goat milk calf butchered

Discussion in 'Goats' started by mpillow, Dec 17, 2004.

  1. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Just an update for those of you who were interested in our calf raising saga....

    We finally butchered the calf at 6 months old live weight about 450#. We got about 150# meat from him and its good stuff! Butchering was a chore for my hubby, dad and close friend but the children and I had tended to Cowboy many more hours between milking goats and giving the calf his bottle 3 times a day for 5 months. We did feed hay and same grain (16%) as the goats get as well as HorseQuik when hay was in short supply (a good product by the way).

    We were not terribly fussy about butchering and hung the rib catch in a tree high enough for birds and not coyotes. The temp. was around zero during the two days of butchering so we kept it hung in garage with woodstove at about 40 degrees. We didnt keep the tongue or do anything with the head or hide. My daughter wanted a wallhanging from the hide by having it tanned professionally was big bucks. Maybe tanning is something we can learn to do ourselves in the future.

    The meat is not as dark as mature beef and not as light as true veal, it is very tender. We even got my mother to help wrap meat AND eat some which she staunchly refused after bottle feeding and petting him over the summer. I'll make a farmer out of her yet!!!! :p

    We vac sealed some, butcher paper and ziplock bags other. We hand ground burger and hope to make some sausage later on.

    In the future I'd like to let the meat hang longer so it is not so moist/drippy and butcher with the harvest moon (1-2 months earlier).

    All in all I am very pleased with the outcome of our little farming venture and when Cowboy got his bullet in the head....I told the children that now we were real farmers and they should be proud. We set our minds to raising our own meat and eventhough we did attach to Cowboy we could overcome the emotional aspect for a practical purpose. We spoiled him on the day before butchering by feeding him cinnamon buns for his last supper. He loved them!!

    I also think for our small place (5acres) and 5-10 goats and no electric fencing the calf was a more manageable animal if compared to a pig. But a request was made for a pig next time.....we'll see. My son wants a yoke of oxen, my daughter wants a jersey cow to milk and ride....one thing is for sure...we will always have goats!!! :yeeha: :yeeha: :yeeha:
     
  2. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Congrats, ought to be some fine eating!!!

    You should think about getting your kids involved in a 4-H terminal sale project. My daughter has made as much as $1600 selling her lambs, and last year she made $1200 on her hog. She's going back to lambs next year <G>

    It's a great program, and a chance for the kids to tuck some money away. Sounds like your kids have the mindset that they could handle it! (not all do!)

    Tracy
     

  3. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I know there are some 4h clubs in the area but what is terminal sale project? And how often do you have to attend meetings/workshops with the kids? I don't know a whole lot concerning how 4h operates but I definately think the kids and I would enjoy it very much!
     
  4. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    A terminal sale project is where they raise an animal that will be sold and butchered after the fair. Right after our livestock show is done, the animals are loaded up on trailers and hauled off to butchers or where ever the buyers want. Done deal.

    The amount of meetings depends on the leaders, but they have to attend at least 6 to get credit for their project (and be able to sell their animals) and have to do one community project -- here the groups all get together and go over the town picking up trash to meet that requirement.

    Our little community really bids the animals up for the kids, it's great. Now in our neck of the woods, the meat goats bring the lowest amount of money (not worth it)

    Believe it or not, steers also have a very poor rate of return -- too huge of an initial investment, and feed bill.

    Hogs and lambs pay the best returns, and lambs beat out hogs because of their lower feed bill. That's just our experience in our particular area, mind you :)

    Tracy
     
  5. Milking Mom

    Milking Mom COTTON EYED DOES

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    Just a note of "old time wisdom" from my Daddy. He told me long ago that you can raise 2 pigs as cheap as you can 1 because the one will eat what the other one wastes. This has proven true in our case. One year we bought a little pink pig and she wasted so much food. I thought she would root around and eat the corn and stuff that she knocked out of her trough, but she didn't. I told my husband what my Daddy had said so the next year we bought 2 pigs and sure enough. There was the trough rooter and the other one made sure he cleaned up the ground. They were both nice size pigs when it was butcher time. We slopped (Scraps from the kitchen, no bones, and mixed some water in) and fed corn and pellets. I bet your beef was really good.
     
  6. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    One note on hogs for 4-H projects -- you are forbidden to feed them slop, which is why feed costs are so high on them. Almost $200 compared to the $40 for a lamb. You have to feed the show pig grower or they won't make weight in time.

    of course, for your own use, you can feed whatever you like :) Our own butcher hog ate lots of milk and eggs, and had just as good average daily gain as the 4-H one.

    Tracy
     
  7. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Good Info. Thanks to both of you!
    I have a friend who bought two Jersey calves at auction for about $13 for both...she gave them goat milk, pasture, hay and grain for 3 month and sold them for $80 a piece to someone who wanted healthy meat for there table. I think they might have weighed 150# live wt. They would have made a cute oxen pair.

    Feed is definatly the difficult part but I try to remind myself of the intrinsic and physical benefits of raising the meat. I figure he ate 30bales of hay and 7 bags of grain and 120 gallons of milk. I dont have a "market" for milk so not sure how to figure that....hay, grain and initial calf purchase comes to $215 not counting milk...better pasture would have helped keep the cost down but my hubby and dad didnt want cow patties in the lawn :rolleyes:
     
  8. Lt. Wombat

    Lt. Wombat Well-Known Member

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    $13 for a pair! I wish!! Here in cattle country a calf, any calf, is between $125 and $200 because everything is limosine or angus. Grade alfalfa is $120 ton. It would take a darn heavy animal at a young age to break even at these prices
     
  9. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Jerseys bull calves are really hard to sell here. Very few people waste their time with them. They like to die, and you never get your money back on them. They go for $10 a head all the time at the sale yard, sometimes more, sometimes less.

    We pick up angus/holstein and holstein calves to raise on the goat milk. They can run anywhere between $65 and $120 each. We can get them cheaper if we pick up from the dairy. Any that are all black bring better prices when their sold.

    Tracy
     
  10. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We just sold three bull calves last weekend. Two were 7/8 Jersey, 1/8 Norwegian Red and the otehr was 3/4 Jersey, 1/4 N.R. The two week old, bucket traiend one only brought five dollars, the medium sized, youngest one brought $18.00 and the 3/4 Jersey brought $22.50. We would have sold them for more if we had kept them. They were huge and healthy.
    We sold two Jersey bull calves for $25 a piece and taht is more than we normally charge for a week old calf (they were about three weeks old).

    Not suprised the two went for $13.00.
    Jersey meat is great! Aparently number two for marbling.
    Jersey calves only die if the farmer doesn't give them the time and care they require at birth. We sell healthy bull calves at a week of age or older.
    Buying direct from the farm is the best though. You can see how the farmer cares for their animals and you cut down on exposure to diseases.
    :)
     
  11. mpillow

    mpillow Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Ours was full holstein 90# birth wt, bought at the dairy 1 mile away for $65 at 5 days old. I picked him out at 2 day old and farmer kept him extra days to insure health at no charge....his truck came on Mondays to take bull calves to auction.
     
  12. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    My husband flat out refuses to let me raise any more Jerseys for our own meat. I know folks swear it's the greatest meat ever, but we butchered 2 jerseys one year and they were awful ....rank, gamey, and that yellow fat. :( It literally would stink up the house when we cooked them.
    The only other beef I had like that was off an 11 year old range bull that we had butchered. Ugh.

    Interestingly enough, a hereford heifer butchered out of the same field (same feed) a few months later was absolutely wonderful meat.
    I still wonder why it was those Jerseys of ours were so bad --genetics? -- but we're not taking the chance again I guess <g>

    Now if I could find a Jersey HEIFER for sale, that would be a different story <G>

    Tracy
     
  13. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Hmm, strange. I have only had steer meat from four year old steers (they started out as future oxen but didn't get the training). They were twins out of Xena that my uncle bought from us. Oh and Davina *sniff* Davina was born to Fanfare who died of Johne's the month after her birth, so we weren't taking any chances of that beautiful Jersey heifer calf being bought by someone. There was no denying she had Johne's, so she was raised until she was about six months or so and then slaughtered...again at my uncle's place. One of only three keepable heifers born in two years and we had to kill her. The others were Jeranguses.
    Also had meat from Jersey cows....that was at the high school I attended. Knew I really loved their hamburgers but generally didn't like other places hamburgers. When I found out it was Jersey meat it all made sense. I actually work at that farm now.

    How old were the Jerseys? Aparently Jerseys take longer to finish out. Which is why they are so cheap I guess. Couldn't tell you why they were so bad...but I do know that Jerseys tend to be an aquired taste. They don't taste like the regular beefies do. :(

    I wish you luck with your search for a Jersey heifer...from what I can tell, Jerseys aren't all that common in the west.
    I'm shipping at least two Jersey cows from the school farm to Kansas for a couple of people.
     
  14. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    The ones we butchered were probably 18 months or so. Not big by any means.
    I guess it's just a taste we won't be aquiring <G>

    There are actually quite a few Jersey dairies around here. Problem is, the heifers are worth their weight in gold and they WON'T sell them :(

    Every once in a while I see one in the paper for sale, but not too often. And of course, it never corresponds to the times that I have money in my pocket either <G>

    Tracy
     
  15. dosthouhavemilk

    dosthouhavemilk Well-Known Member Supporter

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    There is a Jersey dairy in this area that sell its heifer calves and then simply buys cows. They have bought some of ours when we were selling for dairy. Aparently this is becoming a fairly common trend. Calves are sold to calf growers and then bought back as springing heifers. We like to raise our replacement heifers and do not sell baby heifers. It costs more to raise them ourselves and we occassionally end up with five year old heifers. :no:
    Anyways, I am rambling again.
    have you checked out AJCA 's directory for Idaho yet?
    They have a few listed and looks like larger dairies that might be more likely to sell heifers.
    Of course, they don't list all dairies...only those willing to pay.
     
  16. Tracy in Idaho

    Tracy in Idaho Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Most dairies here have heifers contracted out with growers.... they don't sell them, but have contracts with people to grow them out for them. You can still find Holstein heifers at the sales, but I don't think I have ever seen any Jerseys.

    I did have a couple of breeders bookmarked off that site, thanks! I recently have found a small (100 head) Jersey dairy just south of us, so I am going to check into how much they sell their old cows for.

    Tracy