Size Matters

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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