Homesteading Forum banner

1 - 14 of 14 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
842 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

Dont get a chance to post here much but want to thow this by you more experienced cattle people.

We always raise a holstein bull for 18 months or so and then send to the processor. Originally we used to steer the calf but the last few years we havent bothered with steering. My own personal experience is that up until 18 months or so the meat does not taste any different and they grow faster being intact.

The reason for having a holstein is that they are very plentiful here and much cheaper then a meat variety.

My neighbor [Amish] asked me the other day if I would want to breed this bull to his heifer. He is about 14 months now. He would pasture him till this fall and we would send him to slaughter after the grass is finished.

Will breeding him make the meat more gamey tatsting? What would be a fair price/trade for letting him use this bull? I am thinking trading his "service" for some hay.

Opinions please.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
319 Posts
We had a young bull in with our cows year before last. He was 2. I don't know if it was his age or if he was just a little lacking in testosterone but he didn't like my girls. He kinda looked like a cow himself. It's a good thing the neighbors bull got out or I would've been short about 7 calves.
As for advice on the taste, I can't tell you. Maybe you could try it this year and see what happens.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,523 Posts
We had a 2yr. old bull that had bred 3 or 4 cows. He got in the neighbor's pasture & got his knee broken fighting with another bull. We penned him up & fed him for about 2 months & butchered him. I thought the meat had a real good taste although it wasn't as tender as what we got from yearling calves.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,493 Posts
I don't think it would effect the taste at all. an animal is sexually mature when it's sexually mature. using that maturity for it's intended purpose is not going to change anything.

this is a young, untested bull. letting him run with the neighbors cows is not worth all that much. we let at least one proven, registered bull run with the neighbors cows each year for nothing but the grass he eats while there. it's a convenience for us and he gets his cows bred.

Jena
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6,843 Posts
On taste, if you are not going to grain him out for the marbling, there likely won't be a difference in taste. If you were going to grain him, then he won't get the same 'finish' on grazing. Difference isn't likely to be that he serviced their heifer, but rather he wasn't finished on grain. If you are going to grain, then perhaps the heifer should be brought to your place and your neighbor just pays one-third or so of the feed bill while she is in with the bull.

Ken S. in WC TN
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
17,383 Posts
Ken, I actually prefer beef that was grass fed, then finished on grain for 60 days.
 

·
MacCurmudgeon
Joined
·
2,246 Posts
I was a history teacher and I'm always interested in where customs are/where started. This question is one such custom.

My Grandfather used to tell me that a beef wasn't a true beef until it was at least four years old. He didn't say anything about it being a steer.

Steers grow faster then bulls, but why kill them at 18 months? Custom & economics!

If I went out and shot a bull Buffalo, Whitetailed Deer, bull Elk, or Caribou, and it was over four years old I'd sure eat it and so would anyone else.

Haggis @ Wold Cairn Moor
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
7,154 Posts
A lot of this all depends on whether you have good teeth or some the dentist manufactured for you. They butcher 20 year old cows, but I don't think they fry the steaks. If it's your cow, it's your decision, and if you're happy with it, that's great.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
842 Posts
Discussion Starter #9
Thanks everyone,

Normally, after pastures are cone I will stall for a couple months and finish with grain. I guess I will let my neighbor use him and see what happens.

Since he most likely will get a calf out of the deal I am going to tell him I want 70 bales of hay in exchange for the breeding.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,198 Posts
Experiment and find the cheapest way to get acceptable beef. People have often questioned the way homesteaders do things. Homesteaders are creative and do not fit the mold. Do your own thing and tell us how it works. All the pastures around me are "manicured" coastal bermuda. Mine is an organic natural wild grass and flower meadow, with lots of forrest. No chemicals. No wormers. My cows are slick and beautiful and my beef does not pollute the food supply. People drive by and shake their heads. They say, their son will bush-hog my place for a small fee (and cut down my wildflowers!) They ask why I breed Herefords. Why don't I raise big, giant breeds. Because I can raise two cows to every one giant cow if I raise Herefords, thus doubling my calf crop. If it aint broke, don't fix it. Same with you. Do what works.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,349 Posts
They ask why I breed Herefords. Why don't I raise big, giant breeds. Because I can raise two cows to every one giant cow if I raise Herefords, thus doubling my calf crop. If it aint broke, don't fix it. Same with you. Do what works.

As an added bonus, few thing on this earth are prettier than a healthy baby Hereford calf.
 

·
aka avdpas77
Joined
·
3,411 Posts
They ask why I breed Herefords. Why don't I raise big, giant breeds. Because I can raise two cows to every one giant cow if I raise Herefords, thus doubling my calf crop.
Things must have changed a lot since I raised Herefords, They were about as large as any breed out there. Definitely larger than Angus or Longhorns. Our cows weighed 1500-1600lbs, and our bulls weighed from 2300-2500 lbs.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
802 Posts
I would try it and see if it works. He may not breed the cow as he is young but my bull breed five cows at that age. If it works great if not all you have done is delay his butchering by a month or two.

I do not castrate my male calves. It is work and not really needed. I no longer finish on grain as my customers prefer grass fed willing to pay extra for something I would rather do anyway.
 
1 - 14 of 14 Posts
Top