Address: 3755 72nd Avenue, Zeeland MI 49464 / (616) 772-4660
Grass - Fed
About Us / Coach Stop Farm History: We have been raising meat "naturally" since the mid-1980s, meaning pasture access year-round, good hay in winter, shelter, no growth hormones, no antibiotics in feed OR in water, no pesticides or herbicides used on hay or pasture ground.
We began raising lambs, initially, and shortly after, chickens, primarily as a way to stock our own freezer and eat good meat. The extra we offered to friends, which began the list of regular customers who have purchased meats from us for all those years.
The sheep alternate between portable pastures outside and an indoor/outdoor pen in the barn in the winter.
Chickens are in a coop with a run outside - we raise the Cornish Rock X birds that dress out at a nice average of 6# per bird - very tender, juicy, succulent meat.
We added pork on a sporadic basis over several years, as we could get our hands on a small number of feeder pigs. However, in the mid-2000, we wanted to get Berkshire hogs, due to the flavor and tenderness of that pork. We struck up a relationship with a Berkshire breeder who did not want to finish the feeders and market them himself. We were prepared to do that, so for about a year, we bought all his feeders. A little over a year into that relationship, however, the breeder wanted to stop having hogs all together, so we were forced to begin keeping breeding stock.
Our sows farrow in pens that are large enough for even a very large sow to turn around in. After about 2 weeks or so, as the piglets get really sassy-fat on mama's milk, the sows that have farrowed in the same timeframe are turned into a mixing pen with their pigs, who immediately make friends with all the others, and there's basically a piglet party going on most of the time. The mixing pen has access to an outdoor pen, as well. Upon weaning, the sows go back into their outdoor pen with huts for shelter and the weaned pigs go into moveable pens out in a big pasture.