Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Belted Galloways --- An Update

Tuesday is usually a golf day for the Old Scientist but today his partners were not available, so I suggested we go to Steveston for walk on the dyke, followed by lunch on the Steveston wharf.

Along the way we saw my favourite Belted Galloways, enjoying the fresh grass which grows in the tidal marshland adjacent to the dyke road so, as usual, I took a few photos. Yes again. Please endulge me.

There always seem to be birds around these cows, today no different

The Belted Galloways of Steve's farm spend the summer grazing in a paddock fenced off from the rest of the marsh. For the first time I saw a box by the fence which contained pamphlets with information and inviting you to place your orders for frozen beef from these lovely cows. Luckily I am not a farmer else they would all die of old age.

Because it is quite wet in this spot they are rather muddy on their undersides and legs

According to the handout, these cows are pastured on grass during the summer and are fed local hay and ranch alfalfa during the winter, with their diet supplemented by barley mash from the beer brewing process of a nearby brewery. Because of their thick coat of outer hair, these animals have reduced outer body fat and lean tender meat. They are all raised from birth by the Steve family and receive no growth hormones or antibiotics.

This one with the itch was especially muddy

A young one was right by the fence

I counted 21 animals in the field today, at different stages of development. I'm afraid that they have all been sold this year but you can place your order for 2010. A side of beef, approximately 160 lbs, will cost you $800, cut, wrapped and frozen. No I am not a vegetarian and I eat beef, but these animals feel special to me so I won't be placing my order any time soon.

Not all the animals were in the soggy field nearest the river. Some were still in the drier fields on the land side of the dyke, where the herd spends the winter. Click to enlarge the photos to see them more clearly.


Granny on the Web said...

I am not a meat eater, for no other reason than I don't like the texture in my mouth when chewing. So I would never consider eating one of these beautiful creatures anyway, but if I did, and I had to pass these in a field, I could never bring my self to eat what must become friends once known to me. So I am with you there, they look too lovely [even when muddy] to consider giving an order in.
Great photo's by the way!
Love Granny

Liz said...

I think if I were a farmer I would have to become a vegetarian!

How beautiful and unusual they are.

CherryPie said...

No beef eating for me for I while now!

Carver said...

This was a beautiful sequence JMB. I love the pastoral scenes. You captured the cows so well and also the wider scene. Interesting post to me.

Anonymous said...

This was intriguing. I am absolutely unfamiliar with the breed.

Berni said...

I have never seen that breed before. We see a lot of Black Angus us here. We don't eat much beef but do enjoy a nice steak once in a while

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

I've never seen cows like that before! I couldn't be a farmer either.

Aviatrix said...

If you're eating meat and you're not eating cows that are raised this way, you may be paying someone to torture and abuse an animal for your pleasure. If you appreciate these cows too much to eat them, then by all means enjoy a vegetarian diet, but please don't use your dollars to vote a preference for less humane ways of raising cattle.

The farmer, by the way, has linked to your blog entry because he likes your photos.

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