What Vegetation do BF Farms’ Grass-Fed Animals Eat?
Grass-fed animals at BF Farms get not only a wide variety of grasses, but also forbs, legumes, and herbs. Let’s define each:
Grasses: Grasses are blade plants which we are most familiar – such as Bermuda grass.
Forbs: Forbs are plants that produce leaves – such as strawberry and tomato plants.
Legumes: Legumes are plants with leaves that are high in protein and put natural nitrogen back into the soil. Examples would be Austrian Winter Peas and cow peas.
Herbs: Herbs are medicinal and best described as plants that help keep animals healthy. Examples are dandelion and morning glory.
At different times throughout the year, we will see over 25 different grasses, forbs, legumes, and herbs growing at BF Farms. This variety enhances the health of our animals but it is also essential for the taste and tenderness of our meat.
During the spring and summer months, we will see rye grass, Bermuda grass, crab grass, Sudan grass, fox tail grass, cheat grass, June grass, and all the various native grasses including bluestem grass.
Spring and summer forbs include amaranth, buckwheat, morning glory and the native forbs.
For legumes, we rely on summer peas also called cow peas. For herbs, we rely on native herbs such as dandelion and morning glory. We will soon be adding chicory and alfalfa.
During the fall and winter months, we feel it is very important for raising quality beef and lamb that our animals have something green to eat. Two grasses that we have relied on are cereal rye grass and barley grass. Both of these like the colder weather and do well in our area. We also add radishes and turnips (forbs) and winter peas (legumes). In addition, we provide free choice hay, either standing or baled. Our favorite hay is bluestem because of its deep roots that provide high mineral content food for our cattle and sheep during the winter.
Raising a quality grass-fed beef or lamb involves a lot more than just turning them out in a pasture and hoping for the best. Just like people, our animals are what they eat. We not only want the taste and tenderness to be there, but we also want our cattle and lambs to be nutritious. We know you can’t taste health, but we certainly feel good knowing that we’re giving it out best shot.
BF-Farms, LLC, your source for 100% grass-fed lamb and beef.