We are a working beef farm devoted to breeding pasture fed Red Ruby Devon cattle along with a small flock of Lleyn sheep. We have a total 170 acres, of which about 110 acres is pasture grazed by our cattle and sheep or cut to make hay or silage for the animals in the winter.
Red Ruby Devon
Red Ruby Devon cattle are a native pedigree beef breed. They are docile, hardy and easy-calving breed and they finish well on grass. As such they are a great match for our approach to raising beef cattle here at Treathro. The breed is recognised internationally for its ability to produce the very finest beef on a low input system.
The Red Ruby Devon is ideally suited to sustainable farming practices that are sensitive to the environment and is recognised by many conservation organisations as being a preferred breed of cattle for grazing land with conservation value.
This first group of 8 arrived here on November 2017 from Northmoor in Oxfordshire with our bull (Sorceror from Bollowal in Cornwall) arriving in June 2018.
Lleyn sheep are a native sheep breed. They seem to be the sheep equivalent of the Red Devon cattle… docile, hardy and easy-lambing, milky ewes. They cross well with a Texel ram to produce meaty lambs that finish well on grass. They follow our cattle on the grazing at Treathro.
This first group of 15 ewes arrived here in April 2018 and a year-old Texel ram (Trevor) early May all from local farms. We now have 50 Lleyn ewes.
Our first 40 lambs were born in March 2019 and have done well.
We farm to produce fantastic beef and lamb from animals raised 100% on grass on our wonderful Pembrokeshire coastal fields. The animals’ welfare and the natural improvement of the land are our highest priorities.
Let them eat grass!
All our animals are raised in the most natural way that we can. That means letting them eat grass out in the fields for the whole of their lives. We don’t feed anything other than grass or the hay or silage that we make in our own fields for the winter months.
The aim is to produce meat that is lower levels of total fat, higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids, higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and Higher vitamin and mineral levels (compared to grain-fed animals).
In December 2017, we joined the Pasture Fed Livestock Association to both support their aims and to learn from the experience of the other members. We are committed to letting our cattle and sheep mature slowly on the great Pembrokeshire grass. For more information about PFLA, go to https://www.pastureforlife.org
Less is more
The whole environment we are trying to create is one of low intensity. So each animal has lots of space in the field and we don’t keep animals inside (except in exceptional winter weather). We also look to improve the land through the natural grazing process. The animals eat some, trample some and leave natural manure before moving to the next area. This tries to mimic the way animals behave in the wild.
Our animals are not pushed to gain weight in as short a time as possible (as many high-intensity farms would do, and certainly how most cattle are raised in USA and elsewhere). Instead, we let them grow naturally on the Pembrokeshire grass. We don’t let the markets drive us. The cattle and lambs are ready when they are ready.