PROPER WAY TO GROW OFF CALF FOR BEEF?

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Anonymous

I was wondering if some of you that are experencied at growing off your own family beef could give me some advise.My guestions are as follows: What age, are weight should I pull a bull calf off her mother to start growing him off for beef? I've heard to give them all the hay they can eat with plenty of fresh water and some say cracked corn is better and others say whole has for protein, Which one and how much of it per day? Are would a different kind of feed that has oats be better, again How much per day for one?

At what weight or age do I shot for before slaugther,and how long should this take? Is a certain time of year better? How much differents is it going to make if it is a bull verses a steer in meat quality? Some saw they will grow off faster and better to do two at a time rather than one,is there any truth ot that? Does it make much differents growing one off in a barn veres a lot?Are there any should nots, I should be informed of? Any other info that you could suggest would be helpful. Thanks.

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Anonymous

Dun knows what age to pull the calf off his Mother, around 7 months, I think. As far as bulls compared to steers; we did 1 bull at 18 months and the meat was the toughest we've ever had. We also did a cryptorchid that was just as bad as the bull, no fat whatsoever and gristle instead of fat around the steaks. We butcher our steers in June or when the grass has reached it's peak. We've never had to grain or hay them and nobody has been able to tell our beef from grain-fed. According to the butchers if you butcher when the grass is at it's peak age isn't a real big factor. We do ours between 18 months and 3 years, usually 2 yrs. old for us because we like a little more meat. As far as bull versus steer, we castrate our bulls around a week old. I hope I answered atleast one of your questions!

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Anonymous

> Dun knows what age to pull the
> calf off his Mother, around 7
> months, I think. As far as bulls
> compared to steers; we did 1 bull
> at 18 months and the meat was the
> toughest we've ever had. We also
> did a cryptorchid that was just as
> bad as the bull, no fat whatsoever
> and gristle instead of fat around
> the steaks. We butcher our steers
> in June or when the grass has
> reached it's peak. We've never had
> to grain or hay them and nobody
> has been able to tell our beef
> from grain-fed. According to the
> butchers if you butcher when the
> grass is at it's peak age isn't a
> real big factor. We do ours
> between 18 months and 3 years,
> usually 2 yrs. old for us because
> we like a little more meat. As far
> as bull versus steer, we castrate
> our bulls around a week old. I
> hope I answered atleast one of
> your questions!

Thanks Greatly Robin, That is very interesting that the meat is still tender and marbled, yet not grain feed.I had read something of that sort and wondered if it was true,OK. What breed is this Robin that you raise out for grass fed beef?And you just take it straight from the pasture to the butcher? Thanks Again.

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Anonymous

In our herd we have 2 old cows that are Angus/Hereford. We've used Angus, Charolais, Santa Gertrudis and Limousin bulls on them. We've always got atleast 1 bull calf out of them. So far the tenderest has been a tossup between a 3yr. old black-baldy, heifer(dikey) that weighed close to a ton or a 3yr. old black steer that was bigger. He broke some bolts on the butchers truck. Our pasture isn't irrigated but there's plenty of it. So in the Spring when the grass is at it's peak, the steer is as fat as he's going to get. They're usually quite large by then too. We put him in a pen, he's accustomed to, with alfalfa hay and a bucket of grain and then the butcher arrives. So there is no stress at all on the steer, he's happily munching away. We get enough tender meat to last us a year plus a few friends and they think they're getting grain-fed beef. And it's cheap.

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Anonymous

> In our herd we have 2 old cows
> that are Angus/Hereford. We've
> used Angus, Charolais, Santa
> Gertrudis and Limousin bulls on
> them. We've always got atleast 1
> bull calf out of them. So far the
> tenderest has been a tossup
> between a 3yr. old black-baldy,
> heifer(dikey) that weighed close
> to a ton or a 3yr. old black steer
> that was bigger. He broke some
> bolts on the butchers truck. Our
> pasture isn't irrigated but
> there's plenty of it. So in the
> Spring when the grass is at it's
> peak, the steer is as fat as he's
> going to get. They're usually
> quite large by then too. We put
> him in a pen, he's accustomed to,
> with alfalfa hay and a bucket of
> grain and then the butcher
> arrives. So there is no stress at
> all on the steer, he's happily
> munching away. We get enough
> tender meat to last us a year plus
> a few friends and they think
> they're getting grain-fed beef.
> And it's cheap.

Ok Robin this has been very helpful,I think I am going to try it, just a couple more questions that I think may have a impact on that good tender grass fed beef. What kind of hay are they eating through the winter up till spring killing? and what type of grazing pasture grass do you have? Do y'all castorate your bull calf or use the bands? I had read a site somewhere else where they rasied grass fed beef with MurryGreys and said it was tender and great. Ive got my eye on one of my black-baldie X charolais bull calves that I think might work out good for this. Thanks So Much For Taking The Time and giving your expirence on this subject.

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Anonymous

We live in N. Calif. where it gets hot, our pasture is just local grass, wild oats, rye and vetch. We feed a vitamin/mineral supplement, a little dry COB to any beggars and grass hay Nov. to March. Our neighbors all borrow our cows to mow their fields before Summer. Whenever we feed the hay we feed in different spots that way we're also seeding the pasture. We harrow our pasture every Spring to spread the manure. My husband is disabled, so we use the rubberbands to castrate when the bulls are around a week old. I chase the calf into a small pen, push him into a corner and push him into the panels and then my husband just walks up and puts the band on him. We find that if we don't do them right away, we end up selling them as bulls and lose money. My husband has a hard time getting around so we found an easy way to vaccinate, we just load as many cows as we can in our trailer and then he vaccinates them. And for worming; I just spread out some hay along a fence, tape the measuring cup for the wormer onto a broom handle, walk down the fence and pour it on them. There are quite a few knowledgable people on this board that I've learned a lot from, too.

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Anonymous

> We live in N. Calif. where it gets
> hot, our pasture is just local
> grass, wild oats, rye and vetch.
> We feed a vitamin/mineral
> supplement, a little dry COB to
> any beggars and grass hay Nov. to
> March. Our neighbors all borrow
> our cows to mow their fields
> before Summer. Whenever we feed
> the hay we feed in different spots
> that way we're also seeding the
> pasture. We harrow our pasture
> every Spring to spread the manure.
> My husband is disabled, so we use
> the rubberbands to castrate when
> the bulls are around a week old. I
> chase the calf into a small pen,
> push him into a corner and push
> him into the panels and then my
> husband just walks up and puts the
> band on him. We find that if we
> don't do them right away, we end
> up selling them as bulls and lose
> money. My husband has a hard time
> getting around so we found an easy
> way to vaccinate, we just load as
> many cows as we can in our trailer
> and then he vaccinates them. And
> for worming; I just spread out
> some hay along a fence, tape the
> measuring cup for the wormer onto
> a broom handle, walk down the
> fence and pour it on them. There
> are quite a few knowledgable
> people on this board that I've
> learned a lot from, too.

Thanks So Much Robin for taking the time and go into detail with that information.Like the old saying goes Where theres a will,There is a way!Thats great the way you two work together.

The part about hallowing the ground every Spring and sreading the manure,that sounds interesting.You've got my curosity going now,maybe I could find out more on that,I am sure that helps build your pasture,I guess you use your tractor and a cutting hair,I was,nt sure if you ment using the cows manure or chicken manure.Just wondering.Thanks Again.

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Anonymous

To harrow our pastures; First we wait until it's dried out, sometimes as late as May. For the harrow, we use a piece of chainlink fence about 8'x8' tie-wired to a bar on one end to tow by. We put railroad ties or anything fairly heavy we can find, on it, to weigh it down. Then we use whatever vehicle's handy; old Willys, Chevy Blazer or the Dodge. It's just to spread the manure out that's already in the pasture. I'm sure you've noticed how the grass grows in a clump wherever there's manure and then the cows/horses won't eat it. This eliminates that and helps eliminate some parasites, too. My husband's from WA and they do this there, he couldn't figure out why nobody does it here. But, we do and our pastures do great.

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