In 1993 the Gilliland family began ranching cattle in the Sacramento Valley outside of Dixon. Both Ron and Terri were raised on farms in Ireland and Colorado, respectively. For a decade their ranch was producing a small but steady stream of cattle for the commercial market. In 2004 they began an Angus herd with the goal of supplying the restaurant they owned in Sacramento with fine quality beef of impeccable origin. In 2006 they began harvesting cattle born, raised, harvested, aged and cut under direct control. At that time they branded a new endeavor Lucky Dog Ranch, named after their McNab herding dog Lucky.
Working with the feedback of their chefs and customers they fine-tuned the flavor profile and finish of the product. The Lucky Dog Ranch herd runs on an open pasture from birth to harvest, always maintaining the natural group dynamic. The cattle is handled in the most humane way possible. They are never given antibiotics or hormone laden feed. When it comes to finishing the cattle, the only change in their routine is the introduction of a free choice bunk of grain and hay; custom mixed. This mix is brewers’ grain (from Sudwerk brewery in Davis), almond hulls, oat hay, alfalfa and molasses. Working closely with our chefs and customers, different finishes were tried before narrowing down what would provide a slightly rounder flavor profile to Lucky Dog Ranch Beef.
The cattle are harvested in Orland, CA by Johansen’s Quality Meats, a USDA inspected facility dealing only with small producers like Lucky Dog Ranch. The beef is dry aged in split sides for 21-28 days. This gives Lucky Dog Ranch Beef intense flavor and tenderness.