What about bulls for beef?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by DOlthaus, Nov 19, 2005.

  1. DOlthaus

    DOlthaus Well-Known Member

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    I am raising beef cattle for the first time. I bought two Simmental bulls from an old guy near where I live. I did quite a bit of reading before I bought and thought I had a handle on what to do. Mr. Abrams said to "wait until next month and have them cut". Well, I think they are too old to have castrated now. They are 6 months old.

    Anyway, I talked to a neighbor who raises cattle and asked his advice. He said he had a similar situation once and his vet said to save his money for castration. He and his wife both said the meat wasn't much different than a steer and they weren't too aggressive. My plan is to grass feed but give some corn throughout and have them butchered next fall.

    Any thoughts?

    Next time I'll have them banded before I buy.
     
  2. Celtic Herritag

    Celtic Herritag Celtic Heritage Farms

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    At 6 months you might still be able to put a band on them. I would really recomend castrating them, the testosterone they release if they're still intact ruins the meat, plus they will stay agressive possible getting worse, fighting with each other, you, the fence, jummping the fence to get the cows next door. Also a castrated animal will put on weight better. Your vet might offer a discount for the both of them.
     

  3. Paula

    Paula Well-Known Member

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    A bull is never too old to castrate. You could clamp them, cut them, or band them. Have to take a little more care with cutting them the bigger they get, but 6 months old shouldn't be a big deal. Basically just make sure you shred the cord/vessels that connect the testicles to the body real good instead of cutting them or pulling them loose. There is also a larger bander you can buy that wraps the band. You could probably even band them with a regular bander - might take a little more effort, but just work the testicles through one at a time. Might want to put 2 bands when they are a little older like yours.
    If you want to do it yourself there are lots of people on this board who can give you specific instructions.

    You can buy castrating equipment at your local farmers co-op or farm store, or at:

    www.jefferslivestock.com
     
  4. vtfarma

    vtfarma Well-Known Member

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    okay - a 10 year old bull would be tough and sinewy and probably have a taste. A 2 to 3 year old bull has no problem, nice meat still & no taste. We castrate our steers at 10 months or so with a calitrate bander and the bull we bring in breeds for 2 season then is gone (Meat) so we don't have cross breeding of his daughters. We have even castritated one (the vet cut him) when he was 18 months old because he came to us with an attitutde and we had a better choice for a breeding bull.

    The idea behind waiting until they are 10 months or so to band is that they grow bigger, faster. The hormones pack on some muscle and size to the critters and they still are the best beef we have ever had.
     
  5. Carol K

    Carol K Well-Known Member

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    I agree with VTFarmer, they pack on weight better if left entire for a while. I've heard people say they have eaten (Dexter) bulls between 5-8 years old and the meat has been excellent, don't see why it would be any differant for other breeds. We did a stter and a bull both about 18 months old and there is no differance in the meat, except the bull was heavier than the steer. Save your money, especially as they will be so young.

    Carol
     
  6. debitaber

    debitaber Well-Known Member

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    band them, it is over, before they know it has started, and is almost painless. that is the best way.