We have a small herd of beef cows here on the farm. They serve several purposes on the farm plus supply beef for our customers - especially during the winter months. This picture shows the cows in the spring while the calves are still young.
How we Feed Our Cows
Our cows are fed grass and other forages. In the fall they help us by eating residues left from the summer vegetable crops. We do not feed grain to the cows. They are herbivores which means their bodies are designed to eat grass - not grains. In the wild, the ancestors to cows and other similar type animals traveled in large herds utilizing the forages very effectively and building soil fertility. The Bison on the plains of North America created some of the richest farmland in the world as they grazed in large herds. It is not possible for us to simulate this exactly, but we can come close by moving them onto fresh pasture routinely. This gives them a balanced diet and fresh grass allowing them to grow quickly in a healthy manner while allowing the grass the rest period needed to sustain healthy vigorous regrowth.
The Purpose of the Cows on the Farm
Our farm is about 108 acres and of this there are about 400 acres that are best suited to grazing. The cows are on the farm to do this work for us and utilize these areas of the farm plus help to clean up vegetable crop residues left from the summer crops. We chose beef cows because they are relatively easy to care for and to fence in. They do their work without taking away too much time from our core operation which is the vegetables for our boxes and roadside stand.
This photo was taken September 3 of a calf that is only about 4 months old. Even though born later in the season than at most farms, they grow very quickly and look great on the fresh grass and open air of pasture.