Calves for $1?

Xerocles

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May I jump in here with a closely related question? I have ZERO knowledge about this subject, so try to not make fun of me if this is total nonsense. Just thoughts brought on from reading this thread.
First, $1 calf. Is that $1 total purchase price or $1/lb? Assuming it means $1 total price. If not, don't even bother reading the rest of this.
So, let's say I go on a "bad" buying day and I buy a calf @$5. Research shows that a newborn holstein weighs approx. 80lbs. So, this calf weighs 80lb. Assume "In the freezer" meat is only 25% of live weight (I have no idea what % would be for a calf so young would be, so I hope I'm guessing low). $5/80lbs X .25= $.25/lb.
Same day I go hunting and bag a small doe @ 80 lbs. After figuring licenses, ammunition (forget the rifle, that's infrastructure) etc., I have more than .25/lb in that deer.
I can't imagine that dressing/processing an 80lb calf would be significantly more difficult than an 80lb deer.
Now I realize I'm not getting any 32oz. porterhouse from an 80lb calf, but I'm not routinely BUYING any 32oz porterhouse either.
If I self process, I see very little difference in buying a days old dairy calf for immediate butchering, as opposed to a deer....except I don't lose sleep, freeze my butt off in a tree stand, and potentially coming home empty handed.
I'm sure you'll be happy to tell me (I hope). What am I missing here? Veal for cheaper than raising chicken or rabbit, with at least slightly bigger "cuts" of meat. And "zero" invested in caring for, feeding, worry, or infrastructure costs.
 

Beekissed

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May I jump in here with a closely related question? I have ZERO knowledge about this subject, so try to not make fun of me if this is total nonsense. Just thoughts brought on from reading this thread.
First, $1 calf. Is that $1 total purchase price or $1/lb? Assuming it means $1 total price. If not, don't even bother reading the rest of this.
So, let's say I go on a "bad" buying day and I buy a calf @$5. Research shows that a newborn holstein weighs approx. 80lbs. So, this calf weighs 80lb. Assume "In the freezer" meat is only 25% of live weight (I have no idea what % would be for a calf so young would be, so I hope I'm guessing low). $5/80lbs X .25= $.25/lb.
Same day I go hunting and bag a small doe @ 80 lbs. After figuring licenses, ammunition (forget the rifle, that's infrastructure) etc., I have more than .25/lb in that deer.
I can't imagine that dressing/processing an 80lb calf would be significantly more difficult than an 80lb deer.
Now I realize I'm not getting any 32oz. porterhouse from an 80lb calf, but I'm not routinely BUYING any 32oz porterhouse either.
If I self process, I see very little difference in buying a days old dairy calf for immediate butchering, as opposed to a deer....except I don't lose sleep, freeze my butt off in a tree stand, and potentially coming home empty handed.
I'm sure you'll be happy to tell me (I hope). What am I missing here? Veal for cheaper than raising chicken or rabbit, with at least slightly bigger "cuts" of meat. And "zero" invested in caring for, feeding, worry, or infrastructure costs.
The thing you are missing about that age is they virtually have NO MEAT on them. Most of their wt is in bone and organs. Even the meat they have has absolutely no flavor...it's pale, no texture that's pleasant, etc. Supposedly that's the most desired meat to folks who love "white" veal, but to me it looks like it has zero nutrition and taste. No one could PAY me to eat that stuff.

I butchered a 6 mo. old calf once that just wasn't progressing in meat development like I would have wanted....mainly butchered it to make canned food for an aging dog. The meat was so pale and unappetizing looking, not at all like a deer of similar size, that I wouldn't have eaten it anyway. Ick. Canned it up for the dog. Most of the wt. it had was in bone.

Not even comparable to a deer of similar size and wt. You'd have to keep it for a lot longer than veal age to get something similar.

 

Xerocles

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The thing you are missing about that age is they virtually have NO MEAT on them. Most of their wt is in bone and organs. Even the meat they have has absolutely no flavor...it's pale, no texture that's pleasant, etc.
That's why I was asking. This is not something I had ever thought about, before this thread, and was only seeing it from "meat is meat" perspective. But I see what you are saying. Thanks for explaining, and not making fun.
 

Beekissed

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That's why I was asking. This is not something I had ever thought about, before this thread, and was only seeing it from "meat is meat" perspective. But I see what you are saying. Thanks for explaining, and not making fun.
Make fun? No way! :hugs We like learning as much as the next person, so questions are how we learn.
 

Xerocles

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Make fun? No way! :hugs We like learning as much as the next person, so questions are how we learn.
I should just shut up right now, cause I don't want to start any battles. My experience here has been 100% good (thanks everyone) even when ppl point out I'm wrong. That's why I'm here. To get it right. But, I had put so little thought into this question I felt like I was asking "thermos..it keeps hot things hot and cold things cold....but how does it know the difference". And I had already seen one response IN THIS THREAD from a 10 yr member to a 2 yr member that was kinda condescending. So I figured I might be laughed out of the room for asking such a ridiculous question.
I love you all, and so far no one has said anything to me to hurt my feelings. I just wanted everyone to know that that particular question wasn't something I was seriously considering. Just pondering out loud.
 

farmerjan

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@Beekissed has it right about the weight on a calf being mostly all bone and organs and hide. You will not get 10 lbs total of meat off a baby calf. The only "meat" available is on the hindquarters and a very little on the shoulders. It is all just the muscle that the calf is born with. Not worth the time to kill and skin and try to get what little there is.
That meat is "white" for the reason that there is no iron in the calf's system when the fetus is developing. One of the reasons that true veal is so white. There is no iron basically in milk either. A true veal calf is strictly milk fed. ANY roughage, even straw, that they might eat, will cause the body to digest it and they will extract any nutrition/minerals/vitamins/etc. out of it and the meat will start to "pink up".
I am not a fan of the "white veal". It basically means that the calf is iron deficient. They can and do grow on strictly milk, for a few months at most, but if you ever notice, any baby will start to try all sorts of other foods from a very young age. Lots of reasons for that, but one is the body is wanting more than what the milk gives it. I have seen calves as young as 2 weeks starting to "eat" some grass or some hay. Mimicking their mothers but also natural instinct to start eating things that their bodies require.
 

Ron Bequeath

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May I jump in here with a closely related question? I have ZERO knowledge about this subject, so try to not make fun of me if this is total nonsense. Just thoughts brought on from reading this thread.
First, $1 calf. Is that $1 total purchase price or $1/lb? Assuming it means $1 total price. If not, don't even bother reading the rest of this.
So, let's say I go on a "bad" buying day and I buy a calf @$5. Research shows that a newborn holstein weighs approx. 80lbs. So, this calf weighs 80lb. Assume "In the freezer" meat is only 25% of live weight (I have no idea what % would be for a calf so young would be, so I hope I'm guessing low). $5/80lbs X .25= $.25/lb.
Same day I go hunting and bag a small doe @ 80 lbs. After figuring licenses, ammunition (forget the rifle, that's infrastructure) etc., I have more than .25/lb in that deer.
I can't imagine that dressing/processing an 80lb calf would be significantly more difficult than an 80lb deer.
Now I realize I'm not getting any 32oz. porterhouse from an 80lb calf, but I'm not routinely BUYING any 32oz porterhouse either.
If I self process, I see very little difference in buying a days old dairy calf for immediate butchering, as opposed to a deer....except I don't lose sleep, freeze my butt off in a tree stand, and potentially coming home empty handed.
I'm sure you'll be happy to tell me (I hope). What am I missing here? Veal for cheaper than raising chicken or rabbit, with at least slightly bigger "cuts" of meat. And "zero" invested in caring for, feeding, worry, or infrastructure costs.
Your thinking is right and another fellow who said to use them for dog food. Heres the thing. Female cattle(dairy) produce milk. Male dairy cattle can breed as an adult over 40+ females, if using artificial insemiation that bull can breed 1000s. What do you do with the rest of the bull calves? Can't tie them in the yard like a dog. Different breeds have different characteristics. Holstein are bigger they calves grow bigger sometimes reaching 1000+ pounds at 18 months. Maybe 150 in 58 days, good for veal. Jersey on the other hand won't grow that big or that quick. So the farmers have to get rid of them or do something they can't get milk out of. Since the conglomerates (Walmart for one) drive the farmers out of the business there's no need for the bull calves they either sell them cheap, shot them, or give them away. A lot of people with a little effort could take that calf and a source of milk could give it the start it needs and with good grass some grain and a good life in 18 to 20 months have an animal that could bring them 300 lbs cut and wrapped at a very affordable price. I could go into costs, feed and housing but this is an answer i hope that throws some light on the subject. Farmers looking for a market for their milk might welcome a group of folks buying it at slightly below wholesale for individuals wanting veal and table beef and its good tasting meat. Just like asian heritage hogs (potbelly pigs).
 

Ron Bequeath

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@Beekissed has it right about the weight on a calf being mostly all bone and organs and hide. You will not get 10 lbs total of meat off a baby calf. The only "meat" available is on the hindquarters and a very little on the shoulders. It is all just the muscle that the calf is born with. Not worth the time to kill and skin and try to get what little there is.
That meat is "white" for the reason that there is no iron in the calf's system when the fetus is developing. One of the reasons that true veal is so white. There is no iron basically in milk either. A true veal calf is strictly milk fed. ANY roughage, even straw, that they might eat, will cause the body to digest it and they will extract any nutrition/minerals/vitamins/etc. out of it and the meat will start to "pink up".
I am not a fan of the "white veal". It basically means that the calf is iron deficient. They can and do grow on strictly milk, for a few months at most, but if you ever notice, any baby will start to try all sorts of other foods from a very young age. Lots of reasons for that, but one is the body is wanting more than what the milk gives it. I have seen calves as young as 2 weeks starting to "eat" some grass or some hay. Mimicking their mothers but also natural instinct to start eating things that their bodies require.
How about Rosey veal? Taste better, the calves have a better life and its a win win for all.
 

Beekissed

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And I had already seen one response IN THIS THREAD from a 10 yr member to a 2 yr member that was kinda condescending. So I figured I might be laughed out of the room for asking such a ridiculous question.
You get that sometimes. Sometimes it's just comes off that way due to not being worded right or they aren't thinking about how it sounds(usually my difficulty) and sometimes you find the same folks having the same kind of responses....and that's when the handy dandy "ignore" option comes into good use. ;)

Mostly here you have a really good group of people wanting to help one another grow and that's a nice thing. Same with over on TEG....really nice family over there.
 
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