Finishing cattle means to slightly alter their diet for the final few weeks before slaughter, in order to ensure the meat develops the characteristics needed for dry-ageing and good eating. Until this point – 24-30 months – our cattle have had a diet consisting almost entirely of grass, hay or silage. The grass-fed approach allows for slow, unhurried maturation, which is essential for depth of flavour and quality. However this does, due to the relatively low protein value of grass feeds, mean that the animals haven’t yet developed enough fat to protect the flesh during dry ageing. A few weeks with a higher protein supplement sees that the animals are fit for dry-ageing, and can help give the meat a little added sweetness.
We finish all of our cattle in the same way; 3-6 weeks (dependent on the season, as cattle take longer to finish during colder months) on a combination of oats and barley, along with a little wheat, molasses and soya protein or homegrown peas where possible.