I was wondering if anyone has butchered a holstien steer at 500 or 600 lbs. how was the meat? was it more like veal or beef? we would like to raise a steer for the freezer but raising a steer to full size would be way too much beef for our family. we would grow it on goat milk to weaning and then pasture and grain.
Up to 500 pounds is the high mortality risk- expensive feed -labor intensive portion of raising a Holstien Steer. From 500 to 1200 pounds is the easy part of raising a Steer, they just pretty much eat and gain, with very little labor from you. I would suggest Agman has correct suggestion for you. Always a family member or friend out there glad to buy a 1/2 of farm raised meat.
We did our last one that way...a holstien on goat milk...at 6m he was 500#....I think we are going to steer our 2m old holstien now and over winter him...and grow him out...because of the better meat taste....the young meat wasn't bad but it wasn't veal and it wasnt beef....we yielded 160# of meat(no bones) and butchered ourselves from the baby beef but the steer will go on to butcher and I have family that will purchase surplus...
My investment was about $225 for 160# meat.....not sure what I'm looking at for costs but will give it a whirl at least this time
We have pigs this year too which do good on surplus milk...but stink WAY more than a calf
I was thinking about your question today while fixing a hole in the East Heifer pasture deep in the woods. If you raise one to 600 pounds every year, you have to raise a milk calf, dehorn, castrate, and go to bother & expense of procuring said bull calf. Whereas if you keep steer, raise from 600 to 1200, that second year you have none of the above concerns. You simply feed it and let it grow, LOL.
Too much meat? We generally butcher 2 steers a year as well as a few hogs & poultry. When our freezer space gets limited, I merely "visit" some elderly folks in the family and community who I know to be on a fixed income and don't often buy expensive meats. I casually mention, that Oh by the way we just butchered and couldn't fit it all in the freezer. I have a good coffee, learn about how things were in the old days, and find it is a rewarding experience for all involved. I learned that one from a friend who is a Native American commercial fisherman. He gives away many Trout & Whitefish every year.
Rest assured he is a welcomed visitor in many households...cheers.
at about what age does a typical Holstein reach 1200 pounds? WE have a Brown Swiss so I am assuming that it would be similar to a holstein?
I am really bad at judging weight of anything.
A simple and effective way to obtain weght of dairy steer is to put a dairy cow weight tape around his girth. Thesem tapes are cheap and available at vet supply catalogs or Fleet Faarms.
A brown Swiss may be similar, but they can get even larger than the average Holstien. Depending on helth, feeding, and season of year, I would say a 15-18 month old steer should reach or exceed that weight.
Hi all, this evening I just weight taped my 12 month old Holstein steers. Each weighted approx. 1030lbs. This ought to give you a rough idea on how quick they can grow. By the way they all were bottle feed from day one...John
Phantom, calves bottle-fed with milk replacer until 7 weeks of age. Calf starter/grower grain 1 pound morning and evening until the animal reaches six months old. Then shift to 13% cattle feed 2-6 pounds morning and evening depending on age. Right now the one boy heading to the slaughterhouse is eating 4 pounds of 13% twice daily and will increase to 6 pounds morning and evening in the next few weeks. He has an appointment for butchering on 15 Sept. I expect him to be 1200 pounds by the 15th. As I mentioned before he is currently weight taped at 1036 pounds. Just checked my records and my Holsteins are gaining 150 pounds per month. I'm raising more than one steer and this type of monthly gain is common once they go beyond 500lbs. At a two year mark Holstein Steers can reach weights of 1700-2000lbs.....Other than gain, average pasture, corn stalks, and occasional cucumber, I do nothing else special but watch them grow..Any other questions just write...John
This year's bull calf will not be getting any grain until a couple of weeks before his end, if at all, because I want him loaded with omega-3 oil and CLA, two fatty acids that disappear if one grain-feeds one's beef one intends to eat. My cow is not getting any more grain either, because the calf is nursing. She gets what she would eat if she were not domesticated... good grass or hay and some legumes.
We don't do cold water fish here very well, and the CLA capsules available at the health food stores is from safflower oil...Tonalin [R].
If you could possibly find a neighbour who would be willing to go you half on the purchase, feed, transport and butchering in return for half the beef, it would then be worthwhile growing your steer out to 1200lb or more. Particularly if you could get a few dollars in advance to 'seal the deal' as it were.
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