Meadow Quality and their rearers had a great visit to a fully integrated supply chain with one of the UK’s leading beef finishers. The day included a look at the future requirements of the consumer, their needs and perception of the UK beef industry. Further discussions included betterment of the supply chains health, welfare and its progressive performance. All calves are BVD screened and their weight for age is monitored on a traffic light system , where reds are ejected from the chain.
All the British Blue reared calves are being DNA tested to ascertain the identity of their sire so we can measure their performance in a commercial cattle environment. High performance indicates good health, lower carbon emissions, less days on farm, better food conversion ratio and a younger beast at slaughter that fits consumers requirements.
The reared calves are housed in outdoor yards sheltered by big square bales that have shelters built into them for the cattle to take cover in heavy rain. Antibiotics are monitored and measured against 32 other cattle businesses, none of which house outside. This unit however is the lowest user of antibiotics despite it being the largest beef producer in the group. Fresh air and draught protection pays both in performance and health.
Our next step is to engage with dairy producers to use the bulls identified as the best converters with high health status. Helping both the producer and finisher raise a strong resilient animal that will finish earlier and as an industry we can further reduce our carbon footprint and antibiotic consumption.