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Size Matters

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Growth rates make for an interesting comparison

Entertaining to find this picture of one of my riggit heifers in October before she was fluked and wormed, standing in front of a neighbour’s continental (simmental x) calf. The punchline is that while they are much the same size, the hairy black and white cow is almost precisely a year to the day older than the brown and white one behind it – a crucial comparison when it comes to the biological and financial realities of modern beef production.

I can argue in favour of quality, heritage and flavour all I like, but it’s almost possible to produce two continental carcasses of superior bulk and supermarket friendly conformation in the time it takes to finish a single (rather small) galloway carcass. Key aspects of british livestock have a well-established tendency towards quantity over quality, and I would be wasting my time if I thought I was going to be able to turn a profit producing  galloway beef for the mass market. This post is no complaint – I mention it here simply because the picture provides such a notable comparison, and I am consoled by the thought that good meat is worth waiting for…

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