Ruminants

 

WEB_cattle_ruminants

 

100% GRASS-FED BEEF

The diet, exercise and age of our steers produces exceptional, full-flavored beef.

Glynwood maintains a beef herd of approximately 20 breeding animals and 50 steers ranging in age from newborn to two years old. Our herd consists of heritage breeds including Ancient White Park, Devon, and Milking Shorthorn, in addition to the more widespread, recognizable breed of Black Angus. The Livestock Conservancy lists Ancient White Park as threatened, Devon as recovering, and Milking Shorthorn as critical. The Milking Shorthorn is a particularly interesting breed as it can be used for dairy, beef and as a work animal, although we only raise beef at this point in time. Our original Black Angus herd was given to us as a gift from Walbridge Farm, which has been home to prize-winning Black Angus herds for many years. While Black Angus cattle have been notoriously used in large-scale, grain-based beef production systems, we adhere strictly to a 100% grass-fed diet for all of our cattle.

In the warmer months of the year, our cattle spend their days grazing lush pasture, moving to a new paddock every one or two days. Calves stay with their mothers until about eight months of age before being weaned. During the cold months of the year, our cattle are kept safe from harsh winter conditions in our comfortable barn, where they have continual access to high quality hay and fresh water, in addition to 15 acres of outdoor space to stretch their legs and feel the winter sun on their backs.

Because we only feed our cattle pasture and hay, our steers take approximately 24 months to reach finished weight (as opposed to one year or less when finished on grain in feedlots). Not only does grass-fed beef taste better, but it’s richer with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidant vitamins, such as vitamin E.

PASTURE-RAISED LAMB

Since our lambs spend the vast majority of their lives on pasture, the flavor and quality of the meat is excellent.

Glynwood maintains a flock of approximately 30 breeding ewes (female sheep) and one ram (a male kept for breeding purposes). Each year, our ewes give birth to approximately 60 lambs, usually in February. Our flock consists of a multitude of high-quality breeds including Wiltshire Horn, Katahdin, Tunis, Friesian and Dorset. Wiltshire Horn and Katahdin are both considered recovering on The Livestock Conservancy’s Conservation Priority List, while Tunis is on the watch list.

Wiltshire Horn and Katahdin are hair sheep breeds, which means they do not produce much, if any, wool. Instead, their breed traits provide for excellent meat and larger carcasses. Tunis, Dorset and Friesian are considered dual-purpose breeds. Tunis and Dorset produce high quality, meaty carcasses and excellent wool while Friesian is traditionally a dairy breed that produces high volumes of milk for our lambs, in addition to creamy white wool. Having a blend of these various breeds provides for large lambs that have access to abundant mother’s milk, which leads to healthier animals and a higher quality meat at the end of the season.

Lambs are weaned at three months of age and raised on grass for the remainder of their lives until processed around nine months old. They receive a small supplement of local, non-GMO grain at weaning time to ease the stress associated with weaning. Our ewes and ram graze fresh pasture as soon as the grass is ready in spring and continue grazing until winter begins. All of our sheep are moved to fresh pasture every three or four days. In winter, the sheep are kept warm and comfortable in our barn with continual access to high-quality hay and fresh water. The ewes receive a small supplement of local, non-GMO grain during late pregnancy and early lactation, when their nutritional needs are at their peak.

PASTURE-RAISED GOAT

Because our animals are castrated at birth and raised on forage, there is no hint of “goatiness” typically associated with goat meat. In fact, our goat meat is exceptionally mild and almost sweet in flavor.

Glynwood started raising goats in 2009 in order to control invasive species on the farm, namely Multiflora Rose. In addition to being avid consumers of brushy, invasive species, goats are especially well-suited to the rocky, hilly landscape of the Hudson Valley. We currently maintain a herd of 15 does (female goats) who give birth to approximately 25 kids each year, typically in March. Our herd is a mix of meat and dairy breeds, including Boer, La Mancha and, more recently, Kiko. Boer and Kiko are both considered meat breeds, producing larger framed kids, while La Mancha is a dairy breed that produces abundant, high quality milk. Having a cross between Kiko, Boer and La Mancha helps ensure prolific milk production for our kids while also producing well-muscled carcasses at the end of the season.

Similar to our lambs, kids are weaned at three months of age. (Our kids are self-weaned, which means we do not separate them from their mothers to wean.  Their mothers gradually “freshen” on their own.) They receive a small supplement of local, non-GMO grain at weaning time to ease the stress associated with weaning. In the warmer months of the year, we rotationally graze our herd through brushy areas to ensure our goats have plenty of forage to consume, while also mitigating the spread of invasive species. They are moved to a new paddock every three or four days. Goats prefer to eat forage like grape vines and the invasive Multiflora Rose in part because there are tannins in these plants that aid in preventing internal parasites. During the winter, our goats are kept warm in our spacious barn with continual access to high quality hay and fresh water. The breeding does receive a small supplement of local, non-GMO grain during late pregnancy and early lactation, when their nutritional needs are at their highest.

Because kids grow more slowly than lambs, we overwinter our kids so they can graze for two full seasons before being processed. This provides for a larger carcass with heftier cuts of meat.