Therefore, we are continuously looking at ways to improve their system.
Calf welfare is key to ensuring efficient growth and promoting good health. These factors ensures our model is efficient and produces consistent, high quality calves for our finishers and ultimately a high quality product for the consumer.
Calves are very sensitive to the environment they are in, particularly any temperature and humidity changes.
We have invested in temperature and humidity monitors to constantly check the environment in the calf sheds. This, coupled with weather station data, milk machine data and health data allows our calf rearers to make informed decisions based on the data available.
We are promoting the use of data to make informed decisions on all our rearing units.
Therefore, we are working with our calf rearers to find practical solutions to improve connectivity on their units, including upgrading milk machines and installing wifi to remotely access the calf data, allowing both the rearers and our team to be working smarter, not harder.
For any cattle to be profitable they need to grow efficiently and the way that they are fed will have a significant influence on the characteristics of the meat that is being produced.
We have been involved in cattle feeding trials which have set out to determine the best way to feed cattle to produce top quality meat, and as a result of this work the Blade contracts have specific requirements for the feeding of cattle.
For example, Blade Aberdeen Angus cattle must be grazed for at least 6 months during their lifetime, and finished on a forage and cereal based diet. Properly balanced, these requirements are proven to produce well coloured, tasty succulent meat at a young age.
We encourage all our Producers to ensure that rations maximize home grown inputs, are correctly balanced and are cost effective. Well managed rations will significantly reduce the number of days to slaughter and have a major influence on enterprise profitability.
We uses a network of dairy farmers to supply good quality young calves at 14 days of age. We have breeding schemes in place using the best genetics available and encourage our calf suppliers to take advantage of these genetics to produce calves that will command a premium in the marketplace.
More recently we have secured Aberdeen Angus genetics using DNA tested sires that are proven to have some of the best growth potential and eating quality in the world.