How stress affects cattle and meat quality
Long-term stress from rough handling, transportation, a negative environment, physical discomfort, lack of consistent routine, and bad feed quality contribute to a weaker immune system. This will cause sickness, minimal growth, and even weight loss. Long-term stress impacts the meat quality as well. The persistent high acidity caused by long-term cattle stress will begin breaking the meat down. The meat becomes dark, soft, mushy, and sticky (very similar to being bruised) and will have a limited shelf life.
No Stressing = Great Digesting
Different animals digest in different ways. Cattle were created to eat forages in larger amounts in a single feeding and, through the process of rumination (digestion), take a considerable amount of time for their stomachs to digest food. The cow accomplishes this by lying down in a low-stress environment to “chew their cud.”
Pre-harvest stress, such as fasting, transportation, loading, and unloading, occurs 12 to 48 hours before harvest. This causes cattle to lose muscle glycogen, resulting in meat that is higher in pH, darker in color, and drier. The stress also causes an adrenaline rush, causing muscles to tense up, resulting in tough meat.
V.I.P. Lifestyle “No Stress” Environment
- Cattle will be housed on a family-run ranch here in N.E. Texas and treated to a customized health and wellness program.
- The facility consists of multiple barns with mature trees for shade, ponds, and plenty of room to roam.
- Cattle will be fed consistently along with their health and well-being as our top concern.
- Fresh vitamins and a mineral supplementation program for every animal will be provided.
- Cattle will be handled in a quiet professional, stress-free manner.
- Cattle will be in large fenced areas with the ability to go into barns to get out of the weather.
- Cattle will be vaccinated, tagged, and kept in small groups.
- They will be kept in small groups because they are herd animals and will perform better in a group.
- Feed ingredients will be stored on site in a commodity barn to keep ingredients fresh and ready to be fed.
- In the rare case of sickness, we have the ability to doctor cattle on site, which will result in the least amount of stress and produce better results.
- Cattle have sand bedding under the main barn to lay down in for comfort and relaxed muscles.
- Cattle are bought from local ranchers and hauled immediately to our facility where they will stay the entire time, creating very little stress, providing optimum weight gain and quality.
- A water filtration system is on site for the cows to have access to filtered water without chlorine or harsh chemicals from county water.
- We will have our nutritionist formulate a custom feed ration to ensure your animal is healthy and growing top quality meat.