- Eversfield Aberdeen Angus Cattle
- Eversfield Sheep flock
- Eversfield Pigs
- Eversfield Poultry
- Eversfield Wild Game
- Organic Welfare & Veterinary Treatment
Eversfield Aberdeen Angus Cattle: Our Cattle are very special. We have a large breeding herd of pedigree Aberdeen Angus with 100 heifers and 2 breeding bulls. All our animals are registered in Aberdeen Angus herd book and our herd comprises several types:
- 25 Native Aberdeen Angus (a smaller type recognised as a Rare Breed)
- 35 Traditional Aberdeen Angus
- 35 Canadians Angus
Eversfield is the only farm which has a breeding programme for the ‘Native Aberdeen Angus’. This traditional short legged breed fell out of favour with consumers when the market demanded larger meat cuts from bigger animals, and was almost lost. However, we’re delighted to maintain this special herd which is a recognised RARE BREED and keep the bloodline for posterity. Our Pedigree Native bull is called ‘Jypsey Demon’ and our Native breeding cows come from the ‘Presteign’ bloodline which can be trace back over 200 years in the Aberdeen Angus herd book. These Native Angus cows produce very high quality meat which has smaller muscle fibre but incredible flavour. Our breeding bulls mix with the heifers in the summer months and our calves are born 9 months later in the spring. The calves are suckled on their mother’s milk for 8 months (several months longer than the average) to allow the young cattle to take all the necessary goodness they need. We handle the young cows only when necessary, and most of the time they’re left to grow up in a small herd with plenty of open space to frolic or simply doze in the sunshine amongst the wildflowers. As young steers (the name given to male beef cattle) they’re separated from their mothers and put into small groups then given large open grazing pastures to roam about in. We move them regularly to keep the organic pasture rich, rotating the grazing pattern with our other livestock.
They live a very happy life out in the country – we’re not sure they appreciate the views across Dartmoor, but we provide the best organic pasture for them to eat and only supplement with organic feed if necessary. Each animal is viewed as an individual and their progress is monitored to arrive a the best moment to send them away for slaughter. Our organic methodology means that each animal’s history can be traced back to their parents, birth date, where they grazed and what they ate and any treatment they received during their lifetime. Having lived their entire life in a happy and natural environment, our farm manager decides when the beef cattle are ready to go away to slaughter, and when the inevitable day comes, the animals are loaded into a small trailer in pairs to reduce the stress of travelling, then driven a short distance of no more than an hour to a local abattoir where the necessary process takes place swiftly and humanely. The carcass is returned to us here at Eversfield where our EU Licensed Meat Plant is operated and managed by a team of skilled professional butchers. The Beef is hung for 21 days to mature the flavour before being butchered to order.
Eversfield Sheep flock: Eversfield Sheep are a hardy bunch who enjoy the rich organic pasture in summer but also are capable of extracting nutrients from the culm grassland and poorer winter grasses. All our lambs are born on the farm from a mixed flock of ewes comprising Suffolk Cross & Charolais with distinctive black or speckled faces. We have our own breeding ‘tups’ (males) which are pure Suffolk which produce quality lambs often born as twins. Our flock of Romney Marsh ewes are recognisable from their woolly white faces producing usually one lamb born early in the year. Our sheep graze the fields year round, but are brought in for lambing in February and March. The lambs are suckled by the mothers outside and gradually weaned onto grass after 6 months. The ewes are then ‘flushed’ on a diet of rich organic meadow grasses without their lambs which allows them to put on fat and triggers the onset of the next breeding cycle. Each lamb is then assessed as it grows to monitor their condition. We’re able to supply lamb all year round, since were’ not driven by market demand. The early lambs become available from July onwards with remaining lambs finished through the autumn for winter meat. The farm manager selects lambs when he feels they’re ready to produce the best finished meat. In the same way as we finish our cattle, the lambs are taken on one short stress free journey for the Eversfield lamb is extremely flavoursome and tender and available fresh all year round.
Eversfield Pigs: It was only recently in 2007 that Eversfield became a pig farm! Mark Bury the owner rescued a group of unwanted pigs and we now have a thriving breeding programme comprising a mixed herd of 20 Meidam sows and Large White sows all joined by one very busy Large White breeding boar. We also hope to soon have a breeding group of black Pietrain pigs. Our pigs enjoy the outdoor life foraging in our fields and also eat supplemented organic feedstuff, they breed naturally and piglets too are born outside with the comfort of a pig arc to shelter from the sun and wet weather. Our pig manager ensures that they have enough fresh meadow to enjoy by moving the pigs regularly, the pigs also form a key part of our pasture management providing a natural solution to stripping the land of weeds and unwanted pests. The sows have two littes of piglets each year the first in the spring, and another in the late summer. Piglets are born exactly 3 months, 3 weeks and 3 days after mating, so it’s usually easy for us to judge when the piglets will arrive! The Meidam breed of pig is known for producing good piglet numbers which produce a high quality of pork. Our Sows together produce over 300 piglets each year. We retain half our pigs for our Eversfield Organic customers and the other half are sold into the Organic pork market. The piglets suckle from their mother for a few months as they grow before being separated, weaned and finished for pork. At the end of their life, they make one small journey to the abattoir before returning to our butchery where the carcass hangs for a short time before being prepared to order for our customers. Our pigs are very happy and well cared for which is reflected in the quality of pork we offer, full of flavour, moist and the best crackling ever!
Eversfield Poultry: Our poultry comprises organic chicken, organic turkey and organic goose. We don’t raise these birds ourselves, but have scoured the land for the very best producers of organic poultry to supply our Eversfield customers. All our poultry suppliers are certified organic by the Soil Association and we personally visit each farm to see how the birds are raised. Whilst the poultry meat you buy from us has not been raised on the farm here, we can guarantee the highest standards, quality and flavour for all our chicken, turkey and goose products.
Eversfield Wild Game: Our non-organic wild venison is shot from the small wild herds of Red Deer and Roe Deer which roam the peaceful Eversfield Estate, living an idyllic life amongst our secluded and ancient broad leafed woodlands. The River Thrushell winds through the Eversfield Estate providing a natural water source. The surrounding meadows and nearby Dartmoor hillside provides the deer with a rich and plentiful food source, as well as the perfect habitat for breeding.Because these deer herds roam free as nature intended, we cannot guarantee that their diet is organic, hence their ´non organic´ description. However, we can guarantee that they live a totally natural lifestyle with little or no interference from humans throughout their lives. Our experienced gamekeeper will only shoot deer during the season with their welfare in mind, in order to maintain a sustainable number in the herd for conservation purposes. For this reason our Eversfield Non-Organic venison products are only available at certain times of the year.It’s worth the wait – having been sourced from naturally roaming wild deer here on our estate. Eversfield Non-Organic Wild Venison is a rich, dark meat which is naturally low in fat, extremely tender and full of flavour. Over the past 7 years we’ve invested heavily in the countryside stewardship scheme, planting new wildlife strips and restoring miles of hedgerows around the farm returning the natural balance of biodiversity to encourage our native British flora and fauna back to the area. As a result, the Eversfield Estate now provides the perfect environment for many wild birds and animals including deer, buzzards, owls, foxes, badgers, hares and otters as well as small wild birds and the myriad of creepy crawly creatures essential to the food chain. The estate provides pheasant with plenty of natural habitat including woodland, cover crops and small copses where these magnificent game birds can flourish. The Eversfield Shoot has operated for the past 6 years throughout the winter from October to January, and is now under the professional management of our full time gamekeeper. During the season, we’re able to offer Eversfield Organic customers our non-organic wild pheasant, simply prepared and ready for roasting. Because the birds roam across the estate, we can’t guarantee that the wild pheasant have enjoyed a completely organic diet, so we’re unable to offer them for sale as organic. However, we know that Eversfield pheasant enjoy a largely undisturbed natural lifestyle and are humanely shot. If you’ve never tried pheasant, it makes for a rich, tasty dish, producing dark meat suited to slow cooking or a casserole. Delicious braised with red wine & onions then served with crisp roast vegetables! Eversfield Organic Non-Organic Wild Pheasant is subject to availability during the season between October and January.
Organic Welfare and Veterinary Treatment: With organic farming we never use chemicals or pesticides on the land or in the feed we give to the animals. Everything we do has the welfare of the animals in mind as we know that happy, healthy animals make the best meat. We use natural methods to keep our animals healthy and free from parasites or illness. Most of the time there is no need for treatments or medicines however there are occasions when an animal may become ill and we always seek the advice of a professional vet who will assess the best treatment to get the animal back to full health. If veterinary medicines are necessary for the well being of the animal, our farm manager ensures the best treatment is given, then informs the Soil Association. All our records are maintained for each animal throughout its life.