Pineywoods cattle are a landrace—a heritage breed of Spanish cattle that evolved naturally in the brushy, wooded terrain of the Gulf Coast region of the southeastern United States. Over the past 500 years they have evolved to be naturally resistant to most diseases and are able to forage on rough vegetation that commercial cattle will not touch.
These cattle have evolved to avoid predators by spending only a minimum of time at their water hole. This makes them very low impact cattle as they do not contribute to bank erosion and fouling of streams like most domestic stock.
The cattle receive only vaccinations against communicable diseases (Brucellosis, hoof-and mouth) as required by law. Animals sold for food never receive antibiotics.
No commercial fertilizers, herbicides, or pesticides are used on the pastures—and have not been used on the farm for many years.
Our Pineywoods cattle are not fattened in a feedlot. The unique flavor of the meat comes from the natural forage—a unique blend of herbs, brush, and grass (acorns, oak leaves, honeysuckle, privet, fescue, clover, Bermuda, (and even poison ivy…) grown on Hudson River Landing Farm. The cattle receive free choice natural trace minerals and iodine in the spring and fall to boost their immune system against fescue foot.
We manage the farm so that the animals graze in the open pastures throughout the year. Given the high fescue content of the pastures, which grows through most of the winter in Georgia, we normally do not feed hay. However, in years when conditions warrant we feed hay of the same grasses as the summer pasture (Fescue/Bermuda).
The only feed we give them are “cow candy” treats made of pressed pellets of alfalfa and molasses. Our cows are very friendly and come frolicking from a great distance when called—all hoping for a treat. They are real beggars!
The cattle are never confined in pastures smaller than 10 acres and their usual range is in pastures 30-80 acres. All pastures are a mixture of open pasture and woods. Our goal is to provide as natural a habitat as possible. Deer, wild turkey, squirrels, racoon, opossum, and many other wild creatures live alongside the cattle. The cattle are never fed or fattened in feed lot conditions.
All cattle kept on the farm are registered with the Pineywoods Cattle Registry and Breeders Association (PCRBA) and are all purebred Pineywoods. We specialize in two family strains—Holt (a strain originally from south Georgia) and Broadus (from southern Mississippi. We also have a number of registered Pineywoods with a mixture of family strains.
We try to maintain the broad original gene pool and especially seek to maintain the “guinea” or dwarf variety under 42 inches shoulder height. Currently, we have a number of these animals in the Broadus family strain. These animals tend to have stocky bodies and produce almost as much meat as a regular animal. Some ranchers prefer these animals as they can be maintained with less fencing.