Took spot to the butcher

farmerjan

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@Simpleterrier ; There are a couple of angus breeders here that are going to do some wagyu-angus . The only bad thing with the holstein-wagyu cross, is that both are "dairyish" looking. Wagyu don't have much butt and holsteins don't either. They usually grade out choice-prime if they are finished out right. But they sure don't look like what you think of as a "beef animal". Neither do my jersey steers but they make good eating too.
I try to take mine to slaughter at 24-27 months, but I like them to go in June-August.... before the butcher gets too busy with the fall glut, and I can get them hung for the full 21 days. And they are usually on good grass so come off in a good gaining cycle. You are colder than we are here in Va and it takes a fair amount more grain to keep them gaining in the cold weather. I don't want to feed that much grain if I don't have to, to get them to finish.

Spot looks like a good beef.
 

MoreAU

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There is nothing like your own home grown meat. If you don’t mind me asking, what did get per pound for the half you sold? Last half of beef we bought was $5 per pound. It was grass fed Brangus. Steaks were tough, meat was ok, not great, just ok. We bought it from a friend. The last of it is in the crock pot, time to go side of beef hunting again, but it won’t be Brangus grass fed. LOL
Long time lurker, 1st time poster ....and yes, I will get to the who I am thing :-}
I've purchased several half beefs from area farmers (NE OK) before I became one myself (a farmer, not a 1/2 beef). After lots of website reading, the only thing I am certain of is that everyone has their own set of rules for getting a tender beef.... Here's mine!

1st, don't let it get too old. 18 -24 months. The older it is, the less steak & roast you should have done. The older it is the more tougher cuts (round steaks, etc) should be ground into hamburger. If you keep it under 24, even the tougher steaks and roasts will be tender.

2nd, and most important (and please don't flame me here because I know a lot of you will disagree), grain it from day 1 (okay, maybe wait for it to be weaned or is on solid food). It doesn't have to be a lot of grain, but it does need to start making the fat for a good marble when it is just starting to make the muscle.

I follow these rules and every single steak I get is fork tender, even the ones cut thick. To quote my sister, "I had the leftover steak from last night for breakfast and I didn't even have to put in my teeth".

-Dave
From More AU's Farm
 

Simpleterrier

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Yep just look at the pic I posted of it thin and tall. Spot had Holstein in him to quarter of him and u could tell from the back end
 

Baymule

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I'm seriously considering raising a calf for the freezer. I would have to feed it as I don't have much pasture and what I do have is already claimed by the sheep and horses. My ex's Dad used to slaughter them young, probably about a year or so, and kept them on feed and all the hay they could eat. The meat wasn't heavy beef, but it was fork tender and good.

@MoreAU no worry, not going to flame you LOL.We do get into some "discussions" here, which I guess you have already witnessed. Haha, but we get over it.
 

Ridgetop

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Farmerjan knows her beef. More AU sounds like he does too.

I agree that you don't have to raise past 18 months for nice freezer beef. 12 months is called "baby beef" and is tasty too. It depends on hiw much grass you have to graze it or how much hay costs in your area. When home grown, you don't need a huge steer. Jersey steers will finish out nicely too, but remember they are fine boned so you don't want to try to get them to the weight of a larger breed. Cheaper dairy breeds are ok for the backyard steer since they are cheaper to buy than pricey Angus. They may not have the meat characteristics of an Angus or Holstein, but cost a lot less and can be finished nicely with grain for your freezer. Grain is the key to super tender beef so if you buy young calf, start it on some grain right way. By butchering time they are often eating 10 lbs. per day though when finishing for Fair. You don't to have to finish like that though for a nice meaty carcass. You also don't have to use expensive beef finisher ration. I think yu could finish our a calf with corn a cheaper mix of grains.

Suggestions on grain to use from Farmerjan and More AU? Most economical way to finish out backyard beef.
 

MoreAU

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Hey Rigetop,
I fed the 1st cow I fattened for the freezer just plain old creep feed pellets up until the day she went to the butcher. The last few weeks I also gave her corn. Deer corn, actually. She got several ears of that as an after dinner treat (and to ease my guilt, she was a real sweetheart). I'm sure the creep feed wasn't the most economical, but that was what she was eating when I bought her so I just kept feeding it to her.... and she sure tasted great.

Nowadays I use Stillwater Milling's Four-Way.
"As an example, our "Standard Four-Way Blend" consists of 40% Soy Bean Hull Pellets, 30% Corn Gluten Pellets, 20% Wheat Midd Pellets and 10% Rolled Corn. This combination provides approximately 14.3% Protein, 2.4% Fat and 19.7% Fiber. It has .28% Calcium with .61% Phosphorus and has a Total Digestive Nutrient (TDN) value of 74.4%. Other ingredients that could be blended include Distillers Dried Grains (DDG) and Canola Meal Pellets."

They get a scoop (almost 2 quarts) of the four way every evening and they always have prairie hay available. Now that things are greening up, they also have grass and whatever weeds (they seem to love henbit) and trees they want. I'll give them my kitchen scraps too, things such as carrot or potato peelings, cabbage leaves & cores, etc. Even though the 4 way has minerals added in, they also have a red mineral block and white salt block available to them. That diet seems to keep them healthy. Two of them each had a beautiful, healthy calf last month and they're all doing well.

I've got to tell you, the smell and taste of the beef, raw & cooking, is incredible. It is the same smell & taste I remember from 50 years ago. It is nothing like the stuff you get from the store.

What else can you ask for in a diet? (besides it being free, but nothing ever is so that doesn't really count)

I also feel like I need a disclaimer. Something like, "I'm not a real farmer, I've just played one at home for the past few years."
-Dave
-More AU's Farm
 

Jesusfreak101

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:drool little lady better watch out she looking tastier each day lol. I really want to raise a calf for this purpose dh wants to keep our current calf because it's female and he whether breed it thats four years before i get some beef from her ahhh. I need to get a cheap calf then. I find jersy bull calf all the time I just band that sucker and eat him lol.
 
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