FAQ

General

What are your hours?


OPEN Daily Monday - Saturday 8am - 7pm Sunday 10am - 6pm




I live out of state. Can you ship?


Unfortunately, we don't ship or sell out of state at this time, because our poultry is not permitted to leave the state of Oregon. Even shipping refrigerated/frozen items locally costs a lot more, and we are reluctant to pass along that additional high cost to our customers.




Can we visit the farm?


Yes! We are open daily at Helvetia Farm Market and have a lawn area in the back where you can sit and watch the animals while enjoying a coffee from the espresso bar inside. If you'd like a full tour, we offer those every 2nd Saturday from May - October. For private tours, you can contact us on our Tours page.





Beef

How do you come up with the final per/lb price?


Let's start at the beginning. We try to butcher our cows at 1000 lbs (live weight). Once they are butchered and cleaned up, they lose about 40% of that weight (head, organs, etc). That leaves about 600 lbs for the whole cow (hanging weight). This is the weight that we charge you on; $4.75/lb on hanging weight, so for your 600 lb whole cow, it would be $2850 to us and $390 to the butcher for cut and wrap, totaling $3240. When you take that number and divide it by the 600 lbs, it looks like you are paying $5.40/lb. This is the price you will most often see associated with a per/lb prices for grass-fed beef. However, what you might not know is that between the hanging weight and the finished cow, there is the process of cutting the meat into portions. During this process, the cow will lose about 30% of the weight in bone, fat & cartilage, which changes the total weight of the cow down to about 420 lbs. If you use that number, you get $7.71/lbfor your packaged beef in the freezer! This will give you an accurate, tangible cost to compare with grass-fed cuts in your local market deli. Breakdown: Live weight: 1000 lb Hanging weight (loses 40%): 600 lb - This is where we charge $4.75 Cut & wrap weight (loses another 30%): 420lb 600 lbs x $4.75/lb (our fee $2850) + $0.65/lb (burcher's fee $390) = $3240 Divided by / 420 lb (finished weight) = $7.71/lb




What is hanging weight?


Hanging weight is the weight of the carcass after the animal has been slaughtered, but not butchered. The hanging weight is less than the live wieght because the head and internal organs are gone. The hanging weight is more than the wrapped weight becuase it still includes all the bones.




How will I know what cuts to get?


Don't worry! We'll give you a cheat sheet. Most butchers ask for "cut and wrap" instructions. If you've never done this before, it can be a little daunting. So, we'll give you a sheet of all the questions the butcher will answer, and some suggestions on how to answer each question based on what works for most people. It's very easy, and we can always help out, if you want! You'll get the cuts that you ask for. If you want more ground beef and steaks, they can do that! If you want more roasts, they can do that too!




When will my meat be ready?


That's tough to say. So much depends on the weather, the rate of gain for the animal, and ... weather. Once we feel the time is right, and the butcher is scheduled, we'll let you know. We slaughter in the fall, so expect your order to be ready in September or October.




Why do you ask for a deposit?


The deposit helps us off-set the upfront costs of raising animals. There's a tremendous amount of effort and money that go into these animals. We get paid at the end of all that effort and expense.




How do I choose my size; half or whole?


We try to butcher our cows when they weigh 1,000 lbs (live weight). Once they are butchered and cleaned up, we lose about 40% of that weight (that's the head, organs, etc...). That leaves about 600 lbs (hanging weight) for a whole cow. So a whole share should figure on about 600 lbs hanging weight, and a half share should figure on about 300 lbs hanging weight. A quarter share is perfect for a small family of 3-4 that eats red meat about 1-2x/week for a year. A quarter of a cow will fill half your standard freezer, so you may want to have a spare one available. A half share is perfect for a large family of 5 that eats red meat about 2-3x/week for a year. A half of a cow will fill your standard freezer, so you'll want to have a spare one available. A whole share would be great for a few families to share. Also great if you have a large (6+) family (or teenage boys) that eats red meat 3-4x/week for a year or cooks for guests. You'll need to have a spare freezer available; this is a lot of meat! (These are estimates. Each cow will vary in size and finished weight.)





Pork

How do you come up with the final per/lb price?


Let's start at the beginning. We try to butcher our hogs at 300 lbs (live weight). Once they are butchered and cleaned up, they lose about 40% of that weight (head, organs, etc). That leaves about 180 lbs for the whole hog (hanging weight). This is the weight that we charge you on; $4.50/lb on hanging weight, so for your 180 lb whole hog, it would be $810 to us and $117 to the butcher for cut and wrap fees, totaling $927. When you take that number and divide it by the 180lbs, it looks like you are paying $5.15/lb. This is the price you will most often see associated with a per/lb prices for pastured pork. However, what you might not know is that between the hanging weight and the finished hog, there is the process of cutting the meat into portions. During this process, the hog will lose about 30% of the weight in bone, fat & cartilage, which changes the total weight of the hog down to about 126 lbs lbs. If you use that number, you get $7.35/lb for your packaged pork in the freezer! This will give you an accurate, tangible cost to compare with grass-fed pork cuts in your local market deli (which are very hard to come by!) Breakdown: Live weight: 300 lb Hanging weight (loses 40%): 180 lb - This is where we charge $4.50 Cut & wrap weight (loses another 30%): 126 lb 180 lbs x $4.50/lb (our fee $810) + $0.65/lb (butcher's fee $117) = $927 Divided by / 126 lb (finished weight) = $7.35/lb




What is hanging weight?


Hanging weight is the weight of the carcass after the animal has been slaughtered, but not butchered. The hanging weight is less than the live wieght because the head and internal organs are gone. The hanging weight is more than the wrapped weight becuase it still includes all the bones.




How will I know what cuts to get?


Don't worry! We'll give you a cheat sheet. Most butchers ask for "cut and wrap" instructions. If you've never done this before, it can be a little daunting. So, we'll give you a sheet of all the questions the butcher will answer, and some suggestions on how to answer each question based on what works for most people. It's very easy, and we can always help out, if you want! You'll get the cuts that you ask for. If you want more ground beef and steaks, they can do that! If you want more roasts, they can do that too!




When will my meat be ready?


That's tough to say. So much depends on the weather, the rate of gain for the animal, and ... weather. Once we feel the time is right, and the butcher is scheduled, we'll let you know. We slaughter in the fall, so expect your order to be ready in September or October.




Why do you ask for a deposit?


The deposit helps us off-set the upfront costs of raising animals. There's a tremendous amount of effort and money that go into these animals. We get paid at the end of all that effort and expense.








How do I choose my size; half or whole?


PORK We try to butcher our pigs when they weigh 300 lbs (live weight). Once they are butchered and cleaned up, we lose about 40% of that weight (that's the head, organs, etc...). That leaves about 180 lbs (hanging weight) for a whole pig. So a whole share should figure on 180 lbs hanging weight, and a half share should figure on 90 lbs hanging weight. A half share of hog is great for a family that eats pork once a week for a year (about 6-8 packages of bacon come in a 1/2 if you request that). This is a perfect size for anyone that enjoys pork but it's not a main staple. A half hog will take up most of your freezer, so you'll want to have a spare available. If you have a large family that enjoys pork more often than 1-2x/week, consider getting a whole hog. If it's too much for you, you can always share a couple pieces with friends and family.





Turkey

Why do you need so much personal info when we order?


We ask for your name because we like to know the names of our customers. We ask for your email because we primarily communicate through email, and will use your email to communicate with you (don't worry, we don't email much). We ask for your phone number because we want a way to reach you quickly (like on a harvest day if there's a reason we need to let you know something about your specific order). We ask for your address because we are only allowed to sell poultry to Oregon residents, and this is how we verify that we are doing that. We will never share your information.




Why do you ask for a deposit?


Deposits help us off-set the upfront costs of raising animals. There's a tremendous amount of effort and money that go into these birds. We get paid at the end of all that effort and expense. So the deposits help us with things like the first feed purchase.





Chicken

How do you keep the chickens comfortable on hot summer days?


We truly appreciate anyone's concern in this area. We put only 40 birds in each 8x8 "chicken tractor"; that's 64 SF total which is more than the recommended space for our size flock. Half of each tractor is covered with the metal to provide a constant shaded area for them to rest, as well as make a lightweight container that we are able to move. We move them onto fresh pasture every single morning, and fill their 10 gallon water containers with fresh water every single morning. We also have them positioned away from direct sun in the heat of the day, so they have as much shade as possible. On warm days, we lift up the back end to allow for more air flow, too. We do our very best to make our birds as comfortable as possible. If you every have any more suggestions, we'd love to hear them!




How much should I expect the chicken to weigh?


Most finished chickens weigh between 3lbs - 5lbs. If you would like a specific size, please make note of that at checkout.




What are the animals fed? Is it organic?


Besides the organically grown green grass, dandelions, clover, & bugs that the chickens eat throughout the day, they also receive a feed ration. ABOUT OUR FEED: When we say that we suppliment our chickens with a "feed ration", that means that we only feed them a specific amount of feed, once a day. We do not offer continuous feed, which means when their food runs out mid morning, they spend the rest of the day foraging on the weeds & bugs. We move them to a fresh plot of grass every single day so they always have something fresh to forage! Our organic feed is custom corn-free, soy-free organic broiler feed from our local grain mill. ORGANIC PRACTICE: All of our land practices are "organic", if that means anything anymore. For our pasture, we don't spray... at all. We don't use fertilizer... at all. We don't ship any waste off the farm. Everything is turned back onto the land. The waste water is applied to the pasture (it has nutrients we worked hard to grow... no way we're going to throw that away). We compost all of the offal and that compost is spread back onto the fields to build the soil. Know that we are doing all we can to ensure our poultry are eating the best feed we can provide them; ultimately giving you the healthiest and most nutritious meat possible.




Are your chickens healthier?


You betcha! Did you know that even "organic" chickens are often raised entirely indoors? They may be "cage-free" or have access to a dirt area that makes them "free-range", but they are packed in so tight and grow so fast that many birds go crippled and die because they can't even make it to the feeder. Raising chickens on fresh pasture daily (like we do) is something you don't find very often! It allows the chickens to eat fresh grass and bugs daily, just like God intended, making their bodies grow at a natural rate and be much healthier to eat. As Joel Salatin says in his book, "When animals are fed a high energy, low vitamin/mineral diet, they tend to have more saturated fat (which converts to cholesterol) in their meat, milk or eggs, just like people. When these same animals consume a large percentage of green material, the saturated fat diminishes."




How are your chickens raised that make them unique from store bought chicken?


Our chickens are pasture-raised; they forage on green grass, dandelions, clover and bugs in the sunshine, unlike the chickens you buy in a store that spend most of their lives in tight quarters and never see the sun, bugs or grass. We purchase young chicks and raise them in brooders for two or three weeks and feed them with occasional weeds & locally milled non-GMO, antibiotic-free, soy-free, corn-free feed. When they have grown into their feathers, we move them to pasture where they are put into "chicken tractors". These are mobile pens that protect them from predators and weather. The chicken tractors do not have a floor, so the chickens have access to fresh pasture every day. They are able to eat grass and bugs off the pasture. We move the tractors every single day, so their pasture stays fresh, green and full of new bugs to forage. Our chickens are brooded, pastured and processed on the farm using low stress and humane slaughtering methods to provide you with the very best chicken for your family! For more about our chickens, see the "About Our Animals" tab.





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@marionacres

23137 NW West Union Rd.

Hillsboro, Oregon 97124

503 928 4428

© 2020 Marion Acres LLC, all rights reserved

John 10:9

Marion Acres &

Helvetia Farm Market is

OPEN DAILY

 

Mon - Sat    8 - 7

Sun    10 - 6