Haldimand County’s Pasture-Raised Beef – A Cut Above the Rest

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Introduction to Our Family Farms

We source our AAA Ontario beef from family run farms in picturesque Haldimand County, known for its rolling hills and lush countryside. They are small, multi-generational farms that has been raising cattle here for over 50 years. Our philosophy is simple – raise happy, healthy cattle in their natural environment.

We believe deeply in sustainable, ethical farming practices. Our cattle are never given added hormones or routine antibiotics. They spend their days roaming freely on our green pastures, living as nature intended. We take great pride in being stewards of the land and providing our cattle with an idyllic, stress-free lifestyle.

Cattle Breeds

Hereford

The Hereford breed originated from Herefordshire, England in the 1700s. Herefords are known for their red bodies and distinctive white faces. They are docile, adaptable cattle that do well on pasture and have excellent marbling qualities.

Some key characteristics of Herefords:

  • Hardy, adaptable breed that thrives outdoors on pasture
  • Docile temperament
  • Highly fertile cows that calve easily
  • Excellent foraging ability
  • Lean beef with heavy marbling for tenderness

Herefords first came to Canada in 1872 and were originally used as draft animals. Today, they are raised primarily for their high-quality beef.

Angus

Angus cattle originated from Aberdeen and Angus counties in Scotland. They are all black, polled (naturally hornless) cattle known for producing flavourful, marbled beef.

Some key traits of Angus cattle:

  • Naturally polled and solid black coat
  • Fine-textured premium beef, well-marbled
  • Docile temperament
  • High fertility and calving ease
  • Adaptable to various climates and terrains
  • Excellent maternal instincts and milking ability

Angus cattle first arrived in Canada in 1860. They are now the most popular beef breed in North America due to their easy-care nature, high carcass yields, and desirable beef qualities.

Pasture-Raised

The cattle at our family farms enjoy the benefits of being pasture-raised. They spend their days roaming freely on lush green pastures during the spring, summer, and fall. Our pastures consist of a diverse mix of grasses, legumes, and herbs that provide the cattle with a rich and balanced diet.

Being raised on pasture allows the cattle to exhibit their natural behaviours like grazing, exploring, and interacting with one another. It’s a stress-free lifestyle that contributes to the cattle’s overall health and wellbeing. Research shows that cattle raised on pasture produce meat with higher levels of antioxidants and a more balanced ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fatty acids compared to conventionally raised beef.

Our verdant pastures span over many acres of rolling countryside in Haldimand County. The cattle graze on a rotating basis so the grasses have time to regrow and regenerate between grazing sessions. This sustainable practice maintains the lush condition of the pastures. When winter arrives, the cattle are sheltered and fed hay harvested from these same pastures during the warmer months. This nutritious hay provides a natural extension of the grass-fed diet they enjoy all season long.

Feeding and Diet

Our cattle are raised on a natural, wholesome diet to ensure the highest quality beef. They spend the first two years of their lives roaming and grazing on lush green pastures. This allows them to grow strong while developing lean muscle mass.

During the last 100 days before processing, they are finished on a balanced diet of mixed grains. This ensures the intramuscular fat develops evenly throughout, creating the perfect marbling that Haldimand County Beef is known for. The result is a tender cut of meat.

No hormones or antibiotics are ever administered. The cattle develop naturally while feeding on grass, hay, and grain. This diet optimizes their health and welfare from birth through processing. We avoid non-therapeutic treatments to produce the healthiest, natural beef possible.

Free-Range Lifestyle

The cattle enjoy a free-range lifestyle, spending their days roaming freely on lush green pastures during the spring, summer, and fall seasons. This allows them to graze on natural grasses and plants, which provides a diverse and nutrient-rich diet.

When winter arrives, the cattle are moved into barns where they are fed hay. The barns provide shelter and protection from harsh weather, while allowing the cattle to continue roaming freely in a comfortable environment. Care is taken to ensure the barns are kept clean, dry, and well-ventilated for the health and welfare of the cattle throughout the winter months.

This natural, free-range lifestyle of grazing on pastures in the warmer months and resting in barns during winter allows the cattle to grow strong, healthy and stress-free. The varied movement and diet support their natural behaviours and contributes to high-quality, flavourful beef.

Hand-Selected Cattle

Our cattle are carefully hand-picked to meet our strict quality standards for flavour, tenderness and health. We source only the highest quality Angus and Hereford breeds that are perfectly suited for our region’s lush pastures and artisanal approach.

Each animal is meticulously selected based on breed, conformation, temperament and health. We reject any cattle that show signs of illness, injury or aggression. This ensures that only the best cattle make it into our program.

By hand-selecting cattle from trusted local sources, we guarantee that our beef meets our unwaveringly high standards. Every cut you enjoy from our farm is tender, delicious and ethically raised without exception. Our hand-selection process is a true farm-to-table approach that delivers premium flavour in every bite.

Processing Facility

Our cattle are processed in a state-of-the-art production facility. Each carcass is custom cut to our specifications then vacuum packed to lock in freshness and flavours.

The beef is aged in climate-controlled coolers for a minimum of 45 days before fabrication. Aging allows the natural enzymatic and biochemical processes to enhance the flavours, texture and tenderness of the beef. The beef is trimmed and portioned by master butchers into premium cuts like ribeyes, tenderloins, and NY strips.

Each cut is then vacuum sealed to prevent any moisture loss and protect the beef from freezer burn. Vacuum sealing also prevents any exposure to oxygen which could lead to off flavours or spoilage. The result is incredibly tender, beautifully marbled, and richly flavoured cuts of beef that are then shipped directly to your door. Our state-of-the-art facility combines old world aging techniques with the latest technology to produce the highest quality beef available.

Marbling and Tenderness

Grain finishing is a key step that contributes to the perfect marbling and tenderness of the beef. The cattle spend most of their lives roaming and grazing on lush pastures. However, during the last 100 days before processing, they are finished on a diet of mixed grains. This grain finishing serves an important purpose – it ensures the intramuscular fat, known as marbling, develops evenly throughout the cuts of meat.

Marbling is the flecks and streaks of fat within the lean muscle. It’s not visible externally on the meat, only in the cross-section. But it has a tremendous impact on taste and tenderness. The extensive marbling results in a juicy and flavourful steak that literally melts in your mouth. Marbling adds a richness and depth of flavour while making the meat more tender. The generous marbling achieved through grain finishing takes this beef to the peak of perfection.

The beef you’ve chosen is of the highest quality and raised with great care. Raised on small family farms in Haldimand County, the cattle enjoy idyllic pastures in the warmer months and are fed nutritious hay in winter. Comprised of Hereford and Angus breeds, the cattle are never given added hormones or antibiotics.

After two years grazing on lush green grass, they are finished on a diet of mixed grains. This ensures the beef is perfectly marbled and tender. Each cow is hand-selected to meet stringent requirements.

The beef is then aged in a state-of-the-art facility before being custom cut and vacuum packed. You can rest assured that every step from farm to table is designed to produce the most flavourful, tender and nutritious beef. We are proud to provide beef raised in a sustainable, ethical and natural way.

We hope you’ll choose our pasture-raised beef again soon. Your purchase supports local family farms and humane cattle farming practices.

Heritage and Characteristics: The Enduring Appeal of Hereford Cattle

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Introduction

The Hereford breed is a heritage breed of beef cattle that has played an integral role in Canada’s beef industry for over a century. Herefords first came to Canada from England in the 1860s and were originally used as work oxen on farms and ranches across the Prairies.

However, it was not until the 1880s that Herefords began to be raised specifically for beef production, thanks to their excellent traits as a beef breed. The first major influx of Hereford cattle came in 1876 when George Lane imported a herd of Herefords to his Bow Park Ranch in Alberta. These cattle proved hardy, fertile, and quick to fatten on the native grasses.

Within a few decades, Herefords had surpassed Shorthorns as the predominant beef breed in Canada due to their ability to thrive in harsh winters and make efficient use of rangeland forage. The Canadian Hereford Association was established in 1896 to maintain breed standards and facilitate the exchange of breeding stock.

Today, Hereford cattle remain an integral part of the Canadian beef industry and a symbol of Canada’s ranching heritage. Both purebred and commercial Hereford operations can be found across the country.

Origins

The Hereford breed originated in Herefordshire, England in the 1700s. Cattle farmers in the region worked to develop the breed by selecting cattle with desirable traits such as fertility, mothering ability, hardiness, and efficiency converting grass to beef.

The first Herefords were likely imported to Canada in the 1860s by early British settlers. However, it was not until the 1880s that larger numbers of Herefords began to be brought over from England to Canada by ranchers. The breed was well-suited to the prairie grasslands and quickly became popular, spreading across the Prairies and Western Canada.

By the early 1900s, Hereford cattle were well established in Canada and ranchers began forming breed associations and registering purebred herds. The breed contributed greatly to the expansion of the Canadian beef cattle industry.

Breed Characteristics

Herefords are a beef cattle breed known for their rich red bodies and distinctive white faces. They are medium-sized cattle with compact, muscular frames.

  • Coloration – Herefords have red bodies that can range from a light red or cherry color to a darker red. Their heads, necks, legs, and bellies are white. This signature red and white color pattern is called “red whiteface” in the cattle industry.
  • Size – Hereford cows weigh 1,000 to 1,500 pounds on average. Bulls are larger, averaging from 1,800 to 2,400 pounds. Herefords are considered a medium-sized breed.
  • Temperament – Herefords are known for having a docile temperament. They are intelligent, eager to please, and very trainable. Their calm nature makes them excellent for first-time cattle owners.
  • Hardiness – Herefords are a hardy breed that adapts well to varied environmental conditions. They have thick hides and coats that allow them to thrive in cold winters. Their grazing ability and efficient metabolism also make them heat and drought tolerant.
  • Fertility – Hereford cows are fertile with a high conception rate. They breed back quickly after calving and have excellent maternal instincts.

Herefords are an all-around functional cattle breed valued for their docility, hardiness, fertility, and beef qualities. Their signature red and white colour pattern makes them iconic in the beef industry.

Advantages

The Hereford breed offers several key advantages that have contributed to its popularity and success in beef production.

  • Hardiness – Herefords are well-known for their ability to thrive in harsh conditions. They have a thick winter coat and can withstand extreme cold and heat. This makes them suitable for pasture-based operations with minimal shelter. Their hardiness also makes them less prone to illness and metabolic disorders.
  • Efficiency – Herefords are an efficient beef breed, converting grass and grain into lean beef with less waste. The breed matures early, reaching slaughter weight quicker than some breeds. Hereford cows are excellent mothers with a high fertility rate. They produce calves with vigour and plenty of muscle.
  • Marbling – Herefords produce beef with good intramuscular fat marbling, which enhances the flavour and juiciness of the meat. The marbling allows Hereford beef to meet consumer preferences for tasty, tender beef.
  • Calving Ease – Hereford bulls sire small calves that are born easily. This reduces calving difficulties and minimizes risk to the cow. Their calves also gain well after birth.
  • Disposition – Herefords are docile and gentle cattle, making them easy to manage. Their calm temperament reduces handling stress.

With their favourable traits, Herefords offer beef producers a hardy, trouble-free breed that delivers tasty, marketable beef. Their versatility and wide environmental tolerance have contributed greatly to the popularity of Herefords worldwide.

Hereford Organizations

The Canadian Hereford Association (CHA) is the national association for Hereford breeders in Canada. It was founded in 1959 and is headquartered in Calgary, Alberta. The CHA works to maintain breed standards, provide services to members, and promote Hereford cattle in Canada.

Some key facts about the CHA:

  • Non-profit organization representing over 4,000 Canadian Hereford breeders.
  • Maintains the Canadian Hereford Herd Book and registry.
  • Hosts an annual national Hereford show and sale.
  • Publishes the Hereford Digest magazine.
  • Administers Total Herd Enrolment performance programs.
  • Conducts marketing and youth initiatives.
  • Holds an annual national conference and Annual General Meeting.
  • Led by a Board of Directors elected by members.

The CHA has played an integral role in the growth and success of Hereford cattle across Canada over the past 60+ years. It provides important services to breeders and ranchers raising Herefords for beef production. The organization has helped solidify the Hereford as one of the mainstay beef breeds in Canadian agriculture.

Shows and Sales

The Canadian Hereford Association sanctions many regional and national cattle shows across Canada that allow Hereford breeders to exhibit and sell their cattle. Some of the major shows include:

Canadian Western Agribition – Held annually in Regina, Saskatchewan, Agribition is Canada’s largest livestock show and rodeo. The show includes a Hereford show and sale that attracts top Hereford cattle from breeders across Canada.

Canadian Beef Industry Conference – This national conference organized by the Canadian Cattlemen’s Association includes a Hereford show and sale. The 2022 show in August had over 500 head of cattle exhibited.

Calgary Bull Sale – Calgary hosts one of the largest Hereford bull sales in Canada every year in March. Hundreds of buyers from across North America attend looking for quality Hereford genetics. In 2022, bulls averaged over $10,000 at the sale.

Canadian Junior Hereford Bonanza – This national Hereford youth show rotates locations each year. Juniors exhibit their Herefords and take part in competitions and educational activities. Many top junior breeders from across Canada attend.

These major shows provide an opportunity for Hereford breeders to showcase their best genetics on a national stage, while generating revenue through cattle sales. They demonstrate the continued prominence of the Hereford breed across the Canadian beef cattle industry.

Impact on the Beef Industry

Hereford cattle have had a significant impact on the beef industry in Canada and around the world. Here are some of the key ways Hereford cattle have shaped the beef industry:

Market Share

Hereford cattle have historically been one of the most popular beef cattle breeds. During the first half of the 20th century, Herefords dominated the North American beef industry, with some estimates putting their market share as high as 90% at times. While other breeds like Angus have chipped away at their dominance, Herefords still account for a sizable portion of the beef market. Their genetics are prevalent in many crossbred operations as well. 

Hybrid Vigour

Hereford and Angus cattle are frequently crossbred to take advantage of hybrid vigour. The crossing of two different breeds often results in offspring that outperform purebreds in traits like fertility, growth rate, survivability, and yield. Hereford-Angus crosses exhibit strong hybrid vigour and remain a popular choice for commercial beef producers.

Improvements

Hereford breeders have made great strides in improving the breed over the past century. Through careful selection and breeding, the modern Hereford has higher growth rates, improved fertility, better marbling and more muscularity compared to Herefords from decades past. The breed has adapted well to changing consumer preferences and industry trends. Herefords have played a key role in improving the quality and efficiency of beef production.

Hereford Beef Products

The Hereford breed is well known for its superior beef quality, tenderness, and flavour. This has led to the prominence of Hereford beef in the marketplace from both major brands and retailers.

To promote Hereford beef, organizations like the Canadian Hereford Association have run marketing campaigns like “Prime Time to Grill the Perfect Steak with Hereford Prime”.

Hereford breeders have found innovative ways to market Hereford beef directly to consumers as well, through on-farm stores, buyer programs, and online sales. As the Hereford breed grows, we can expect to continue seeing their beef profile raised through both mainstream and breed-specific branding.

Future Outlook

The future continues to look bright for Hereford cattle in Canada and around the world. As one of the most popular beef cattle breeds, Herefords are poised to maintain and expand their substantial role in beef production for years to come.

  • Several key factors point to the ongoing success and expansion of Herefords:
  • Continued demand for Hereford genetics due to their many positive traits like fertility, calving ease, and efficient growth. Hereford bulls and semen will remain in high demand from both seedstock and commercial producers.
  • Growth in international markets for Hereford genetics, especially in countries like Australia, Argentina, Brazil and others seeking to improve their herds. Canadian Hereford breeders can tap into these new opportunities.
  • Advancements in genomics and breeding technologies allowing greater selection precision and rates of genetic improvement in the breed. Herefords will benefit from being on the leading edge of applying new innovations.
  • Consumer preference for the tasty, tender beef that Herefords are known for. As the beef market grows globally, demand for high-quality Hereford beef will increase.
  • The adaptability of Herefords to varying environments and production systems. Their versatility will allow expansion into new geographies and management approaches.

With over 130 years of history in Canada, Herefords have proven their staying power. As one of the world’s leading beef breeds, Herefords have a bright future ahead as a major contributor to beef production on both national and global scales. Their many positive traits will continue driving popularity and expansion of the breed.

Black Angus Exploring the Iconic Breed’s Genetics and Characteristics

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The Black Angus breed of cattle is one of the most well-known and popular breeds in the world. Originating in Scotland in the early 19th century, Black Angus cattle have a long and storied history. Often simply referred to as “Angus,” this breed is prized for its high-quality beef, ease of calving, and docile temperament.

With their distinctive all-black coats, Black Angus cattle are a recognizable sight on farms and ranches. While the breed originated in Scotland, it was brought to Canada in the late 1800s. Here, Black Angus cattle flourished on the wide-open spaces of Canadian ranches.

Today, Black Angus is the most common breed of beef cattle in Canada. The breed’s reputation for producing flavourful, marbled beef has made it a favourite among both ranchers and consumers. From small family farms to large commercial operations, Black Angus cattle can be found across Canada. Their genetics have also been used to improve and influence other beef breeds.

With a long legacy and an iconic appearance, the Black Angus breed has secured its place as one of the most important cattle breeds worldwide. Its continued popularity is a testament to its versatility and high-quality beef production across diverse environments.

Origins

The Black Angus breed originated in Aberdeen and Angus counties in Scotland in the early 19th century. Cattle native to the counties were selectively bred to produce the ideal beef animal. The breed was first imported to the Canada in 1860.

The cattle native to Aberdeen and Angus counties had been breeding naturally for centuries to adapt to the challenging climate and terrain. This resulted in cattle that were hardy, fertile, long-lived, and able to efficiently convert grass to beef. Scottish farmers began methodically crossbreeding the best animals to set the type for the Angus breed.

By the mid-1800s, the Angus had become polled, solid black cattle with superior beef qualities. Their naturally high marbling resulted in flavourful, juicy beef. The uniform black colour was advantageous, as buyers began demanding black cattle that would not show dirt.

Genetics

The Angus breed is homozygous black, meaning the cattle have two copies of the recessive black gene that results in an all-black coat. This is different from other beef breeds like Herefords that have red coats.

The black coat colour is possible because of a recessive gene called ED. When an Angus cow and bull who both carry ED are bred, their offspring will inherit an ED gene from each parent, making them homozygous black. This uniform black colour has become the signature look of the Angus breed.

Another genetic trait of Angus cattle is that they are naturally polled, meaning they do not grow horns. This is due to the dominant P gene that causes polledness when just one copy is inherited from either parent. The polled gene means Angus cattle do not require dehorning. Polledness is a desired trait as it reduces risk of injury to humans and other cattle.

Size

The Black Angus breed is known for its moderate, thickset frame and muscular build. On average, mature Black Angus bulls stand 5 to 5.5 feet tall at the shoulder and weigh from 1,800 to 2,400 pounds. Mature cows are smaller, standing 4 to 5 feet tall and weighing 1,000 to 1,500 pounds.

The breed has a broad, thick back with well-sprung ribs for lots of capacity. Legs are short but strong. The compact, blocky body shape makes the most of their size – concentrating muscle, mass and energy into a thickset frame. This stocky build allows Black Angus cattle to efficiently convert grass and grain into thick cuts of well-marbled beef.

Temperament

Black Angus cattle are known for their docile, calm temperaments. This makes them easy to handle and work with. Their placid nature is likely due to centuries of selective breeding by cattle producers.

Early ranchers and farmers intentionally chose bulls and cows with agreeable dispositions to breed the next generations. Over time, this selection pressure resulted in herds of cattle with naturally relaxed and cooperative temperaments.

The calm personality of Black Angus cattle provides significant benefits for cattle producers. Their docility makes them safer and less stressful to be around. Handlers do not have to worry about being injured by skittish, aggressive animals. The mellow temperament also makes Black Angus cattle easier to transport, vaccinate, brand, and separate for breeding.

Overall, the placid nature of Black Angus cattle is a highly desirable trait. It contributes to their popularity among cattle producers across the world. Their innate calmness and cooperation is an asset on any cattle operation.

Hardiness

The Black Angus breed is known for its ability to thrive in harsh climates. This hardiness stems from the breed’s origins in the highlands of Scotland, where cold temperatures, high winds, and sparse vegetation made raising cattle a challenge. Over time, the Black Angus developed traits that allowed it to survive and even prosper under these conditions.

One of the keys to the Black Angus’ hardiness is its thick, woolly coat that provides insulation against cold and wet weather. The coat has two layers – a short, dense undercoat combined with an outer layer of longer guard hairs. This dual-coat system traps air close to the body, keeping the cattle warm. Even during the frigid Scottish winters, Black Angus are able to maintain their core body temperature.

Their hearty digestive system also contributes to their ability to thrive in rugged terrain. Black Angus are excellent grazers, able to extract nutrients from coarse grasses and other poor-quality forage. They make efficient use of lower quality feed that other breeds may not tolerate. This gives Black Angus an advantage in areas where lush pasture is limited.

Overall, the Black Angus is one of the most cold tolerant breeds. Their adaptations allow them to survive and remain productive even in harsh climates that would challenge other cattle. This rugged resiliency has made the Black Angus a popular choice for beef producers across a wide geographic range. The breed’s innate hardiness is a testament to its origins in the unforgiving highlands of Scotland.

Marbling

Black Angus cattle are well known for their superior marbling, which refers to the intramuscular fat within the muscle or meat. This marbling is what gives beef its renowned flavour, tenderness, and juiciness that steak lovers crave.

The high degree of marbling found in Angus beef sets it apart from other breeds. Angus cattle accumulate marbling at an earlier age compared to other breeds due to their genetics. They are early maturing cattle with the ability to deposit intramuscular fat evenly throughout their bodies, including in the ribeye and loin areas where steaks are cut from.

The abundant marbling results in a fine texture and buttery flavour when the beef is cooked. The intramuscular fat melts during cooking, keeping the meat tender and juicy. This gives Angus beef a distinctly beefy, rich taste that connoisseurs consider far superior to beef with less marbling. When tested, Angus beef has been shown to surpass other breeds for overall palatability and flavour.

Marbling is so integral to Angus cattle that it is carefully evaluated when breeding stock is selected. Only cattle that exhibit ideal marbling progress in Angus breeding programs. This maintains the quality that the breed is known for. When you see the Certified Angus Beef (CAB) label, it ensures the beef meets strict criteria for marbling and overall quality.

Mothering Ability

Black Angus cattle are known for their strong maternal instincts and protective nature. The cows exhibit excellent mothering skills, fiercely guarding and nurturing their calves.

Angus cows are very attentive to their newborn calves, licking them dry and encouraging them to stand and nurse shortly after birth. They remain alert and keep the calves safely by their side in the critical days after calving.

The cows are also patient and tolerant as the energetic calves frolic and play. But the Angus mothers will become aggressive if they sense any threat, putting themselves between the calf and potential danger. Their protective nature helps ensure the survival and health of the calves.

This maternal protectiveness extends to adopting orphaned or stray calves into their family group. Angus cows will readily accept additional calves as their own. They will nurse, groom, and watch over the adopted calves just like their biological offspring.

The Angus breed’s stellar maternal abilities provide ranchers confidence that the calves will thrive. The cows dutifully impart nutrients, antibodies, and nurturing to give the calves the best start in life. Their protective vigilance also reduces calf loss or injury. The Angus mothering skills are a tremendous asset for cattle producers seeking to maximize productivity and profitability.

Popularity

One of the most numerous breeds worldwide, Black Angus cattle are prized for their high-quality beef. They are found on cattle ranches across the United States, Canada, Australia, and other countries.

In the US, Black Angus is the most registered breed of cattle, with numbers topping one million. The American Angus Association reports there are more than 18,000 active adult members and juniors that register Angus.

The breed’s popularity stems from its reputation for producing tender, flavourful, finely marbled beef. This desirable meat quality has enabled Angus beef to command premium prices, making the cattle profitable for ranchers to raise. Their docile temperament and ability to thrive in varied climates adds to their appeal.

In summary, Black Angus cattle are an iconic beef cattle breed known for their rich black coats and quality marbled beef. They originated in Scotland but are now popular worldwide. Genetically, Black Angus are homozygous black, lacking colour dilution genes, and are polled.

Black Angus are medium-sized cattle with a docile temperament. Their small stature and gentle nature make them easy to manage. However, they are extremely hardy and adaptable to varied environments.

The rich marbling and fine texture of Black Angus beef is what makes it a premium choice. Angus cattle are efficient at converting feed into lean muscle. The abundant intramuscular fat gives their meat outstanding flavour and tenderness.

Black Angus cows are also praised for their maternal instincts and milking ability. They have a high calving ease and consistently wean heavy calves. This contributes to their popularity among commercial cattle producers.

In conclusion, the Black Angus’ genetics for carcass quality, hardiness, fertility, and docility make it one of the most globally recognized and valued breeds of beef cattle. Their distinctive black hides and superior meat quality have rightfully earned them an iconic status.

Introduction to White Rock Chickens

The White Rock chicken breed originated in the late nineteenth century in New England. It was developed as a dual-purpose breed suitable for both meat and egg production from a mix of breeds including Dominiques, Wyandottes, and Javas.

White Rocks are a large chicken breed. They have a broad, deep body on short shanks and toes. Their defining feature is their bright white plumage accented by red comb, wattles, and earlobes. Some may exhibit a bit of straw-colored neck feathers.

These chickens have a docile and calm temperament perfect for family-friendly backyard flocks. They tend to be active foragers and do well in free-range environments. White Rocks are also excellent layers, providing a consistent supply of large brown eggs even through cold winters. Their quiet, gentle nature makes them a joy to raise.

Appearance and Physique

White Rock chickens are a handsome dual-purpose breed known for their bright white plumage accented with black or red markings. They have a single comb and medium-sized red wattles and earlobes.
  • Plumage Color Patterns : White Rocks have mostly bright white feathers on their body and neck. The tail feathers can be either black or red, depending on the variety. Common feathering patterns include black tails with some black speckling on the body, or mahogany red hackle and saddle feathers contrasting the white.
  • Comb and Wattle Features : White Rocks have a single comb, which stands upright on top of the head. The combs are medium in size with five distinct points or serrations. Matching red wattles hang below the comb and red earlobes on the side of the head.
  • Body Size and Shape : This is a medium to large breed chicken. Roosters weigh around 9.5 pounds and hens around 7.5 pounds. They have a rectangular body shape with a broad, deep breast and straight back. Their carriage is proud and upright.

Egg Laying

White Rock chickens become sexually mature and begin laying eggs at around 16-24 weeks old. They are prolific egg layers, averaging 280 eggs per year. Some hens may lay even more, around 300 eggs annually.

The eggs are medium to large in size, averaging 55-60 grams. Shell color can range from light brown to dark brown. Some White Rocks lay eggs with speckles while others have clean, solid colored shells.

The egg production of White Rock hens peaks during the first couple years of lay. They continue laying eggs consistently but production gradually declines each year after 2-3 years old. Proper feeding and care can help maintain good egg laying rates into older age.

White Rocks are known for being excellent egg layers while also producing nice large eggs. Their high production makes them a top dual purpose breed for both eggs and meat. The brown eggs are preferred by some customers over white eggs. White Rocks are a reliable egg layer for backyard flocks or commercial operations.

Temperament

White Rock chickens are known for having a calm, docile temperament. They tend to be friendly birds that enjoy human interaction. This makes them a good option for backyard flocks, as they can be easily handled.

These chickens are not typically aggressive, even the roosters. They may exhibit some bossiness in the flock hierarchy, but are not mean-spirited. White Rocks rarely bully or pick on other chickens.

The hens have a reputation for being broody. Broodiness refers to a hen’s urge to set on a nest of eggs to hatch them. White Rock hens will often go broody several times a year. This can be seen as an advantage for those who want to hatch chicks. However, broodiness will cause a drop in egg production while the hen sets on a nest.

Overall, White Rock chickens have a calm and docile nature. Their friendly personality makes them a joy to have around. While the hens may exhibit some broody tendencies, this breed remains a good-natured addition to any flock. Their gentle temperament suits them well for families with children or as backyard pets.

Care and Feeding

White Rock chickens have some specific care and feeding requirements to ensure they stay healthy and productive.

Dietary Needs

White Rocks are heavy egg layers, so their diet should support egg production. They need a complete feed that contains 16-18% protein. This can be a commercial layer feed or a homemade mix containing grains, oats, and supplements. Calcium is especially important, so provide a supplement or oyster shell. They also need insoluble grit to help digest their food. Free choice feeding lets them eat as needed.

Amount of Feed

Give each White Rock hen about 1/4 pound of feed per day. This may vary based on their activity level. Reduce this to 1/8 pound during molting when they are not laying eggs. Always provide fresh, clean water.

Coop Considerations

White Rocks need at least 2-3 square feet of coop space each. The coop should be draft-free but well-ventilated. Provide nesting boxes for egg laying. Deep litter of shavings or straw helps keep the coop clean. Roosts should be 1-2 feet off the ground.

Exercise Requirements

These active chickens need 8-10 square feet of outdoor run space each. Allow access to the run as much as possible. They will forage for bugs and plants if allowed to free range. Rotate runs to provide fresh vegetation and reduce parasites.

With proactive care and management, White Rocks can remain healthy and productive flock members. But it’s important for owners to educate themselves on common chicken illnesses so they can catch problems early. Good prevention and hygiene practices are key to maintaining a healthy flock.

Breeding

Breeding White Rock chickens requires an understanding of their reproductive maturity and ideal pairings. This hardy dual-purpose bird reaches breeding age at around 24 weeks for pullets and 28 weeks for cockerels.

When selecting a rooster for breeding, choose one from good egg-laying stock with a large frame, bright red comb, and excellent conformation. Avoid breeding two birds that share a parent, as inbreeding can lead to issues. The ideal pairings are mating a White Rock rooster over Plymouth Rock hens or White Rock hens. This maintains hybrid vigor while passing on desirable traits like high egg production.

For best results, breed during the natural mating season in spring when egg production peaks. House one rooster with six to eight hens, and provide nest boxes for egg-laying. Fertile eggs will hatch in 21 days if properly incubated. Raise chicks on chick starter feed with adequate space and heat lamps. With good breeding practices, White Rocks will produce plenty of hardy offspring.

Chicks

Chicks are the baby chickens that hatch from fertilized White Rock eggs. The incubation period for White Rock eggs is about 21 days. Once the chicks hatch, they require special care in their first few weeks of life.

Incubation Period

The incubation period for White Rock eggs is typically 21 days. Some hatcheries recommend incubating the eggs for 22 days to ensure the chicks fully develop. The eggs should be kept at a temperature between 99-102°F and humidity around 50-55% during incubation. Turning the eggs 3-5 times per day prevents the embryo from sticking to the shell. Stop turning the eggs in the last 2-3 days to allow the chick to get into hatching position.

Care for Chicks

Newly hatched chicks need extra care and attention in their first 4-6 weeks of life. They should be kept in a brooder with a heat lamp to maintain a temperature of 95°F for the first week. Then the temperature can be reduced by 5°F each week after that. Chicks need access to clean water and a starter feed specifically formulated for chicks with at least 20% protein. The brooder should have clean litter like pine shavings and be free of drafts. Extra nutrition can be provided with dried mealworms, oats, fresh greens, and scrambled eggs. Proper sanitation and avoiding stress is key to raising healthy chicks.

Rate of Growth

White Rock chicks are a fast growing breed. They can gain about 0.25 lbs per week on average. By 6-8 weeks old, the chicks will have most of their feathers and be ready to transition to the main flock. Pullets (young females) may start laying eggs around 16-20 weeks old. White Rock roosters can reach their maximum weight of 8-9 lbs by about 18-20 weeks old. Their rapid growth means they need plenty of protein and nutrients especially in their first few months.

A Popular Choice

The White Rock chicken breed has many advantages that make it a popular choice for backyard chicken keepers and small farms.

Advantages

  • Excellent egg production – White Rock hens are very productive egg layers, with some strains laying up to 280 eggs per year. They have a reputation as one of the best dual-purpose breeds for both eggs and meat.
  • Good egg size : White Rock eggs are a nice large to extra large size. The brown eggs have a nice rich color and are often oversized.
  • Docile temperament : This breed tends to be quite docile and friendly. They are good-natured and tolerant of children. Roosters can be a bit more aggressive though.
  • Cold hardy : White Rocks handle cold climates well and continue laying through winter. Their large size gives them some extra cold tolerance.
  • Disease resistant : They are quite hardy and resistant to common poultry diseases. Heat tolerance is decent too.
  • Good meat production: Roosters grow large and produce a good carcass size for meat. The breed is popular for both backyard and commercial meat production.
Overall, White Rocks are an excellent dual-purpose breed with many positive attributes for small farms and backyard flocks when properly cared for. Their egg production, size, and docile temperament make them a popular breed.

Beyond Beed and Pork: Unique Meat Offerings from our Farm

unique-meat-offerings-from-our-farm

Here at Farmway Foods, we specialize in raising and providing unique, high-quality meats that go beyond the traditional staples of beef and pork. As a local, family-owned business, we take great pride in the care and attention we devote to our livestock. This allows us to bring you an amazing variety of flavours and textures to enjoy.


In addition to classic chicken offerings, we provide more unique poultry like our free-range White Rock chickens. For those seeking a lighter, flaky white fish, we offer fresh salmon, cod, and haddock raised that are wild caught. If you’re looking for a leaner red meat, our premium turkey and lamb selections deliver incredibly robust and distinct flavours.


All of our meats are ethically raised with no added hormones and antibiotic free. We pay close attention to the health and welfare of our animals from birth through processing. This results in meats of unmatched quality and taste. We’re excited to share these unique offerings from our farm with discerning customers seeking an outstanding meal.

Highlighting Our Free-Range Chickens

The farmers we work with take pride in raising chickens in a natural, humane way. Our free-range White Rock chickens enjoy plenty of space to roam in the sunshine and fresh air. This leads to a better life for the chickens and also produces more flavourful, nutritious meat.

Free-range chickens get to engage in natural behaviours like scratching, pecking, and dust-bathing. Their diverse diet includes insects and vegetation alongside their feed. All of this contributes to chickens that are healthy and low-stress.

In terms of nutritional benefits, free-range chicken has higher levels of omega-3 fatty acids compared to conventionally-raised chicken. The meat also contains more vitamin A and vitamin E. The diverse diet and exercise chickens get from free-ranging leads to better-tasting meat as well. The moderate amount of fat is evenly distributed, making the meat juicy and tender.

The farmers we work with raise White Rock breed of chicken. This dual-purpose bird produces both quality meat and eggs. White Rock chickens are cold hardy and heat tolerant, adapting well to various climates. They are docile, calm chickens that are well-suited to free-ranging. White Rock meat is moist and flavourful with a good balance between white and dark meat. We think they produce the best-tasting free-range chicken around.

Salmon

Salmon is known for its heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and high-quality protein.

Salmon fillets are extremely versatile for cooking. They can be grilled, baked, pan-seared, or added to pasta, salads, and tacos. Salmon cooks quickly, so it’s important not overcook. We recommend cooking until just opaque in the centre.

Our wild caught salmon offers the freshest flavour paired with responsible practices. We’re proud to provide this premium fish as part of our unique meat offerings.

Bringing Quality Cod to the Table

Cod is a mild, flaky white fish that is both delicious and nutritious.

Cod is an excellent source of protein and is low in fat and calories. It contains heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and is a good source of vitamins B12 and D, as well as minerals like selenium and phosphorus. The mild, slightly sweet flavour makes cod appealing to people of all ages.

The best cooking methods for cod fillets include baking, broiling, sautéing, and grilling. Baking cod in the oven at 400°F for 10-15 minutes results in a tender, flaky texture. Broiling cod under high heat for just 3-5 minutes per side adds char and caramelization. Quickly sautéing cod fillets in olive oil or butter allows the fish to develop a beautiful golden crust while keeping the interior moist. Grilling cod over medium-high heat infuses it with smoky barbecue flavour.

Some delicious recipe ideas for cod fillets include:

  • Baked Cod with Lemon, Garlic & Herbs – A simple weeknight dinner!
  • Panko Crusted Cod – Crispy crunchy crust from toasted breadcrumbs.
  • Grilled Cod Tacos with Pineapple Salsa – Perfect for summer!
  • Cod & Shrimp with Creamy Tomato Sauce – An elegant seafood dish.
  • Curried Cod & Potatoes – Warm Indian spices flavour the flaky fish.

Our premium cod fillets offer a tasty, nutritious protein to enjoy as part of a healthy lifestyle. Try baking, broiling, sautéing or grilling cod for amazing results!

The Flavour of Fresh Haddock

The taste of our haddock is remarkably sweet and delicate, with a tender flake and no “fishy” flavour. The white flesh has a mild taste that adapts well to a variety of preparations, making it a versatile choice for home chefs.

Haddock is delicious when simply seasoned and pan-seared, letting the natural flavours shine through. It also pairs nicely with richer ingredients like lemon-butter sauce or creamy risotto. For easy weeknight meals, try baking haddock fillets topped with breadcrumbs, sautéed spinach, and lemon slices. Or cook up flavourful fish tacos with blackened haddock, fresh pico de gallo, and crunchy cabbage. The options are endless with our fresh, high-quality haddock. We’re proud to provide home cooks with a delicious, sustainable seafood choice.

Our Premium Turkey Offerings

The famers we work with raise premium heritage breed turkeys using humane and sustainable practices. Our turkeys live outdoors with plenty of space to roam and forage on pesticide-free pastures. This natural environment and stress-free lifestyle lead to a better-tasting, more nutritious turkey.

Our heritage turkeys are bred naturally, without artificial hormones or antibiotics. They grow slower than commercial breeds, developing more flavourful meat. The moderate growth rate also contributes to a healthy life for the birds.

We offer turkey breast roast, turkey medallions and ground turkey so you can choose just what you need. Our turkeys have a rich, old-fashioned flavour that really shines when roasted or grilled. The breast meat is juicy and tender while the white meat has a delicious savoury taste.

Some quick tips for cooking our premium turkey:

  • Turkey medallions – Roast or grill them to an internal temperature of 165F. Brining helps keep the lean meat moist.
  • Ground turkey – Use it just like ground beef in burgers, meatballs, chili, etc. Mix in some breadcrumbs to keep it moist.

We’re proud to offer heritage turkeys raised humanely and naturally right here on our family farm. The old-fashioned flavour and humane upbringing really make a difference you can taste.

Lamb Chops

Lamb is quite versatile in cooking. For quick and easy meals, lamb chops can be pan-seared or grilled until they reach your desired doneness. We recommend cooking lamb just until it reaches medium or medium-rare to keep it juicy and flavourful. Resting the meat for 5-10 minutes after cooking allows the juices to redistribute evenly.

Our lamb chops have unmatched flavour and tenderness.

How to Cook These Unique Meats

Our farm offers an array of unique and flavourful meats beyond the standard beef and pork options. Proper cooking is key to bringing out the best in these proteins. Here’s an overview of the best cooking methods for each:

White Rock Chicken

Chicken can be prepared in endless ways. Grilling, baking, sautéing, and roasting are all great options. Aim for an internal temperature of 165°F. Grilling brings out delicious charred flavours, while roasting keeps the meat juicy. For sautéed chicken, cut into smaller pieces to cook quickly over high heat.

Salmon

Salmon fillets do well with fast, hot cooking methods. Grilling is a top choice, allowing the fatty fish to pick up smoky notes. Bake salmon in a 375°F oven for 15-20 minutes. Pan-searing over high heat also creates a nice crust while keeping the inside tender. Cook until opaque and flaky.

Cod

This white, flaky fish calls for gentle cooking. Baking, poaching, and sautéing are ideal. Bake at 400°F for 10-15 minutes. Poach in simmering liquid until opaque, about 10 minutes. For sautéing, use medium-low heat to avoid overcooking the delicate cod. Target an internal temp of 140°F.

Haddock

Haddock has a slightly firmer texture than cod. It holds up well to heartier cooking methods like grilling and broiling. Bake at 375°F until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Pan frying over medium-high heat also gives a nice sear while keeping the fish moist. Cook to an internal temperature of 140°F.

Turkey

For boneless turkey breasts or cutlets, sautéing, grilling, and baking are all great. Cook quickly over high heat, to an internal temp of 165°F to avoid drying out.

Recipe Inspiration for Home Chefs

Our unique meat offerings inspire all kinds of delicious recipes perfect for home chefs. Here are some ideas to get you started:

White Rock Chicken

  • Chicken Parmesan – Breaded chicken breast baked with marinara sauce and mozzarella cheese makes a hearty Italian-inspired meal. Serve over pasta.
  • Chicken Fajitas – Sauté chicken breast slices with bell peppers and onions then wrap in warm tortillas. Top with guacamole, salsa, and sour cream.
  • Chicken Pot Pie – Comfort food at its finest. Make a creamy chicken stew and top with a flaky pie crust.

Salmon

  • Salmon Cakes – Mix cooked salmon with breadcrumbs, egg, and seasonings then pan-fry into patties. Serve with dill sauce.
  • Baked Salmon – Coat salmon fillets with olive oil, lemon, and herbs then bake until flaky. Pairs well with rice or veggies.

Cod

  • Baked Cod – Drizzle cod fillets with lemon butter and bake. Serve over rice with steamed veggies.
  • Fish Tacos – Blackened cod wrapped in soft tortillas with shredded cabbage and chipotle crema.
  • Cod Chowder – Hearty and comforting, made with potatoes, cod, bacon, and cream. Ladle into sourdough bread bowls.

Haddock

  • Haddock Sandwiches – Breaded, fried haddock fillets on rolls with tartar sauce and coleslaw.
  • Haddock Tacos – Baked haddock, shredded lettuce, pico de gallo, and a spicy crema sauce wrapped in corn tortillas.
  • Haddock Casserole – Layer haddock, potatoes, celery, and creamy sauce then bake until bubbly.

Let me know if you would like me to expand on any section or provide more recipe ideas!

Bringing Our Quality Meats Home

At Our Farm, we take pride in raising high-quality, humanely-raised meats like our White Rock chickens, wild caught fish, turkey, and lamb. We want to make it easy for you to bring these premium meats home to your family.

You can purchase our meats by calling us at 1-855-327-6929 or filling our contact us form.

We adhere to strict food safety standards at every step. Our farmers follow Environmental Farm Planning Program a voluntary program in Ontario.

With proper storage and handling, our meats will retain optimum quality and safety. All our meats are vacuum packed.

We’re proud to offer unique, humanely-raised meats directly from our farm to your home. We can’t wait for you to try them!