How many cows does it take to feed a family of 6 for a year? - Homesteading Today
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  #1  
Old 09/09/09, 12:47 PM
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Smile How many cows does it take to feed a family of 6 for a year?

Hi yall!

My family and I have raised cattle for years i grew up with them but we never really burched them to feed us for a year. And we mostly breed and sold the calfs. Do any of you have any idea how many cows we would have to raise to feed our family of 6 for a year? Would love any replies from yall!
thanks

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  #2  
Old 09/09/09, 01:00 PM
 
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Well, that depends on how much beef you eat and how big the cow is.

We purchased 1/4 of a small cow about 4 or 5 months ago. I think we ended up with about 100 - 125 pounds total. The ground beef ran out last week. Most of the steaks are gone. We still have several roasts and ribs.
We are a family of four and eat alot of beef.

Next time I plan on buying 1/2 instead of 1/4.

I think 1 whole cow should feed your family for a year.

Beth

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  #3  
Old 09/09/09, 01:12 PM
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1 beefer is enough provided you eat a 'normal' amount of beef and it's a normal size butcher cow.

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  #4  
Old 09/09/09, 01:42 PM
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My dad alreays had one steer a year butchered for our family of 7. In later years, he would butcher 2 and share it will all, since we were married and had families.

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  #5  
Old 09/09/09, 01:52 PM
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Well good question . someone else asked it first but, how often do you eat beef , how much at a time, by how many are eating it. A beef will dress out at the butcher at 60% maybe more depending on the animal. When I was growing up a beef would feed our family of 7 all year. And we at beef almost every day, then on the other hand we ate Holstein meat and they are good sized when fed out all the way. So size of animal and amount is your main factors.
Thanks Marc

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  #6  
Old 09/09/09, 02:00 PM
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When I was in school a looooooooonnnng time ago, I was lucky enough to win a side of beef from the U of A (AZ). At the time we were a family of four. That side of beef fed us for well over a year. Of course we didn't have beef every single meal either. 1 good beef steer should be sufficient for a family of six.

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  #7  
Old 09/09/09, 04:52 PM
 
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When we had 5 kids living with us we would get a full beef and have more then enough. We had beef about 4 times a week and had 4 girls and 1 boy. Now that two of the kids are out of the house we only get a 1/2, which isn't quite enough. So depending on the size, I think a full beef would work for you.

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  #8  
Old 09/09/09, 06:21 PM
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We eat a lot of beef, but 3/4 of a feeder is plenty for our family of four.

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  #9  
Old 09/09/09, 06:38 PM
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I agree with those who have said it depends. Depends on the size of the cattle, on how much beef your family eats, etc.

We're a family of four but we rarely eat red meat. Most of our meals are vegetarian and chicken and fish tend to fill in the gaps where there are not. We actually don't eat beef at all, just venison. 2 decent sized whitetails will feed us for a year easily.

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  #10  
Old 09/09/09, 06:43 PM
 
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Pretty hard to get two whole beeves in one freezer. Better to add other things as the freezer gets down a little. A couple hogs and about 50 chickens will keep you all fat and sassy. Worst comes to the worst, you could eat some vegtables. And cherry pie. <>UNK

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  #11  
Old 09/09/09, 07:00 PM
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It takes 3!
One to cook..
one to serve..
and one to clean up!

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  #12  
Old 09/09/09, 09:00 PM
 
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Thanks for asking the question. That's been on my mind as well.

EV

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  #13  
Old 09/09/09, 09:10 PM
 
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My husband and I get half a cow every year. there are just the two of us and we can make it stretch a full year (with giving plenty away to familes). We eat beef at least twice a week.

Factors I would consider:

~What age and sex are the family members? ( we know a family of 6: 3 females & 3 males. They went through 1/2 a cow in less than six months. Not eating beef every day but because the boys were growing boys )
~Would you have mostly ground butchered or steak and roast cuts too? We usually get around 10-15 pounds of italian sausage, 75 pounds ground and the rest, steaks and roasts. Basically what cuts would work best for you and your family and in making it stretch.

I say if you can afford it and have the room, go for 2 whole cows. better to have more than enough than not enough.

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  #14  
Old 09/09/09, 09:29 PM
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One pound of beef can feed a family of 6 for a year.............. If you have lots and lots of beans and taters. If on the other hand you enjoy beef on a regular basis, say 3 times a week, yer looking at around eating up to 4 lbs at a meal, times three is 12 lbs a week, times 52 comes up to around 600 lbs or so for a year. Now, considering a good beef steer will dress out around 70-75 percent, one good 800-900 lb steer otter catch it.

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  #15  
Old 09/09/09, 10:55 PM
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We go through 1 beef every 9 months and we are a family of 6. We do tend to have extra roast but we run out of hamburger first. So when we get the next beef butchered I take the roast back to the processor and have them ground into burger. We also go throught 2 hogs a year. But I cook 3 squares a day and we can go through a lb of bacon and an lb of sausage in on meal. We always figure 2 lb of meat per meal for a family of six. Grant it that we also have cook outs and friends over ofter too.

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  #16  
Old 09/10/09, 12:04 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rose2005 View Post
1 large cow will be enough, but 2 will be better as it would give you enough to can and use for prepping for the following year!

We kept 1/2 cow last year and still have a small amount left. But then we also have other meat as we raise feeder pigs, chickens etc.

Rose
How/why do you can beef?
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  #17  
Old 09/11/09, 11:21 AM
 
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If you live in the country and have a few acres, get a milk cow. She will provide your dairy needs for most of the year (have to give her a break right before the calf is born). Keep her calf each year and when it's a good yearling to nearly 2, put it in the freezer and that should provide all the beef your family needs all year. Pick up a few feeder pigs to add to the equation and feed them the milk left over from making butter and you'll have more than beef to eat all year. Pick up a few good multi purpose hens and let them scratch in the yard to provide your eggs. Feed them table scraps and more of the milk and you'll provide even more of your own food. Kill the roosters you produce from your own eggs and you'll have chicken, beef and pork in your freezer. Now your talking.

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  #18  
Old 09/11/09, 11:54 AM
 
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"It takes 3!
One to cook..
one to serve..
and one to clean up!"

Thanks, chickenista...I now have lettuce up my nose....don't ask!

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