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Cattle For Those Who Like To Have A Cow.


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  #81  
Old 01/03/11, 12:40 AM
sassafras manor's Avatar  
Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: central Illinois
Posts: 433
UFO I would have to agree with what you have heard locally. Find it hard to believe that a jersey steer would hang at 1000#. From what I understand the 600# seems like a more accurate hanging weight.
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  #82  
Old 01/11/11, 08:20 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Location: Northern KY
Posts: 171
Jersey is the best eating I have had. Have tried Angus, Charlais, holstein and other crosses. The Jersey we have in the freezer now is the best I have ever had. Had a 3 year old cow that was angus herford cross and she was very good as well. Next in line is a Jersey Angus cross bull calf out in the pasture now. Yummy. Red Poll Jersey cross is in the future works as well. I have heard Red Poll are very good eating. Let me say that I would never turn a steak down from any breed of beef. You can take that to the bank.

We have them butchered at a little over a year. I am starting to think 2 years is better. The Jersey we are eating now was right at 2 years old. Hanging weight was 400#. Very tender still. Good flavor. Marbled well. Not overly fatty but not lean, just right. Probably would grade low by USDA standards, but I don't really care what the USDA thinks.

If you do it yourself, you need to get a cooler and hang it for at least 2 weeks in a controlled environment (40F or so). My folks slaughtered our own beef when I grew up and they would hang it for a week at the most in a garage with variable temps. The beef was always tough and not near as tasty. I think it was a problem with aging. But could have been something else as well. That was grain finished beef as well. I prefer grass fed and finished. JMHO
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  #83  
Old 02/10/11, 02:34 PM
 
Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 382
Beef

I just purchased a 1/2 of an angus/hereford heifer 28 months old.it dressed out 820# so my half was 410#.My question is I brought home 275# of processed meat,does that sound correct?
Thanks
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  #84  
Old 02/10/11, 04:05 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: IN
Posts: 5,400
That sounds about right. 28 months may have a little more bone and fat loss. Add a little more evaperation loss for a week or two of hanging/aging.

Enjoy your beef.
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  #85  
Old 03/28/11, 10:21 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Kansas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sassafras manor View Post
UFO we just picked up our first beef from the processor today. This is for a grass fed Angus heifer that was 22 months old. Hanging weight was 525# and bring home meat was 390#. Of that 188# was ground burger, 88# of various roasts and 114# of steaks. I was happy and look forward to the first meal.
Sassafras, What was the walking weight of the cow before hanging? Just curious.

Thanks!
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  #86  
Old 04/13/11, 10:40 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: central Illinois
Posts: 433
Without easy access to a set of scales I honestly could not tell you. My neighbor that raises Angus guessed in the 925 range. This next time around we will be butchering our own holstein so we will see how that goes. We have set ourselves up with a fresh set of calves every 6 months in order to have a steady supply of beef. We keep keep 1/2 of one for us, give my parents 1/2 then sell the other one as a fat beef to friends or family. We charge enough to recover our feed costs, our processing costs as well enough to buy the next set of calves. My parents have helped us with free labor/babysitter as we have established our homestead and periodically stop by the local feed store to apply money to our account. The way I look at it is a way of paying them back for all they do for us.
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  #87  
Old 04/18/11, 11:22 AM
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In southeastern Colorado we're at $110.00 a head for Holstien bottle bulls.
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  #88  
Old 04/18/11, 02:02 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 719
Thats cheap for a Holestein.
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I aim to make it the most organic productive 1/3 acre in southwest Missouri
With a 20 acre plot to be added in 3 years or so
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  #89  
Old 05/30/11, 10:23 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 459
We are thinking of getting two calves to raise for meat for ourselves and extended family. How much land do I need? I have a small pasture but it not quite half an acre plus there is a barn. I can increase the grazing space. If I am supplementing with hay/grain, how much of an area do we need? I know that what I have isn't enough space to raise them completely on grass but I don't know if they require a certain amount of space to be healthy. (We are at the exploratory stage right now so don't worry. No cows were injured in the course of the preceding question! LOL)
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  #90  
Old 05/31/11, 03:04 AM
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Location: Virginia
Posts: 138
1 acre per head of livestock (horse or cow) for year round grazing is a typical working point, on marginal land managment. If limeing & fertilizing, rotating livestock off ocassionaly, seeding some nitrogen building lugumes can go less than an acre per head yr round. I keep an average of 15 head on 10 acres for the last 20 yrs and have good healthy fields and can get 1 cutting of hay off the pasture each spring, then have 10 acres that are mainly for hay and occasional rotate the children into for a month or so in the summer.
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  #91  
Old 05/31/11, 10:56 AM
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 719
It will depend wherer you live as to how much land you need. It will also depend how much hay and feed you want to buy. I live in southwest Missouri, near Joplin. Everyone knows where that is right now. ANyway. Grass does not generally grow here July and august or early september. If you chose to graze it during that time anyway it also wont grow inthe fall. Grass doesnt grow December through Feb either. SO I like to have about 1 acre per head or cow calf pair for grazing season, adn another acre per head for stockpiling during times when grass wont grow. Now operaion is feed free and reduced hay. Last winter I fed less than 1/4 round bale of hay to 6 cows. Most of what I offered was used as bedding and they just dug through the snow for forage. I ended up giving the other 3/4 of a bale away to someone who wanted to plant potatos in it. I will buy 1 emergency round bale each winter just incase there is ice which is harder for them to dig through. BUt my stockpile is generally 3 feet tall so very little digging is required unless they want the tneder stuff down low.
Lots of people will raise a calf or two in a barn lot like yours, but just expect to be buying feed adn hay. That is pricy right now and will likely cause you to butcher earlier than the calf is ready and you coluld be disapointed in the beef. Ont he up side, the calves will be your best friend is you feed them grain. They will follow you around like you are momma.
So I guess to get good advise we need to know your climate and cost parameters. There is no wrong way to doit, there are just ways that can be more bennificial to you than others. Also you may not prefer the taste of forage based beef. I like the term forage rather than grass, because grass to me is kind of limiting as a term. I dont consider clover, oats, cereal rye, sorghum, peas, turnips, among other things to be grass. I grow that and my cows graze it in its early stages long before it grows a grain head. So I dont feed grain, but my cows do get a well balanced diet of forage. Not just field fescue.
__________________
Sold the farm no more critters
I have a postage stamp lot now
I aim to make it the most organic productive 1/3 acre in southwest Missouri
With a 20 acre plot to be added in 3 years or so
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  #92  
Old 05/31/11, 11:08 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 459
Doh!

Well, of course I should have said where I am! I am in central Indiana so my climate and conditions are probably similar to Missouri, although we are maybe not as dry in the summer typically. You give very good information. I know grain is pricey right now. I also raise poultry and am very glad they can be out picking and pecking for their own food right now. Based on what you're saying, I will need to increase my fenced area and then plan on supplementing their diet. Ideally, I'd probabably only want one calf but all I've ready suggests they would do better with company.
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  #93  
Old 05/31/11, 11:29 AM
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 719
Yes, pairs are better. As for fencing, look into portable electric fencing. You dont sound like you are confident this is a permenant venture for you. It sounds like you want to give it a go and see how it works, then decide from there. That is a smart approach. There is no reason to spend thousands of dollars and endless hours building fencing to raise 2 calves. I have several acres in permenant electric fence,a nd I have lease land I move mine to when I am out of grass. I use the powerflex reels with 1400 feet of poly braid rope and push posts (pig tails might be better, but push posts are what I have) I make up temporary paddocks in the field and let them eat that area down then I use another reel and set up another paddock and move them over. THen I move the first reel to the third location. It is easy enough takes 30 minutes or so per move, and quite cheap. Plus if you give up after two, you can sell the fencing stuff on craigslist.
I am a big fan of powerflex fence. They are in Seymore Mo not too far from me. THey put out a lot of informational material and they hold grazing confrences for free. I like that they support our growth and knoweledge level. So I try to support them. There are other fine vendors out there as well, just look around.
I will say I habought some O brien reels from powerflex a few years agon and last year I bought some of there new powerflex reels made for them by O brien. I really like the new power flex reels better. They are under $40 adn sometimes you get free shipping or free poly braid with an order. Just check out their specials.
here is a link to their reels that I like
http://www.powerflexfence.com/produc...roducts/reels/
THeir special this month is free freight with orders over $100. 2 reels and 2 rolls of poly should be right in there. plus you will want posts every 20 to 50 feet. I like to use 2 push posts at the corners to keep them from bending over, but there may be a better way or maybe the pig tails would be better in teh corner. Just FYI.
I use the x3 charger, but agmantoo likes the parmak. I ahve a galager backup charger that I won at a cattlemens dinner, they retail for about $80 it seems to work ok too. not quite the pop as an X3 but it keeps them in. THe X 3 has alligatror clips for runnign off battery or an AC/DC plug to plug into 110. I use the ac, but if you are too far away from power the battery option may be a good one. You will need torecharge once or twice a month depending on your battery.
If you climate has less drought than mine 1.5 acres should get you by with minimal feed. I would stick to minimum of 2 acres per head for all grass no feed or hay, and if your soil is in bad shape or your forage is in bad shape it may take more than that. THe nice thing is your ground will improve with good management. Your chickens will love having the cows around too.
__________________
Sold the farm no more critters
I have a postage stamp lot now
I aim to make it the most organic productive 1/3 acre in southwest Missouri
With a 20 acre plot to be added in 3 years or so
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  #94  
Old 06/15/11, 09:48 AM
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: Eastern Colorado
Posts: 124
do you realy get the beef you take in the the processer

We have been wondering over the years if a person gets the same beef they raised, or since it is quality beef, if they don't sell it and give you a PBR bull or something of lesser quality . How would you know. We have bought many supposedly well fed Steers from firends and have had it processed only to get awful, inferior quality beef .. Why don't someone start a DNA testing service so you can find out if you get the same one back. Also how do you know if you are a "few" pounds shy of what you are supposed to receive. The old saying is that a Butcher never buys meat!
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  #95  
Old 06/15/11, 10:42 AM
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 719
I am guessing you will hae to ask around your area an d find a butcher with a solid reputation. I know in my area there is really only one butcher that ever gets recomended. He is more expensive, but I guess in this case not only do you get what you pay for, but you get what you drop off. For the time and effort I put in to raising grass finished beef, I dang sure want mine back. Besides, how else can you learn and improve. If you get some crappy beef back so you make changes to your management because of it then you will never get better.
__________________
Sold the farm no more critters
I have a postage stamp lot now
I aim to make it the most organic productive 1/3 acre in southwest Missouri
With a 20 acre plot to be added in 3 years or so
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  #96  
Old 08/23/11, 04:55 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: NE Arkansas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tyusclan View Post
We usually buy dairy bottle calves because they're cheap. I like to get Holsteins, but they have gotten more expensive lately. We just bought three Jersey bull calves for $35.00 each. We bottle them for about 6 weeks or until they're eating well. We give them all the grass or hay they will eat and supplement with a little grain until they're about a year old. Then start upping the grain a little at a time till they're about 16 months old. For the last 45 to 60 days we feed them all they'll eat. Usually wind up with about 900-1000 lbs. hanging weight at 18 months. I don't expect the Jerseys to do quite that well, though.
Are Jersey bulls hard to manage? I have heard they are mean.

Do you cut them?
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  #97  
Old 08/23/11, 05:03 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: NE Arkansas
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Quote:
Originally Posted by farm mom View Post
We have been buying only grass fed beef from a friend but have found some of the cuts (like the steaks) taste really yucky. Very gamey and strong tasting. Some pieces you will only get a bite or two like this, others it is the whole piece of meat. These cows are Angus. I think they are only aged two weeks or so. What could cause this? We have been scared to buy grass fed beef again because some of it was just gross. Also, some of the meat that are usually quite tender were tough. Is there an optimal age to slaughter steers because I think there's are older?
I had the same experience. I ate it. It was ok. My wife and kids would not finish it. My wife described it as bloody. The kids called it sour.
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  #98  
Old 08/23/11, 05:11 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: NE Arkansas
Posts: 8,706
Has anyone tried Wagyu?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wagy%C5%AB
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  #99  
Old 08/23/11, 05:14 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 719
Dairy steers especially benifit from going 30 months or so prior to slaughter. Aging will intensify off flavors, so you should be quite careful with aging grass only beef. legumes and brassicas during finishing are speculated to cause off flavors, onions are too. Alfalfa, wheat, and rye grass not cereal rye are supposed to be superior for grass finishing. I am sure many others will work fine too, but this is what I have found through research. I havent finished one yet myself so its mostly speculative for me so far. Ill let you know in 18 months or so. The breed in and of its self should not cuase off flavor, but a lack of marbling qualities could cause less desireable flavour and texture.
If one is not skilled at finishing on grass alone, supplemental grain probably would be a good idea in beef for sale. You can learn on your own, but selling bad grass fed beef only hurts the industry. You will permenantly turn off customers even if you or your neighbors eventually have good product. They wont trust you again.
__________________
Sold the farm no more critters
I have a postage stamp lot now
I aim to make it the most organic productive 1/3 acre in southwest Missouri
With a 20 acre plot to be added in 3 years or so
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  #100  
Old 08/23/11, 05:17 PM
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 719
read the book "steak" and you will learn a ton about finishing beef different ways. There is a lot of propaganda too, so take it with a grain of salt. But the taste testing is broken down pretty scientifically to remove some of the subjectivity. It wqas a very good read adn I finished it in a month. I dont read many books cover to cover so that is saying something. I bought it for around $10 on amazom, it was a hard copy too.
__________________
Sold the farm no more critters
I have a postage stamp lot now
I aim to make it the most organic productive 1/3 acre in southwest Missouri
With a 20 acre plot to be added in 3 years or so
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