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The Patience of A Grass Fed Beef Farmer

Patience, Webster’s defines as; the capacity to accept or tolerate, delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset. 

Sitting back and watching Mike and Jason manuever cattle in a sorting pen makes you really appreciate the patience and diligence they have with these animals.

Moving Grass-Fed Beef Cattle

Mike and Jason sorting beef cattle

One would think that being confined to a small area with 100, thousand pound grass-fed bovines would make you quite nervous and on edge. As a result of those feelings you would be loud and very hasty. 

But the way MIke and Jason work, it is the complete opposite. They get all the cows in and just start talking and walking through the mass, looking them over and discussing which should stay and which should go. With a few small, quiet steps the chosen beef cattle walk towards the gate and back out to the pasture.  It would appear that all it takes to inform the cow to move out, is a nod towards the gate and a step inside their “comfort bubble”.  Sometimes it seems a cow is done waiting for fresh grass and they make a move towards the opening. Yet again, all it seems to take is one step in her path and she is turned back and happily walking the other way.

This process appears slow and tedious, moving a few here and trying to keep others in. The slow pace would make most wonder if there was a better way. However the truth is that with cattle you actually get the job done faster  by moving slower. This is known as low-stress stockmanship.  Rushing around, waving arms, and whooping like an old western film is not how a cow operates. Instead, they respond better to slow and steady movements which keeps the cows docile and relaxed. Bovines by nature are very placid animals so working with them in such a way will gain trust and cooperation. Same as humans, low stress results in a healthy immune system. That means no need for artificial treatments and safer grass-fed beef for the consumer.

Herd of Grass-Fed Beef Cows

Grass-Fed Beef Herd

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