feeding out young heifer

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smallrancher

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Question for all of you with years of experience, I'm not sure since my background is in dairy. I have a hereford heifer from last year that is fairly nice, but she runs thru every fence I've set up for rotational grazing(just a single hot wire). All the other cows respect the wires and I've never had any troubles. I sold her mom this spring because of her temperement and thought I'd keep her. I use strictly A.I. and pride myself on working my cows myself, so temperement is pretty important. Today I got sick of trying to get her in the same paddock as the rest of the cows, plus she had taken two fences down allowing the other cows into other paddocks, so I decided to put her into a separate pasture by herself that is bordered by 4 barbed wire with 2 hot on it, well trying to get her there was almost the end of me(her), so I put her in the chute, put a halter on her and slowly led her to the shed via Bobcat. I decided the only way she would come out of that shed was via trailer. She is a nice heifer, but I've always been a firm believer in not selling someone else my problems, so my question, I can either send her to the kill plant or to the butcher. I'm a poor judge of weight, but I'm thinking she's about 700 lbs. I think if I sell her outright I might not get much for her, but I might keep her in the shed and give her grain for about a month and butcher. Any thoughts? Will steaks be big enough? Will it taste good? She was on small amount of grain much of the winter, and hay and grass since. Anyone butcher this young? Thanks in advance!!
 

mnmtranching

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She is NOT a nice heifer and your doing the right thing. But I know what you mean.

I would feed her for a while, 100 days. Good mixed hay free choice. Start off with a small amount of grain,like about a pound or two. After she has developed a taste for it increase by about 1/2 pound a day until she is up to about 15 pounds. Salt and mineral.
You won't be sorry, the meat will be excellent.
 

Jogeephus

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Only problem I see is that she will be alone. This coupled with her being high strung might give you some problems when it comes to gain and possibly a few more things. If you could put another one in there with her or even a goat to keep her company, I think you would be better off especially if you were going to go the longer length of time. That said, I've butchered some younger ones and though they were not well marbled it seemed the texture was different. Almost a ham texture. Very tender. Very good too.

This fall, I put one up that was loco. Fed her for about 7 days before I figured she was going to kill me if I kept this up. Shot her in the pen as she charged me and her bucket of feed. Strung her up with the loader we butchered her. Had t-bones last night and they were delicious.
 

2/B or not 2/B

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smallrancher, your idea of feeding her out for just 30 days may not be optimal, but it would be fine. We've done the same - with a similar sized steer, not a heifer. His steaks were smaller than average and lightly marbled. They were juicy, tender and delicious. We're doing the same with another one right now although he's a bit bigger this time. He's penned alone and he's fine although he does call out to the others when he sees them. Some may think it's crazy, but we actually prefer the smaller steaks. Next year we plan to butcher a heifer instead of a steer, so if you do go this route let us know how it works out.
 

Stocker Steve

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Jogeephus":1jl3uhzt said:
This fall, I put one up that was loco. Fed her for about 7 days before I figured she was going to kill me if I kept this up. Shot her in the pen as she charged me and her bucket of feed. Strung her up with the loader we butchered her.

Who needs to go the Africa and pay to hunt Cape buffalo when you use the big double rifle right at home! :banana:
 

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