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Old 04-30-2010, 11:23 AM  
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Raising beef to butcher ?

a friend is trying to talk me into raising our own beef to butcher. I'm not so sure that we will really save any money......with feed, fences etc. Don't have anything for cattle now, so we'll start from scratch. What do y'all think ?
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Old 04-30-2010, 11:53 AM  
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It all depends if you plan on keeping all the meat or selling some to make up the loss of keeping them. I find cows arnt that hard to keep in. You should see the fencing here ,half of it is laying on the ground and they still dont go over it for greener grass!
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Old 04-30-2010, 12:37 PM  
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ive considered doing it and after adding everything up, the money i saved wasnt significant enough to jump on the idea, but i was saving. if i remember correctly, to use all the typical cuts off the cow vs the cost of buying all the same, it was somewhere around $300 less.
what makes that small saving more significant to me though is that organic, grass fed beef is too expensive, where as i could do it at home and save money. because of the increased cost i havent eaten beef in over 10 years because i just didnt feel good about what i was supporting and having the option of a nice juicy burger every now and then would be nice.
i still havent decided if im going to try it or not, but knowing that the cow who had no life destiny other than a plate at least had a good life before it came to that means more to me than the insignificant amount i would save.
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Old 04-30-2010, 02:55 PM  
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It's something I've had in the back of my head for a long time, tucked away in my 'when I get a farm' plots and schemes M learned how to butcher a cow (and pretty much any other edible animal) when he was in culinary school, so there's money to be saved there in the long run (there is the initial investment of equipment, like knives and grinders and whatnot).

I agree wholeheartedly with Justine, my dream is to be as self-sufficient as possible. You can see some of the massive factory farms in the lowlands in my area from Google Earth, and it's an appalling sight - I love the idea of producing my own meat and dairy, to avoid supporting...that.

Definitely work out the costs and profits out on paper before buying the cattle - it depends on your particular situation as to whether or not you'll make a profit in the end.
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Old 04-30-2010, 03:08 PM  
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Make sure you check into local laws for butchering/selling meat.

Here in Ontario, you cannot slaughter your own, you must take it to a certified butcher. You also cannot sell it to anyone unless you are properly inspected, etc, which jacks up your costs. People do still sell it, but don't advertise that, if ya know what I mean

We plan on raising our own beef. We almost got a pregnant cow last year, but the deal fell thru since we didn't have a decent shelter ready for the winter. Even if I only break even, it's still worth it to me to know where my food is coming from.

And home-raised beef ... MMMMM ... there's nothing like it!
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Old 04-30-2010, 03:38 PM  
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I have a friend that raises one or two a year for themselves. They do it because then they know where the meat is coming from, what the animal ingested, etc. If they didn't raise their own, they would buy organic, which would certainly be much more expensive, so they come out ahead.
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Old 04-30-2010, 04:38 PM  
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We have raised our own, not only beef but pork. Our son has food allergies that have turned out to be additive allergies, so "home grown" is better for him. We use a commercial slaughter house/butcher to process the beef and sometimes the pork, although we have done our own hogs. We also kill/butcher our own wild hogs, deer, wild turkeys, and wild ducks.

Our son is much healthier on a natural meat diet.

I'm not sure it saves a lot of money, but it keeps us in touch with that pioneer spirit that is a part of being who and what we are. We are country and we are proud.
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Old 04-30-2010, 06:57 PM  
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Well, I've never made any money selling meat, sometimes I break even in that it aloud me to get my own meat for free. ie I sell just enough to cover the costs of raising my own. But, there is nothing like the taste of meat raised out on fresh grass and our own grain. My chickens (broilers) are in long cages that get move each day to clean grass, my hens just run free (I think the dogs get more eggs than I do), and our beef is growen by us.

It just tastes better.
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Old 04-30-2010, 08:56 PM  
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When we eventually get married and get our little farm the bf wants to raise cows for meat. (I'm just like anything you want to eat, I don't want to go near it. I couldn't eat something I've looked at and taken care of.) But we're probably also going to eat whatever he hunts.... good thing deer kinda tastes like beef...


A friend of mine goes in with a couple people he works with on a cow and it seems to be a pretty good deal. The beef is delicious and it's a lot leaner b/c it's been fed only grass. (He had to add fat to the ground beef to make hamburgers!)
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Old 05-01-2010, 10:06 AM  
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Hi We have always been "farmers" so I do not understand the "getting attached" problem,. True the big commercial farms are a differnt story. We raise about 30 head of hereford /angus cows you can use the same fenceing as your horse "hot" wire works good. Herefords are raised outside we do not have a barn for them they do have a wind break tho. We raise our calves up keep the heifers as replacements and make steers out of the boys or some get to stay bulls and sold to private farmers as replacement bulls we switch out bulls every 2 years. When the numbers get to high we cull the older ones mostly going to other farmers they are about 5 years old then and still have a couple good years left. We also sell steers by the 1/2 or 1/4 and have a local butcher/meat market. So that is a option on cost cutting. We sell about 2 steers this way we only need about 1 steer for ourself ( 3 people) and that will last about a year. It is the BEST meat just knowing that I saw him eat his first meal and feed him his last one means allot. Sorry if thats morbid to some we also have to add liquid to any meat we cook from burgers to roast /steaks. Ours are fed green choped grass ( summer) or Hay and corn silage (winter) and the young stock gets ground feed ( corn and oats ground up). SO if you plan to do this do not get ATTACHED to him I hear about that all the time how could you eat him after raiseing him but that comes with being raised on a farm.....
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Old 05-01-2010, 01:47 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sonseeahray's_girl View Post
Make sure you check into local laws for butchering/selling meat.

Here in Ontario, you cannot slaughter your own, you must take it to a certified butcher. You also cannot sell it to anyone unless you are properly inspected, etc, which jacks up your costs. People do still sell it, but don't advertise that, if ya know what I mean
that's the one obstacle I was afraid of...I know there's similar regulation for dairy that's canada-wide (the only person allowed to drink the raw unpasteurized milk is the owner of the cow, not even their family members can have it - since there seems to be a market of people who feel there are health benefits to drinking raw milk, there's been a bit of a stink over it recently). It looks like the same regulations apply to BC, but I can't seem to find anything that applies to beef not intended for sale...

hmm...I did find this though off the food safety act under meat inspection regulation..

"Application to establishments
2 (1) The Act does not apply to
(a) a slaughter establishment that is registered under the Meat Inspection Act (Canada), or
(b) the slaughter of an animal by the owner of the animal for the owner's personal use and not for resale."

Iiiiiinteresting...good thing I have a lot of years to investigate before I can even think about actually getting into beef raising

Ultimately I think the beef would be the byproduct of keeping one or two dairy cows - breed to a small beef bull or something, and raise the calf(s) for meat. Attachement would be a big issue for me, but I believe everything has a purpose in life, and while the calfies lives would be short, I'd make sure it would be a good short life..
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Old 05-01-2010, 02:38 PM  
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Got some friends who raise one or 2 just for the freezer and they both say the main costs is from the processor. They get them picked up and taken to the slaughterhouse, the meat is hung to age for a short time and then cut and wrapped for freezer.

I don't think they pay to much for a young steer, then they have plenty of grass and feed some grain the last couple months. They get really huge and are very quiet beasts. When the man comes to take them in the trailer, he just puts some feed in there and they walk right in. nooo, don't eat that grain, don't go in that trailer!!

The meat is very,very good tasting and is not full of fat.
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Old 05-01-2010, 02:54 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JimB View Post
a friend is trying to talk me into raising our own beef to butcher. I'm not so sure that we will really save any money......with feed, fences etc. Don't have anything for cattle now, so we'll start from scratch. What do y'all think ?
I can almost guarantee you that you won't save money, that per pound you will be paying more for each and every pound that you eat plus the pounds that you don't (bone, blood, intestines, etc.). If being cost effective is important then perhaps you can check out local cattle ranchers and see about buying a butcher beef from them.

What you'll want to have in place before your steer or butcher cow or whomsoever steps one little cloven hoof on your place
1. Fencing, does it include pasture? Will that pasture be enough to survive the pitter patter of little feetsies or will you need to supplement hay all year?
2. Do you like to fence? Hope so, because you'll have to check it and keep an eye on the fence posts too. Steel are less expensive and easier to install than wooden posts but they aren't cheap anymore, perhaps you'll find a good deal on auction or a sale?
3. How are your veterinary skills?
4. Will you butcher the beef yourself or have it done? That could run something like $75 to butcher it and then to cut and wrap you might be looking at another couple hundred. Just guessing, don't hold me to those numbers. Except to yield maybe 60% (?) of the live weight into
beef you can eat.
5. Do you have a freezer large enough to hold a beef?

A neighbor just sold a butcher cow a week ago for something like $850. His other cows look to weigh around 1100 lbs, so I suppose it would butcher out to be 750lbs maybe? So if the cost to kill, cut and wrap is $300 and the freezer adds another $10 to your electrical bill, then over 9 months the time it might take to eat that entire stock of meat you'll of spent $1250/750 lbs = $1.67/lb for tenderloin and ground beef alike.
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