Newbottle Estate
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The Farm : Cattle

The Beef

We also run a herd of 200 Aberdeen Angus and a small herd of Longhorn suckler cows which produce Newbottle Beef which is sold exclusively through Brackley Butchers.  A small beef herd has been run on the farm for about 50 years.  In recent years we have decided to increase the focus on the beef and the herd is now a key farm activity.  There are two herds, the breeding herd and the fattening herd.

Breeding Herd

There are currently 150 Aberdeen Angus breeding cows.  All our bulls are pedigree Aberdeen Angus and some of the cows are also pure Aberdeen Angus.  Some of the breeding cows are Aberdeen Angus X, which means their father was an Aberdeen Angus.  This means that all the calves produced on the farm are at least 3/4 Aberdeen Angus but most are more and some are purebred.  The breeding herd stays on the Estate throughout the year being housed at Forceleap Farm in the winter and grazing around the village throughout the summer.

Fattening Herd

Once the calves get to 6 months they are transferred into the fattening herd.  They are then kept in groups until they are ready to be slaughtered at about 24 months old.  During the winter they are kept in the buildings at Forceleap.  Throughout the winter the cattle are fed on fodders such as grass silage, maize silage and straw.  All fodder is produced on the Estate.  We also make a home made mix of barley, wheat and oats to create a creep feed to boost the nutrition of the growing calves.  All of the ingredients for this mix are produced on one of the NDR farms.  In the summer they go to Mill Farm in Kings Sutton where we rent water meadows for them to graze throughout the summer months.

We take welfare extremely seriously and are proud of the standards we achieve.  All the calves born on the farm stay with their mothers until a minimum of 6 months old when they are weaned. They are then grazed and fed on the farm until they are mature at about 2 years old. We are FABBL assured and we are annually assessed under the ABM (Assured British Meat) standard. A new development for us is that as a result of the developments of the beef enterprise and purchasing Brackley Butchers we now have a fully traceable system.  The only part of the system not in the control of the Estate is the slaughter process.  We have therefore spent time finding a good local abbatoir and are proud of our relationship with Long Compton Abbatoir who we feel operate to the highest welfare standards and are a local small family business.

Rare Breeds

In addition to the commercial enterprises, we are also interested in Rare breeds.  We have a small pedigree herd of Longhorn cattle. The Longhorn were originally used as draught oxen but their meat is extremely good.  Unfortunately it takes an extra 6 - 12 months to mature and they are more fatty and so, despite the fact that they are absolutely delicious, they are not very commercial.  All of ours are occasionally found for sale at Brackley Butchers, usually during the summer months, ideal for the BBQ!  We also have a small herd of Cotswold sheep, a breed which is categorised as a minority breed by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST). Cotswolds were once prized for their wool but with the value of the sheep now being in the lamb, the breed has become increasingly uncommercial.  The sheep are sheared every May/June time and the wool is sold.  On demand we can keep wool back for local weavers.  The lambs are fattened on the Estate and are sold direct to local people in the Autumn.  There are also a couple of Berkshire Pigs. These black pigs are considered vulnerable by the RBST.  They produce very fatty meat but it is extremely flavoursome.  Finally there are a variety of rare breed chickens kept at The Manor.