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Traditional Quality Beef and Lamb straight from the heart of Hertfordshire

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  • Farm

    All our cattle are born and bred as naturally as possible on our farms at Hertford Heath. Our own selective breeding since the 80s has led us today, to a Hereford/Simmental herd of single-suckler beef cattle running with an Aberdeen Angus Bull.

    This cross-breeding has created a relatively placid herd with a large form and delicious flavour from the Angus – traditionally a very small breed of cattle. We farm all of our cattle extensively, not intensively. They forage on open pasture and meadowland and at the King’s Meads Nature Reserve.

    We always transport our own cattle to the abattoir, ensuring they remain calm and correctly cared for. All year round, our herds are fed and bedded down on fresh pasture land, with complimentary feed of home grown silage, maize and straw from our own arable farms. This ensures minimum food miles, reducing costs and preserving a full sustainability environment which enables us to produce high-welfare produce.

    Beef Production Annual Cycle

    We run a suckler beef herd, of mainly Hereford and Simmental Cross cows whereby each cow has a calf (sometimes two) each year. The gestation period for a cow is nine months. When each calf is born it is given an ear tag to identify it from another calf. A passport is then issued for each calf with details of the mother, father, breed, sex and date of birth; this stays with the animal for its entire life for traceability. The male calves are castrated at birth to produce ‘steers’ not ‘bulls’ which in turn gives a more mature flavour to the animal. Each calf is also de-horned at birth to safeguard the other animals and the handlers!

    The calves stay with their mother for the first six to eight months on the grass fields around the farm before being weaned off. This gives the mother time to build herself into good condition for the next calving season.

    We have our own bull to put with the cows and calves from May onwards to get the cows in calf for next year. During the calves’ first winter they are housed in loose straw yards and fed on grass silage (preserved grass from the summer months). As soon as the weather permits – about March – they are back out on our Hertfordshire grazing pastures, before coming back in for the winter where they are fattened up or ‘finished’ on forage maize (field sweetcorn) and rolled cereal mix (all home grown).

    Goats

    Goat farming involves raising and breeding of domestic goats, although goats are essential and a great choice for rearing meat and milk for cheese here at Foxholes Farm we keep goats more for grazing. Goats are very suited for low grazing land and are also suited sharing pens with other livestock. Our goats are homed in the farm park for visitors to enjoy seeing them in their pens getting up to mischief. We house a few breeds from the Boer to Pygmy goats  …. Although our goats are not for consumption, goat meat is very low in fat, low in cholesterol and high in calcium and iron.

    The Kitchen Garden

    The ‘Humble Herbs’ kitchen garden is situated within the Farm. This plot is home to a seasonal, fully sustainable with a no-dig method of growing. Crops are planted in a no-dig regime so the beds can be reached from narrow pathways and the beds are not trodden with heavy feet. The weeds are controlled by shallow hoeing, hand-weeding and mulching, so no pesticides are used and minimal disturbance is used. The kitchen garden grows on the farm seasonal herbs, salads, edibles flowers and a small amount of vegetables and produces honey from it’s bee hives in which the bees pollinate the crops. A plot to plate ethos with zero food miles.

     

     

    The Immature Garden

    The Immature garden pride themselves with the immense potential that microgreens have improving one’s health in an accessible way. These microgreens bring the very best and healthiest produce to the market to make sure those who want to take advantage of the benefits can do so with ease. Adding your 5 vegetable a day to your diet has never been easier, grown on the farm and also supplying the farm shop.

    Poultry

    Every year we raise enough birds to keep up our egg production here at the farm. Chickens, ducks, guinea fowl and geese run freely on our farm giving them a healthy happy life and to ensure we have enough egg production to supply our farm shop. We have mixed breeds to ensure a good variety of eggs and even some chicks at Easter time too.

    Visit the chickens in the farmyard

    Lambing Season.

    In the spring our barn becomes a maternity ward. We have approx over 200 ewes waiting to lamb, our farm team nurse our ewes day and night making sure they are looked after to the highest standard. We open up our farm barn to our visitors to come and see our working farm in all it’s glory, which is always a huge attraction to all who visit learning and educating our visitors how the lambing process works is key to our farm ethos. When the lambs are a healthy weight we then place the lambs in our paddocks to enjoy the lush green grass and the freedom of space. Visit our Farm Park page for events..

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