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Country Discussion Topics
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Meat calves?
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Griz    Posted 12-28-2003 at 16:36:30       [Reply]  [Send Email]
Hello! We just purchased a farm (finally) and have a lot of adjustment and learning to encounter. We have about 8 acres of pasture that we want to put 2-3 calves in to help keep it mowed down and to provide meat when winter comes. Here's the question. I cannot seem to find a good source for how to raise a meat calf. Do I need to supplement the grass? If so, when? How much meat can we expect off of a 20 month old angus calf? Are bulls better eating then cows? What types of cuts will we get out of the cow (meaning if we elect T-Bones do we lose out on getting filets)? Can anyone direct me to a good source for this information?

We are moving out to the farm to try and simplify our lives from the bustle of city life. Raising a lot of our own meat is part of that. I just found this website and hope to learn a lot from it's contents. Thanks!


deadcarp    Posted 12-29-2003 at 06:01:31       [Reply]  [No Email]
welcome to the country my friend - maybe the first thing you'll notice that with a scarcity of population comes a scarcity of services - all the way from amusement parks to tack shops. out here there isn't enough trade to carry another 24-hour cafe and if you still want one, ya hafta build one. but remember you've left the bad parts of crowds behind too :)

the best thing you can do now is get acquainted with the locals and ask questions. you can learn more at a midsummer celebration or auction sale or church lobby than any book can tell ya - and it's absolutely local - so don't back away from opportunities to congregate.

i've shied away from raising strictly beef but for a different reason - i was in it for money and around here a milk cow will generate as much income as 17 head of beef. let's see, at 4 acres/head that's - uh - not much of an option. with steers ya only get beef - with more of a hobby farm you can get pork, spuds, cabbages, milk, poultry, eggs, butter, cheese - lots of good edibles - and you're putting way more on the table for very little extra work. (now granted chores are always during the best fishing hours :). limited acreage would be another factor that would help me lean toward a cow/calf arrangement. :)

Gary, Mt. Hermon, La    Posted 12-29-2003 at 05:52:54       [Reply]  [No Email]
oh wow a 20 month angus calf is just about fully grown. I breed my heifers at 18 months. Most meat stock I butcher is 9 to 12 months old and typically dress 300 to 400 lbs. I add high protein dairy feed for about 2 months prior to slaughter, mostly they just graze on pasture and hay.

Dieselrider    Posted 12-28-2003 at 18:11:23       [Reply]  [Send Email]
I raise a couple head each year too. I pick up two each spring and summer over four, then butcher off the two from the previous year in the fall. That way I'm only feeding two through the winter. I feed grain, that I buy from a local farmer, and hay through the winter. Then about the first week of May I turn them out on pasture. This usually gives them the runs for awhile as they're not used to all the fresh grass. I usually grain them through the summer also. The two I had butchered this fall were 780 pounds and 800 pounds hanging weight. Live weight they probably were in the 1300- 1400# range. Real good meat, you won't be sorry if you go that route.
One other thing you may want to keep in mind is pasture management. Check your local extension office for info on that. Personally I have my pasture (about 8- 10 acres) divided into three main paddocks. After one paddock is used up, I switch them to another then mow the first off to keep weeds down and give the grass a better chance to come back. This rests the grass and the pastures really look good for me with this practice. This is getting longer than I figured on so, if you have any questions that I can help with, e-mail me or ask these guys on here. Oh yeh, welcome to the site.

Linda Thomas    Posted 12-28-2003 at 17:36:52       [Reply]  [No Email]
I would recommend buying or checking out from your local library, a copy of A Guide to Raising Beef Cattle (Storey Animal Handbook)
by Heather Smith Thomas.

Also, highly recommend investing in a copy of the Cow-Calf Management Guide & Cattle Producer's Library.

Having these two resources close at hand, you should have a good head start on the information you need.

KellyGa    Posted 12-28-2003 at 16:44:55       [Reply]  [No Email]
Welcome! Come by and sit fer a spell anytime!

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