanimalpartnership.org/for-consumers/).
We believe that consumers can make a difference in improving the lives of animals by choosing to support farms and ranches like Rain Crow Ranch who have a commitment to providing higher animal welfare to the animals we raise. You can vote for higher welfare at every meal. You can help move food business in directions you believe it should go.