I’d heard of a farmer with a herd of Galloway cattle not far from me, so I called him up and went over to check out their farm. Stefanie and Andreas Roth are German, a fact that you could work out on arriving at the farm from the German cars, German MB-Trac tractors and this awesome Unimog with a 3-pt hitch on the front and the back.
His Galloways are a mix of colors, ranging from a light cream to black with a couple of Belted Galloways in his herd.
And they are small! After looking at French cows for years these Scottish girls are a different size altogether. They are very cute and wooly. When I look at our Salers I think they are a small cow compared to the ubiquitous Blondes around here but they are positively giant compared to these girls.
This one liked to pose for the camera.
As did her calf, who reminds me of Fozzy Bear.
I was wondering about getting a couple to try out on the lucerne of our farm, but Galloways don’t have horns and I don’t want to put new animals in with a herd of big strong heifers without having some horns to defend themselves. Maybe we could put a couple separated from the main herd with the finishing animals?
Galloways produce small carcasses. Andreas gets about 130kg of meat from each animal at about two and a half years of age. As a comparison, a fully finished Salers heifer should give you over 200kg of beef. Both breeds are rustic all-season cows which live outside in the winter and eat just about anything. They can both marble well, although Andreas doesn’t finish his animals to produce marbling. You can see the difference in build when you compare them with our our Salers heifers below, although these girls are looking a little porcine after eating some lucerne hay.
Andreas is dropping by in a few days with some beef for us to try and I can’t wait. One way to look at other farms that direct sell is as competitors, but we don’t do that. There are so few direct sale beef farms that we like to learn from each other and help each other. For those of you in the Gers who would like to talk to Andreas and try his beef he is at 05 62 09 15 30. There’s also a fiche in French with a lot of information.
7 thoughts on “Andreas Roth’s herd of Galloways”
Interesting. Living so long in San Francisco, I got used to buying things directly from the folks who grew/raised it. We get good food here in Paris, no question, but, apart from the chickens, humanely raised meat is hard to find. In fact, when the hubby comes home with another piece of veal, I just don’t ask any more how that little guy was treated. Somewhere down the line, is there any chance you guys could form some kind of loose marketing confederation with a web site or maybe, oh this would be so great, open a shop here in Paris or sell to the Grande Epicerie or some similar high-end store? You could do what a lot of folks do and start by selling to the chefs at good restaurants. I can see a Sunday feature article here, for sure.
Those are some seriously over-the-top-cute cows.
Very interesting! I’m so glad you can see each other as colleagues rather than as competitors. The Galloways remind me a lot of our Dexters, although much hairier. I converted your kg of finished beef to pounds to compare to what we’ve been told to expect from a Dexter, and I think they’re in about the same size range. Dexters are also very hardy and finish nicely when grass-fed because they were bred to be the all-purpose family cow on small farms in Ireland. I’m assuming that is much the origin of Galloways, just in Scotland.
When I was researching small breeds of cattle, I came across people selling mini belted Galloways here, calling them Pandas. They wanted an absolute fortune for them, and we weren’t into collecting “cute,” but oh, my, are they ever!
P. S. Right after reading your post I was reading Simple, Green, Frugal Co-op and found this post on promoting locally-produced food and products: http://simple-green-frugal-co-op.blogspot.com/2011/11/promoting-locally.html
I figure you might see it from following Matron of Husbandry, but thought I’d pass it on in case you didn’t.
bizzyella, Jean wants to drive the frigo van up to Paris periodically to sell there, so it may happen at some point after we find a van. I think she just wants to visit Paris every few months.
Susan, those belted Galloways do have a striking look.
We met a couple of people the other day that have a Dexter bull. I need to visit and check him out just to learn what they look like. Overall I do wonder about the performance of Scottish and Irish cows in a hot and dry summer like ours, but if you have the trees and streams it could work.
Well, we’d love to meet her — and we’d really love to try her tomatillo sauce. We leave in early January, but will return in April some time. I guess this is a good way to reach us, or post something on SW France Cafe. — Lynn