There has been a change of cattle breed on our farm.
Our Brahman and Brahman/Angus cross cattle performed exceptionally well on our land during the driest times of the year, although the search to improve the quality of our food and the way in which it is produced has seen us move to the Square Meater breed of cattle.
What was the main reasons for change?
The typical answers around to this question are ‘ the increase of tenderness, marbling and fat cover,’ and while this is true from to an extent with regard to the genetic base we had, it is mostly the improvement to convert grass into beef that has driven us in this direction.
Smaller frame cattle have a higher ability to maintain and gain weight on grass alone – the more surface area an animal has the higher its feed intake becomes to grow. Frame sizes of cattle have increased significantly since high-energy agriculture placed cattle into feedlots; the unique elements of compact cattle previous to this trend has, to a large extent, become lost. ‘Squares’ really fill this gap. They are what a mentor of mine describes as being an 8-in-5-package, if you can imagine 8 kilograms of sugar stuffed into a 5kg packet; short but wide and very heavy.
Our heard is small for the moment but there’s a great variety. We have young heifers that will be joined in the summer, cows with calfs, a handful of steers that will be ready for processing by Christmas and one very strong bull named Goliath.
One of the simple pleasures of keeping this journal is being able to share it with you, our customers, friends and family who support this crazy venture of ours and we hope you will be pleased with this next evolution of our family farm.