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Old 01-12-2011, 12:31 PM  
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Question raising a hereford or angus steer for meat

Does anyone on here raise one or two head of beef cattle for their own consumption? I have been considering embarking on this idea, but need some advice from those that do it. Is it worth it? How much does it cost to buy and feed one? What age do you buy them? How long do you keep them before sending to slaughter? How big do they get? What feed do they need to grow properly and put on the right amount of weight?
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:49 PM  
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Smile raising beef cattle

ok i have raised a few cows to go to slaughter the best kind to buy are beef cows ranging from angus either black or red, charlaious, or herfords. depending on where u live depends on price in SE we have cows from 100-1500 you want a 8month old to an yearling which is 12months feed them sweet feed this will help tenderize the meat. you want to send them to slaughter between 9-12 months depending on their weight. at age 12months the will loose their teeth so they will drop weight and it will take a while to gain it back. depending on the bred they will get 800-2000# and get a cow that had its shots and wormed so u dont get any diseases but dont worm or shot them 3moths before u eat them. get a heifer or a steer u dont want a bull calf cause the testosterone will penetrate the meat and make it smell and taste funny. i hope i awnsered all ur questiions and good luck!!
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Old 01-12-2011, 12:58 PM  
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We always feed out steers, but I guess a heifer would work. You want them at weanling, and feed out until about 1.5 years, we always have like March calves and then butcher them the next late summer early fall. You will want to have 2 because they eat and grow better in pairs or groups, one calf will not get as big. We feed corn, good old Iowa corn fed beef, nothing better.

some times you can get a buket calf for $100, we have done this before if you can get a couple, this gives the kids a job, but it is harder to butcher a bucket calf.
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Old 01-12-2011, 01:03 PM  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mustbeme View Post
We always feed out steers, but I guess a heifer would work. You want them at weanling, and feed out until about 1.5 years, we always have like March calves and then butcher them the next late summer early fall. You will want to have 2 because they eat and grow better in pairs or groups, one calf will not get as big. We feed corn, good old Iowa corn fed beef, nothing better.

some times you can get a buket calf for $100, we have done this before if you can get a couple, this gives the kids a job, but it is harder to butcher a bucket calf.
is this because the calf will become the kid's best friend?

What does it cost to butcher and how does the price per pound compete with grocery store prices?
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Old 01-12-2011, 01:17 PM  
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We don't grain out ours out, there is no need and it is a big waste of money. Grass fed animals have less total fat, saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories. They also have more vitamin E, beta-carotene, vitamin C, and a number of health-promoting fats, including omega-3 fatty acids. It is much better for you!

I like Murray Grey, they are nice. For leaner beef try a longhorn, very lean and tasty. Avoid the dairy cattle, they are big boned and don't have much in the rear or backstrap (where your good cuts come from)

We have a local USDA slaughter house that charges $65 to slaughter and quarter. Then you can have them cut and wrap or take to a butcher to cut and wrap which is about $1.40/pound.

if you have the room, once you do your own, you will never go back. You know where your meat is coming from and what that animal has eaten.
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Old 01-12-2011, 01:17 PM  
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yep, not so easy to eat the pet you fed from a bottle.

Its been a few years since we butchered a calf, but the last year we did a hog and it was under $200.00 for the processing, I don't know by the time you buy the calf, feed it, butcher it I don't know if you save a ton of money, but it will be much better eating.

We have done this from time to time, when someone calls us up and has either a couple of babies they don't want to mess with or an injured calf that they don't want, we had one once with a twisted leg, butchered out pretty good the side with the twist was a little tougher but still good.

a lot of people around here will sell off part of the 2nd calf.........raise 2 butcher one for them self and sell quarters on the other, they usually don't have trouble getting it sold.
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Old 01-12-2011, 01:26 PM  
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Another tip, if you only have one calf, one year we only had one bottle baby to feed out and we had gotten a weanling filly for my daugher to raise for 4-h, we put the butcher calf and the weanling filly in a lot together and raised them that way. The calf gained really nicely and the filly is the best cow horse we have now that she is all grown up.
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Old 01-12-2011, 01:46 PM  
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We also have always butchered our steers or a heifer that does not get bred. they are born here so no $$ out there but we grass/hay feed ours and make our own corn silage and the young ( weanling to 1 yr ) get ground feed ( ear corn & oats mix) no shots no wormer no chemicls on the feed ( almost organic just don't have the license) If you buy a calf ( 4-6 months they are around 3-400 lb) raise them up to 1-11/2 years they will be 1000 # if your not "pushing" the feed to them get a couple they will eat better. DO NOT make pets out of them!! you won't be able to eat them I hear that all the time from people how can you eat them after knowing them answer> WELL DONE LOL nothing taste better. We have polled herefords and some angus & black baldies This will be the first time eating a black one not sure if it'll taste differnt or not the other ones we butchered were herefords. We also sell it by the 1/2 and always sell out don't even advertise just word of mouth 1.45 a lb + processing = .40 to cut wrap freeze per # ( hanging wt) and 25 or 30$ to kill/butcher. I think it's worth it a whole lot better than grocery stores. A mixed breed calf/weanling might be cheaper and better tasteing like a black baldy ( hereford /angus cross) seems black is more $ were going to get our meat in a couple weeks I can let you know if it tastes differnt beef breeds are better than the dairy or dairy cross. We take everything soup bones the liver ( dog treats)& tounge and ox tail go to some native american friends.

ARABX Murray Greys we used to raise them one of the first farms in Mich to have them very nice breed come from crosses in Austrailia you don't see them around much here ( N wis) at least not pure bred our A I guy never heard of them. They are also very cute as calves
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Old 01-12-2011, 02:29 PM  
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We raise our own and eat the bull when we are done using him for breeding. Our bull weighed about 1200 lbs on the hoof and is 3 years old or older. We grain heavily the last three weeks as it helps to break down the tissues. The cost is about $20 or less for the grain once we decide it's time. Then he feeds a family of four for a year or more.

If you want to raise one for meat buy a bull or steer at about a year old in the spring and pasture him for the summer. Grain is optional but it comes in handy if they are trained to come up to the fence line when you are ready to butcher.

I love home grown meat!
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Old 01-12-2011, 02:34 PM  
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We have fed out steer calves (and a bull calf one time when he just didn't get cut), as well as hogs. Our Florida grass isn't "rich" enough to fatten a calf.
Our herd is a "commerical" herd, braford/brangus/beefmaster. That touch of brahama is necessary in Florida, for heat andfly resistance. Probably makes for tougher meat, though.

Downside: shoveling manure out of a cow pen.

Pen is near the house, and attracts flies. Good source of fertilizer for garden, though.

Hog pen smells worse, but is 1/8 mile from the house.

Is it cheaper? Probably, since we breed the calves. But I've been getting better than $500 for my calves at weaning the past couple of years, and at that price, I come out ahead taking them to market, and buying my beef.

With the "homegrown", I get a lot of cuts we don't use, unless it is all ground into hamburger.

Since my quadruple bypass surgery ten years ago, I'm eating more chicken and fish, anyhow!
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Old 01-12-2011, 02:46 PM  
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Assuming the horse isn't scared to death of the cow, can they be in a pasture together?

What kind of vet care is required? Deworming, castration, dehorning???
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Old 01-12-2011, 03:21 PM  
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Providing the pasture is big enough then yes otherwise the horse will most likely run the cow through the fence. Durango thought it was fun to cut a cow from the herd and chase it around. The cow would run the fence in an attempt to get away. We no longer keep them together. Hubby got tired of rounding up strays and fixing fence almost nightly got old fast.

My neighbor up the road has long horn and roping horses pastured together but they have a hundred acre pasture. I'm sure those horns also help the horses to respect them. We on the other hand have polled cows on small acreage.

There is no vet care unless of injury or illness. Read your wormer for withdrawal time. I used a pour on and it said not to butcher for 45 days. I was not happy when the butcher told us he was full of parasites and had to throw the liver away. Next time I'll stick with the bolus. We grind it up and mix it in the feed.

If you don't want horned cows then purchase a polled one. It is a painful messy job to remove horns and not cost effective if your only planning to eat the animal. My bulls get to keep their horns if I happen to have one with them.
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Old 01-12-2011, 05:38 PM  
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We normally raise baldies (herfords) for meat just because it's what is around here but have had a few angus as well. Didn't really notice a difference in the animal or meat.

For feed we push them with a sweet feed made custom and alfalfa hay. Yep the meat is really fatty we like it that way. They are also on pasture up until the last month then they get brought up and pushed.

Never had a bull to finish out not sure why teh meat would taste funny it doesn't with goats or deer?
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:27 AM  
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Farmergirl - we just cut up our longhorn bull! He was 2 1/2 years old and started going thru fences. A couple of Saturday's ago I went to check one of the first time heifers and watched him go thru the fence into my FIL's yard. He also went over a 6 foot wall! Got caught half way but rocked back and forth till he got over. I was thinking that might not of been his first time. Silly bull. We kept his head and had a cutting up party, there were 4 of us so made it go quicker (but still an all day job!)
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Old 01-13-2011, 07:41 AM  
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We have always ran our horses with cows if needed, only time we had a problem was when my Dads gelding tried to cut out a newborn baby calf, mama was not happy.......so if we think calving is near mamma goes to the barn, once calf if doing good, back out to the pasture.........we have a total of 10 acres, 4 horses, donkey and have had up to 4 cows. butcher calves go in a lot by the barn so they can get fed corn morning and night. And we do not have any bulls.
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Old 04-16-2011, 12:05 AM  
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here on oru farm

I have a couple of herd bosses in the horse herd. Any time a cow ster or bull gets froggy with the horse we pen them up wit our most dominate horse in a pen about an acre. sally tolerates no intrustion from bovines. She has run them thru barbed wire fences over two miles and kicked and bitten her way into dominance . after sally all horses rule over every bovine on the place. 1800# Santa gertrudas bulls and all
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Old 04-16-2011, 04:12 AM  
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We sometimes get bottle/bucket calves to raise , no issues eating them becaue the boys know they are going in the freezer. If we get them that young I castrate and dehorn them it's not a big deal if you know what your doing. I can dehorn a calf with my goat disbudder , husband drops the calf and the boys keep the feet away so nobody gets kicked. Nothing messy about it , I use a hot iron. If we get a feeder they are big enough for $5 the vet can castrate. Which reminds me 6 goat kids and 4 calves will be wethered/steered tomorrow.

Other than tetnus when we castrate/dehorn we don't vaccinate. We do worm with Ivermectin injectable but give it orally. I do this as needed and then about a month before slaughter.

We do push feed to them also about a month before they go. Sweet feed top dressed with soy beans and free choice alfalfa hay. We like the well marbled meat so it works for us. They have a small paddock they get turned out in. Cattle do not go in iwth our horses (they are to cowey) and they do not go in with my goats (to expensive) the calves will push over the goats if there isn't enough room.

We really like the homegrown meat, the way we feed it's more expensive but we know what we are getting and the quality is much better than the store. Unfortunatly we've had a hard time finding feeders in our area, breeders make more if they wait for a finished product.
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Old 04-16-2011, 04:40 AM  
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Grew up raising our own beef, always kept 2-3 cows to breed each year and raise up the calves. Nothing better than your own beef, I hate store bought now! Lot's of different answers as to how to feed them you'll have to find out what you like and what you don't as the feed does effect the taste/fat/grissle(sp?) of the meat. Most of the time ours were on pasture in the summer, hay and small amount of grain/corn winter. I don't remember my parents doing anything else with them but I never paid much attention! But loved the end result!
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Old 04-16-2011, 10:06 AM  
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I have tossed this idea around as well....especially being the meat-atarian that I am I have the whole back half of our property we don't use, just needs fence on one side. I could easily run a couple cows back there....and it help me so I wouldn't have to brush hog all the dang time. I just worry that I would get attached....I tend to get attached to anything furry with big brown eyes....
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Old 04-16-2011, 11:07 AM  
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My family and I have about 100 head of shorthorn, angus, hereford and semi mix cattle. We ALWAYS choose the Shorthorn x hereford crosses or straight shorthorn. I have been involved in 4-H from when I was 10 until I was about 18. I can give you a general run down of when to choose an animal and when it's about ready to butcher.

We calve in March/April and picked out our selected animals mid October. You will want to offer them roughly .5 gallon of show feed (it costs more but it really packs on your pounds). Generally it consists of straight barley, beat pulp, minor amounts of corn, and malassis (it's like candy to cattle lol). You're going to want to feed them an alfalpha based hay forage, and only feed them what they will eat. DO NOT offer them full feed of hay. Generally it was 5% of their body weight is what you'd feed in hay foliage per day I do believe. As your steer/heifer gets bigger you're going to offer them more grain. However you don't want to push them too far and to fast with the grain otherwise they sour on it and don't get as far ahead. Also, you may have the option to get rumunsin in the grain, do it. It helps their stomach digest better, thus they get fatter off less feed. Generally, come the time you're steer is roughly 1200/1300 lbs they should be eating an excess of 5 gallons of grain a day.

Also, I'm not sure what the weather is like there, but having straw bedding down for them at all times is a good idea and contributes to their over all health. Less illness = more days of gain.

I know some people have suggested corn... however, if you do this it often effects the quality and taste of your meat. I've tasted corn fed beef before and it tastes... odd. It almost tastes what corn oil smells like. Personally I don't like that. The fat in your beef will also turn yellow and smell kind of different when you're grilling/cooking it. If you have any more questions regarding the care of them feel more than welcome to ask.
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