East Wind’s ranch is composed of many different areas of work that all come together for a common goal: a sustainable food source for community. Everything from fencing to haying, building projects to animal husbandry, daily chores to dairying, and bottle-feeding to butchering adds up to the health and happiness of our animals and an ample supply of meat and dairy for our community. Though our beliefs are varied, the refusal to purchase factory farmed meat and dairy is a commonly agreed upon ideal here at East Wind. What we cannot provide from our own ranch, we strive to purchase from local farmers who we know treat their animals with care and respect. Currently our program revolves around three different animals each for varying utility: chickens, pigs, and cows. Goats have been kept on the land, but there is not currently a goat program (just waiting for someone to head it up!).
We try to maintain about two hundred birds for the sole purpose of eggs for community. With the unforgiving Ozark environment, however, that number rises and falls with the danger of lurking predators. Hawks, coyotes, snakes, raccoons, feral cats and dogs are a constant threat. Though we have experimented with free ranging and would like it best for our chickens, we’ve settled for a large area fenced with moveable, solar powered electric. To keep the land in good shape and to offer as much wild forage as possible, we move the main coop and all its accoutrement every few days.
Our new pig paddock is large and wooded. We maintain an appropriate sized pig litter to keep our land in good shape and manage the labor required to handle the pigs.
Grass fed and with plenty of pasture to roam, we practice a rotational grazing system that respects both our land and our animals. Presently, we’re maintaining about thirty head of Irish Dexter cattle. A smaller breed, the animals are more manageable for our traditional means of slaughter and butchering. Registered Red Poles have also been acquired in the past couple years.