THE STORY OF MEAT
After years spent working in another field, I decided to return to my childhood dream – to raise animals. In 2002, I purchased an abandoned former Communist state-owned farm located on land in the romantic Broumov Protected Natural Landscape Area in Horní Adršpach, right next to the Adršpach Rocks. That same year I began raising cattle without producing milk for the market. I started by buying around fifty culled dairy cows and crossbred them with purebred Charolais bulls to create a meat-producing type of cattle.
Modernising the farm was indeed an adventure. The original state-owned farm had a facility from the 1970s for rearing young cattle which could house 500 heifers with feeding racks – which at the time of purchase were filled with dung to a height of 40 cm above the railings. It also had four tower reservoirs for feed, as well as endless amounts of garbage, construction debris, and clutter, including hundreds of tires of all types and sizes.
To date, we have renovated the original hall, built another hall in 2013, and put a third hall into operation in late 2017. We demolished the towers and modernised the farm's operations. Our equipment comprises eight tractors and other necessary vehicles, including a combine – we are entirely independent and do not need to outsource additional services. Since 2017, we have been using mechanical feed piling in the fattening stable.
In 2016, we purchased 15 pregnant Charolais heifers, and the following year, 14 pregnant heifers and 23 year-old heifers directly from France. All of these animals have excellent pedigrees and thus superior genetics. Our goal is to segue completely to breeding these beautiful animals.
We watch over our animals carefully using software to monitor the health and ruts of our cows and heifers. We also use a camera system to monitor the animals around the clock –during calving, for example, we can provide immediate assistance if necessary.
Thanks to the purchase of high-quality breeding animals from France, we have already bred our first very high-quality animals. They clearly manifest the genetic predisposition for conformation that is so characteristic for Charolais.
Five factors influence the quality of meat
- AGE AT SLAUGHTER
Genetics is the foundation, the primary prerequisite. This means that the animal has a genetic predisposition to have better, higher-quality meat than other animals. When breeding, dairy cattle need to have different characteristics than the cattle bred exclusively for meat. Genetics determine the proportion and amount of muscle mass, marbling, and the animal’s ability to gain weight. Marbling is extremely important. These minute fat “capillaries” are essential for the meat’s flavour and juiciness. Marbling also relaxes the muscle tissue, so marbled beef is generally more prized.
Just as important as genetics is high-quality fattening of the animals. In general: whatever an animal eats, we later taste in the meat. Animals can be fed in different ways, and the result can be assessed differently. It is essential to feed animals naturally and correctly. In addition to knowing what the animals need, it's essential to provide the animal with the food it truly likes. Free access to sources of nutritious food is a basic requirement, as are plenty of opportunities for the animals to move naturally.
AGE AT SLAUGHTER
For food connoisseurs, the age of the animal at the time of slaughter is important – it determines how flavourful and marbled the meat is, what it tastes like. With cattle, the ideal age of slaughter is 24 months and up, when the marbling process has fully manifested.
After slaughtering, the meat undergoes ageing. During ageing and storage of meat after slaughter, enzymes are released, altering the protein structure of the meat, making it more tender and flavourful.
STORY - Our Story
The thread connecting all of the above qualitative indicators is “the story of the meat”. It’s a story about people who do their work with the greatest sense of responsibility and love for what they do, about people who raise animals with the goal of achieving the highest quality meat. It’s about breeders who personally oversee the entire process, starting with the animals – their genetics, fattening, and slaughter, and finally with the ageing of the meat. Only in this way can customers be confident that the best possible product will make its way into their hands.
We carry out our work from the heart, with enthusiasm, making the utmost effort today and every day.
Our goals are HEALTHY, HAPPY ANIMALS –HEALTHY, HIGH-QUALITY MEAT – SATISFIED CUSTOMERS.
Five principles that determine our breeding
1. BREED - charolais - a breed known all over the world, it is a very tall and muscular cattle endowed with beautiful white fur and weighing on average between 700 and 1200 kg. The breed was bred in France as a breed with great muscle, which every gourmet will rejoice in!
2. CARE - we take care of our animals throughout their lives, including the prenatal one! Mothers live outside in a herd with breeding bulls, some of cows are inseminated. During pregnancy, mothers are checked regularly and separated into groups for several weeks before giving birth, they are provided with special prenatal nutrition and are checked several times a day by their caregivers. At the same time, antenatal on-line monitoring takes place via sensors that have the animals placed on their tails. Thanks to this, we know which mother is about to give birth, at what stage the birth is and, if necessary, we rush to help. Calves live until weaning in about 8-10 months with their mothers and drink mother´s milk as they please.
3. PASTURE or if you want FOOD - our animals are fed only with feed from our own production, from our pastures, full of herbs and grasses, which have been growing in our country for centuries and are not degraded by chemicals, pesticides and herbicides due to ecological farming. The same goes for cereals, pea mixtures and other supplementary nutrition. To this basis, the animals receive quality mineral supplements.
4. ENVIRONMENT - from spring to winter, the animals graze on ecologically managed rich pastures in the protected landscape area CHKO BROUMOVSKO. For their winter stay and fattening, we modernized the original hall and built two more brand new ones. Cows with calves are in smaller groups on straw, animals for fattening have a special rubber mat under them, which protects their legs and allows comfortable lying down.
5. ENJOYMENT - here we mean enjoyment, the experience of food, great steak, delicious goulash, beef broth, which "has grads", anything that is lovingly prepared for a sweet human tongue. From what is prepared from the highest quality meat with the same love and respect with which the living animal was approached.