We try not to complain about the weather, because the season is never going to be exactly as we’d like it, but we do think a lot about it; because we make daily management decisions based on the current, previous and forecast weather.
This winter has been the wettest on record for our region. We talked about the effect this had on the lambs in September, and we’ve decided that both the lambs and cattle aren’t fit to be killed this month. As the days get hotter we have grass and clover everywhere and by December, we are confident that they will be in great shape.
Lots of rain is usually a good thing, so we got caught out a little this year. The combination of wet ground and cold weather meant that what feed was available contained a lot of water and the animals could only physically consume enough for maintenance, not enough to keep their fat cover, which is required to make the meat good. They had plenty of protein in their diet, but they really struggled to eat enough carbohydrate to keep them warm, so they burned up all their fat.
As we don’t use supplementary feed, our meat always varies according to the season, but we’re comfortable with this; we feel that meat should change throughout the year as the animals bodies adapt to the conditions.
We’d also like to thank all our customers who’ve stuck with us through the winter as the meat got leaner and for understanding that producing meat naturally, as we do, means we’ll occasionally run into problems like this. We look forward to seeing you all in December, when all should be back to normal.