Pasture Fed Beef
Warren Farm now produces its very own Beef which you can buy direct from the farm! Our herd of Hereford and Aberdeen Angus cattle are fed a grass only diet and produce some amazing beef, so why not give it a try?
Soon after we trialled our own beef, we came across an organisation called the 'Pasture Fed Livestock Association', and we promptly became a member. The concept is simple - we believe that cattle should only be fed on their natural diet of grass and forage, not grains, maize or soya. The main benefit for us, is that a grass only based diet for the cow, means it produces very high quality meat. The cattle take a little longer to 'finish' than they would if their diet was supplemented with grains, but we think that there are significant environmental and health benefits of a grass based diet which make it much more worthwhile.
For most of the time that there has been a beef herd at Warren Farm, the calves were sold at about 9 months of age to another farm where they were 'finished' for beef production in to the supermarket trade. It seemed strange that we were producing beef, and yet we had never tried our own beef. In 2015, as a trial we sent one of our cows away to be butchered so we could see what the end product was like. What came back was simply fantastic - well marbled, flavoursome and tender beef! From that moment on, we knew we were producing a good product and we decided to sell it to the public.
The base of production is our herd of around 40 Hereford and Aberdeen Angus cows. Every June we run them with a bull (usually a Hereford) and then they start calving in March. The calves stay with their mothers until they are around 9 months old, then they are weaned and fed over winter on silage, before being turned out to grass in April. The cattle will be around 24 to 30 months before they are ready to become beef, weighing around 550kgs.
As there is no abattoir on the Isle of Wight, we send our beef on a short ferry journey over to Hampshire to be slaughtered, then they are butchered back on the Isle of Wight before being sold to our customers through our farm shop and box beef scheme.