Established in 1999, Vagabond Cattle Company has been the brainchild of New Mexico Ranchers, Aubrey and Robin Dunn. From a simple start with a few head of Maine Anjou Cows, VCC has grown and blossomed into the successful cattle enterprise that it is today. Having managed a purebred herd, raised and developed a premier seed stock bull sales business, and sold corriente roping cattle, VCC has restructured itself again to capture the market in Grass Finished Beef.
The original cows, which are now many generations removed but still present in the genetics of these high quality cattle, were hand selected for their breeding program, and are a natural fit for this endeavor. Over the years emphasis has constantly been placed on temperament (which is highly correlated to tenderness), and solid body frames, which allow them to thrive on the New Mexico short grass prairies that they call home. While it is now a mostly commercial herd of cows (meaning that it has been influenced by different breeds, including angus and simmental, among others), the quality and tenderness of the Maine Anjou breed shines through, for an unforgettable dining experience.
Because these cattle are ‘Grass Finished’ and not just ‘grass fed’ (which can still mean grain finished), they offer a unique flavor and a leaner meat. When cattle are ‘Grass Finished,’ they are essentially an animal whose diet has primarily consisted of its natural feed stuffs, which are provided in a natural environment, and for these cattle, that is the open range, enjoying the abundant grama grasses of the Gran Quivira Ranch. When cattle have the opportunity to spend their life on pasture, and avoid the feedlot (which is where they would go to be grain finished), they often avoid exposure to illnesses that can contribute to antibiotic use, which means that the only reason we would ever use antibiotics on a cow or calf, is if there was a health issue relating to a wound that needed to be cared for, and you can rest assured that those cattle are recorded in our notes.
In addition to the native grasses that our cattle sustain themselves on, in the winter time we supplement them with cottonseed cake and alfalfa because these feeds provide protein and some added roughage, which the cattle need to stay healthy and maintain not only their weight, but also their body temperature in the colder months. As plants go dormant in the winter, there is less protein available to the cattle, which makes this necessary. As the grasses green up in the spring time, the range is once again ready to provide the necessary protein, and if we have had enough moisture, we stop supplementing feed altogether. We rotate our cattle through pastures on the ranch to ensure that the optimal amount of grass is grazed and the plants have plenty of time to recover and reproduce, thus ensuring a healthy range for years and generations to come.
The slow paced life of the ranch offers an array of advantages to our cattle, not the least of which is a relaxed environment. Cattle prefer life on pasture and all of the cattle we offer in our Grass Finished Program are born and raised here in pastures on the ranch. When it is time to perform the necessary tasks associated with cattle, including branding (as required by law), and castration, we use state of the art equipment to humanely handle the animals and reduce the stress associated with such practices.
The cattle that we have available for purchase as Sides and Wholes, are going to generally be 18 months of age at harvest. Calving season ranges from February through May, they are weaned in October and then given a year to grow and develop, so that they can be harvested fat and happy after a long summer of grazing green grass.
There are a very limited number of Grass Finished Beef Steers still available for Fall 2016, so contact us or CALL TODAY to make your reservation!
We are also taking reservations for Fall 2017 Sides and Wholes
At Vagabond Cattle Company, we look forward to hearing from you and working with you to meet your families unique beef needs, feel free to call or email us.
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