With all the supplements available to make livestock bigger, better, and beefier, it may seem almost impossible that our cows could be raised without the use of any of these products. The ability to sustain our cows on a grass-only diet did not begin over night. In fact, The Baggett family began preparing the farm and it’s pastures for grass-fed beef in 2007. Since then, we have learned a LOT about grasses and forages! Tennessee Grass Fed’s 278 acres of pasture has been divided up into 28 different paddocks. Each paddock is planted and maintained for the purpose of our rotational grazing regimen. The cows are rotated to a new paddock every day; this not only helps maintain and develop the animal’s body condition, but also improves soil health, and keeps the pastures from being overgrazed.
We have received much great advice from University of Tennessee’s Pat Keyser. As Professor and Director for the Center for Native Grasslands Management, Keyser works with and mentors farms and programs around the country. Our pastures are planted with warm and cool season grasses and legumes, allowing our cows to graze high quality forages year round. Eating only grass and hay, our cow’s diet does not produce the biggest and beefiest animals the quickest, as a high starch diet of corn and soybeans would. Our goal is to allow the animals to develop naturally without all the troubles caused by confinement, antibiotics, hormones, and GMO feeds.
Currently we have about 200 head of cattle on our farm; this includes a group of 60 mama cows and their calves, about 40 heifers to breed to bulls, and close to 90 cows in their finishing stages of 24-30 months.
Watch the video below to see the cows at their suppertime! The haybale unroller allows each animal to get plenty to eat, and prevents wear and tear on the pasture.