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Cattle For Those Who Like To Have A Cow.

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Old 03/24/08, 05:39 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 109
Is an old cow good to eat?

I have been wondering what to do with my 9-10 year old cow. I don't really want to keep her after her next calf, for various reasons. Will she be OK for hamburger, sausage, stew meat, or any other suggestions at what she can be processed into?

I've even thought of home grown dogfood, since the price of dogfood is going up.

Would love to have some advice, I haven't asked around yet or contacted a processor.

My thoughts are she's probably better than some of the meat you buy at the store - regardless of her age.

Thanks for your help,
Horns Bach
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Old 03/24/08, 06:15 PM
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Washington
Posts: 2,113
When I worked for a farm butcher, we would call old cows "boners," meaning they would be all boned out and made into ground beef. Mostly they were fine but sometimes, if the cow was really old and fat, it would come out all greasy with gobs of yellow fat in it. Sometimes it was too fatty to go through the grinder.

A lot might depend on the breed of the cow and what she's been fed. If you have a butcher you trust, follow their advice. It might be that the cost of processing might be more than the meat is worth. My former boss charged more per pound because of the extra work involved in "boning" out a 1,000 animal.

Dog food? Maybe.

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Old 03/24/08, 06:21 PM
Join Date: May 2002
Posts: 162
old cow

yes, yes and yes, good burger.
Verdigris Valley Farm
Altoona, Kansas
Cows, Chickens, Goats, Dogs, Cats and one Molly Mule
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Old 03/24/08, 06:21 PM
ksfarmer's Avatar
Retired farmer-rancher
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: north-central Kansas
Posts: 2,978
Most older cull cows make excellent lean hamburger. If she is too fat, the butcher might have to do more trimming. Might be able to get some stew meat, but too tough for steaks. Many cattlemen I know will salvage a cow for hamburger, and a bull with a broken leg too.(Been there, done that) Biggest problem with a bull is what do you do with 600 to 700 lbs of burger. LOL. Lots of lean hamburger, to sell or share with friends. Better than the stuff you buy at the store which shrinks so much when grilled.

Hey Jim: I grew up at the head of the Verdigris, near Madison.
* I'm supposed to respect my elders, but its getting harder and harder for me to find one. .*-

Last edited by ksfarmer; 03/24/08 at 06:26 PM.
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Old 03/24/08, 06:56 PM
bumpus's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Right Here
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Old Cows Make for the card board beef, they sell as hamburger, and dog food today.

Happy none flavor to you.

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Old 03/24/08, 09:56 PM
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 42
My Grandma and the dairymen who I got my cow from said that there's nothing more tender than old cull cow. ? They generally butcher their culls and say that it tastes very good. Never done it myself so I can't say but that's what I've heard.
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Old 03/25/08, 07:14 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 2,686
The oldest cow I've ever eaten was a 5 year old heifer (in that it had never calved) and it was beautiful eating. However, your cow has few calves and milkings under her belt and is twice the age so may not be so good. However, that doesn't mean that she has to be made entirely into mince. Think about corned beef, sausage, mince, the fillet steak should be good. If your into slow casseroling, take the rumps, scotch fillet etc. out for that. With tough meat I will often prepare and cook for several hours, put it in the fridge, skim the fat off the following day and set it to slowly cook for another 2-3 hours. Talk to your butcher about other processed meat options. I think you will find that with a little imagination you will get some good eating out of her - although tender rump on the BBQ will be off the menue for a while.

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Old 03/25/08, 07:46 AM
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 1,627
dry her off if she's still milking, let her eat grass and give her some grain all summer and you'll have a nice hunk of beef this fall.
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Old 03/25/08, 08:03 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Northern Michigan (U.P.)
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Nearly every old cow in this country is eaten. Most of the worn out older Holsteins go into processed foods like the meat in canned stew, soup and spagetti sauce, Lean Cuisene, pre-formed hamburger patties, etc. If I were you, I'd plan on grinding most of it up, but save out some choice cut. If those turned out tough, simply run it thru a grinder. A few week on corn helps.
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Old 03/27/08, 12:45 PM
Sugarstone Farm
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Minnesota
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We feed up our old cull cows for awhile and then butcher for hamburger. The whole extended family LOVES it, tastes so much better, more flavorful than anything in the grocery store.
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Old 03/28/08, 03:49 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Zone 7
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The tenderloins ( filet mignons) will not be tough regardless of age!
If they can do it,
you know you can!
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Old 03/30/08, 12:53 PM
ozark_jewels's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Missouri
Posts: 9,246
Originally Posted by stranger View Post
let her eat grass and give her some grain all summer and you'll have a nice hunk of beef this fall.

We did this with a 10+ year old Angus cow. The owner was selling her as a "broken-mouthed" cow. She was *very* skinny....We wormed her, put her on pasture and a little grain and butchered her that fall. She was FAT and SHINY by fall and the beef was wonderful. We made ground beef and roasts from her, no steaks. The roasts were tender and tasty as was the burger.
Emily Dixon
Ozark Jewels
Nubians & Lamanchas

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Old 03/30/08, 07:32 PM
Cloverbud's Avatar  
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: WI/IL Stateline
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A pressure cooker makes any cow tender!
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Old 03/30/08, 07:54 PM
jer jer is offline
Join Date: Sep 2003
Location: IN
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The best hamburger I ever ate was from an old cow and ground entirely into hamburger. My husband and his brother butchered it themselves and we ground the meat up in the kitchen. Excellent!!
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