Canal Junction Natural Meats & Farmstead Cheese
Farm fresh beef, chicken, turkey, pork, lamb, brown eggs, and raw milk cheeses from grass fed animals.
As fifth and sixth generation farmers, Ralph and Sheila Schlatter, along with three of their children own and operate C/J Natural Meats and Farmstead Cheese located in Paulding County, Ohio. Utilizing rotational grazing we produce grassfed meats and cheeses.
Beef: The beef animals are 100% grassfed from start to finish. In the winter season they are fed dry hay out on pasture.
Chicken: The broiler chickens are raised from May through October. They are started as day old chicks under the brooder for two weeks. They are then moved out to pasture in floorless, moveable pens. They are moved once a day to fresh forages. They are supplemented with a grain mixture as they need the added protein and energy to survive.
Turkey: The turkeys are raised similar to the broiler chickens. They are generally started around the end of July to be ready in time for Thanksgiving. When they get too big for the moveable pens, they are allowed out in a net fence area to forage. They are also supplemented with a free choice grain mix for energy. This year is our first year of feeding them whey and excess milk and they really devor this when it is fed. We feel this lessens the amount of grain they eat because milk is such a complete food.
Pork: The pigs are raised outside where they can root, romp, forage, and assimilate the sunshine into Vitamin D which we then consume through their fat. They also get free choice grain for energy. As with the turkeys we have eliminated a lot of their grain by feeding them whey and milk excess products. They squeal with delight in anticipation of getting the curds and whey.
Lamb: The lambs are 100% grassfed. We do not raise lambs during the winter months, so we try to stock our freezer well in the fall.
Brown Eggs: The laying hens are probably the most challenging species. They need about 14 hours of light in a day to optomize their egg production. Therefore, the summer months are the only time they can really be out in the pasture. We have invested in a 100 ft long greenhouse to house our hens. This allows us to have lights on them during the months there is not enough sunlight. This summer we developed a run where they can come out of the greenhouse and forage. During the cold months they spend a lot of their energy just trying to maintain their body heat. We feel that with the greenhouse blocking the wind, and on sunny days allowing some extra warmth, they maintain farily well during the winter. Their production does drop some, but not as it used to.
Raw Milk Cheeses: The lastest addition to our farm products is raw milk cheeses crafted right here on our farm. The milk comes from 100% grassfed cows that graze our pastures. During the winter months the cows are fed dry hay. For further information on the cheeses please visit www.canaljunctioncheese.com.