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Discussion Starter #1
Hi All!

Long time lurker - First time poster:happy2:

Have a couple questions that I can't seem to find answers on so I figured what better place to ask than here. So we have a 5-month old Jersey bull we are planning on home butchering with some friends for help this weekend. Was going to leave him until late fall, but he is getting a nasty temperament...so the date is set in stone!

I know I need to age him, but dry aging is out due to temps(Ontario), so I got a vacuum sealer and will wet age. This is where I have questions. Do I fully butcher him into the cuts/ground beef I want and then seal/age? Or do I keep larger cuts intact, age and then butcher? Was planning on pressing some burger patties...do I age the ground beef first?

I'm worried about it being tough if I don't age it properly.

Help! :gaptooth:
 

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I'd not imagine that a 5 month old calf would need any aging...at that age it would be more akin to veal than beef.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Yes - 5 months. That's great if it doesn't need any aging. Would it benefit from it at all? Or am I ok to kill, clean, cook?
 

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My name is not Alice
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Generally, beef is aged, then butchered. It can be cut into primals (loin, rib, chuck, rump, etc) and aged prior to butcher, as well. So you don't have to hang the whole thing. With a calf, you will have more space options. With some devotion of fridge space, you may be able to dry age some of it, and wet age others.

Age the beef to be ground, then grind and package.

The purpose of aging is to breakdown and loosen the connective tissue to make the animal more tender. Yours should be tender, but won't have a well-developed flavor because of the age of the animal. Has it been on a grass-only diet? If so, age it for longer.(20-25 days). If grained, 10-14 days. (That conventional wisdom may fly out the window on a younger animal).

And I know you didn't ask for this advice, but I thought I would put it out there: sell the calf live. They are selling like hot cakes right now. Take the cash and buy a quarter or half from someone else's full sized professionally cut and wrapped beef.

But, I certainly can appreciate your position. I wish I could join the party! Have a great time, and welcome to HT!
 

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And I know you didn't ask for this advice, but I thought I would put it out there: sell the calf live. They are selling like hot cakes right now. Take the cash and buy a quarter or half from someone else's full sized professionally cut and wrapped beef.
I think this is very sound advice!
 

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As previously mentioned don't age meat that young, you will be turning it into jerky. Fat and muscle mass is the key to aged meat, less fat less aging. Your calf will have no fat to speak of and the meats flavor will taste bland. Sell the calf, off to the work list, poorly written just been so busy....Topside
 

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Maybe I can try a little different suggestion than some of the others here?

I'd not butcher it.. as others say, it would be too tough and no fat...

Selling it is a good idea if you don't want to deal with a bull any more...

But, if you are set on eating this bovine, I'd castrate it..

A pretty good chance it's going to mellow him out enough you'll be able to deal with him until he's worth your time effort and money to butcher it..
 

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What a waste to butcher a jersey at 5 months. There can't be much meat there. Cut his nuts out and let him calm down.
My thoughts are, if a person is having problems with a 5 month old bull, what would they do with a stubborn old steer or even an old cow that has a mind of it's own?

Maybe the supermarket is best for some?
 

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I don't know, I have seen some pretty bad little dairy bull calves in my time of handling them.
Had dripping wet newborns put their heads down and charge me.
Had some very kicky little suckers too.

I can imagine if a person took those genetics and added a lack of experience
plus a few months of bottle feeding to it...

by the time they got to 250 pounds there might be a dangerous situation brewing.

I would be curious to hear how you like the meat.
Personally, I think he will be delicious. :D
 
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We had a 300lb Holstein steer calf break its leg in a hay ring so we butchered it ourselves. We ended up with less than 70 lbs of ground beef and did not have any worthwhile traditional cuts at all so dont expect much from your efforts. With that in mind, you could A) sell it live and get $400-$500 cash to buy better beef with or B) butcher it and have $6/lb ground beef.
 

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If you do butcher him don't waste time trying to cut him up, just throw him on a spit and roast him whole. You'll only get a few meals anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I don't know, I have seen some pretty bad little dairy bull calves in my time of handling them.
Had dripping wet newborns put their heads down and charge me.
Had some very kicky little suckers too.

I can imagine if a person took those genetics and added a lack of experience
plus a few months of bottle feeding to it...

by the time they got to 250 pounds there might be a dangerous situation brewing.

I would be curious to hear how you like the meat.
Personally, I think he will be delicious. :D
Alright - Update time! The deed is done. What a long day. So I guess a bit more back story is needed. He was born April, to my sole milk cow, and he's been on milk(and pasture) since. Was castrated young, and the real issue other than getting a bit more willing to charge, which isn't a big deal, but he was just taking too much of my milk. I separated him overnight, and milked out mom in A.M., well, he recently caught on and wouldn't be separated...just stayed out in the field. I'd literally be getting zero milk on those days...so decided to butcher early.

That's said - this guys meat blew my mind. Fatty, and ..purple. I couldn't get over home much meat I got. Totally filled a good sized fridge and 1/2 a freezer. I quickly realized I had no clue how to cut steaks and roasts, so we did a lot of ground, a few roasts, loins we did one roast, one into steaks.

We ate the heart last night, ..just amazing! Vacuum sealed all steaks/roasts and are wet aging in fridge, however my food saver conked out so I couldn't age then grind the burger, had to just grind/freeze.

All in all went great - sorry for such a long post ;) Really appreciate all the feedback and tips
 

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Konnan1, do you have an estimate on how much meat you ended up with. We will be processing (at a processor) an Angus/Jersey cross at about 11-12 months old. I am trying to get a feel for how much to expect. We always just buy from the processor but this go round we will be raising him for a time on our place. A bit of an experiment to see how it goes.
 

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I would have expected the meat to be pale color and mild in flavor, it is veal after all. But purple???

Did you take any weights? Curious what his live weight was, and how many pounds of meat were yielded.

Glad it went so well, the odds were against you.
 
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