Raising beef cows?
   

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Raising beef cows?

This is a discussion on Raising beef cows? within the Farm Forum forums, part of the Barns, Boarding, and Farms category
  • Cattle versus horses carrying capacity
  • Opinion on raising calves for meat

 
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    05-27-2013, 10:43 AM
  #1
Green Broke
Raising beef cows?

Eventually my dream is to move the heck off Long Island and own my own, small/personal, farm. Ideally I want enough room for my horses, and maybe a boarder or two. Then I got to thinking, what if I could raise my own beef? I had "farm fresh" beef one time and it was, by far, the most delicious cheeseburger I had ever had. Problem is... I'm from Long Island, what the heck do I know about cows? Squat.
  • How many acres do you need to comfortably keep a small herd of cows?
  • Is it more economical to grow your own vs buying meat from the store?
  • How many would I need to sustain a herd, yet feed a family? Or would I be best off buying calves and then butchering them with the times is right?
  • Is it more trouble/money then it's worth?
  • Can you hire someone to butcher it for you? I'm not so sure I'd be into that part!

Any little tips would help!

Thanks for looking!
     
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    05-27-2013, 10:56 AM
  #2
Green Broke
I went to a "Grow Your Farm" series of classes and this guy was one of our speakers and I thought he was AMAZING. If I was going to have cattle this is how I would do it. I thought his philosophy and ideas were great.
I didn't read his website, so if the website doesn't explain how he rotates and processes the cows on his own property, tell me and I will tell you how he does it.

This is the website for the farm

http://www.pricefamilyfarm.com/The_P...m/Welcome.html
     
    05-27-2013, 11:02 AM
  #3
Green Broke
I gave you the wrong website but edited to correct. Check out this website

http://www.pricefamilyfarm.com/The_P...m/Welcome.html
     
    05-27-2013, 11:29 AM
  #4
Green Broke
Hah, yes I figured it out. As far as I can tell the website explains his business. Not so much the raising ins and outs. It was interesting how much meat comes from a cow! One cow and we would be up to our eyeballs in steak! Good thing I like steak!
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    05-27-2013, 12:58 PM
  #5
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlideStop    
  • How many acres do you need to comfortably keep a small herd of cows?
  • Is it more economical to grow your own vs buying meat from the store?
  • How many would I need to sustain a herd, yet feed a family? Or would I be best off buying calves and then butchering them with the times is right?
  • Is it more trouble/money then it's worth?
  • Can you hire someone to butcher it for you? I'm not so sure I'd be into that part!

Any little tips would help!

Thanks for looking!
I have 44 acres and run 5-7 cows plus goats, chickens, turkeys, pigs, guineas and horses. Winter I do have to feed some hay due to extreme cold and snow.

WAY more economical! Seen the price of beef lately?

1 bull, 5-6 females is a good ratio for us. Buying calves is EXPENSIVE!! Better off keeping a steer and selling the other babies to pay for feed/care of the herd.

Not in my opinion

I certainly do not butcher cows myself. All sorts of bone saws and so forth you would need. I drop off at a USDA inspected butcher and pick up vacuum sealed packages a couple weeks later.
     
    05-27-2013, 01:05 PM
  #6
Green Broke
Quote:
Originally Posted by SlideStop    
Eventually my dream is to move the heck off Long Island and own my own, small/personal, farm. Ideally I want enough room for my horses, and maybe a boarder or two. Then I got to thinking, what if I could raise my own beef? I had "farm fresh" beef one time and it was, by far, the most delicious cheeseburger I had ever had. Problem is... I'm from Long Island, what the heck do I know about cows? Squat.
  • How many acres do you need to comfortably keep a small herd of cows?
  • Is it more economical to grow your own vs buying meat from the store?
  • How many would I need to sustain a herd, yet feed a family? Or would I be best off buying calves and then butchering them with the times is right?
  • Is it more trouble/money then it's worth?
  • Can you hire someone to butcher it for you? I'm not so sure I'd be into that part!

Any little tips would help!

Thanks for looking!
Rule of thumb is 2-3 acres per cow unit (3 acres for a mama with a calf at side)


We run abut 70 head on 200 acres comfortably but still have to throw out 4 round bales a week in winter for them.

Is it more economical? Possibly. If you're looking for more of a substitute for grocery meat then buying weanling calves, raising them for a yr and then butchering them is probably the better idea them running a herd.

Yes depending on your location you can hire somebody to butcher it for you.
     
    07-29-2013, 01:18 AM
  #7
Yearling
Most people like to raise there own beef so they know where it come from and what it's fed. You can total hire someone to butcher but you will have to haul it there. 5 cows would probably be enough to start with because we only eat one steer a year. But remember you will probably have to buy a bull, ever year or 2.
     
    07-29-2013, 11:07 PM
  #8
Yearling
Carrying capacity of your land will depend on the land, probably no way to say just how many acres per cow or vice versa. For example, where I live now, in a good season you will probably have a couple of cattle to an acre, where I grew up working it was maybe 5 acres to a cow, in the good times, places I have worked on in the desert in far west Queensland can have quite a few acres per cow indeed. A good way to figure stuff out is to get to know people on the places around well and ask them about carrying capacity, nutrient content of the local grasses, mineral deficiencies that may be around. Learning from people with local knowledge will be your best bet.
     
    07-30-2013, 09:56 AM
  #9
Trained
As the above poster correctly stated how many cows you can run on your farm depends on the area you live.
We run over 100 cows, their calves, 5 bulls, yearlings, and replacement heifers, all on about 2,000+ acres. We graze the yearlings on winter wheat another 1,000 acres and we have a 200+ acre hay field.
If you have less than 10-14 cows then you should AI them instead of owning a bull. The rule is one bull for every 20-25 cows.
If you buy a bull you will have to replace him every 3-4 years.
Where I live there are plenty of slaughter houses that will butcher your beef.
If you have to buy hay or feed then your cost will be greatly increased.
To start I would buy a cow with a heifer calf at her side already bred back.
Good luck. Shalom
     
    07-30-2013, 01:03 PM
  #10
Green Broke
I'm thinking my best bet would be to either raise a few babies or keep one/two to breed every year and eat the babies. I'm not planning on having a crazy amount of acres. I'm thinking between 10 and 20, I just want enough room for my own horses and maybe extra for a family/friend/workers (if I need someone to clean/feed a few nights a week) horse. That or find a cheaper animal to raise and eat, like chickens.

Thanks for all the advise!
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