How do you raise Grass fed beef cattle?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by odieclark, Dec 4, 2017.

How do you raise grass fed beef?

  1. On grass only

    6.7%
  2. On pasture only

    6.7%
  3. On Fresh pasture and bales brought in

    73.3%
  4. Sileage and bales

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  5. Sileage bales pasture

    6.7%
  6. Grain at some point

    13.3%
  7. Combination of all of the above

    6.7%
  8. Other-please post

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
Multiple votes are allowed.
  1. haypoint

    haypoint Unpaid, Volunteer Devil's Advocate Supporter

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    I would love to hear the taste results from you and your customers. Kroger found it to be a novelty but no repeat purchases. Most pasture I've seen are far too sparse to insure rapid growth and many cattle raising regions require lots of hay. Buying or producing very high quality hay is costly.
    Buffalo burger has been available for decades, but I've only seen it sold as ground up. Must be a reason Bison roasts are ground up and sold a buffalo burger.
     
  2. Allen W

    Allen W Well-Known Member

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    There is a reason why I committed in an earlier post that I would have a small window in which to finish and butcher a grass fed beef. I would be relaying on Warm Season Native Grass, not as lush as what grows in the Flint Hills but it still has the same growth pattern. That growth pattern is that it grows fast and nutritious with good protein content in the warming spring days. Starting in about mid June the protein content begins to drop by early July protein has dropped as the grass matures to where stocker calves will respond positively to added protein in their diet.

    In the past we've butchered two year old heifers that had lost a calf of grass in early June and you couldn't tell them from grain fed.

    I cringe every fall when I see all the grass fed beef adds on craigslist after the grass is way past its prime.
     
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  3. Gravytrain

    Gravytrain Well-Known Member

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    This is key for finishing on forage...always butcher animals on improving pastures, which for most of us is in May/June.

    Forget about guys selling grass finished in the fall...there are guys around here selling "grass finished" beef right now with 5 feet of snow on the ground. It's frustrating to those of us selling quality grass finished beef...
     
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  4. Allen W

    Allen W Well-Known Member

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    Once the consumer is burned on some grass fed shoe leather they're not going to take a chance on grass fed beef again.
     
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  5. Gravytrain

    Gravytrain Well-Known Member

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    Posted 2 days ago

    Grass fed beef - $4 (Dewittville)


    We have grass fed beef for sale that will be going to the butcher in February. We need to get the last 1/2 of him sold either as a half or two quarters. We are asking $4 per pound hanging weight and we are paying for the processing. He will be processed and USDA stamped. If you have any questions, call or email Dixon at Sunset Ridge Farm. We will require a deposit to hold your portion. Thanks!
    • do NOT contact me with unsolicited services or offers
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
  6. Allen W

    Allen W Well-Known Member

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    I had to check craigslist here they will use 'grass fed' on about any thing here. I like it best when the show a picture of the animal standing in dead grass or a bare corral.
     
  7. odieclark

    odieclark Well-Known Member

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    Good one Allen!

    The terminology is very lose, and consumers are sold on terminology-until they taste it or have to pay for it!

    I feel grass fed is a fad, and while it might be considered healthier, well I guess I really don’t have the facts on that-BUT, because it’s healthier, does that stop people from buying or eating things that are less healthy?

    What about BACON?

    Americans love Bacon and last time I checked, they also Love BEEF! We have lamb and goats as well, but everyone asks us, when will you have beef? Did you ever try convincing someone to eat goat? Do you know how small a goat chop is? Goat is healthier than most common meats, but goats are tiny!

    I started this post as honestly I don’t know how to best finish beef, and we are new and learning. Open to ideas and all, and also have done similarly with Goat and lamb. Goat and lamb have had some grain, unlike the cattle however.

    The verdict is still out for us and we are anxious to learn how the meat turns out.
     
  8. slingshot

    slingshot Well-Known Member

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    Hears a little insight how decided to finish animals...

    When I first started with beef , I decided to give them a 1% per day grain raition. That's 1% per pound of body weight per head per day, so 500lb steer 5lbs/day. This is in addition to rotational grazing. This creates incredible beef.

    As my second season got under way my methods became better as my pastures we looking great, and so were the cattle. With cracked corn at $9+ per 50lb bag I was spending more and more on corn. I sent a few steers for processing and they had plenty, actually too much fat which hurt the yeild on the final cuts. Too much trim.

    I had just started a heifer for personal use and decided to see what happened if I just didn't give her any grain. And the result was far better than I thought, she hung 605# @ 15 1/2 months old! I didn’t need to keep her any longer she was finished and looked spectacular so I sent her. The end result was excellent beef, as good or better than the animals we finished on grain with out the additional cost.

    The other positive was I now captured more customers, before I still had customers but when asked I was honest and told them about the daily grain ration. I would say somewhere between 30-40% of people I talked to said sounds great but we only eat grass fed animals. I understand that will vary greatly based on location and all sorts of other things, anyway it’s far easier to sell a properly finished steak to someone that’s thinks grass fed may not be better than it is to try and convert a grass fed only customer. The reason is simple.....quality

    The grass fed folks love the product because it’s the best beef they’ve had and the rest love it because it’s just as good as the beef they are used to, win-win.

    There more benefit to catering to the grass fed market as well. They create more customers because they are passionate about it, and will tell everyone they know. The second is price, we are able to justify the additional labor because it commands a higher price.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2018
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  9. odieclark

    odieclark Well-Known Member

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    Very well done! No, I actually prefer my meat more rare to medium rare actually-which I don’t know if the way the animal is fed out, of rare versus well done matters in customer satisfaction or not,...but, certainly customers being pleased and sold on the method-being grass fed-enthusiastic-telling others -it really is all word of mouth! The best sales tool ever!!!

    So, I can say that we have had a similar experience on our lamb, after giving out free samples at a local summer water event, sold lamb burgers and various cuts because of the FREE COOKED SAMPLE GIVEN Out, well, a few comments came back as, the BESTLamb ever!!!, Anither who said he would only buy imported lamb from Australia or New Zealand, is now converted to only out American lamb, and YES has been a big proponent for spreading the word on our lamb!

    So, what you know & have experience with in your beef is what we hope to be able to achieve. ♥️. Goals,.. However, I am confident we aren’t there yet on the beef. But, we are trying to learn and I am taking notes on what is shared here...Thank You!♥️