Through rotating goats, pigs and chickens through our pastures, we’ve improved our soil and our pasture plant diversity enough to begin raising a small number of our own beef cattle each year. We exclusively raise them on pasture, rotating them to new paddocks daily in the peak season. This practice allows them to graze fresh, pesticide-free grasses and move on to the next one before they eat it too low. Resting the paddocks between cattle moves allows better regrowth of the plants, more carbon sequestration and risk less parasite uptake.
In months where the forage quality isn’t as high, we feed hay, but never grain of any kind, resulting in grass-fed, grass-finished and delicious beef, free of any hormones, antibiotics or steroids.
At this time, we buy calves from neighboring farms versus taking on the breeding ourselves. We typically raise them on raise for a minimum of one year before processing. We’ve raised a variety of breeds and mixes, but primarily focus on Pineywoods, a rare breed brought to the Gulf Coast by the Spanish in the early 1500’s. Pineywoods are one of the oldest breeds that have evolved in the United States and as such, have become well-adapted to our region. They are heat tolerant, long-lived, resistant to parasites and diseases (very important as we try to avoid pharmaceuticals of any kind!) and are able to successful graze and gain weight on a wider variety of plants.
In addition to beef raised on our farm, we also process beef under our Local Cooling Farms label from Gardner Ranch in Opelousas, La. Rancher Stuart Gardner is the Louisiana grazing expert for the Natural Resources Conservation Service and needless to say, has been raising livestock, especially beef cattle from his own breeding herd for much longer than we have. He practices rotational grazing as well and his cattle are never given grain, antibiotics or hormones, either!
Interested in learning more?
Contact us and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have.