You will not get more higher quality cuts from a bull than a steer. Bulls on average will quality grade select or less, steers will average choice or better. Fat=Marbling=Tenderness,Juiceness, and Flavor. Bull meat that lacks the fat will be tougher than hell, take the shoulder of a carcass for example this is where a lot of your roasts come from, the shoulder is mostly muscle with little fat, this meat has to be slow cooked longer because it lacks the fat and is tougher. If you tried selling bull calves to butcher in my area you would get docked at least $100 a head because their caracasses are inferior to a steer or spayed heifers.
true, but then again i'm not producing beef for the us market, i'm producing Belgian Blue bulls for the belgian market, and that market, under SEUROP and the fat classification gives me the highest prices for bulls under two years old, with a fat level of two (5 would be a steer in winter time). steers are even classified lower then dairy cows inbelgium, because of the fat they have. this is because we have different breeds, producing different kinds of meat, and essentially different consumer needs.
also fiber length and the way you cook your meat will have a lot to do with the tenderness as well.
No question that a castrated animal will be more tender. That has been practiced for millennia, on cattle, pigs, sheep, etc. The other reason, that might not apply if you are raising bulls all the way up to sell direct to the butcher or slaughterhouse, is aggression. A castrated animal is more docile and easier managed. Plus they don’t burn a lot of energy worrying the heifers to death in the feedlots, which would retard gain for both sexes.
true, but if you have a breed that is tender as it is, and if you don't keep the bulls in lots with the heifers, you don't have any problem. we finish around 600 bulls a year here, and none of them are castrated. steers give more fat, wich is essentially tenderness, but if your beef is tender like that (Belgien Blue) there is no need to castrate them. it actually makes you grade worse here in europe. and growth is slower, because of the lack of testosterone. also heifers in a pen with a bull are a lot quieter because they will not cycle as much, as they will all be bred, making them quieter over-all. i've been doing this for years and they grow faster when not cycling.
for the safety issue, make sure you have good stables, and you have no problem, and the overall docuility of the breed has to be noted as well.
the females gain more because they are impregnated the last four months before slaughter. that way they are quieter and don't spend as much time jumping around and on each other, and more time eating. i don't make money off the weight of the foetus, because they are all sold on the hook.
nopt really. but if you put one bull in a group of heifers, they will be bred, and therefore be quieter and gain faster.
i do this with all the bulls that are non-acceptive of other bulls, so i can't put them together. they tend to settle when put with a group of heifers and the heifers are quiet too. but i only do this four months before slaughter.
Essentially you are feeding two animals the heifer and the calf growing inside her. Granted at four months the calf's maintence requirements are not much but the heifer is still focusing part of her feed on that calf especially in the last month.
i thaught this would be a problem as well when i first did this, but the bred heifers were better on the hook, and they grew better. so i guess the tranquility factor weighs up to the fact that the heifer feeds her calf as well. i have to admit that they eat slightly more, but for me that is not a problem since i have too many ha's of feed because of the manure regulations here in belgium.
Interesting conversation. We have normally castrated very young because they are easy to handle. What would be the best age to castrate if you wanted to get the muscling of bulls but meat of steers? Thanks.
in my experience you would have to castrate very late (20 months) and then fatten them as steers. but i don't think this is a very good solution. the best thing for you i believe is to get a breed that muscles extremely well, and as you castrate them you will still get the extra fat. i can't really help you with this because in belgium we are trying to get as little fat as possible on our animals. but i suppose that if you castrate a belgian blue, and feed it triticale instead of barley or wheat, you would get excelent results fat and meat-wise.
> Well, since testosterone is an
> anabolic steroid which builds
> muscle faster, and that's produced
> by the testicles....bulls gain
> faster than steers, but steers
> fatten easier. But, does slaughtering a bull taint the meat? Does it do any thing different to the meat other than the fat content?
by reducing the fat content ie marbling this will make the meat tougher and will have less flavor. The intramuscular fat when cooked breaks down to some extent when this happens your meat becomes more flavorful and tender. This is why double muscled breeds of cattle are worthless to the consumer. Angus="give em what they want"
> in my experience you would have to
> castrate very late (20 months) and
> then fatten them as steers. but i
> don't think this is a very good
> solution. the best thing for you i
> believe is to get a breed that
> muscles extremely well, and as you
> castrate them you will still get
> the extra fat. i can't really help
> you with this because in belgium
> we are trying to get as little fat
> as possible on our animals. but i
> suppose that if you castrate a
> belgian blue, and feed it
> triticale instead of barley or
> wheat, you would get excelent
> results fat and meat-wise.
In the US production agriculture system fed cattle are harvested by the time they are 18 months of age and should weight 1250 - 1350 lbs. live to meet market specifications.