Thinking about a beef cow for next year...

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by Jen H, Oct 26, 2005.

  1. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    I currently have goats and sheep, so that's my experience level. Growing up, we had horses. Never cattle.

    More and more I've become convinced that the only way to know exactly what we're eating is to raise it myself. I have 10 acres of orchard grass/clover (70/30 mix) that my goats and sheep can't keep up with during the summer so I've been thinking about running a hereford steer out there - getting him in the spring when the grass starts growing and butchering him in the fall when the grass dies down.

    Most of the wormers and other meds I get for the goats are actually tested for cattle, so that shouldn't be a problem. Are cattle wormers normally given via drench? Or via shot (SQ I assume)?

    Do cows and goats/sheep get along when pastured together? Will the steer just become part of the herd, or will I need to get 2 and run them separately?

    I am assuming hoof care is similar to goats? Just a physically bigger hoof.

    I already bolus copper for my goats, I can do the same for the cow. I have sheep minerals out free choice.

    Herefords are the really common meat breed around here. Are they fairly easy to handle, or should I be looking for a different breed? I can find almost any dairy breed around here - they're more common than the meat cattle. The advantage to sticking with the herefords is that I can buy my neighbor a beer and ask all sorts of stupid cattle questions.

    Like I said, I'm still at the thinking-about-it stage on this. Any feedback would be very helpful.

    TIA!
     
  2. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    Herefords are a good breed to deal with, they are laid back, and don't have the flightyness as a Angus can have. Angus aren't nasty, however aren't as timid as Herefords. If you were breeding to sell calves, I would suggest Angus, as they will bring more at the auction over a Hereford. So I suggest a Hereford, and be ready to feed them good feed. They can pound the feed untill they are as wide as a semi, and will clean pasture better than a brush hog!



    Jeff
     

  3. crowinghen

    crowinghen Well-Known Member

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    Hay- Have you been peeking at my cow???

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    Wow, look at the belly on that bugger!

    Thanks for the feedback on the herefords.
     
  5. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Why not get a good cow calf pair to give them each company. Have the cow AI'd to an angus to get a black baldie calf so the calf is born about 2 months prior to the older calf going to become steaks. That way you always have friends in the pasture. Each calf the cow raises is one you don't have to purchase and the $500-600 you save in buying a calf buys a lot of feed and vet bills.
     
  6. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    Now that's a thought. I guess I'd just have to partition off the barn for the winter, so the goats would have their space and the cows the other. If the cow twins, I'd imagine the angus cross is more valuable for sale than a hereford purebred?

    On a related note, is angus just the latest craze or do they actually form that much of a better carcass?
     
  7. Bret

    Bret Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I really like this shelter. Will you please, tell me why the left front support is angled?

    It looks real solid. Good job.
     
  8. YuccaFlatsRanch

    YuccaFlatsRanch Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Angus and angus cross finish at a slightly smaller size and marble easier than most other breeds. That means they take less feed to finish and taste better. They also usually mean the calf will be smaller at birth and that is good.

    My vets definition of a really good cow - about 1000 pounds that will wean a 700 pound calf at 7 months. My beefmaster cow does this.

    I would add to the above that a cow who will let you foster another calf to her is great too.


    Why is the shed built like it is - see the blue bag there??? Its there with insecticidal dust in it I'll bet. Can you say FLY CONTROL?? I use pour on CYLENCE that contains cydectin instead.
     
  9. Jen H

    Jen H Well-Known Member

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    Interesting. Thanks for all the info and stuff to think about!
     
  10. Eveningstar

    Eveningstar Active Member

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    The tenderest beef I've ever had is Jersey raised to about 700 lbs. At this weight there is less bone, more meat, and very economical. The only way to maybe get a larger amount of meat is to cross it with Angus. There are allot of Angus X Hereford, Holstein X Hereford, Holstein X Angus that go through the sale yards here that bring in good prices. Herefords are indeed more laid back than other breeds. Angus is a little more flighty. Charlaois (sp) is a very gentle breed but a bigger breed. Jersey though is by far the least expensive to raise and any bovine will clean up a pasture no matter what breed it is. It is not a good idea to keep cows in with sheep or goats. Nor is it a good idea to keep sheep with goats. Scrapie is a sheep disease that is in the spongiform family (Mad Cow Disease) and can in some instances be transferred to either goats or cows. In goats it is called Chronic Wasting Disease. You will want to take precautions too in regards to Johne's disease. I'm not sure if it does spread to goats or not, but I wouldn't take the risk. Hoof care for cows takes some special equipment unless you have a really docile cow. It takes more than just a pair of hoof trimmers. Just a thought but a farrier may be able to help with that. If it is a butcher animal, you won't have to trim hooves anyway. I'm sure you will have a nice butcher animal with the pasture you have.
     
  11. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    With hoof trimming there are people who do that. Here they are reasonable, and I rather have someone do it than myself. We take the calves off the cows in the fall. We had some amazing calves this year, and keep in mind that some of these have Jersey in them.

    The guy came down to pick up two steers, and one bull calf. I had taped them about 480 or so. He took them up, put the trailer on a scale empty, then full. They averaged out 512lbs a piece! I sell mine at 1.00lb, so I did well. These calves were born around April 1st. He picked them up late September, so as you can see that is quite the growth rate. Remember, a couple have some Jersey in there somewhere. Heck one of my beef bull calves weighed 550lbs around early October this year at the market. He was born April 26th or so. What is even better with beef cows that raise their young. I dont have to put a nickle into them, so its pretty much all profit.


    Jeff
     
  12. crowinghen

    crowinghen Well-Known Member

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    I really like this shelter. Will you please, tell me why the left front support is angled?

    It looks real solid. Good job.



    Sorry I've been out of town, didn't realize you asked about the shelter


    --- the REAL reason the leg of the shelter is angled is.......

    drum roll please...


    It used to be my daughter's swing set, the other end had a little fort, so we used to framework, enclosed it with some free lumber the neighbor gave us. I bought some roofing and there it was! Fifty dollars, and the cows do like to go under the blue fly duster.

    Thanks! My husband is very handy!