The Cattle Farm
We raise Chianina and Limousin cattle according to the principles of closed cycle production and local sourcing to guarantee controlled beef with incomparable taste and nutritional properties.
Our cattle farm faithfully respects the principles of the so-called “closed-cycle” method.
We manage all stages in the animal’s life : from reproduction to calving, weaning, fattening and slaughtering.
We do not purchase either cattle from outside for sale or raw materials to supplement our production. This limits the introduction of pathogens from outside and guarantees cow-to-calf transfer of immunity. The antibodies transmitted by the cow protect the calves for the rest of their life, reducing the use of antibiotics, except in rare cases.
We oversee the entire production cycle, aware of the important role played by caring for the animals in obtaining meat with the best possible quality standards. This “virtuous” cycle allows us to be exponents and promoters of the controlled short supply chain in such great demand throughout the world.
What does bovine welfare mean?
Since the 1960s, the term has been widely debated. Initially conceived as the “absence of disease”, it is today “determined by the magnitude of the efforts the animal must make to relate with its environment” (Broom, Johnson 1993). Agricola San Giobbe has organised its farm with a view to safeguarding the welfare of the cattle, favouring adaptation of the animals and reducing sources of stress.
We guarantee our cattle:
- Dehorning, strictly with local anaesthetic, to favour moments of play without putting the animal’s health at risk.
- Respect of the highest possible space, hygiene and comfort standards.
- Optimum structures for all stages of life.
- A diet aimed specifically at satisfying the needs of the individual animal.
- Respect for social behaviour.
This includes breeding cows and calves until weaning. Our cattle are all mated naturally.
Once inseminated, the dams remain in the enclosure until the final stages of pregnancy when they are transferred to the calving pen. Our calving pen is conceived to respect the natural behaviour of the dam which needs a quiet undisturbed environment to avoid hindering the delicate cow-calf bonding process.
During backgrounding, the calves are brought to complete physical maturity by means of a protein-rich diet.
When the calf has reached the correct muscle and skeleton development, we decide whether it will be destined for breeding or slaughtering.
Did you know that…?
Cows and women both have pregnancies lasting 9/10 months.
Weaning is the 120/150 day period immediately after birth, during which the calf needs particular care and the constant presence of the dam. This ensures that cow-calf recognisability matures correctly and stably, even in large open environments.
We feed our cattle with exclusively GMO free ingredients grown on our farm.
The ration of food for each animal is mixed in variable proportions to satisfy and optimise the needs of the various categories.
Our cattle’s diet is divided into:
- First cut mixed hay: legumes, grasses and wild plants are cut, left to dry in the sun, then bailed to avoid deterioration.
- Alfalfa hay: the alfalfa is cut and left to dry in the sun to improve storage.
- Wheat and barley straw: the wheat and barley stems and leaves are separated from the seeds by threshing. Gathered and bailed, they represent an excellent source of fibre for our animals.
- Sorghum: this cereal grass can be fed either dry like hay or as green fodder.
- Maize silage: this is made by chopping the whole maize plant when the grains are waxy ripe.
- Field beans: these beans are an excellent source of protein in the diet of our Chianina and Limousin cattle.
- Grain maize: the maize grains are dried and ground before feeding to the cattle. They are an important source of energy to nourish our animals.
- Grain barley: an excellence source of fibre, carbohydrate and protein. The barley is ground before being fed.
- Vitamin and mineral supplements: the land in the Val di Chiana is poor in selenium and we therefore decided to supplement this micro-element with external sources.
Health through cow-to-calf transfer of immunity
We have decided not to give our cattle any preventive medicinal products, in the conviction that disease resistance must come exclusively from the healthy genetic make-up transmitted by the cow.
We use pharmaceutical products only in the event of actual disease and always under veterinary supervision. If the animal undergoing antibiotic treatment is destined for slaughter, we wait patiently until the substances have been completely eliminated. This guarantees that the meat is free from the drugs used.
We have chosen to adopt these good practices to benefit the consumer and community: we reduce the onset of antibiotic-resistance and the quantity of drugs introduced into the environment with waste products.