We only use heritage native breed cattle for our meat here. Heritage breeds are breeds which have been established in the United Kingdom by farmers many generations before us. They are renowned the world over for their incredible flavoured beef, tenderness and the all important marbling. The cattle may not be as heavy as other breeds, meaning there is less beef yield from them overall, so prices tend to be a premium.
‘Continental’ breeds are from outside the UK and tend to be heavier, leaner and more muscular. Because of the higher yield, they typically are used in cheaper cuts of beef. Also, as they are leaner and muscular, you won’t enjoy the juicy, incredible depth of flavour you get from native breeds nor the tender texture.
We breed primarily Aberdeen Angus cattle here. We love the flavour and texture from their beef and they work well with our land. We also breed Hereford and Shorthorn occasionally. Be sure to sign up for our emails so you don’t miss out on some limited edition beef from our rarer native breeds!
Grazing the Northern Ireland countryside, our mothers/breeding cows enjoy a lush diet, converting into milk - the best nutrition for their young calves. Developing natural immunity from this milk, it minimises the use for any medication. Once the mother has reared the calf until around seven months, the mother’s milk is allowed to naturally dry up. If the calves are born in the winter, the mother and baby calf will enjoy a pen with bedding of warm, dry straw. We believe in less handling, allowing mothers and calves to bond naturally.
All our cattle enjoy a ‘stress free’ lifestyle. This is important for us, we love looking at happy cattle - you can tell if they are stressed or not happy! This stress free lifestyle involves spending at least seven months in the year roaming the lush countryside here in Northern Ireland.
We are based over 900ft above sea level, so in the winter, we bring the cattle into the warmer indoors to protect them from the snowy, harsher winters and heavy frost and also to protect the countryside and land for us and future generations. Cattle are heavy animals and are too hard on the land and can cause damage to the grass and soil, meaning we will have no silage for next winter and it could take years for the land to restore to its splendour. Our sheep graze all year - you’ll hear about them below.
While inside, our beef cattle live on warm straw or comfy, spongy matting on slats. Our cattle do not lie on bare concrete slats. Their waste falls through the slats, making them cleaner and creating a completely natural fertiliser for our ground in the Spring - nothing is wasted! Our cattle enjoy a nutritious, natural diet, including silage which we harvested during the summer months to prepare for the winter.
Silage is fermented grass which contains essential acids for optimal nutrition and ease of digestion (fermented foods are making a comeback in human diets too!). This is harvested from all our own land and stored on our farm. Silage ensures all our livestock can enjoy a grass fed diet, no matter the weather or the season!
This stress free lifestyle ensures the beef is in optimal condition with the optimal muscle tone. Spending a large majority of the year walking around the countryside ensures the beef has that marbling which you would expect from a native breed animal. This lifestyle also ensures the beef is not ‘bruised’ with overworking.
Nothing shows a happy, contented animal by watching them lying down and chewing their cud in the warm sunshine! Chewing cud also is beneficial for their health and immunity and ensures no vitamins or minerals are wasted from their feed.
We handle our cattle as little as possible - just allowing them to be themselves and be cattle! Believe it or not, they really are all different! With three generations living on the farm currently, and one generation living here before us, we have a high level of animal husbandry and use the skills passed down from generation to generation. Instinct with the old ways of just ‘knowing your cattle’ and knowing the first signs of ‘something not just right’ by sight leads to less handling, intervention and medication.
If medical attention is required, we only ever use qualified, approved local veterinarians and treat all animals humanely and respectfully.
We use only native breed sheep, not only for their incredible flavour, but also for their ability to live and adapt in the Northern Irish countryside. Our lambs spend all their time outside, roaming the lush countryside, enjoying a 100% grass fed diet.
We are based around 900ft above sea level, so we do get some picturesque snowy winters. By using native breed sheep, unlike our cattle, they don’t mind the cold spells or snow. If we feel their grass is getting low or is covered continuously with snow, we will give them some silage.
Sheep are also a lot ‘lighter’ on the ground, so they do not cause the damage that cattle do. Sheep grazing and their 'waste' help maintain the ground and landscape, leaving it in good order for the Spring time and the growth it brings.
Our lambs are around 10-12 months of age. With only minimal handling by us, our lambs and sheep are able to graze, sleep, roam and wander happily.
All our poultry is locally reared in Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland. The happy chickens are all barn-reared, not caged. We buy directly from the family farm, which has an abattoir directly on site. The farm undergoes regular inspections by the relevant organisations and the abattoir is also fully certified.
You will be able to taste the difference between happy, locally reared chicken and the EU versions which are so common on our shelves these days!
Our poultry is not pumped with water and contains no added chemicals, just pure, clean meat which you will taste the difference and get better value!
We only supply pork from local farms. This is important to support Northern Irish farmers and also ensure the animals are kept humanely. Our pork comes from various different breeds, but our local suppliers ensure the finest quality.
The pigs are taken to approved abattoirs where they are treated with respect and dignity. They will also be inspected by a government appointed, impartial vet to ensure they are fit and healthy and look for signs of neglect.
Traceability & Butchery
We ensure all our animals are pre-stunned.
This is something we feel strongly about for the welfare of our animals, giving them the dignity they respect and completely minimising unnecessary pain. Our meat is not Halal approved.
We comply with all government guidance for our labelling. We have sought guidance from professional bodies and organisations to ensure complete compliance. Our labels are also inspected regularly to ensure they are up to date with any changes in legislation. What you see on the labels will be accurate and you can know exactly what you are putting on your plate and feeding your family.
We use a local, farmyard based, abattoir in Northern Ireland, using modern equipment and meeting all relevant standards for our home reared sheep and cattle. As a small business, we take our home-reared animals directly to the abattoir and see first-hand the standards. Reducing stress and having control over the slaughter process is vital for us. The animals are also checked on arrival by an government appointed, impartial Veterinarian to ensure they are well and in fit condition. The animals will be pre-stunned and slaughtered in a humane way.
Our butcher has experience for over 20 years, winning awards for their skills. All our beef is aged and hung for a minimum of 21 days, with some cuts even longer. Our butcher knows the exact best time of maturation, ensuring you get only the best on your plate!