Farming in Craanford, Co. Wexford, and surrounding areas, are brothers Paddy and Tommy Redmond. The pair own a diverse farming operation which includes the rearing and finishing of over 500 Angus heifer calves.
The farm hosted delegates attending the World Steak Challenge in late-September this year and Agriland was in attendance at the farm walk.
At the event, local Wexford produce was on display for the delegates, who came from around the world, to sample for themselves.
The farm manager is Michael Rossiteer and the farm is run with the help of Thomas Smyth too.
Speaking to Agriland, Michael explained every year, the farm purchases between 500-550 Angus heifer calves at approximately three weeks of age that are primarily sourced from south Co. Wexford as well as counties Cork, Limerick and Tipperary.
Produce from the farm is used to supply beef and vegetables to the Redmond brother’s two hotels, which are both based in Gorey, Co. Wexford.
A portion of these calves are contract reared and the remainder are reared on the farm.
All calves come to the farm weaned off milk and ready to go to grass for the summer. Calves are also offered concentrates at grass for the first summer.
Michael explained: “We try to get them off concentrates and on a grass-only diet for one to two months of the summer.”
This winter, a total of 100 of the 2022-born calves will be out-wintered on fodder rape. The crop was sown in September and is now being strip-grazed at knee height.
These cattle also have access to straw, baled silage as well as 1.5kg concentrates/head/day and mineral buckets.
All other cattle are housed for the winter on slats and straw bedding.
Feeding the 2021-born cattle housed for finishing in September:
The aim is to produce a beef carcass ranging between 250kg and 300kg from the heifers at 18-20 months of age.
Commenting on the reason for out-wintering a batch of the heifers, Michael said: “It’s dry ground and it helps keep the rotation of the land.”
He also said that the out-wintered heifers tend to grow bigger frames over the course of the winter.
Fodder beet is grown on the farm and fed to the beef heifers:
Cattle return to grazing for their second season in early March and stock are drafted off for finishing as they come fit.
When ready for slaughter, the heifers are sent to a local craft butcher Alan Kennedy based in Bunclody, Co. Wexford.
Once slaughtered and processed, the carcasses return to the hotels’ butchers where they are processed into select cuts of beef.
Heifers which will be finished this winter out grazing in September:
These are then sold though the Redmonds’ hotels, the online farm shop and the farmhouse burger van.
Michael added: “Everything happens in a 10-mile radius. All the feed and bedding is home grown.”
The farm also grows potatoes, carrots, turnips, as well as broccoli and cauliflower for the hotels.
“Everything the farm produces is used in the system,” Michael added.