As the winter months draw nearer there are certain adaptations we have to make on the farm for the welfare of the animals. Being organic means preparations have to start way back in the year in order to be able to survive the winter months. We have to make sure we can gather as much fodder (grass) as possible.
We cannot rely on the use of artificial chemical fertilisers. Instead we develop a healthy, fertile soil by growing and rotating a mixture of crops, adding organic matter such as compost or manure and using clover to fix nitrogen from the atmosphere. Pesticides are severely restricted – instead organic farmers develop nutrient-rich soil to grow strong, healthy crops and encourage wildlife to help control pests and disease.
Animal welfare is at the heart of the system and a truly free-range life for farm animals is guaranteed. However, thinking that organic livestock are completely reared on grass is not entirely true. Yes our lamb and beef are reared throughout the year on grass and hay, but we may feel the need to supplement with organic grain due to extreme weather.
However, grass does contain grain as it goes to seed. This of course is a natural diet for cattle and sheep. Grain contains a rich source of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, fats, oils and protein, which is a vital part of their diet.
Pork and poultry on the other hand, completely rely on grain in order to grow but allowing them to wallow and scratch gives them a chance to live life to the full.