Checking on the beef

Winter-born calf

Sammy the Steer, born at 4am in the freezing cold barn last January, is healthy and hefty at around 800lbs (360kg), and approaching the end of his arc as a provider of tasty, mainly grass-fed beef. He and his three pals will likely go off to auction in March. They’re heavier than they’d normally be on a mostly grass diet (supplemented with some grain), because Bob didn’t wean them from their mothers for an extra couple of months. Mother’s milk is good. I’ll miss cows on the new farm. Although I’ve never been involved in their day-to-day, they’ve been close neighbors. My real connection with them is through MANURE, tons and tons of 6- to 12-month-old, air-dried, partially-composted, nutrient-rich goodness in a constant, convenient heap, there for the taking. I don’t see cattle in my near farming future. I hope to get to them eventually, meanwhile, putting some animals in the new tiny farm food chain sooner than later is on my mind. Perhaps goats?

7 thoughts on “Checking on the beef”

  1. I’m quite jealous of the goat gig, Mike!  I tried to call you last weekend to pass on some exciting news – what’s a good time to reach you?

  2. Goats are a good idea – my mum grew up with them around and found them very self-sufficient to care for and productive re milk.  If you have space, do it!

  3. Because you just don’t have enough to do…how about a couple of sheep?  You get milk (if you want it) and wool which we knitters love.  I know nothing about sheep care or their predators but I understand there are some very gentle breeds to be had.

  4. Goats are good….. if you have fences that will hold water :-)
    Dairy goats have to be managed a little different than meat goats.

    Pigs are good .
    They are always smiling & glad to see you.
    Lots of manure & they will eat garden & kitchen waste.

    Sheep are good.
    They’ll keep the grass down but don’t produce as much manure as pigs.
    Looks like it’s wet where you are.
    If you go for sheep stay away from fine wool breeds & stick with the ones with black hooves.

  5. I am thinking if put on 800 pounds in a year… my doctor may have a concern or too.  hope the construction is still going as planned and that the temperatures are balmy (closer to freezing).

  6. From what I have learned about livestock-

    Goats are wicked clever. They will eat ANYTHING, and they are a perfect garbage disposal. They will also eat your crops if you’re not careful. Their manure is _excellent_ balance of NPK, with a little extra K, which is good for vegetables (right?), not too heavy on the N which can burn.

    Sheep, (from my Aussie friends who have kept sheep), are really dumb. That’s why people ~need~ dogs to herd them. You’ve heard of sheepdogs, but not goatdogs.


Leave a Comment