Dexter processing, when is too late?

The Farming Carpenter

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I've got 2 dexters, 3 yr heifer and 6yr cow.

I understand it's best to process around 24-28months. Since we're past the prime, I'm looking for info to help me in case they aren't bred and need to head to the butcher.

Will the meat be different? Tough cuts forcing us to consider all ground?

Thanks for any info you can provide.

HI, I have Dexter's also, I am new to it as well. Always had Pollard Heifers. They say that this breed actually gets better with age. So your safe to butcher her. I watch JUST A FEW ACRES on YOUTUBE, he's excellent
resource for knowledge on this breed. Good Luck.
 

MTKitty

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My thought on processing age recommendation is that it’s more of an economic decision. For this breed, two years is likely the best scenario for potential growth vs feed costs to get more of that growth. Going longer probably won’t do much other than cost more in feed than you would get in additional meat — outside of the issues of toughness mentioned earlier.
 

Ron Bequeath

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The "filet" or backstrap or tenderloin, as it is often called will be fine for steaks... You can probably do NY strips and ribeyes on the younger animal with no problems. Realize that the "muscle groups" that get the most exercise will be the "tougher" cuts.
If you do stews or cook moist heat... then most of the roasts will work... I would certainly do stew meat... it gets cooked in some sort of liquid...===tenderness. Cube steaks get pounded quite well so will be a possibility... most are cooked in a gravy anyway...
I would do more ground beef on the older one... but again, the ribeye and the filet or tenderloin should still be pretty decent. And, anything that is going to be cooked in moist heat....stew meat.....
Face it... deer meat (venison) gets cut up into all sorts of cuts and no one asked the deer to provide proof of age..... or did they eat more of the farmers corn silage or did they rough it out in the mountain side.
You cannot get any cuts with the backbone after 30 months so no T-bones... no backbones for cooking like ribs (they have lots of meat on them)....
I definately agree with the cuts and the cooking although you may have to cook the roasts, steakes and such a little longer. I spoke to one of the butchers here in pa and he said that the older the animal the more flavor is in the taste of the meat.
 

jjack010

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All great feedback. Thank you.

I'm a fan of Pete on YouTube channel Just a few acres.

We've been focused on getting through this tough winter but all the animals are doing well.

The latest they should calve is april so only a few more months until we either have calves or I figure out plan b.
 

farmerjan

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Glad for the update.... one thing... if you wait to see if they calve and they don't... you are looking at a possible wait time of 4-12 months to get into a butcher... here we schedule year to year because of the back up time... I would call the potential butcher and if the wait time is long... get a date now... You can always cancel it and if they are that busy, they will have a waiting list of people wanting a "cancellation date"....
How are they looking now?
 

jjack010

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Good point. I just dropped some pigs off to the processor and I know they are always booked very far out.

Cows are looking good. Older one is still a little thinner than the younger heifer. Bellies are getting a bit bigger in both it seems. This pic is about a month ago. I'll have to take some new ones tomorrow.
 

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