Our Animals

Water Buffalo

Our Water Buffalo originally descend from Asian Buffalo, like those in India and Pakistan. They are called Water Buffalo as in the wild they inhabit swampy, wet areas. They are tame, friendly and curious animals. They are also quieter and easier to milk than most cows. Our buffalo herd numbers are over 1,500. Buffalo meat is a tasty alternative to beef. Their milk is very rich and creamy. It makes beautiful cheese, ice-cream and milkshakes.

Reared in large straw bedded yards, or grassy paddocks, the young buffalo are fed on a completely natural diet of hay, straw, a blend of GM free cereals or grass from clover rich pastures. No meat, bone or fish meals are fed to our buffaloes. Every attention is paid to the animal’s welfare. From baby calves to the day they leave the farm, no growth promoting hormones are used, nor antibiotics administered to any animal bearing the quality assured seal of Laverstoke Park. Free from the worries of BSE, antibiotic residue, Buffalo Meat is a natural choice for all those who still enjoy eating meat. Buffalo is full flavoured and tender. It can be prepared much the same way as beef without special handling.

As well as keeping water buffalo for meat we also have 200 milking buffalo which are well-known for producing mozzarella cheese. They produce far less milk than traditional cows but their milk has exceptional qualities such as a high solid content which make it excellent for cheese-making and other dairy products such as ice creams. Buffalo milk is very white, beautifully smooth, and an important source of protein and calcium. Unlike the array of industrially produced alternative milks, such as soya or other cereal milks, it is totally free of additives and chemical formulations. It is perfectly suited to making superb cheeses, yoghurts, ice creams and fantastic milk shakes! Buffalo milk is often used as a substitute for those with an intolerance to cow’s milk. Please call us on 0800 334 5505 if you have any questions.

Cattle

We have two of the most famous beef breeds in the world, Traditional Hereford and Aberdeen Angus. They are not crossbred to grow bigger or faster. We currently have a total of approximately 400 cattle, farmed on 700 acres of land.

Traditional Hereford – our Herefords can be traced back to the original population, having been pure bred for many generations. Their beef is a little fattier than the Angus. We have 40 pure breading Hereford cows which represents approximately 20% of the original, pure, world population.

Aberdeen Angus – we also have 70 Aberdeen Angus cows, which represents about one third of their total world population. By breeding our pure native Angus with Aberdeen Angus we are looking to establish an Angus herd that produces the original quality beef for which they are famous.

Pigs and Wild Boar

Wild Boar – the original pig. They produce leaner meat and has a richer taste. Wild Boar are subject to the Dangerous Animals Act and we keep them in a purpose-built outdoor facility incorporating some woodland, keeping them in as natural an environment as possible.

Middle White – this breed of pigs are very rare and produce simply delicious pork.

Sheep

We have two breeds of sheep. Our combined flock numbers 880 ewes, 16 rams and we anticipate a total of 1200 lambs, which are born in the spring, starting from April. The sheep rotate across in excess of 400 acres.

Hebrideans – this ancient breed of sheep originates from the Outer Hebrides in Scotland, and produces our best tasting organic lamb.

Free Range Poultry

There are two reasons why we have poultry; to clean and fertilise the fields whilst they rotate around 300 acres of the farm and to provide wonderful tasting birds and eggs. Our free-range chickens are ready for the table in 100 days, unlike the fast growing commercial breeds, which are forced to ‘mature’ in only 39 days.

The secret to good free-range poultry is for them to spend most of their time outside getting around 30% of their food from grass and insects naturally. We have developed a system, which ensures our poultry spend most of their days outside, unlike many so-called “free range” systems where the birds hardly ever go outdoors.

Our chickens are kept in very low-density houses, which are open on to the ground and are moved on to fresh grass every week. None of our poultry are caged in any way and are free to roam happily across our fields.

Chickens – the breeds we use were developed in France for the outdoor Labelle Rouge market and produce exceptional tasting meat. As with our other poultry, they spend their entire daytime outside on our pastures.

Hens – our pure bred French hens each lay approximately 180 eggs per year, where as a conventional hybrid hen will lay over 320 per year. A hen’s diet has a major influence on the nutritional value of the eggs produced. A good diet of whole grains, fresh pastures and all the worms and insects they can find creates eggs with an Omega 6 to Omega 3 fatty acid ratio of close to 1:1, much better than battery produced hens.

Turkeys – these are reared free range, organic and spend their days out doors enjoying the herbs, grass and insects on the 15 hectares that they roam on.