Our Red Ruby Devon cattle have been moved onto the fields of kale and rape this week. It has been a mild autumn on the whole and, while it has still been wetter than we might have wanted, the autumn of 2020 has been a lot less wet than last year. So up until now the cattle have been out in the fields, grazing the last of the grass, albeit with ring feeders to provide them with supplementary haylage to top up their rations.
The field of kale was planted in the summer and, because we planted what is known as a “marrow stem variety”, the plants have thick nutritious stems full of fibre that the cattle eat. And, because it has been a good growing year, the plants are now 3-4 feet tall with large heads of tasty leaves.
The field of rape at Grabbishaw farm was planted much later, but has grown rapidly and now is ready to feed, providing the cattle with good, nutritious winter feed.
The cattle “strip graze” the kale and rape. This means that they receive a narrow strip each day so that they eat it properly, without trampling good food, as would happen if they were given the whole field to roam over.
As many of you will know, kale is now classed as a “super food” for humans because it is highly nutritious, full of fibre, antioxidants, vitamins and trace elements.
And because we value the well-being of our animals so much, we believe that they should have the very best. That means a good feed of kale every day in winter!