Grass fed beef

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Danny, Oct 27, 2006.

  1. Danny

    Danny Active Member

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    I have grass fed Holstein steers I am wanting to kill for meat.
    My questions are these; what is the best weight to kill and what about getting the grass fed meat tender? I have heard somewhere that grass fed beef should be hung longer that regular meat.
    Thanks for any advice, I have waited a long time and don't want to mess it up.
     
  2. fastbackpony

    fastbackpony Well-Known Member

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    I have a question to add here : why raise grass fed beef ? ? Our family puts them on grain for 75 days or so before processing - then they hang 2 weeks - before the final processing.

    I asked around with my family - and they have no idea why someone would want a grass fed animal - they say too tough, and not as much flavor. And Holstiens are leaner anyway, so you get less, and its doesn't tast as good ? ?

    What is the motivation to do it this way ? ?
     

  3. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Most folks motivation on grass fed beef is health.
     
  4. WanderingOak

    WanderingOak Well-Known Member

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  5. Beeman

    Beeman Well-Known Member

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    I've often wondered the same as everyone I know that kills a beef grains it before slaughter. They usually have a tale about bad tasting beef that they had to slaughter right off the pasture. Since red meat isn't supposed to be the best thing for you I would want it to be as tasty and tender as possible and eat less of it.
     
  6. anniew

    anniew keep it simple and honest Supporter

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    The grain fed gets more marbling or fat and that is the tasty part. The grass fed has less fat and therefore is better for you, although may sacrifice a little on flavor. Also grain fed tends to make for the wrong pH in the cow's system which I believe is one of the reasons for more E. coli problems.
     
  7. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    We raise our steers on pasture, then put them on a grain ration for a month before butchering. Its healthy beef and its good!! We butcher Jersey's.
     
  8. Jolly

    Jolly Well-Known Member

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    I've had beef both ways through the years.

    Personally, I'd grain one out for at least a few weeks...I prefer the taste and texture.
     
  9. Rita

    Rita Well-Known Member Supporter

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    AnnieW, You have it backwards, it is the grain-fed that is not natural and leads to more e-coli in the gut. That's why the cattle fed only grains in stockyards have to have the antibiotics added to their feed so disease would not be more rampant than it is. We just got half of our son's grass-fed Holstein steer and it is super delicious and tender. It hung 2 weeks and I think that is the secret to any tender beef. Rita
     
  10. ozark_jewels

    ozark_jewels Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Actually, thats what she said. :)
     
  11. Rowdy

    Rowdy Well-Known Member

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    I suggest a reading of All Flesh is Grass by Gene Logsdon.
     
  12. turtlehead

    turtlehead Well-Known Member

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    Ditto the recommendation for All Flesh is Grass.

    My Dad raises Angus and he doesn't grain his out. They're generally quite tender though he did have one batch that was tough. Maybe they mixed the meat up at the butchers or maybe they didn't let it hang long enough. But usually it's quite tender and flavorful.
     
  13. topside1

    topside1 Retired Coastie Supporter

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    Just butchered a Holstein steer it weighed in @ 950 pounds and returned 590 pounds or approx. 58% of his total body weight. The steer was 13 months old and the end product is absolutely delicious. Paid 23 Cents a live pound to cut, wrap, and freeze 14 day old aged meat. Yummy, so Danny get ready for a new taste experience..Tennessee John
     
  14. farmergirl

    farmergirl Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Last year we slaughtered a Longhorn steer at about 650 lbs. We raised him on grass pasture, but then finished him for longer than necessary (2 1/2- 3 mos or so) on "creep feed", a grain mixture. We did that because we'd been warned that Longhorns tend to be ultra lean, and we wanted to add some marbling to the meat. Worked out fine, but next time we'll go with a better beef breed, Angus or Brahma cross most likely, and only grain him the last month.
     
  15. Bear

    Bear Well-Known Member

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    All our beef were raised on grass, the only grain they got was dairy feed, which was a molasses based grain mixture. Each got about 2 big scoopes in the morning and than in the evening. Always had the cow bred with either black angus or hereford to produce a good meat animal. When we butchered, it was always over Thanksgiving, which is when it was cold enough and Dad and I both had off work. The hogs and beef were split and hung over night, and started cutting Friday. We never left them hang for days, and our beef was nice and tender, and not loaded with marbled fat!
     
  16. anniew

    anniew keep it simple and honest Supporter

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    Rita, Yes, as another poster noted, I did have it right.

    People might be interested in reading some things by Jo Robinson also, on why Grassfed is best.

    Ann
     
  17. swollen tongue

    swollen tongue Well-Known Member

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    I prefer grass fed beef. It is better for you and your health in the long run and tastes just as good as others on grain. If you want some tallow go buy some and cook it up, if thats what you want.
     
  18. dave85

    dave85 dave85

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    There is a great difference between "grass fed" and "grass finished".

    Go to stockman-grass farmer. or Acres USA. I just started subscribing and ordered some back issues. It is amazing what science is finding out about Omega-3 and other healthy attributes of grass finished beef.

    In my "hippy" days, I butchered 2 grass fed beeves and many, many grass fed lambs for our own use. I had grass and no grain, so I had no choice.

    To be tender they have to be gaining on good pasture and no handling stress b/4 slaughter.

    From a homesteading view, these grass finished animals, sold directly to consumers would be "value added" as much as possible.

    Dave
     
  19. daycab

    daycab Well-Known Member

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    Our Grass Fed Beef is aged 3 weeks. We process at < 2 years of age and have not had a problem with tenderness or flavor. Good stuff!

    I agree with Dave 85 on the importance of stress free handling prior to slaughter.
     
  20. chas

    chas Well-Known Member

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    I came to this site because I knew that I didn't know it all! I'm still learning and love to share with others wanting a healthy lifestyle.
    If I answered everything with well my neighbor always, or we've always,ect. why we would still be driving with horse and buggies :rolleyes: !
    Some good sites where given as to why grass fed and finished is WAY better for our families health and better for our land!
    North Dakota State University conducted a study on the nutritional differences between grass-fed and grain-fed bison. The results of that study?
    Grass-fed had omega 6(bad) to omega 3 (good)ratios of 4.0 to one, and the grain-fed had ratios of 21 to one,NOT GOOD is it!?
    And from splendor from the grass by Fallon and Enig .Ruminants fed grain form lactic acid in their rumens which replaces the natural acetic acid needed for proper digestian.This lowers the ph in the rumen,causing acidosis which causes the colostrum(first milk) to have very few antibodies (immunosuppressed milk) which starts the young off right away with a bad start on life.Ever wonder why some people have more trouble with newborn animals?? Also e coli is hardly much of a problem when grass-fed.
    So Danny keep on learning and you will out live the grain fed farmers and have a much better quality life to boot.
    Chas