raising veal questions

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by stifflej, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. stifflej

    stifflej Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    402
    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2008
    Location:
    Central PA
    I have access to Holstein steers, and already have 2 which I am going to raise til about 18 months old for beef. Was also thinking about raising one or two for veal, but I am not sure how to do that. Do they have to be milk/MR fed only? Or can I wean at 6-8 weeks and feed hay and grain? Also, do they require smaller stalls or any special housing? I read this article, and was wondering if those that raise veal on HST do the same thing? If not, how do you raise them?

    http://ohioline.osu.edu/as-fact/0007.html

    Thanks.
     
  2. sammyd

    sammyd Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    5,774
    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Location:
    Central WI
    you can feed veal whatever you like.

    Grain fed veal usually gets some hay as well as grain. The meat will be darker and fattier.

    Modern veal facilities use bigger stalls and some will even run groups so you needn't do anything special. Putting them in hutches would work.
     

  3. springvalley

    springvalley Family Jersey Dairy Supporter

    Messages:
    4,773
    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2009
    Location:
    Illinois
    Most veal in the early days were put in stalls and fed only milk, no exersize, no outdoors. That is why the veal was so pale and almost white, no muscle or very little. You can feed your calves how ever you like, they will be yummy what ever. > Thanks Marc
     
  4. ufo_chris

    ufo_chris Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    1,010
    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Location:
    Lisbon,Ohio
    Sorry, but why would you want to butcher for veal when you can feed them a few more month and get much more better tasting meat (IMO) and let them live a happy life for a while?
    I have always boycotted veal, I know it's my opinion, but I am really wondering also.
    Chris
     
    Judy in IN likes this.
  5. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

    Messages:
    4,822
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Location:
    Monterey, Tennessee
    I understand not wanting to eat mass produced store bought veal, but we're talking about stuffing one or two into the family freezer....Young or old explain the difference? Anyway thanks to Liz D, I raised a couple veal calves and happy I did. They drank plenty of milk and also ran the pastures eating whatever else. Butchered at 350lb the best I can remember. No grain ever. Excellent meat yield and would do it again....Topside.
     
  6. cathleenc

    cathleenc Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    4,662
    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2007
    Location:
    the flat land of Illinois
    Topside, how long did it take you to raise a calf to 350 lbs? and was it a dairy or a beef breed?
     
  7. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

    Messages:
    4,822
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Location:
    Monterey, Tennessee
    The best I can recall 5-6 months. I'd dig into my paperwork, but then again you haven't seen the mess. They were Holsteins, fed large amounts of goats milk. Topside
     
  8. Ronney

    Ronney Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,700
    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2004
    Location:
    New Zealand
    That is correct but not quite how veal came about. Veal was once a calf that had been milk fed with some grass/grain and as soon as it was weanable, it was killed. I imagine this stemmed from areas of the world where taking an animal through to an older age was both impossible in terms of acreage/feed, and storage. To be anything close to true veal it should still be milk fed and the meat should look like chicken and in comparison to beef, quite tasteless. It is interesting that a lot of Italian receipes call for veal and they are highly spiced. This is a country that I would think in times past, small farmers would not have been able to take cattle through to an older age so learnt to use what they had and veal is like chicken in that it is bland and will take on the flavour of whatever is put with it.

    Nowadays, veal has more to do with age than rearing and run long the lines that Topside described so Stiffle, you really don't have to do anything except rear your calves as you normally would and then decide whether you want to keep them on milk for a bit longer, wean them at the normal time and kill them at that point or wean them and kill them a couple of months later. Whichever way you go, they should be in the freezer before the 6-7 month old stage.

    Cheers,
    Ronnie
     
  9. Tad

    Tad Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    543
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2003
    Location:
    Western New York
    Thats funny about not wanting to kill a veal calf because it is too young. I have a dairy cow who turned 16 in aug, and is bred back for april, her 14 lactation. You people that would kill an 18 month old steer are robbing the craddle! :0)
     
  10. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

    Messages:
    4,822
    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2005
    Location:
    Monterey, Tennessee
    Good point Tad...Give the old timer a hug for us...Topside
     
  11. 7thswan

    7thswan Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    23,896
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Location:
    michigan
    If I can remember properly. Veal was raised on an Iron deficient diet to get the pale meat. Kept off the ground and away from metals that they could lick to get the mineral and also off of milk replacers that have iron in them. I was told that the animal would eventually die because of the deficiancy and that it would not grow to an old(er)age on that diet anyway.Also the meat would be tender simply from lack of movement because it is hard to keep the animal away from the mineral in a large area, that's why they are kept in small pens. This is why many people won't eat veal, they consider it cruel.
     
  12. LizD

    LizD Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    132
    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2008
    Stifflej, milk fed veal, I mean real whole goat or cow milk fed, is a really incredible meat. The taste is subtly of beef, tender beyond belief and totally different than any other. Having said that, if you don't have access to real whole milk, and use milk replacer, I think you will end up with that bland stuff that a few people are talking about in this thread. We give our calves as much milk as they can take, free access to grass or hay and mineral and a buddy or two. :) We kill them about 400 - 450# live weight and they dress (hang) around 250#, at about 4 months. They are usually pure Holstein calves, who would otherwise be sold at the barn for vealers to industrial companies, who raise veal conventionally, also talked about in this thread. Our veal is a rose colour, more like pork, with the different cuts and colour. I understand that there is some stigma attached to vealing a calf, but done properly that calf has as happy a life, albeit shorter, as any other animal. Really when you think about it, if you eat and/or raise meat, a chicken is younger, a lamb and pig about the same age when they are slaughtered, so a veal calf is not so different. Just different perceptions. I'm not trying to convince anyone that they should raise the occasional calf for veal, but I am saying that some of the preconceptions about it are wrong. It is anything but bland and anything but cruel if done with the animal's welfare in mind. Same thing we think about with all of our animals here as I'm sure all of you do too. L ps glad to here that you are enjoying it Topside!
     
  13. Onthebit

    Onthebit Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    141
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Location:
    Ontario
    And then where would the cattle go? We wouldn't have any=theres no need....except in zoos!
     
  14. Happy Hogger

    Happy Hogger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    56
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    Location:
    SW Michigan
    Thank you for this information. Very helpful.

    One question: How much meat do you get from that 250 lb hanging weight? I haven't been able to find any info. Thanks.
     
  15. Judy in IN

    Judy in IN Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,533
    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2003
    I have always boycotted veal also. Veal is only fed milk; anything else is baby beef. I object to veal because of the way it is raised. Who wants to eat meat that is anemic, anyway?

    I put a Jersey steer in the freezer last year that weighed 700 lb. He dressed out at 350 lbs, but I had been graining him.
     
  16. triple divide

    triple divide Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    222
    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2010
    Location:
    Alaska
    Good post by LizD.

    We raised veal on our farm growing up in the same way as she describes except the calves were fed sour milk colostrum we held over from our fresh cows. Very tender and delicious. My Hungarian great grandparents considered it a luxury they couldn't afford in the old country and it became a very normal part of our freezer for us boys growing up. Sunday dinner with my grandparents wouldnt be the same without veal ragout once a month.

    Every animal serves a purpose. Even little ones, IMO.
     
  17. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    9,569
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2003
    Location:
    CHINA
    I've been doing them for years on goat milk...like the ones about 350-500 pounds as they are easy to handle while alive and not such a huge butchering project...our "stew" meat was fork tender when raw! it was pinkish...It makes good lean sausage too...we do 25# batches of hot italian and garlic/cheese...I loathe fatty sausage...so this is quite perfect.
     
  18. Happy Hogger

    Happy Hogger Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    56
    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2012
    Location:
    SW Michigan
    How much actual meat do you get out of it?
     
  19. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    9,569
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2003
    Location:
    CHINA
    a 200# live weight is 70-90# of meat (some calves have some jersey mix and will give lower yields)after the 200# mark they start to get bigger boned and yield ratio can go down slightly but at that age mine are on grass and extra milk so it doesnt bother me much...because depending on whether we harvest moose/deer we may winter over the beef....I'm flexible and freezer space is limited....
     
  20. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    9,569
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2003
    Location:
    CHINA
    okay---I got my meat back from "Butch-ER the Moo" He was 375-400 pounds live wt...mostly holstein...we got 143 pounds of meat (no bones) so 37-38% meat yield....Had a nice big burger as soon as I got home from the butcher shop....YUMMY!
     
    Happy Hogger likes this.