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OUR CATTLE

100% pasture fed

We have just moved to a system in which our cattle are 100% pasture fed year round, so they are slower growing, reaching maturity from around 2 years. In the warmer, drier months they are on pasture, kept in larger herds with small areas to graze each day to create a larger impact on the land and increase the productivity of the soil and the carbon it stores.

Being pasture fed, the forage they eat is much more diverse than just grass. Longer recovery times for the pasture, along with sowing additional crops, such as herbal leys, means there is always a variety of forage for the cattle.

Managing impact on the land

During the winter, when it is significantly wetter, the cattle have too large an impact on the land, exposing bare soil which is washed away by the rain, taking away vital nutrients.  As we increase organic matter levels, the soil can absorb higher volumes of water more quickly, so we aim to extend the grazing season as the cattle will continue to have positive impacts later in the season. 

We bring the cattle inside for the winter where they are fed hay and silage which was harvested earlier in the year.  The dung is later spread back onto the fields to prevent loss of nutrients from our land.

Calving

Our cows are selected for their hardiness and calving ease, to reduce stress at birth.  They calve outside in a more natural environment, surrounded by the herd, creating a greater sense of safety. 

Occasionally we have twins but our cows normally have a single calf which stays with its mother for up to 10 months.  During this time, their diet gradually moves from milk to pasture.  The young cattle stay with the group they have known since birth as they begin their independent lives on the farm they know so well.

Our cattle breeds

We have a majority Stabiliser cattle herd.  This is a relatively new breed, developed from the Angus, Simmental and Gelbvieh breeds.  They have the ability to grow well on nothing but forage, eliminating the need for additional feeds.  Their good temperament means they are not easily stressed when handling.

We also have some British Blue cross cattle, a very docile breed which produce large volumes of milk to feed their calves.  However, they are not as hardy as the Stabiliser and are a bigger cow which prevents extending the grazing season, so we are moving away from this breed.

OUR BEEF

Our cattle are grown slowly on a natural diet, keeping them for at least 2 years to produce quality beef.  

Due to their large size and slow growth rates we cannot supply fresh beef as regularly as we allow them the time to mature at their own pace. Order frozen beef now or register your interest in our next fresh beef delivery.

 

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