Animals

Know Where Your [Pet] Food Comes From!

Many people seek out Cherry Grove Farm because they understand the importance of being connected to their food source. Wouldn’t it be amazing to also extend that right to your four-footed friends at home? Now you can! At Cherry Grove, we are now offering local and grass-fed dog food alternatives for $3.99/lb:

 

  • Beef Tongue
  • Beef Liver
  • Mixed Bones
  • Beef Heart

 

When we send an animal to the butcher, we get just about everything back, which includes things most people do not find palatable. Although you might not imagine yourself eating beef heart, your dog would actually love it! Think about it—wolves in the wild don’t have access to can openers.

 

Benefits

There are many benefits pets can gain from a raw diet: a shinier coat, cleaner teeth, better skin, and smaller stool. Amanda, one of our newest employees, successfully switched her finicky cat, Flip, to a raw diet when he was 12 years old. He was overweight, had a scraggly coat, and was generally a grump. Although Flip’s crankiness never subsided, his weight balanced out, he had less dry skin, and his fur became sleek and glossy. He is still thriving on a raw diet 4 years later! Amanda also transitioned her two younger cats and her 3-year-old golden retriever to the diet, and they thank her twice daily for it.

 

 

How-To

We absolutely recommend consulting your veterinarian for specific recommendations regarding the diet of your particular furry friend. All animals are different, and their diets must meet their individual nutritional needs. We are not trained veterinarians here at Cherry Grove, but we can offer you some basic guidelines to get started.

Whether you plan on starting your pet on a complete or partial raw diet, the change must take place slowly over time. Not all pets (particularly cats) immediately take to new food, so try to gauge the transition based on how your pet reacts. Additionally, pets with digestive issues may need a slower transition.

 

 

Your pet’s stool is a great barometer for how he or she is handling the dietary change. At first, their stool will be a little soft and loose, but it will eventually be become smaller, firmer, and less smelly. Here is one way you can approach the transition:

 

Days 1-3: Feed a mixture of 25% raw food and 75% current food at each meal.

Days 4-7: Feed raw food in the morning and current food in the evening.

Thereafter: Feed raw food for both meals only after your pet fully accepts the new food and their stool is smaller, harder, and less odorous. If your pet’s stool is still soft or loose at this point, take the transition more slowly.

 

Once the transition is complete, pets should be consuming approximately 2.5% of their total body weight per day. For example, a 50-pound dog should get 1.25 pounds of food per day (or a little over 0.6 pounds per feeding). This percentage is based on maintaining weight, and can be increased to 3% for underweight animals or decreased to 2% if weight loss is necessary.

 

We recommend storing your raw dog food in the freezer and thawing on an as-needed basis. It is also a good idea to rotate proteins and to switch between organ and muscle meat. Dogs need variety just like people!

 

Canned pet food is specifically formulated to include all necessary nutrients. When switching to a raw diet, it is important to retain that nutritional balance. A wholesome raw diet includes muscle and organ meat, bones, raw eggs, ground eggshells (for calcium), veggies, fruits, and even dairy.

 

 

*Caution*

There is always a risk of bacterial infection from improperly handling raw meat. Always be sure to wash hands often and disinfect counter tops, utensils, and food dishes. Although this risk is present with a raw diet, it has also proven to be a huge problem in commercially processed pet foods. Careful and informed handling greatly reduces the risk of infection in a raw diet, and it puts the pet owner in control instead of a manufacturing facility.

Resources

There are countless resources with more specific information about raw diets for pets. Here are a few that we recommend, so you can decide for yourself what is best for your pet:

 

 

It may seem like a lot of research and work, but after the initial transition it becomes second nature. Our furry friends give us so much love, they deserve the extra effort! We hope that we will greatly improve the health of your pets by offering local and grass-fed alternatives at Cherry Grove Farm!

 

Photo Credit: Stephanie Spock

Thank You!

Winter time is here. All of our fall time classes are over, our grilled cheese weekends are coming to an end, and most importantly our girls (cows) are pregnant and dried off for the winter months. This means as a farm we get the chance to improve on any projects that are in the works and also a perfect time for our cheese makers to get a little time off. Being a part of a seasonal operation that treads lightly on the animals, employees, and the land, shows all of  us here how things should be.

All nine of us, the staff at Cherry grove Farm, would like to take this time to thank all of the girls (cows) that worked so hard all year walking up from the back fields to give us milk twice a day; to our wonderful loyal customers that stop in once a week if not more to support their local farm/farmer; and to our two very hard working cheese makers who hit their goal this year of making 45,000 pounds of handcrafted farmstead cheese for the surrounding areas.

Happy Holidays & Thank You All For Such A Successful Year!

What is The Great Meadows Cow Parade?

It is Our Biggest Event of The Year!

Everyone here at Cherry Grove Farm hopes you can make it out to our Great Meadows Cow Parade event on November 6th from 12-5 pm. The event is to help shine light on all the great local food, fun and music we have here in New Jersey, and to provide a fun time for friends and families. Come out and enjoy our farm and taste your way through our farmstead cheeses; savor Jammin’ Crepes newest tastiest creations; warm up with Purple Cow’s Soups; experience new cheese pairings with Jersey Jams & Jellies; enjoy a sweet treat from Charley’s Organic Toffee. In addition, the kids can have fun with the 4-H club of Mercer, face painting with Christina and Science Seeds farmstead science experiments! Take a ride on our hayride or the 4-H clubs Goat Cart. You can even take part of the Farmers Against Hunger’s Farmstead Raffle full of giveaways and coupons. Don’t miss the full farm experience as we celebrate and thank our dairy herd for providing us with the most wonderful grass-fed milk to make our farmstead cheeses. Cheer on the procession as our herd marches through the scenic organic fields, concluding their parade in our milking parlor. We hope to see you all there!

 Thank you to all of our vendors!


1902 - Family purchased farm

1910 - Leased land to dairy farmer

1987 - Hamill Brothers inherit farm

2002 - Started as a family business

2003 - Started a beef herd, laying hens, and pigs

2004 - Added sheep and attained organic certification of pasture land

2005 - Added dairy herd and began making fresh cheeses like mozzarella

2006 - Built aging caves and began making aged cheeses

2012 - Grid Magazine’s Cheese of the Month (Nov – Full Nettle Jack); Finalist at the Good Food Awards (Toma)

2013 - Won 2 blue ribbons from the American Cheese Society(for Buttercup Brie and Lawrenceville Jack Reserve); Added second cheesemaker

2014 - Broke ground on additional aging space and began process of getting AWA certification for our chickens
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