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Grass fed yearling beef

Discussion in 'Everything Else Cattle' started by dukeis84, Feb 7, 2017.

  1. Feb 7, 2017
    dukeis84

    dukeis84 Exploring the pasture

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    I'm thinking of raising a couple weaned calves on grass until the fall then having them slaughtered at roughly a year old. Anyone have any suggestions on what breed(s) may be best for this? I'm looking to minimize my overall feed costs. The beef will be mainly for myself and my family so a huge amount isn't necesarilly the goal. I have 5 acres of pretty nice pasture. This will be my first time raising cattle for beef.
     
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  2. Feb 7, 2017
    Latestarter

    Latestarter Novice; "Practicing" Animal Husbandry Golden Herd Member

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    Greetings and welcome to BYH. I too plan on getting a few weened steers for my place but haven't gotten that far yet. What breeds or crosses are you considering? Some grow much faster than others. Some provide better/more meat than others. Hope you'll share some pics when you get some. Browse around and make yourself at home!
     
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  3. Feb 7, 2017
    Pastor Dave

    Pastor Dave True BYH Addict

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    @dukeis84,
    It sounds like you tapped right into my dream and goals.
    My idea is either raise a milk cow that's also a good variety for beef and hope for twins to raise for slaughter.
    Or, just get a couple beef calves and raise em, sell one and process one for my family by making a deal with the local processor.
    I also am not familiar with breeds, but have neighbors with beef cattle I hope to learn from and buy calves from when time comes.
    What I have learned is some guys won't sell calves under 500lbs, but I hope to get mine around 250lbs.
    Good luck in your endeavors.
     
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  4. Feb 8, 2017
    dukeis84

    dukeis84 Exploring the pasture

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    I'm looking at Angus most likely, they are pretty available in my area. But they can be pricey too. Just looking for something I can raise on grass over the summer and maximize my beef while minimizing my cost.
     
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  5. Feb 8, 2017
    Pastor Dave

    Pastor Dave True BYH Addict

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    Oh hey @dukeis84
    Welcome to BYH by the way.
    What parts are you from and what do you do besides wanting to be a beef farmer?
     
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  6. Feb 8, 2017
    cjc

    cjc Loving the herd life

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    I would go with an Angus or if you can get your hands on it a Short Horn. My Short Horns fill out well on just grass. We slaughtered our first grass fed Short Horn at 1 Year and 2 Months a few months ago. My parents like fully grass fed beef but with my Angus I find taste really gamey. The Short Horn on grass didn't taste nearly as gamey from what they told me and they claim its some of the best beef they have ever had. My Short Horns also grow significantly faster and bigger than my Angus. I have a Short Horn now that is just about weaned and I also have a bunch of Black Angus in the same state. My Short Horn has a good 50lbs on my Angus calves.
     
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  7. Feb 8, 2017
    greybeard

    greybeard Herd Master

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    The reason they won't sell their calves as lightweights is because they would be short weaned. Most producers wean at 6-7 months with a rule-of-thumb target weight of 500-600 lbs.
    You want one at 250lbs. You will have difficulty putting the missing 250lbs on that calf as cheaply as momma and grass can for a couple extra months.

    Best calves for personal use I've raised were a Char/beefmaster cross and calves from F1 black baldy bred back to a Char. Charolais genetics are proven meat makers--they'll pack on the lbs.

    I'd love to raise a Waygu cross steer, but they are expensive and hard to find anywhere. (slow to bring to finished weight too)
     
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  8. Feb 8, 2017
    greybeard

    greybeard Herd Master

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    Breed choices:
    These 2 charts are a little dated, probably a decade old but the numbers will still be pretty close. You can see, they use the standard 200 day weaning timeline (7 months would be 210 days).
    (LSD stands for 'least significant differences' which is irrelevant for the most part here.
    REA=Rib Eye Area.
    Charts reflect calves according to which breed the sire was)
    wean wt.jpg





    Early or short weaned calves can become stunted if care is not taken. Do plenty of research on the nutritional requirements before going that route.
     
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  9. Feb 8, 2017
    Pastor Dave

    Pastor Dave True BYH Addict

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    Thanks. I really appreciate it.
     
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  10. Aug 1, 2017
    Farmer Connie

    Farmer Connie Loving the herd life

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    We tried to stay on course with grass fed with our last b angus. Our pasture didn't have enough nutrients to fill it out. We had to supplement conventional grain because it's hips were poking. In the end we finished it with corn and beer.
    The brisket was to die for. Geographical speaking, our grass sucks. Alfalfa, O&A & Timothy hay costs are extreme. Might as well take my money to my butcher and buy prime cuts instead of dumping it into hay costs. Florida grass is Bahia or Bermuda costal unless we truck it in.
    Our last 2 cost more to raise than market value. But worth it come bbq weekends!
     
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