calves

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by farmmaid, Dec 2, 2004.

  1. farmmaid

    farmmaid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We are in dairy country, do Holstein steers make good beef? Will have extra goat's milk to start a couple of calves, dairy calves are cheeper than beef calves...Joan :)
     
  2. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I have heard they do. They certainly are more expensive than the other dairy bull calves.
    I've only had Jersey steer meat and it was wonderful. Also had Jersey cow meat as well.
    We aim to sell our Jerseys and our Jersey/Norwegian Red bull calves to be raised for meat. We sell them fairly cheaply ($20 if we have kept them more than a week) since they take longer to fill out.

    Jersey meat has a very particular taste to it...leaner tasting. Don't know how Holstein meat tastes.
     

  3. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Beef cattle have white fat, and so do Holsteins. The meat is very close to beef cattle in quality. They have a bigger boned frame than the beef breeds which is part of the reason the steers ready for slaughter bring about a nickle less per pound than beef steers. If you are going to eat them that wouldn't matter. They are bigger when they are considered ready for slaughter than most beef cattle. If they are in good shape, they would make good tender beef at a younger age. Much of the beef in the super mkts is Holstein.
     
  4. cloverfarm

    cloverfarm Well-Known Member

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    Definitely. We buy Holstein bull calves from the neighbors and finish them. We sell some as freezer beef to private customers and some through the auction. A big selling point with many customers is that these steers have no added hormones, antibiotics and are not fed any animal by-products. We like to get them from one particular neighbor since he has healthy calves. We don't get them from teh sale barn. Too tough on them.

    They make up a big chunk of our income :D

    I haven't a clue about feeding them goats milk. We used to raise them on waste milk from the dairy cows then when we sold the dairy herd started raising them on milk replacer.

    We don't graze our steers, though. They are finished on home-grown grain. I realize others are probably finishing hteirs on grass but our customers are not asking for grass-fed beef yet.

    Good luck!
    ann
     
  5. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    You can definitely raise them on goat's milk. We will be keeping some of our does in milk and are considering feeding the excess to some of our calves if we don't have the waste milk for the bull calves.
     
  6. SpaceCadet12364

    SpaceCadet12364 Well-Known Member

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    Holstein steers make YUMMY beef! We had one of ours "done" last December...still a few chuck roasts left, but boy was he good! Harry was about 10 months old I believe....a bit small compared to most when they go, but he filled a big freezer pretty well. Kind of wish we had bought his hide back and had it processed somewhere, but oh well.

    Pretty much all he had was grass & hay....we do give a small grain treat in the morning to get everyone up to the barn area for a quick look-see/head count. So, his fat was a little yellowish, but thats because of being pretty much grass-finished.

    Judy
     
  7. cashcrop

    cashcrop Well-Known Member

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    I found the different posts quite interesting! I had done a little research in the past in regard to feeding calves goats milk. What I discovered is that they have better rates of gain than on cow milk and milk replacer(and cheaper). A goat is...I want to say 10 times better utilizer of feed stuffs. They say the goats milk shouldn't be watered down, that it is smaller particles(therefore easier to digest and less likely to cause scours) and it is frequently higher in butterfat(which explains the higher rates of gain).
     
  8. cloverfarm

    cloverfarm Well-Known Member

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    The draw back for us if we were to feed goats milk ... would be we'd have to have goats or something ;) Interesting thought about the milk. But all things considered I can't see DH getting excited about having goats around here.

    We like to sell our Holstein steers as freezer beef where we set the price and no one cares what color they are when they get off the trailer. We like to sell our Angus cross steers at the auction where the buyers like black cattle.

    Good luck!
     
  9. Paula

    Paula Well-Known Member

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    Holsteins take a long time to get to slaughter condition, but we don't like to feed grain. They take a couple of yrs to grow this HUGE frame, then start putting the muscle on. We just sold 3 of the monsters a couple of weeks ago because they weren't fleshed out enough for us to want to butcher them and sell the meat, and they were eating TONS of hay. Probably twice as much as 3 beef breed cows do. My husband jokes that they're like big hay balers - they put their head down and kerchunk, kerchunk, kerchunk, the hay is gone.
    Jersey steers finish a lot quicker - they have a much smaller frame - and the meat is wonderful. We prefer Jersey meat over any other breed. If you have to buy the calf to raise though, they are less hardy than Holstein calves as bottle babies.
    We just processed a grass fed Jersey steer for ourselves, and the steaks are more tender than lots of feedlot beef I've had in the past.
     
  10. farmmaid

    farmmaid Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Thanks to everyone. This is my plan: To get a calf either in the fall and raise it until the following fall or get one in the spring and butcher it that fall. What I am hearing is that the Holstein steer will not be suitable for such a short raising time. Any other suggestions?...Joan
     
  11. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    If you don't plan on wintering a steer then I would get one in Decemeber or November...you can feed it milk (replacer) and grain and hay if you choose, and come springtime he will be ready for eating grass...whereas a calf on milk (replacer) isn't going to look to the grass as its main source of food.
    There are dairy farmers taht use beef clean up bulls and sell the calves, though they tend to go for a bit more than your average Holstein calves. As far as I can tell, Jerseys are the cheapest to purchase...

    If you were around here I would have sold you one o0f the cross calves we just had. They were *huge.*

    I would suggest a Jersey, but that is because I am partial to them and the way their meat tastes. :p
     
  12. travlnusa

    travlnusa Well-Known Member

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    We raise them for beef and sale. We grain feed them for one year then sell. Meat is about 20% leaner then beef breeds, and due to their frame, the strip steaks are a bit longer.

    Our customers love it and keep referring others.

    We also buy additional calves, raise them to about 5-600 lbs and sell them at auction.

    Both make money for us!