Nice to “Meat” You

06 February 2020

January was a busy month with livestock work. We are part of the Scottish Premium Health Scheme, which requires breeding stock and youngstock to be tested for various diseases which affect both performance and the long-term heath of the Scottish herds.

We also pregnancy diagnose all breeding cows to identify those which are in calf and the number of calves they are carrying. This not only helps us keep an eye on the cows with twins at calving time, but also amend their diet in the run up to calving ensuring enough energy.

Ewes are scanned for the same reason and those carrying twins and triplets will be fed additional cereal in the few weeks before lambing. However – we have a rogue tup lamb somewhere in the neighbourhood as our first lamb was born on 3rd February – a full 5 weeks before the planned start date. Let’s hope the early lamb is a one off!!!

Vaccinations and routine foot trimming have also added to the seasonal work. We are grateful for some fantastic handling pens to control livestock. Our cattle pens were designed by Temple Grandon, a US livestock behavioural adviser, who understands what make livestock react with either “Flight or Fright” behaviour. With her help, our system is gentle on cattle and people.

At Bowhouse, we are making some changes to the food production units. With both Bibby and Minick the butcher moving out of the spaces to concentrate on other parts of their businesses, we have taken the opportunity to develop our own butchery and meat hanging space. We are delighted to have Sophie Cumber join the Balcaskie team and look forward to her “Meat Sophie” enterprise getting up and running in March.

A visit from Queen Margaret University, Gastronomy Masters students to Balcaskie, Bowhouse and the Kinneuchar Inn, brought an opportunity for us to explain how we farm, curate a rural estate and bring some truly amazing food to the table with co-operation and shared passion.

Share this