Good Animal Welfare is Important to Us
Cows are meant to be outside to roam and graze. At Coastal Cattle we believe that the welfare of our beef cattle begin and end with our family. Our family has been on the same farm for over 200 years, growing crops and livestock. Our children participate in our local 4-H livestock club and they have always had a great love for all animals. It isn't uncommon to find one of our kids in a pasture playing with a calf or scratching a cow.
From birth through their end of life, all our cattle remain on pasture and receive hands on inspection by our family to ensure they are healthy. We employ good husbandry practices to ensure all the cattle are safe and we allow our herd to breed naturally. By raising our livestock on pasture, we enable our animals to move freely, engage in instinctive behaviors, consume a natural diet, and avoid the stress and illness associated with confinement.
We practice rotational grazing and also raise hay on our farm. By allowing the herd to rotate between different fields, we ensure a diverse natural diet. Different grasses, legumes and hay varieties are planted on different pastures. This allows the cattle to have full grazing throughout the year as well as our own grown hay in the winter.
In addition to raising our cattle on pasture, we also feed mash (spent brewers grain) that we get from Commonwealth Brewing Company, Tarnished Truth Distilling Company and Back Bay's Farmhouse Brewing Co, all located right here in Virginia Beach, VA. Its this perfect pairing of grass and grain to produce full flavor, beautifully marbled meat.
The mash provides a nice high-protein supplement for the cows and the breweries and as well as the distillery need to discard their mash. Not only are we helping the environment by re-purposing the grain mash, but the cows absolutely love it! We feed the mash daily which helps our pastures out a bit and increases our interaction with them -- a huge benefit that creates calm cattle and significantly decreases stress associated with handling. Studies show that a calm, content cow has reduced stress hormones and will produce more tender meat.
We do not add any additional hormones to our herd and we strive to not use any antibiotics, yet we can not stand to see an animal suffer in any fashion. Antibiotics are only used in strict circumstances if an animal is extremely sick or injured. In these rare cases we keep a careful record of the animal and it is processed separately and will not carry the label of raised without antibiotics.