We love our Coos. With heart and soul. Each one of them and every piece of them. Including their meat.
Our animals live a good life: out in the wild in their own group and with as little stress as possible. To ensure those living conditions, we need to contain the size of our fold. Too many cattle in a small area creates hunger and stress and will make them fight over pecking order within their fold. On top of that we want to guarantee a clean bloodline and avoid inbreeding. Because of that, some of our animals will be leaving the fold to grass elsewhere, or off to Kingdom come.
Our Coos in Hertigembos – Sint-Katherina-Lombeek
The meat of the Scottish Highlander is world-renowned for its flavor and it would be a waste to throw that away. So from 2021 we’ll team up with Meat, a local butcher with love for their craft and honest meat in Okegem, to offer you a piece of our Heilan Coos.
The taste and quality of the meat of our cattle is determined by the large and varied menu the preserves they live in have to offer. Their diet consists of grasses, bushes, shrubs, young shoots, weeds and herbs. Highlanders have a heavy coat that insulates against a harsh climate so they don’t develop excess back fat. Instead they develop lean and well marbled beef. Because of their diet of grasses and because we don’t feed them highly nutritional additives, their beef is healthy and nutritious with lower levels of fat and cholesterol than other beef.
The dark red meat of Scottish Highland cattle is lean and tender. Recent studies in the United States and the UK show that highland beef is as low in cholesterol and fat that it compares to chicken and fish. The fat content is a stunning 38 % lower than other breeds. The meat is succulent en has a very distinctive flavor with soft touches of game.
picture source: https:// pittsburgherhighlandfarm.com
Arthur Le Caisne puts Highland beef at the top of the quality scale. Mister Le Caisne states that the flavor of beef is not as much determined by the muscle meat as it is by the fat in and around that muscle meat. And it so happens Heilan Coos have a lot of intramuscular fat.
“Het handboek van de slager” by Arthur Le Caisne
We choose not to work with a bio label. Grass-fed beef takes it a step further. Whereas with biomeat it is still allowed to feed and finish with soja and granes and to add supplements (also known as E-numbers), that is not the case with grass-fed beef. If we need to feed extra during winter, our cattle only gets served with hay and pre-dried grass silage. And since Highlanders are a hardy breed, they live outside and are never put in stables. They live and graze all year round in pastures and woods.
Heilan Coos are a slow maturing breed and we give them that much needed time to grow. Highland cattle is slaughtered at a later age than other cattle breeds. Calves grow up in the fold with there mom and will only be weaned 8 to 10 months old. In the meantime they live a pleasant life out in the nature where the fold is allowed to grow in a natural way and where we try not to intervene in the pecking order. Taking cattle away or adding members to the fold sturrs things up and causes stress so we only do this when it’s strictly necessary. And then there are the added bonuses of wellness moments, massages and scratches. When our Coos allow us, they get extra spoiled.
Giving them a stress free live can only add to the quality of their meat.