What is Grassfed Meat?
Grassfed meat is meat harvested from an animal that is fed only forages and
hays. These can be grain plants like oats, rye or wheat that are grazed by the
animal before the plant seeds out. The grain is not allowed to be fed in grass
fattened or grassfed meat in order to keep the good Omega 3 fatty acids high in
the animals body. Grain is high in Omega 6 fatty acids.
Some producers in Nebraska are using green corn plants for the high leaf area
and stalk and making sure the grazing is done before the plants are putting
kernels in the cob. In this case the crop is planted at staggered times so there
are always immature plants available for grazing. In our case we are using
native grasses we have planted back into crop ground or are grazing native sod
that has warm season grasses. We also harvest some
intermediate wheatgrass hay and this year some oats hay that was harvested
before it seeded out. We also swath graze millet and intermediate grass
and feed this in the winter time using electric fence so the
cows are rationed for a days worth of feed to graze on.
The calves are weaned onto grass and then started on the hays and a small amount
of soy hull pellets for more energy and protein. Soy hulls are made from the
hard and fibrous outer seed coat that is scratched off the soybeans before they
are crushed for oil and meal.
No corn grain or corn by products are allowed to be fed at any time as they
reduce the amount of Omega 3 fatty acids in the meat.
Our philosophy on raising healthy cattle
We do not farm, but strictly raise cattle and the grass and forage they eat. Our
cattle are never fed any grain. The grass season that raises the lush highest
nutrition grasses, that cattle grow and fatten the most rapidly on, is from mid
April to August.
We spend a lot of hours moving cattle between small paddocks or pastures to make
sure they have fresh growing grass for them to eat at all times. We feel cattle
are healthier and happier out being real cows on grass or pasture. Our cows
graze stockpiled grass or portioned out windrowed feed in the winter time as
possible for the supply that the summer's rains have allowed to grow.
We do not shut the weaned calves up in small muddy lots, but allow them to run
and play and find dry spots even when it snows and is muddy. They have
clean hair coats which also makes a clean harvest possible easily.
We use a de-wormer with no withdrawal time that does not harm the dung beetles
in our soil so the fecal pats are rapidly and efficiently recycled. The manure
is removed so there is more grass surface to graze and the nitrogen in the feces
is recycled for natural fertilizers. Since the manure is physically removed, fly
populations are naturally reduced as flies have no place to multiply. We also
move cattle frequently so most flies that did hatch will stay on the old pasture
and die, so cattle are less stressed by flies biting them.
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