Our Beef Herd
The Beatbush beef herd was founded in the autumn of 1999 with the purchase of 52 Limousin cross Friesian heifers and two Aberdeen Angus bulls.
The hardiness of the Aberdeen Angus cross fits very well with our system. The cattle seem happiest when they are outside even when the weather is awful. It is necessary to bring them inside for a short period of time in the winter however, because of the damage they can do to wet land. We make enough clover rich hay to sustain them through the winter and they seem to thrive on this simple system.
The majority of the calves are born in the Spring as nature intended so that the cows can take advantage of the flush of Spring grass to produce lots of milk for their hungry offspring. The calves are weaned in the Autumn and spend the winter housed on deep straw beds.
Our Sheep Flock
The purchase of High Fen in 2004 led to change in our sheep system. We needed to find a breed of sheep that would fit in with the conditions of the environmental schemes we are involved in and still produce high quality lamb.
We chose the Romney, a British breed of sheep which are becoming more popular recently in this country as attitudes move away from the high input breeds that need feeding lots of concentrates back to the traditional sheep that thrived on grass based systems.
We started using New Zealand Romney Rams on our ewes in 2007 and this has produced a slightly smaller hardier sheep that is ideal for the environment we have at High Fen. We breed all our own replacement ewes and so know that ewe lambs joining the flock have already proved they are well suited to the farm.
Once a year we buy in Rams and are careful in our selection. Not only must they come from high health status stock they must also be able to pass on the qualities we require in our ewes in the future.
2004 saw the start of poultry production at Brook Hall Farm. Day old Legarth geese arrived in May followed by Bronze turkeys in June.
The geese spend 2 weeks inside under heat lamps that are gradually raised as they grew stronger. They are then moved to a portable house in a clover rich pasture. The house is unused all summer.
The turkeys spend slightly longer in the heated building as they take slightly longer to feather and harden up. When they areready we move them to a barn where they have access to a paddock during the day and are shut up at night.