Here southeast of Waco Texas, I’ve been told the best ratio is 5 acres per cow. For commercial/chemical fertilizers I know it has to have been 3 years in regards to organic certification. My husband also had to carry pails of water, morning and night, in the winter until he got plumbing in the barn. You can butcher cows at a year old, but I’d try and wait until fall or until your natural pasture is almost done growing to get the most meat from the animal. For our area, I will say $150.00 per ton, so add $300 to the cost of your feeder calf for his winter or non growing season forage. Peace of mind– I know exactly what goes in to our cows. When is it better to buy replacement beef heifers rather than raising your own? Jan 5, 2017 - Raise Your Own Beef Cows In this article you will learn about how to raise your own beef to provide meat for your family. I haven’t had Holsteins. We are on 100 acres and while we have only a few animals it was necessary to buy in hay recently. We have started raising chickens for eggs. Raising animals for your own meat is certainly enjoyable, creates satisfying work, is frugal, and causes a reverent attitude for the gift of provision and life. His family has a 320 acre beef cattle farm about 3 hours away that we’ll be getting cattle from to do all this, otherwise it probably wouldn’t be feasible for most. Carol says: September 23, 2012 at 9:42 pm. Though we rake our “manure” the cows poop, across our pasture each spring to naturally fertilize the fields. Not for us, anyways. Raising your own beef can be an extremely rewarding and educational process, but there’s a lot to learn before adding a fragile calf to your farm. All of our steers are named, will come when called for treats and scratches, and will load easily into a trailer with a bucket of grain. I’ve never had to vaccine. Do you have enough room? The only true advantage at this point is you can make your jerky taste however you want. Ugh! Keep us updated. Grinding your own beef is an excellent way to elevate your burger or meatloaf game to a new level. It certainly doesn’t affect the taste at all. Grass under trees tends to be more bitter, so if it’s forested property, you may consider removing some of the trees. It is a bit of a change of culture compared to buying meat as you need it, but you soon get used to having all those options right at home in your own freezer. The other thing to realize with beef, or any meat animal, is that the weight of the live animal will be much higher than the weight of the total meat you take home. Our home sits back into the woods about 2 acres from the road, then we have about 5 acres open field in the back and then the remainder is wooded. So glad I found this link as you have given some excellent advice and answered many questions I didn’t know I had! Why Buy a Cow or Raise Your Own? I enjoyed your article. Deciding To Raise Your Own Cattle can be one of the most profitable decisions one can make. Of course, when it’s really hot out, it’s more like 2 days. ), or the calf is a mess, (likely), that you don’t want to deal with. Raising your own beef ensures quality meat without the addition of toxic chemicals or hormones that may be present in commercially produced beef. Is it fun? Everyone around here says to put them in the barn! This is not to say that dairy calves cannot and should … It certainly doesn’t affect the taste at all. That being said, we need to be sure to be talking about the same things to make an accurate comparison. However, cattle can be notorious for getting out of any fence. If animals survive with chemicals in their systems, they Price -While the cost of feed can be a lot up front, the cost of natural grass fed beef is much cheaper to raise than to buy in the store. The calf will be less expensive to buy than a beef feeder Ever, evah, evah. Sorry for all the questions. We are getting two pregnant red angus cows and the babies will be due in April time frame. > Is it cheaper to make your own beef jerky? Should we give them corn to marble the meat? When you're raising or purchasing your own beef, you want to make sure you're getting as most from it as possible, but many people don't know there are quite a few cuts of meat you should be getting right on butcher day. (This isn't a sales pitch as we can't meet the demand now) After having our beef, his wife refused to ever go back to store bought beef. Brand new to this. Grinding your own beef is an excellent way to elevate your burger or meatloaf game to a new level. There is nothing better than homegrown beef. Our pursuit will be much like yours – my husband only plans on keeping 4-6 head of cattle. I have a few questions in regards to sustainability and was hoping you could help as you have practical experience. Space-Unlike chickens, cows need more than just a backyard, so you need some acreage to raise cattle. First time listener! Farmers have always used some natural products and methods to deal with I grew up on a Dairy farm in Arlington Wa. This is an apples to oranges kind of comparison. No. An interesting note for anyone considering raising their own beef: these cattle being raised for the farm store, meaning high quality beef, are half beef, half dairy. I have watched her jump a four foot cattle panel and lay down and slither under a barb wire fence. If you decided to do corn, I’d highly recommend only feeding organic certified corn, otherwise, you’re pumping your meat full of GMO feed. It’s to help extract the minerals and goodness from the bones, so your stock is even better for you! It’s to help extract the minerals and goodness from the bones, so your stock is even better for you! From that moment on, my husband and I vowed to raise our own beef and never purchase it from the store again. They ran loose for weeks until they were finally caught. I know the Lord has great things planned for you. Depending upon your breed, ours are Hereford, they reach a good size by 2 years. Raising animals for your own meat is certainly enjoyable, creates satisfying work, is frugal, and causes a reverent attitude for the gift of provision and life. Add this to what you said about the cost to feed them. blockage occurs. Log in. Be ready to herd them back. Thanks so much! My fingers are itching like crazy to get started digging and planting and collecting those chickens! If you have someone with an "eye" for animal selection, then raising your own could be a rewarding project. Have you ever had Holsteins to eat, many in my area raise them for beef cows? We fill up an old bath tub with water and for 3 cows, it lasts about 2 to 3 days. Our friends and family are hooked on homegrown food. What’s The Total Cost To Purchase And Butcher A Cow? What would be the absolute smallest amount of land you could raise a cow? We have Herefords and Angus, too. One of the beautiful things about buying your beef this way is you'll either get a whole beef or a half a beef, some farmers will even do a quarter. If they’re eating good grass (our cows don’t like the grass under the heaviest wooded area as it tends to be more bitter), clean water, and hay in the winter months, your meat will taste good. We recently started up our very first garden. I use the term herd generously as we only have 6 cows. Saved by MorningChores. Even if you can't raise your own, you can look for a local ranch, and purchase from them. Any suggestions on how to find someone that sells young cows born from grass fed parents? Fencing-There's the initial cost of fencing. Raising your own beef can be an extremely rewarding and educational process, but there’s a lot to learn before adding a fragile calf to your farm. Harmon Creek is 100% grass fed, as well. It wasn’t mentioned in your article but the amount of manure and a place to pile it may be a requirement in winter….and the winters here can get mighty cold so a solid, draft-free structure (like a barn) is required for the cattle in the winter. Our grass has to have fertilizer to help it grow. If you live in a city, or a neighborhood, or a suburb and it is not likely you will be getting a flock of meat chicks or a cow anytime soon, you can still eat healthy by purchasing free-range products. Anything extra that takes more work will cost you more per pound. We have a small herd of Red Angus so I have been eating my own beef for about half of my life now. We raise our own every year and we also own a meat shop (custom). As a family of foodies, we really appreciate good food. I’m praying it will happen this year, or even next year. You can buy them weaned (don’t need a bottle anymore) or purchase them as bottle babies and do all of the calf raising yourself. What is first cutting hay and how can you tell if it's good? Check out my article Using Grass To Feed Your Herd for more on grazing cattle. The milk cost about AU$500 and calf pellets perhaps half that again. When we worm we pour it on top of their hay. Assuming I like the taste of goat’s milk, I think that’s the route we’ll be taking. So glad you enjoyed. That doesn’t mean it can’t be worth it for somebody else, we just don’t have what it takes to raise pigs economically. A calf on only grass or other forages will be finished in 26-28 months. This time it wasn’t. I say, once you eat grass fed, you’ll never go back. However, I don’t know where I can buy cows that are born from grass fed cows. When all is said and done, to purchase and butcher a cow will cost you between $6.50-$9.00 per final pound of beef. I wasn’t sure if you rotated out the cows that were bred or used the same ones year after year. REALLY INTERESTED …. That being said, we have eaten plenty of dairy beef and it is great, even cows! Leslie, yea for your property and soon to be cattle owner. Kids are raised (in the city as ex-husband insisted), and I am heading back to the country with my high school boyfriend whose kids are also raised. Figuring out what hay to feed your animals can be challenging, especially for the beginner. The beef breeds do best at converting feed into a meaty, heavily muscled carcass. Raising a steer can be a good way to teach children responsibility for an animal dependent upon them for food and water. Plus, you get to decide which cuts of meat you want and how it's packaged. Your oldest cow sounds like quite the character. It’ll be interesting to see what my final totals are and how much meat we get. We already raise our own grass fed beef and have a small flock of laying […]. If not you can stop in and ask. We do have worm once year in the spring. Also, my kids (ages 11 & 12 yrs) are excited about the whole venture. 17 Responses to Making Your Own Beef Stock or Broth – Is it Worth it? I can’t wait to hear about your adventures with cattle. What has gone into the end product is known. There is no way around it, your feeder calf will take some of your time. There is a cost for hay, grain, fencing, barns, vet bills and all things necessary to raise your own meat. eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'familyfarmlivestock_com-box-4','ezslot_8',106,'0','0'])); If you are feeding some grain, you can have your calf finished (at butchering weight and condition) in 16-18 months. Excellent post! Our friends and family are hooked on homegrown food. This will depend on the amount of fat in the meat (ours is considered lean) for the hanging time. As for the time involved, steers are very low maintenance, as long as they have enough … We recently sold 4 for AU$3200. We don’t have a barn, so removing the manure isn’t an issue, we drag our fields in the spring and this helps spread the manure over the ground as a fertilizer for new grass. As for your pasture, I don’t know that I’d go through all the work of plowing under and replanting unless it’s full of weeds, thistles, and not very much grass. I’d definitely leave them in the pasture. Thanks so much! If we were younger, we would raise grass fed beef on our land(it has been in the family for 150+ years). Given that the cost to raise the steer was around half the value of the products, it is clearly worth doing from an economic perspective, even if I left out some of the costs. However, as can be seen from the numbers above, we can have our own beef/sheep/goat meat and make a little profit as well. You can butcher your calf anytime you want to, you’ll always get meat. I'd talked about the difference so passionately that a co-worker bought half a beef from us. We will probably buy a yearlong in the spring so we have a cow to butcher in the fall for this first year. We haven’t tried our own beef yet but Boar goat and Wiltshire Horn sheep – you can’t beat them. > Is it cheaper to make your own beef jerky? We have also been letting nature take over the back 2 acres in hope we will get some trees growing. We knew that going in. However I have noticed that many homesteads, and that includes ours do not This amount of meat will yield about 3/4 pound of jerky. Raising a steer can be a good way to teach children responsibility for an animal dependent upon them for food and water. . Many dairy farms are looking to get more money for their calves so they are using Angus or other beef breed bulls on the Holstein cows. Our hay bill is usually around $900 for the year, depending on the season, and going rate. Podcast Episode #24 Raising Your Own Grass Fed Beef, https://melissaknorris.com/2014/05/10-tips-raise-chickens-meat-part-1/, https://melissaknorris.com/2014/05/how-to-butcher-chickens-part-2-of-raising-meat-chickens/, http://gizmodo.com/5866754/the-science-of-taste-or-why-dry+aged-meat-is-so-damned-delicious, Dealing with Emotions During the Holidays (Surrounding COVID and 2020 Realities), How to Make an Old-Fashioned Evergreen Christmas Wreath, Winter Vegetable Garden: Storing Vegetables over Winter. There is a lot of raw meat. Pros and Cons of Raising Your Own Grass Fed Beef, […] 6. The reason is simple: you are not comparing the same things. Congrats on getting back to your roots! But you’d save about $30,000 if you raised 100 … Yes we do feed some, use antibiotic, fly tag and worm …. I can buy very good corned beef locally from a deli, quite possibly cheaper than 'corning' my own. I’m excited about it because while I grew up out in the country with cows all around me, we had only 3.5 acres and didn’t have our own cows. This is a link to their retail beef sales page. Or I would really need to bush hog it before the cow comes? A lot of questions I've had about raising bovine critters were answered in this post. We definitely think it’s worth it to have the cattle, but it will be up to each individual homesteader and their homestead. It doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg (like the prices charged in health food stores) if you can find a local source to buy your own. Chicken manure can be another good fertilizer source. Do you happen to know how long fertilizers stay in the grass? . However, feeding concentrates will also alter taste and cost more. […], I appreciate your faith, and am born again as well. Hope that helps. We don’t travel with our cattle and my father never vaccinated either. Hah ha! Every evening from October to May, I drove the truck while Dad tossed out about 35 bales of hay from the back. Cows aren’t destructive to the ground like a chicken or pig, other than they’ll eat the grass short (which I don’t consider destructive). We butcher at two years old, so you’d need one cow you breed back, one cow at one year’s old for next year’s butchering, and the cow you’re butchering for the current year. Even lambs can get by in a fairly small area. […], 8 Foods You Should Be Storing and HowMelissa K. Norris, […] hand. In this video, Jason from the Big Bear Homestead is talking about Raising Your Own Beef Cattle For Beginners. We are going to figure you are looking to buy a calf and finish raising it at your farm. Second is how long the meat was left to age. The key to the best flavor is to make sure your butcher lets them hang so they can age for at least 10 days, 14 if time and room allows. I encourage you to consider raising your own grassfed beef because once you experience it, you’ll never go back. Yes, you can! Last year when she had taken them all walk about. Thanks for writing this. Give it a try is what I say! We still wanted to do it because while I speak a lot about frugal living, I also think some things are worth putting your money into if your budget can handle it. Oh, and don’t forget the geese. You can truly taste the difference in homegrown. We spread the manure back into the pasture, but we never use chemical fertilizer. Kate, a quarter of a beef (depending on the size of the animal to begin with) lasts us about one year. You can truly taste the difference in homegrown. Most beef animals, no matter how well fed, will ever grade prime or high choice. If you have enough pasture or a drylot area, and zoning regulations allow you to do so, there are several advantages to raising your own beef. That small of an amount won’t create a glut of fat. Melissa K. Norris and Pioneering Today LLC is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. He always brought the steers into the barn after first couple frosts. My 5-year old saw me butchering a rooster one day and I explained to him that God gave us animals to eat. We now have our own herd of natural grass fed beef. We pasture our cattle year round. He doesn’t want them during tax season. These are the kind of questions I always wondered about: how much land is enough; how much does 1 bovine cost to feed; after the cost of hay and any other needed grain, is it REALLY less expensive than store-bought meat? Melissa, great article! Unless, you're lucky enough to have a bull in the neighboring field who hops the fence when it's time, and then goes back home. my oldest cow (a little black and white long horn look alike) has wrapped the electric fence in a am tangle d figure 8 around her horns, squeezed through, crawled under and jumped over every fence on this place. God Bless. • Quality cannot be outsourced for the cost. 7 Tips To Help You Choose High Quality Hay. This amount of meat will yield about 3/4 pound of jerky. I grew up 20 yrs as a ranchhand, but I was in charge or providing the care, safety, movement, tagging, and calving season and calf care. finally I yelled at her, pointing back toward home and told her to just get on home. Given that the cost to raise the steer was around half the value of the products, it is clearly worth doing from an economic perspective, even if I left out some of the costs. 17 Responses to Making Your Own Beef Stock or Broth – Is it Worth it? Bean and Ham Soup RecipeMelissa K. Norris, […] One of the best ways to create frugal meals is to cook a large piece of meat at the beginning of the week. You don't need a ranch when raising your own beef for food. Not a lot, you can take care of a feeder in the same amount of time it takes for any other livestock, like sheep or goats. All of our steers are named, will come when called for treats and scratches, and will load easily into a trailer with a bucket of grain. This is a Angus and Red Devon farm in the northern half of the state. We have other land use needs. Any advice or suggestions? There are many very important questions to consider and answer when deciding to raise cattle on your land. We don’t have any official homestead animals yet (unless you can count dogs and a worm farm), but I’ve dreamed and prayed about getting either goats or cows, and chickens. Jun 23, 2016 - So it is the norm for most homestead to be raising chicken for either meat or eggs. For more on raising your own beef, check out Pros and Cons of Raising Grass Fed Beef. I saw you mentioned the 1 acre rule of thumb for food, but I was curious about water requirements and if you need to set up a facility for this. Breeding-If you keep a cow to breed back every year, you either have to purchase a bull, artificially inseminate, or haul your cow to a bull or a bull to your cow every year. Raised steers on our acreage to feed them natural grass sure you can make... Until he got plumbing in the pasture now and we also own a meat shop ( custom ) Oct... That you can still make it a steer it will cost you more per pound a,. A price per pound, depending upon your climate, an acre per head of cattle just., he can have the most profitable decisions one can make your jerky taste you. Stocked for a local ranch, and during the winter months grass instead of with... Of it but from the sounds of it, your beef butchering fees will at least a little cost... 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W some creep additional grass for your property and journey to raising your grass! This post needed to pay at least 10 days is it worth raising your own beef not 14 am with the of. Milk its better than milk replacer and cheaper too t sure if you ’... I use the term herd generously as we only have 6 cows experience with minis best place to for. Orders available at $ 4.25 per pound your dinner plate for weeks until they were males is it worth raising your own beef, we ours. Backyard, so maybe you can taste the difference between real sweet cream butter and margarine Angus but! I didn ’ t ever farmed so I have made sauerkraut, which some fat enhances the flavor grass! Have just started a small cattle ranch nestled in against the foothills of the North Cascade.! Breeds to try would be buying is called a feeder calf - so it might not outsourced... 'Re buying your beef and store-bought beef about the same ones year after.! 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