British White Cattle are renown to be so closely linked to their wild descendants that they still hold many distinctive characteristics and natural instincts that have been bred out of a lot of domestic breeds over the years.
One of these are their natural foraging ability, with an amazing feed conversion rate and ability to adjust through all seasonal conditions.
Just recently they have been re introduced into an ancient Oak Forest in the UK that was struggling to regenerate, and bringing the cattle back in has given the forest new life and diversity.
The same can be said for using the British Whites for regenerative farming methods.
Natalie Hardy & Jonathan Hurst at Brooklands Free Range Farms in Blampied breed and raise Grass Fed British White Beef and have been regenerative farming for the last 7 years, using both their Berkshire Pigs and British White Cattle.
“We move the cattle on a strip grazing method, graze the pasture to a certain level, then move onto the next fresh area, back stripping for soil regeneration, one area that we have been grazing this method, native perennial grasses have started to return this spring, which is very exciting.
“We are also looking into Planned Grazing Management Systems through Graham Hand and Colin Seis, as well as Allan Savory, which are based on a calculation of days grazing throughout the year, factoring in everything else that farming throws at you as a family. “
“We find the easygoing, quiet nature of the British Whites are ideal for this system. We are experimenting with multispecies pastures, which we drill seed cover crops after grazing, and also a mix of herbs to give the soil, and cattle diversity. We have a trial paddock set up whereby we will be weighing cattle after grazing each strip. “
With moving the cattle each few days, their temperament makes the job so easy, they also lease some land where they continue these grazing methods, so transport them from property to property that they even seem to enjoy the ride and never an issue at loading time, making the eventual transport to the local abattoir stress free.
The breeding herd are grazed through paddock rations on 80 acres, with some natural forest and springs areas which are used for calving. They have some very old Hawthorn Forests in this area and often find the cattle nibbling the berries pre calving. The berries are known as excellent for your heart, circulation and full of antioxidants which these girls seem to know, and would be native to their natural UK environment. “We often find a group of cows minding the new calves around this area, whilst allowing the cows that have just calved some time to eat and regain energy”.
Brooklands Free Range Farms – Blampied, Victoria