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Butcher Cattle

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Bignick50

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I recently talked to a rancher that said that they usually sell large heifers for slaughter because their meat is a little more tender than steers. I have never heard that before, any discussion appreciated.
 

okiek

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The older man that owns the place next to mine swear by butchering 1400 lb bulls. He says they are more tender and flavorful. I've never butchered a bull but I have butchered many steers and heifers. I tend to find a cow that produces butcher calves I really like and stick to her calves. Marbling, REA etc... are heritable traits. However, maybe my taste palate isn't as advanced as some, but given the same bloodlines, I've never noticed a difference in steers and heifers in tenderness or taste.
 

Little Joe

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I’ve never heard that. It will be interesting to hear others opinions and experience with that. The people I know that butcher heifers either will butcher either sex or they butcher heifers and sell steers because steers will bring more per pound than heifers.
 

4hfarms

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I have not had the privledge of choice to compare the taste between sexes for cattle, but can tell you I have only had very few deer with a noticeable taste difference. Once it was frozen, it was anyone's guess.
 

bird dog

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I never butcher anything quality wise that I can sell for a good chunk of change. There is always cripples around that you can buy cheap but what I really prefer are Jersey steers.
I try to find one about 700 lbs that I can feed out with some high fat feed up to about 1000 lbs. The steaks are not as big but since it is just me and my wife, the animals are the right size for us.
Now to answer Bignicks questiom, I have a friend that sells meat. His preferred choice for his shop are big heifers that come through the sale barn that have been preg checked as open. They go direct from the sale to the slaughter plant where they are killed and quartered. They will be in his meat case soon after depending on the aging process.
 
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Dave

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For myself I generally look for a 800 pound crippled heifer. Not too crippled. The feedlots don't want her because she is crippled. The cow kill plants are too interested because of her size. I buy them cheap. Put into a smaller pen and feed for 60-90 days. As for the OP. I have read that short bred heifers are the best eating. Some of those purchased crippled heifers that I have ate turned out to be bred. Those have always been some real good beef.
 

Farminlund

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We've done both over the years. We used to slaughter the heifers because the steers would bring more at the sale barn. Then as we progressed into selling meat to the public, the steers gave us the growth & size advantage (lbs=$) & thus we were doing both. I really had a hard time discerning a difference but my wife said heifers were better!
 

Stickney94

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Tenderness is an interesting data point that is very thinly documented (in the angus breed). Some of the best meat I've raised is from heifers. Is that due to gender? Maybe. I wish there was more data on tenderness. I've certainly had meat from steers that was very tender.

I've had meat from bulls and its very tender when its ground into burger. ;)
 

Hpacres440p

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Is there also correlation between tenderness and temperament-I would say yes. Low-key cattle gain more easily (not stress-burning calories). The heifer we butchered would cycle but never settle, she wasn’t as tender as our young bull or steers.
 

JParrott

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We used to do steers or heifers at 18-24 months. We sent a three year old dry cow up one year and liked the flavor and texture so much better that we stick to three and four year olds now.
 

SBMF 2015

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We typically only butcher emergencies. Several years ago we had a 7 mos bred heifer break her cannon bone. Imo she definitely had a sweeter, milder taste than a str.
 

simme

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Is there also correlation between tenderness and temperament-I would say yes. Low-key cattle gain more easily (not stress-burning calories). The heifer we butchered would cycle but never settle, she wasn’t as tender as our young bull or steers.
I think it is generally accepted that nervous cattle do not perform as well. Same with people I think. Happy calm cattle and people perform better. Extreme of this in cattle is a "dark cutter" at slaughter.
 

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