While maintaining a nucleus of pure-bred Kerry, we are also developing a premium product by bringing together best characteristics of small beef animals such as the Hereford, with the pasture efficiency of the Kerry.
The Kerry Cow is a heritage breed from Ireland kept for both beef and dairy purposes. They are a smaller breed, typically horned and solid black in color (solid red sometimes shows). They are hardy and long lived. Originally developed in harsh conditions, we find the Kerry thrive on pasture and hay.
Rare Breeds Canada classify the Kerry as ‘Critical’ (less than 25 annual registrations of breeding females). With only a few other breeders in Canada, we are attempting to increase the numbers of Kerry in Canada. Starting out with 4 pure-bred Kerry cows in 2004, we have raised our pure-bred herd to over 20.
Keep them to eat them, eat them to keep them.
We raise our animals in an organic fashion, but are not certified. The only thing that goes into our grass fed animals is pasture (hay), water, sunshine and care year round (plus free access to salt/mineral lick). If a certain animal is not flourishing on our pasture, we will give it a small ration of natural grains and remove it from our grass-fed program. This happens very infrequently on our farm, as we have selected our breeds because they do so well on pasture.
When we are ready to sell, we discuss the animal’s age and background with our customers before they decide to purchase.
Stress Free Living
It is important to keep our animals free from stress which would decrease health, and in turn the quality of their meat. Stresses such as overcrowding, permanent indoor housing, improper transport or long shipping distances are just a few examples.
Our animals are allowed free range of over acres and acres of rotating pasture. We never confine an animal unless it requires our personal attention. All our animals are free to roam, exercise and sleep in the great outdoors or our barn. It’s up to them. Even in winter months, our animals have free choice to roam inside or outside the barn, and can be found foraging on any pasture they can find.
We’re Grass Farmers
High-quality pasture is the key to high-quality animals. Careful pasture management provides the nutritious and natural diet required for our cattle to thrive. We must continually walk the fields inspecting the soil, the plants and looking for signs of deficiencies usually through the presence of certain insects and weeds. Rotation is also important to keep the animals eating the best parts of the plants, and letting the pasture rest and rejuvenate for the next rotation.
Small Farm Magazine 2009.05 – jpg of scanned article
Hamilton Spectator 2008.12 -- www.thespec.com/article/476567
Members of Niagara Local Food Coop - www.niagaralocalfoodcoop.ca
Members of Rare Breeds Canada – www.rbc.ca
Members of Southern Ontario Heritage Livestock Club – meets first Wednesday of each month at 8:00pm at Rittenhouse Hall, Vineland Research Station, Victoria Rd, Vineland, ON.
Locally Grown Beef!