cattle

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by new cow people, Aug 21, 2004.

  1. new cow people

    new cow people New Member

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    Aug 21, 2004
    We the "new cow people" are interested in raising beef for our own consumption. 1 or 2 aninmals is all we are interested in raising naturally. Land is not an issue nor is vegitation or water. We just want to know how to get started, we want to start with probably Angus or Herford and raise them post castration. Any help will be appreciated.

    Thanks

    The new cow people
     
  2. Having just recently started wiith cows myself.If i could do it over,i would just get one or two steers.I wouldnt want to castrate them myself if i were just doing it that way.I started with three bred cows that calved,then i had to buy a bull to get them bred the next year.If you can get someone to supply a new steer every year i would go that route.You will have to keep them at least until they are 15 months old.
     

  3. Jena

    Jena Well-Known Member

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    I would buy some weaned calves from a local farmer. Don't buy calves that are just weaned...preferably they would be weaned at least 30 days. Make sure they've had their vaccinations, been wormed and were either banded when very young, or the castration is totally healed. If you are worried about what they might have been fed/given before you get them, check on that as well.

    Weaning is a really stressful time for calves and they are more prone to sickness right when weaned. That is the reason for waiting 30 days. A castration gone bad is something you don't need to deal with, so that is why it's good to wait until it is totally healed. Vaccinations prevent illnesses so you would not have to worry about that. You never know what you are getting at a sale barn and being new, you are much better off buying straight from the farm!

    All these things really help a steer to have a good start and if they have a good start, they really aren't hard to raise! Sick animals are a bummer when you know what you are doing, but extremely disheartening when you don't! Sale barn calves are sometimes cheap, but it can catch up with you later! If naturally raised is very important, than you want to avoid having to use antibiotics, so avoid sick animals!

    If you must buy at a sale barn, look for a special feeder calf sale where the calves have all been enrolled in a health program. We have "Green Tag", "White Tag" and "SureHealth". Some programs are sponsored by a state or association, some by animal health manufacturer's, but either way the calves are supposed to basically fit all the requirements I stated before.

    The next thing would be bringing them home. Do you have adequate fences? Do you have a smaller area to confine them to catch them (if nothing else).

    Do you plan only to graze them? Can you graze all year or will you need to deal with a winter? I don't know much about grass finishing beef...but is that what you want, or do you want to feed grain?

    Good luck. I think everyone ought to have cattle!

    Jena
     
  4. Kathryn L.Holck

    Kathryn L.Holck Active Member

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    Aug 28, 2004
    Location:
    Iowa
    I have had simmitals for a few years. First time bred they were in a pasture with a bull. Now they are bred Artificially Inseminated. Cost for 3 was a bit over $200 which included work on last years calves. The steps to A I were great. I know when they will calf almost to the day. But I have also heard, that the sex of the calf can determine the length of gestation. klh
     
  5. Christiaan

    Christiaan Dutch Highlands Farm

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    Along the Stillaquamish, Washington
    If by "naturally" you mean grass-fed, then I would raise a different breed than Angus and Hereford. I'd recommend Shorthorn or (my favorite) Highland for excellent lean beef. Highlands look dangerous, but they are kittycats, amazingly easy to raise and extremely tasty. One drawback: grassfed in general and Highland in particular take longer to reach butcher weight, 20-24 months instead of 15. I think the wait is worth it.
     
  6. click

    click Guest

    You should say where your located.One must take weather "winter cold/summer heat" into consideration.By the way ALL beef raised on grass will be lean.
     
  7. Kathryn L.Holck

    Kathryn L.Holck Active Member

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    Location:
    Iowa
    Corn fed beef has a great flavor comparable to grass fed. Tough decision, having lean or flavor.
     
  8. click

    click Guest

    Amen .Eating grass fed beef is comparible to eatting confinment raised pork.

    Its been a nice summer in Iowa has'nt it.
     
  9. Kathryn L.Holck

    Kathryn L.Holck Active Member

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    Aug 28, 2004
    Location:
    Iowa
    Iowa summer has been great. Not looking forward to ladybug season, however. Last year was unbelievable.
     
  10. Ken in Minn

    Ken in Minn Well-Known Member

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    Not to take away from this site, I love this site< I am here every day.
    There is some interesting discusstion about beef, grass fed compared to grain fed on the the---http://www.dakodan.net/dexters/forum/ . This site just started, has over 200 members and over 3100 articles. Look it over, We can never learn to much. Just another tool for learning. They also have a lot of pic's on that site. Hope you enjoy.

    Ken in Minn
     
  11. UpstateNY

    UpstateNY Active Member

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    Upstate NY binghamton area
    On the grass/grain issue. We raised ours on grass until the last 2-3 months. We slaughtered in Dec. so as the pastures slowed in sept. we would move "the beef" inside to a box stall. We finshed them then with corn. The others stayed out and got more hay as it got colder and snowyer. I have had grass fed/finished beef and it had yellow fat and was not as good IMHO as that finished on corn. The cost is not that much if you compare it to have beef you love or just beef you can tolerate.
     
  12. click

    click Guest

    They tell me grass fed must be slowed cooked to get max. flavor.I have tried cooking it as many ways as possible and still find it bland.So UpstateNY ,are you saying that 2-3 months on grain is long enough to add flavor?How many lbs. of corn a day are you giving?
    Nice site Ken in Minn.
     
  13. herefordman

    herefordman Well-Known Member

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    Aug 24, 2004
    Location:
    washington/british columbia
    I've had Herefords grass fed until they were fourteeen months, and then finished on corn or COB (corn oats barley) for the last sixty days before butchering, and hang them no less than fourteen days and you'll love the taste, and they're not lean at all, and I have plenty of buyers who are thrilled with ours.
    The yellow fat is typically found on a lot of dairy animals rather than beef, very common on Holsteins.
    And one more thing, for the new cow buyer, Herefords are a lot easier to handle than Angus, as Angus can be pretty aggressive for the newbie.
    Herefords are like trees, they're still there when you get up the next morning.
     
  14. KesWindhunter

    KesWindhunter Well-Known Member

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    Jun 29, 2004
    Location:
    NE Washington State... finally!
    I raise commercial black angus, I grew up with horned herefords which are pets compared to angus! And I agree with herefordman about getting a couple of herefords instead of angus. Or even a hereford/angus cross can be pretty darn nice (we call 'em black baldies).Talk to the extension angent in your area about commercial cattle breeders there. Then talk to those ranchers/farmers about maybe being able to buy a couple of steers (or even spayed heifers) directly from them. If you get to go into the pen and pick them out...choose the docile ones, not the ones that lift their heads up high and are always toward the back of the bunch. Walk around and through them, and keep your eye on the few you would like, move around them and watch their response. Kinda like picking a puppy! If you like 'em chances are they will like you and make you some real good beef.
    If you stay with the 'British breeds'(hereford, angus, south devon, even highlanders) you will typically get more marbling in the meat compared to the 'contenental breeds'(simmental, charolais) no matter how you finish them.
    another note: the herefords,crosses, and angus are going to be the least expensive to purchase just due to the fact they are so prevelant here in the us.
     
  15. Mel-

    Mel- Well-Known Member

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    Mar 30, 2004
    I saw an ad in our local paper for "balding angus calves". Is that what they meant, that they were a cross between an angus and a hereford? I wonder if they meant baldie and the newspaper thought they had spelled it wrong?

    mel-
     
  16. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Your right Mel. One of the most popular feeding cattle is black baldies. They are partly herford. The white face shows up even if the calf is 3/4 black. The black in predominate over the red so the crossed calves are nearly always black with the white face. A black baldie bred to black mostly have black markings on their white face.
     
  17. KesWindhunter

    KesWindhunter Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    NE Washington State... finally!
    balding! Poor calves! ;D
    Around here, we call a calf or cow with the black markings on their face a Brockle. I.e. 'Go out and get that baldy cow with the brockle faced calf'! My daughters for the longest time thought we were saying broccoli!
    Tamara