Our natural beef is raised in a slow paced, stress free environment. The cows have their young naturally in the spring when the other ungulate mammals such as deer, elk, and moose calve. This time of year provides a new clean environment for the calves to be born, out in the spring sunshine, on the new growing grass. This new clean start gives the calves the best possible environment they need to start growing right away. They nurse on their mothers all summer and into the fall and winter, in late January they are weaned from their mothers, in the most humane way possible. (They are separated into a different area, so they cannot suckle. but can still touch noses with their mother) this eases the stress the calves and cows go through during the weaning period.
In the summer they have grass, and free choice fresh cut fruit, in the winter months there diet is dried grasses (hay) and fresh cut fruit. The calves that have been retained for beef are slaughtered in the fall of their second year while they have the nutrient rich grasses that put the finishing touches on the carcass. Fall is the only time of year that our beef is harvested as natures cycle proves that beef that is slaughtered when the animal has been eating nutrient rich grasses is always tastier and has more nutrients and vitamins in it than an animal that has been ruffing out the winter on dried grasses, and other preserved fodder.
Our bull (male) calves are neutered at birth in the most humane way available. (A small but very tight elastic is placed around the scrotum to cut off circulation to the testicles, and within a few days the scrotum is gone, and the bull calf is a steer) The heifer (female) calves are not altered in any way. The best heifers are retained for future breeding stock and all the others are finished for beef. Our cows are primarily Black Angus, with a few crossbred Red Angus, Simmental mixed in. We use pure bred Simmental, and Black Angus Bulls for herd sires. Recently we have added a small fold of Scottish Highlands to our farm, these cows are very laid back, docile creatures with extremely long hair and horns! They have the long hair to make up for the lack of back fat that other breeds of beef cattle have. They do very well browsing on poorer pastures, and extreme weather conditions. We have a very limited amount of Highland beef available.
We are strong advocates of sustainable farming practices, and do what we can to ensure local nutritious food for future generations. Sustainability should not stop with the farmer, it can continue through the entire chain (Farmer, Processor, Consumer), you as the consumer can help the sustainability of the farmer and processor, by ordering a half or whole animal at a time, by using the entire animal this improves the efficiency of the processing and delivery of the animal, as well as being more economical for you the consumer to buy sustainable animal products from Arrowhead!