Is Grass Fed Beef Beneficial to Birds
At Helstrom Farms we take our environmental management and land stewardship seriously. Properly grazing our herd of grass fed beef has proven beneficial not just to the livestock but wildlife as well. One of the most noticeable changes has been the abundance of our feathered friends. Learn how grass fed beef benefits the birds!
Helstrom Farms is located very close to the Sax-Zim Bog. This is bog hosts guests from all over the world that are in search of the perfect photo opportunity of several birds species. “Birding” has become very popular and we have begun to take more notice ourselves. While the bog is ideal habitat for some birds, range and grasslands are just what others require. We are doing our part to create bird-friendly beef.
What is bird-friendly beef?
This paragraph is straight from the Audubon Society.
Native grasslands are among the most altered and imperiled ecosystems in the world-and one of the least protected. Throughout the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, these critical ecosystems are dwindling at an alarming rate, as tracts are fragmented and degraded through unsustainable agricultural use, proliferation of invasive plants and vegetation, encroaching human development, and poor grazing practices. As a result, many birds and other wildlife are edging closer to endangerment and even extinction.
You may have heard us talk about the practice of mob-grazing. This practice was first implemented as a way to naturally build soil organic matter. Guess what, doing things that are good for the land also returns dividends in other forms, bird populations have grown considerably! A symbiotic relationship has been created by allowing cattle to graze the land while creating habitat and nesting ground for the birds.
Why are birds important to a grass fed beef ranch?
Anyone that lives in Minnesota knows that there are plenty of ticks, flies, mosquitoes, and other various bugs during our warm months. Beef cattle don’t like to be bit and stung anymore than you or I, and fighting off these pests can be stressful which affect health and performance. The way many ranchers deal with this is to turn to chemicals. There are even toxic feeds that the cattle consume and excrete, leaving an inviting but deadly home for the next fly generation.
So no more flies…not quite! Once again, nature always wins. The pesky critters adapt, higher toxicity is required to be effective, and the cycle continues.
Nature has the perfect solution, the birds. Wild birds are just like chickens in that they are omnivores. One of their favorite dinners is fly larvae, I imagine they prefer all-natural as opposed to chemical filled! As the beef cattle move into new sections of grass the birds follow right along keeping cows happy with low pressure from bugs.
It is a joy to raise grass-fed beef in an organic and natural way. We can all be amazed at how simple things can be if we work in harmony with nature.