Deer Farming

Downfield Farm Deer grazing

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Jane and Robert Prentice of Downfield FarmVenison has become a popular alternative to beef and lamb over recent years, and it’s appearing frequently on UK restaurant menus. The UK still imports venison meat from New Zealand and Europe. But, more recently, Scotland has become one of the largest producers of this fine meat. Stagison Venison owners Jane and Robert Prentice have utilised their land on Downfield Farm to operate deer farming in Scotland. And it’s the only field to fork venison farm in the country.

Five Years of Deer Farming in Scotland

Five years ago, Jane and Robert Prentice first made the move into deer farming, following a change in cattle farming policy. The couple found they had a spare shed, extra grazing and winter feed. So, after spotting a gap market, they decided that they would not only operate deer farming in the UK, but they would also open Scotland’s first venison abattoir. This would mean that deer would no longer need to travel to Yorkshire to be slaughtered, which would save them time and money.

Making the Changes on the Farm

Jane and Robert Prentice of Downfield FarmAfter operating as a mixed farming business for years, they needed to make some changes to accommodate the deer. First, they needed to modify the empty shed and fields. They introduced higher fences and barriers, new gates and reduced opening on the feed barrier. Deer are generally naturally health animals, and the only medicine they usually require is annual worming treatment.

Feeding the deer is also simple. In the summer, they graze on grass. And in winter, they feed inside on high protein grass silage, which is made in the summer and preserved.  Their food can be supplemented with grains, oats, and a balance of minerals, which makes them easier to handle. In the warmer months the deer love to spend time outside. And when it’s cold, the deer are brought inside where they have straw to eat, sleep on and play in.

Making Changes to Scottish Farming

As the farming industry continues to change due to environmental and economic issues, many farmers are looking for sustainable alternatives to cattle and arable production. One of the ways in which farms can diversify is by entering the deer farming sector. With low labour input, deer farming is a great way to boost income. And, by creating more deer breeding centres in Scotland, UK consumers will not need to import venison from abroad. Also, it provides an opening for many European importers.

Venison meat is low in fat and high in nutrition, and as demand increases, so do the opportunities for deer faming in Scotland. So, to find out more about this family-run farm and deer farming in Scotland, get in touch with Stagison today.

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Downfield Farm on a sunny day in Fife

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It’s so important to buy local produce wherever possible. By putting money into local businesses, you are helping to strengthen your local community and economy. And by reducing the need for transportation of products, you are also helping the environment. Currently, the UK imports around a third of its venison produce from New Zealand and Europe. So, when you are food shopping in Scotland, please check the labelling and buy Scottish venison if you can.

Buy Scottish Venison in Scotland

Buy Local sign at a Farmers MarketVenison is a delicious, healthy and versatile meat, which is growing in popularity. And as demand rises, the number of deer farms in Scotland and the UK rises too. By supporting local farmers, you can really make a difference in your community. Look for local farms to buy your meat from, or find a Farmers’ Market, to ensure you are getting the best Scottish venison near you.

Your Local Venison Suppliers

Stagison Venison on saleStagison Venison is farmed at Downfield Farm in Fife, Scotland. We are proud to supply Scotland with the highest quality fresh and frozen venison products. All prepared locally on our family-run farm. We are committed to sustainable farming and the welfare of our animals is of utmost importance. After all, we believe that happy stags produce the best meat. You can buy Stagison Venison meat at our local butcher in Fife.

Wherever you are in the world, it’s important to support the farms in your community, use your local butcher’s shops and buy local produce whenever you can. If we all work together, we really can have a positive impact on our local areas and help the environment too.

If you want to know more about where to buy Scottish venison, please get in touch or call us on 01337 830237.

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