Is Spring & Summer long enough?

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I wanted to start raising a few beef calves on 6 acres of pasture. Is it reasonable to get a calf in spring and have a reasonable finished for slaughter by early fall? I wanted to avoid buying feed over the winter and building any shelter. If it is possible, are there any breeds that put on weight quicker on pasture?


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If you just want to raise calves on pasture I would recommend growing them some on the pasture you have then sellng them to someone else to feed out. Finishing calves on grass will produce dry as a bone, tough, shoe-leather meat. There will be little or no marbling. They will take a year or more after purchase, to grow to near a finish weight on grass alone.

Cattle that produce good meat are finished on grain (corn). They will be fed grain for a minimum of six or seven months and pushed hard the last three or four. Quality cattle fed this way will produce enough high quality meat to more than make up for the extra feed.

If you are going to grow calves on grass proir to them being put on feed, (called backgrounding) make sure they have a source of fresh water and keep salt and mineral available at all times. Talk to your vet about what vaccines they may need according to what you have bought.

Cutting costs is the fastest way to make sure you lose money.

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