The story behind our amazing beef

Tuesday 8th March, 2016

We're always pretty excited with the quality of our Koallah Farm beef, but we're extra excited this week with one of our newly bred lines reaching the processing weight.

Traditionally, we've grown mostly Shorthorn Hereford Cross cattle at the farm, but in the past year we've begun crossing our Hereford Cross cows with Charolais bulls. Pictured are the first lot these 10 month-old Charolais Hereford Cross cattle ready for processing today.

Our Simply Free Range moto is 'meat, the way nature intended' and we mean every word of it. These beef cattle were bred naturally in their paddock, with their mothers covered by a bull. The mothers carried them in our paddocks at a ratio of one cow and one calf to three acres. In addition to pasture, the cattle receive hay and silage harvested from our properties.

When calving time approaches, our cows are checked at 5.30am, midday, at 5pm and again at 10pm. If we need to render assistance with a calving we do, but in the vast majority of cases the calves are born naturally in their paddocks.

The first 24 hours are very important for a calf, which needs a good feed of its mother's colostrum. Colostrum contains important antibodies which protect the calf from disease. While some farmers intervene in this process, we leave it to nature and the success rate is excellent.

After about three weeks the calves will begin to eat grass from the paddocks and hay and silage when they want to. They remain with their mother and drink from her right through to processing. The cattle pictured here, for processing today, fed from their mothers until yesterday.

Sometimes seasonal conditions can make it very difficult to grow beef cattle to the standard our customers deserve.

If necessary, we can now supplement their feed with a specially designed pellet that meets pasture-fed certification guidelines. These animals didn't require it and reached our target 420kg weight on their mother's milk, pasture and fodder alone.

These cattle were separated from their mothers late yesterday and travelled less than 2km to our on-farm boutique abattoir at Koallah Farm. They spent last night together in a large soft floor pen. Cattle that spend nights on concrete can become stressed and get quite sore hooves and legs which can impact meat tenderness.

They were handled respectfully and processed by our own staff in our accredited facility at 6am this morning. The carcasses will be aged for about 10 days before being butchered for online orders and our shops in Mt Waverley and Rosanna.

Incidentally, their mothers are already about seven months pregnant with their next calf. They now dry off naturally and have two months to put all their energy into the health of their new calf before it is born and the process starts again.

So that's what we mean when we talk about pasture fed, free range beef. To us it means no antibiotics, no added hormones and plenty of wide open space where nature can take its course.


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