Skip to comments.Any cattlemen out there?
Posted on 12/03/2013 2:18:20 PM PST by TheRhinelander
Any cattlemen out there? I'm thinking about raising one for meat. It would be more like free range veal as I'd get it in April and slaughter it in October.
Any experience? Is this a good idea? I'm trying to avoid hay which is expensive. Is that long enough to get good weight? Anything to watch out for?
No, but I have a big hat.
Purchase price plus land to put it on ( I assume you already have the land with good grazing and water) plus grain if you want better beef plus paying to have it processed and room to store all that meat and a family big enough to consume it in a timely manner.
I do have two Great Pyrennes livestock guardian dogs so protection should not be an issue.
Land and water not an issue. I have a place that will slaughter and process the meat and a big freezer to store it.
Uberti makes a great SA revolver called a Cattleman. I have one Thats as close as I get to cows.
I raise cattle, right at 1000 head.
Go get a 4H book from High School on raising an animal of your choice. Read it.
Will do. My main concern is vet bills and final weight with that much growth time.
Then buy an Angus.
Check out homesteader books on “the family cow” for suggestions. Also (depending on where you live) check the stocking rates - you may have to supplement grass with hay and grains (i.e. Wisconsin -> 1 acre/cow calf unit. Wyoming -> 320 acres/cow calf unit). Consider chatting with the local 4-H leaders - they can get you in touch with people who raise cattle. Finally, be ready to pay more as large operations have economies of scale. Hope this helps.
I have a boyhood friend who is the executive director for a breed. He might know something.
I will. I have one year to get the pasture ready so I have some time to do research.
I have no experience whatsoever with livestock, but my first thought when reading this thread was “4-H could help”.
Find a local farmer with cattle or a guy with a cow-calf operation. Tell him you want to buy one of his calves and have him raise it to whatever size you want. He probably knows a local slaughterhouse as well.
He will charge you a dressed-out price per lb, but I guarantee you it will be a LOT cheaper than your local supermarket, as long as you like all the different cuts you will get.
You do NOT want to raise one animal by yourself, especially because it sounds like you aren’t familiar with animal husbandry.
Well played Sir!
Joel Salatin - Salad Bar Beef - check it out...
Offer up free pasture and you may get all kinds of help.
I can only dream about doing something that adventurous. Meanwhile, I do like those Cattlemen Restaurants and that Supper Menu.
1. Buy a freezer.
2. Buy a side of beef & have it cut to your specifications.
Will do. I raise chickens but that’s as far as I’ve gone. Lots of places that raise cattle here and I plan on talking to them too.
Raising 300 or so might be.
Sure, you can control what it's fed, but that guarantees nothing.
in any event, you will wind up with something that cost you $30 per pound that is not worth a fraction of that and doesn't taste any better than what you could buy at the grocery store.
Leave the beef cattle business to the people who do it on a large scale.
I’ve also considered that. I need to work out the costs.
HIDDEN COSTS: Flatulence fee$....
... & all that BS...
When I was a kid I loved veal. Then, I found out veal is calf meat. Ugh! Lol, I know; I know. Funny, I don’t mind eating an adult cow. I just can’t kill and eat a calf.
Probably wont be big enough to start feeding on his own in April, you would need a cow and calf.
You might have to take the calf off the cow before October because he could get too big if you have good grass and a good momma cow.
Get a bull calf and cut him young, he would be more than ready for the freezer by October.
I am not a cattleman, er, cattleperson, BTW. My neighbors raise them. One in particular had the biggest, toughest looking cows I ever saw last year. He called them "Bison".
If it is already vaccinated when you get it you shouldn’t have any vet bills. I would buy one of those molasses buckets because it has vitamins and some extra protein. How old is it going to be when you get it?
He wants to Raise it and Eat it, not Marry it;)
If you buy an animal in April, keep in next to your house and plan on killing it in October, your kids and your wife will have made a pet out of it by then, given it a name and they will refuse to eat it. Not only that, they will never forgive you for killing Suzie.
One word of caution - let the kiddies name it something like “Sir Loin” or “Barbecue” and not “Buddy.”
I would recommend Semimetal cattle as they are really tender; but they have changed the breed so much. So I would go with Angus. Ask yourself, can you really eat something you have raised from calf to slaughter?
You beat me to it...
You can get a “feeder” calf at the local livestock auction in the Spring. Get angus or hereford. Stay far away from dairy breeds. Steer or heifer doesn’t matter much. Steers may grow just a little faster.
It’s best if you can graze the animal all summer. Hay is expensive - at least it is here.
You will end up with better beef than feed lot beef. It will be leaner and taste better. No funky growth hormones.
It will cost more as your animal will be smallish when you process it (and the feed costs if you have to buy feed).
I save money by doing the cut-and-wrap myself after paying the mobile butcher to slaughter the animals and hang them for two weeks in their locker. Got the instructions on YouTube. It’s a whole-family operation to cut up a cow and get it in the freezer. The dogs profit nicely from all of the bones.
That would be my suggestion for someone unfamiliar with raising cattle.
I had a ‘city’ friend one time who got the brilliant idea of planting a garden in his back yard. He found out it took a lot of work and upkeep, even though it was only about 15’x15’. It still had to be hoed, weeded, watered, etc., and I ended up doing most of that.
The next spring, he said he might try again. When I told him he would be on his own for the next one, he decided it wasn’t such a brilliant idea after all.
Be real sure about where you put the critter. Alone, a steer is nearly defenseless against wolves or nearly wild dogs. It is inquisitive but not smart, and can get rolled up in barbed wire, or loose onto a road causing traffic liability.
If you want some semi free range meat, consider some pigs. They grow faster, are less picky about feed.
Raising a single cow sounds more like a pet than a meal.
Pretty picture of AI, PJ. Or maybe checking to see if the cow is ready to AI?
I was about to say a similar thing after talking with a friend who raised her own for a few years and finds it less demanding and less expensive overall to purchase either directly from a market or freezer stock in sides from a butcher wholesaler.
Now for all the standard responses to, “How rare would you like your steak, sir?”
I second PGR88. Find a friendly farmer and buy one for a bit more than the going rate and he will probably be happy to accommodate you.
We are raising a Holstein steer. His name is, ‘Dinner.’ His ‘Use By Date’ is January 8, 2014. We’ve had him since early April. He should’ve been butchered in October, but the butcher we want to use is THAT GOOD, so this was the earliest they could get us in.
He’s been grass fed; Beau tied him in various places in the house yard to ‘mow’ the lawn, LOL! Watch your step! He also ate all the Hosta from around the house, and the top half of the pole beans in the garden. *Rolleyes*
He gets two scoops of grain and a scoop of minerals most days.
He’s coming back up to the barn from the pasture to put the final bulk on him, so he’ll be on hay and grain for the next month to bulk him up.
So, mainly grass fed, but you’ll have to supplement to some extent for the best results.
Or even go to a stockyard and purchase one.
“If you buy an animal in April, keep in next to your house and plan on killing it in October, your kids and your wife will have made a pet out of it by then, given it a name and they will refuse to eat it. Not only that, they will never forgive you for killing Suzie.”
That’s the truth.
I’ve raised a small herd of beef (35) on a large acerage & then moved to a small acerage. Daughter raised every thing known to mankind on that small acerage for 4H & FFA. We had horses for years, now out of that. I’m into growing fruits & vegetables and fishing or shooting for the meat now.
Let him have the experience, life is a journey.