steer for meat

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Dec 6, 2007
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A guy at work is thinking of buying a 20 month old Herford/Charolais steer. He says the owner guesses the weight to be around 1200. He's planning to have it buchered and put it in the freezer and asked me if I thought it would be good eating. How would one know? I know nothing of it's diet up to this point. I also don't really know the best age for taking one to slaughter. Since I'm still in the learning stage any suggestions appreciated and I'll pass them along.
It will probably eat better than any steak he gets from a grocery store. If it is finished anything near correct, it should be really good eating.

You're right. You need more info.
20 months is normally ok for a steer but I'd be worried about when it was de-nutted and also how fat it is. If he's been fed grain he might be a fatty. I'd advise your friend to either have a look at the steer and ask a bit more about it. Make sure he also has someone to kill it and butcher it. Because it's a real handful of a job.
I called Mike (co-worker) last night and told him to try to find out how it had been finished. He called me this morning and said it hadn't been *finished* it had just been in the pasture with the other cattle grazing with little to no feed. The owner offered to keep it on the farm and feed it out however Mike wanted provided Mike buy the feed. The price is already set on the steer at $500 so I guess the guy doesn't want to cut his profit by buying feed. I told him I'd just take it as is if it was me but I can be cheap at times. Of course a whole freezer or two of tough beef would prolly break me of that. :D
Just my opinion but sometimes those grass fed animals have a funky taste to them that I don't like. Depends a lot on what they have been eating. If it were me, I'd shut it up for 30 days and feed it a heavy based corn diet. Of course if were me, I'd shut it up in a pen, toss a roll of hay in there and put a creep feeder in there full of corn once I got the steer adjusted to the corn and let her rip for 30 - 45 days. That'd be some fine eating and you wouldn't have a bunch of money in it. JMO
We just sold an 800 lb. steer for $700 plus a freezer full of Haagen Dazs ice cream :???: so if this guy really weighs 1200 and costs $500 that's a good deal even with 30 days of corn feeding, which is exactly what we do with ours. It mellows out that grass flavor and whitens the fat a bit but it's not enough to diminish the benefits of the grass diet the animal was raised on. I don't know if tenderness will be an issue for you or not. We butcher around 15 mos of age and every cut seems to be tender, even the ones that are supposed to be tough...

Edited to say that we feed corn at 2% of body weight, not free choice...
Without seeing the steer, at $500 weighing 1200 pounds is well below market price. That is a price for a kill cow. Pasture fed, I would not be looking forward to good steaks and roasts. Sounds to me like a grinding critter only. Won't have any fat to speak of.
Something about this deal is awful fishy. Can you give us a photo?
I haven't seen the critter and I'm not sure if Mike has either. I'll tell him he needs to go look at it and get some more info before jumping into this deal. Maybe he can get a pic, dunno. I'm gonna pass along everyones thoughts on the deal as well and let him make his own decision.

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