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Keeping ahead of the herd

PUBLISHED: 10:22 23 November 2010 | UPDATED: 18:12 20 February 2013

Keeping ahead of the herd

Keeping ahead of the herd

Richard Bryson visits some very contented Suffolk cattle

Richard Bryson visits some very contented Suffolk cattle

How many chefs can boast that they are using meat farmed just down the road on the restaurant owners land? Thats the case at the EADT Suffolk food and drink award winning restaurant, the Bildeston Crown.
Landowner and businessman, James Buckle, has Red Poll cattle grazing on his fields surrounding Bildeston and the herd is looked after by his livestock manager, Michael Mumford. He says the indigenous breed is smaller than average and take 18-26 months to finish and so even keeping pace with the demands of the Crown is quite a challenge.
Michael explains: The herd at the moment consists of 23 cows. In the summer and autumn they will be seen grazing the Chelsworth and Bildeston water meadows. Calves are weaned in November and spend their first winter housed, feeding on our own grass silage just to keep them growing, not to fatten.
In their second summer the calves are turned out to grass in the spring and graze mainly in Chelsworth Park. Good performing calves can finish straight off grass; the remainder are housed for the second winter and fed a ration of mainly silage and grain beet to finish weight.
Says James Buckle: I have immense satisfaction seeing one of my farm-reared animals not having to leave Suffolk, and indeed, only having to travel a matter of miles in the whole process of preparing it for the table.
The Red Poll cow is derived from the original cattle of Norfolk and Suffolk.
The Norfolk cow, which was a beef type and frequently blood red in colour, was crossed with the Suffolk polled bull, from an excellent dairy breed of predominantly dun coloured cows.
With its long traditions of both dairy and beef qualities the Red Poll has become one of the original native dual purpose breeds.

The Bildeston Crown

104 High Street
Bildeston, Suffolk IP7 7EB
01449 740 510


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