Pasture Raised Beef
Pasture-raised beef has several advantages over conventionally raised beef, including:
Animal Welfare: Pasture-raised beef production allows cattle to live a more natural lifestyle, with access to fresh air, sunshine, and a varied diet. Cattle are also able to move around freely, which can improve their overall health and wellbeing.
Nutritional Benefits: Pasture-raised beef is higher in essential nutrients such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin E, and beta-carotene, which are beneficial for human health.
Environmental Benefits: Pasture-raised beef is typically raised in a way that is more sustainable and environmentally friendly than conventional beef production. Pasture-raised cattle graze on open fields, which can help reduce soil erosion, increase biodiversity, and sequester carbon.
Taste: Many people find that pasture-raised beef has a richer, more complex flavor than conventionally raised beef. This is likely due to the varied diet and more natural lifestyle of the animals.
Overall, pasture-raised beef offers numerous advantages, both for human health and the environment. While it may be more expensive than conventionally raised beef, we believe that the benefits are worth it by far!
Pasture Raised versus Grass Finished Beef
Pasture-raised beef and grass-finished beef are two different terms that are often used interchangeably, but they do have some differences.
Pasture-raised beef refers to cattle that are raised on pasture for most of their lives. They graze on open fields and eat a varied diet of grasses, legumes, and other vegetation. Pasture-raised beef cattle may also receive supplemental feed during certain times of the year, such as during the winter when grass growth is limited.
Grass-finished beef, on the other hand, refers to cattle that are raised exclusively on grass and forage for the entirety of their lives. These cattle never receive grain or other supplements in their diet.
The main difference between the two is the duration of time the cattle spend on grass. While pasture-raised beef may spend the majority of their lives on pasture, they may also receive supplemental feed. Grass-finished beef, on the other hand, are raised exclusively on grass and forage from start to finish.
Grass-finished beef is often considered to be of higher quality, as it tends to be leaner and have a more intense beef flavor than conventionally raised beef. However, it can also be more expensive and may not be as widely available as pasture-raised beef.
The amount of grain that grass-finished beef can be fed is generally regulated by certification programs and industry standards. The USDA’s grass-fed beef standard allows for a limited amount of grain in the diet of grass-finished cattle. The standard states that grass-fed cattle must have continuous access to pasture and receive the majority of their nutrients from grass and forage. However, it also allows for supplemental feed that does not contain any animal byproducts, and up to 10% of the animal’s diet may come from grain.
Both pasture-raised and grass-finished beef are generally considered to be more sustainable and environmentally friendly than conventionally raised beef. Additionally, they may offer nutritional benefits, including higher levels of beneficial fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
Here at Raspberry Lane, we like the taste and texture that a bit of grain imparts to our beef. Our beef cattle are supplemented with a custom feed blend of non-GMO corn, barley, peas, safflower seeds and molasses. We soak the feed overnight to allow it to break down and partially ferment, increasing the bioavailability of the nutrients. Meanwhile, they have access to pasture, high quality grass hay, and clean water.
Overall, while we do feed some grain, it is generally limited to small amounts and our primary focus remains on providing our cattle with a natural diet of grass and forage to promote animal health and well-being, environmental sustainability, and nutritional benefits for consumers.
How far we go for animal happiness
Our livestock never leaves our ranch. To that end, we us an on-farm abattoir, also known as a slaughterhouse, is a facility where livestock is processed into meat.
By having an abattoir on the farm, we can avoid the need to transport our stock to a separate facility, which can be stressful for the animals. We maintain complete control over the processing of the animals. This ensures that the animals are handled properly, and that the meat is of high quality.
Increased biosecurity: Bringing animals to an off-site abattoir increases the risk of disease transmission between farms. By having an on-farm abattoir, we can reduce this risk and maintain better biosecurity on their farm. It can also help to reduce the risk of contamination and disease transmission that can occur during transportation and processing at a separate facility. This improves food safety and reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses.
Traceability: With an on-farm abattoir, we can easily track the origin of their meat products and provide traceability for their customers. This can increase consumer confidence in the quality and safety of the meat.
Overall, using an abattoir on the farm can provide several benefits for us, including quality control, food safety, and traceability.
Why we use rotational grazing
Rotational grazing is a farming practice in which livestock are moved between different pastures or grazing areas on a regular basis. This is done to ensure that the stock have access to fresh grass and other forage, while also allowing previously grazed areas to recover and regenerate.
There are several advantages to rotational grazing:
Improved soil health: Grazing animals can help to fertilize the soil, while also breaking up compacted soil and aerating the ground. This can lead to improved soil health, which in turn can result in healthier plants and better-quality forage.
Increased biodiversity: Rotational grazing can help to increase the biodiversity of grazing lands by allowing different plant species to thrive. This creates a more resilient ecosystem and provides more diverse forage options for livestock.
Better animal health: Rotational grazing allows animals to graze in a more natural environment, which can result in better health and reduced stress. This also results in better-quality meat and dairy products, as animals that are healthy and well-cared-for produce higher-quality products.
Reduced environmental impact: By allowing grazing lands to rest and regenerate, rotational grazing can help to reduce soil erosion, improve water quality, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Overall, rotational grazing is an important practice that leads to more sustainable and ethical agricultural systems, while also producing higher-quality and more nutritious meat and dairy products.