Our livestock operation has come on leaps and bounds since we bought our first 5 cows from Stroud Community Agriculture in March 2022.
The Cows and the pasture
Depending on the time of year the total number of cattle in our herd fluctuates between 36 to 48. We have a mixed herd of mainly Herefords, with some Beef Shorthorn – Parthenais crosses and some traditional Sussex too. Our cows are bred with a pedigree Hereford bull named Lennon. We believe that diversity goes hand in hand with resilience and so think that our herd will fare well in our ever changing climate.
We have roughly 70 acres of pasture with some of our fields planted up with various tree crops, creating alleys in which we graze our cattle. Most of our pastures have been permanent for many years now and we are seeing an ever increasing diversity within them. We believe that agroforestry and in particular silviculture (i.e. pasture planted with trees) will play a major part in our farm’s resiliency and storage of carbon; we are therefore planning to plant many more trees!
We mob graze our herd, moving them sometimes multiple times a day. This method of grazing aims to improve the fertility of the land, the life above and below ground and increase the carbon content of the soil. We also keep the herd out over winter and are slowly working towards a calving season starting in early June; in line with nature’s natural rhythms. For more information about our grazing strategy see here and for the benefits of pasture fed beef see here.