All of the beef we sell at Jolly Nice, including our Shorthorns reared on the Jolly Nice farm in Westonbirt, are from rare-breed suckler herds as opposed to dairy beef.
The welfare of our livestock is our top priority and so our calves are reared suckling their mothers for at least nine months until the calf is eating a grass based diet. This is the way nature intended and makes for much healthier, happier and hardier animals.
Conversely, beef reared from dairy cattle where the calves are weaned from their mothers at a day or two old is very distressing for the mother and calf. The calves are fed on a milk substitute which makes for less hardy animals and means they need to come inside during the winter months to feed on less sustainable cereals and imported soya.
Rare breed cattle reared in this natural way mean they can tough it out in all conditions and graze on harder grasses many animals won’t touch. This encourages the more delicate plants and herbs to thrive and in turn helps the wildlife.
Rare breed cattle who spend their whole lives grazing outside don't rely on many inputs and eliminate the need for unsustainable soya imports and significantly reduce tractor movements.
Rare breeds are not the quickest or most profitable option for farmers as they grow much more slowly and often not as big as "genetically improved" breeds but this means more fat marbling throughout the muscle and much more depth of flavour. Acclaimed chef Neil Rankin said our shorthorn beef was some of the sweetest beef he’d tasted.