Each year our cows produce calves which are born in March and April. These calves are then reared by their mothers outdoors over the following spring and summer months on a diet of milk and grass. During the autumn, the calves are gradually introduced to home grown barley to supplement their diets before being brought inside for the winter where they are housed on straw bedding and fed home grown silage, hay and barley.
All our beef comes from animals that have had two summers at grass. To achieve our target of producing the finest tastiest beef we take great care in selecting an animal for the table. A close eye is kept on the performance of the cattle which are then carefully selected for butchering only when showing the correct level of fat cover. Our cattle are taken to a small family abattoir where the beef is hung for four weeks. It is this maturing process that imparts wonderful flavour to the beef. After being hung, the sides are butchered and the beef is vacuum packed and labelled before being put into 13kg boxes.
The South Devon Breed
The South Devon of today originated in South West England, in an area of Devon known as the South Hams from where they spread right across the counties of Devon and Cornwall. Their predecessors were taken from the port of Plymouth to the North American colonies in considerable numbers, including a few on the Mayflower in 1620. During the Napoleonic wars the South Devon supplied the needs of the Royal Navy. The main expansion of the breed across the whole of the country did not happen until the 20th century.
The South Devon had established as a breed by the year 1800. With a light red coat, they were powerfully built and supplied rich milk and good beef, finely grained and marbled, and were relied upon to pull ploughshares until well into the 19th century. During the middle years of that century careful selection of breeding stock improved the breed considerably.