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Author Topic: raising a beef cow
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raising a beef cow    (Posted Fri, Sep 2 '11 at 11:35 UTC)

I am trying to find out if it would be more costly to raise my own beef,or purchase beef from a farm? Thank you.

Is anyone near here, to get fresh eggs,etc....??
Re: raising a beef cow    (Posted Sat, Sep 3 '11 at 03:11 UTC)

if you have a barn with stalls, fenced pasture, a water source and a truck and trailer it would probably be a bit cheaper to raise it yourself as long as you discount your time.

Lucy Goodman Boulder Belt Eco-Farm Eaton, OH
Re: raising a beef cow    (Posted Sat, Sep 3 '11 at 10:52 UTC)

Without a doubt it is cheaper to buy.

Catering to the unique Ferndale perspective.
 raising a beef cow
 New York
Re: raising a beef cow    (Posted Thu, Sep 22 '11 at 01:59 UTC)

Explain to your neighbor that raises beef cows why he should consider feeding crop byproducts during a period of drought like the one we recently witnessed here in North Carolina.

sheanuio marini
 Rancher Bob
Re: raising a beef cow    (Posted Thu, Oct 13 '11 at 10:39 UTC)

What ?
your main consern about raising your own beef is do you have food for it. Barn? stalls? what is that? sounds like someone want's to sell you farm raised beef. If you can raise a chicken you can raise a cow.

Robert W. Watts
 New Auburn
Re: raising a beef cow    (Posted Sat, Nov 19 '11 at 06:51 UTC)

Raising cattle is a lot of work, but very rewarding. First, you cannot raise one, they are herd animals and you need atleast two for them to thrive. Second you need a secure area - barn. Then you need to determine the feed - pasture, hay and/or grain and price that. Are you purchasing feed or growing it yourself.
You need good fences and water. Then you need to monitor your cattle, for sickness and general well being. Be careful when purchasing - buy from a farmer not an auction market - get their advice - see their cattle - choose healthy. Then you must consider the time it takes, if you buy a small calf, or a 500 pound calf will determine the time it takes to finish. Generally speaking - which is very general because feed and breed makes a difference - it takes about 15-18 months from birth to butcher time for beed and longer for dairy. There are many risks involved when raising your own livestock - they can get out, get sick and die, hurt you, and you can get attached and then find it is hard to butcher your pet! Anyway, it is similar to raising any animal. Patience, time, hard work - but the rewards are many, the taste superior, and you learn a lot along the way.

Ranching Cattle Since 1982
Re: raising a beef cow    (Posted Sun, Nov 20 '11 at 12:25 UTC)

I raise calves.
I am connected with a local dairy, and purchase their new holstein bulls. I also purchase a few beef calves here and there. I do not eat them, but take them to auction or sell them outright when they reach a year old. I don't keep them any the bigger they are, the lower price per pound. It's not cost effective. Besides, they are like pets to me. I name them, and care for them personally.
It's all about the feed and care. At a year, my "steers" usually run right at 800 lbs. That's prime butcher weight, bringing the best price at auction. And my beef DO bring top dollar. But, I've got quite an investment in them by the time they go.
I grain and hay them year round. If they start as bottle babies, I've got at least one bag of milk replacer ($75.00) in each. I dehorn, castrate and vaccinate each. I'm lucky if there are not any "accidents" or illnesses that require more veterinary care. I've had a few "episodes" that have been quite costly. Figure 100 lbs of grain per month, per the cost of hay. Luckily, I have a great hay field during spring, summer and fall. Winter being the most costly time of year.
Bottom line.....I've got around $600-$700 invested in each one by the time they are shipped off. Profit margin is very small. Now, take that amount and add $200-$300 for processing, and you have some pretty expensive beef....but worth every dime.
At least, I know how my beef are fed and cared for....As do my neighbors and customers. They are pets, and get the best of everything. They are fed first, in the morning and the evening.
You can't buy beef like that at the grocery store.....

Angela G Stanley Rockgate Farm
Re: raising a beef cow    (Posted Wed, Feb 1 '12 at 03:41 UTC)

It depends on what you are trying to achieve, where you are, what are your resources, etc. Feeding your own beef (usually a steer unless you want it for breeding) is very costly but it is also very tender and tasty. Buying from a reputable rancher is probably the most cost effective. What are you looking for as an end product? 925-423-8994

Re: raising a beef cow    (Posted Wed, Feb 1 '12 at 05:29 UTC)

Angela - Great post. Interesting to hear you market at 800 pounds. Back when I was in high school, the preferred market weight was 1000-1200 pounds. When I was a kid we ate Holstein steers we grew out ourselves, since that is what we milked. Now we get beef from our neighbors. The last one we got was a West Highland cow and it is delicious. Grass-fed of course. I sometimes wonder if the older breeds are better at grass since they were used to scrounging back before the Industrial Revolution.

Catering to the unique Ferndale perspective.
Re: raising a beef cow    (Posted Sat, Mar 16 '13 at 06:55 UTC)

It definitely costs more to raise your own beef than it is to get it from someplace else. With land payments, mortgage for land and the house on that farm, start up costs, and time it takes to get a bovine to get to butcher weight all makes it that much easier to simply buy beef from off another farm.

If you're asking about specifically raising a cow, from where I'm from you don't need a barn or stalls in that barn to raise beef cattle. You can easily raise beefers outdoors 24/7/365 with just a lean-to shed, trees or a windbreak fence as shelter. As long as you're meeting the nutrient requirements, giving the right feed at the right time, you'll get a bovine to grow up to slaughter weight just fine without needing a barn. It's best to start with a weaned beef steer or heifer as beef rather than buying cows and having to wait for a lengthy time (anywhere from 3 years as bred heifers to 18 months) before getting any meat for your freezer.

Re: raising a beef cow    (Posted Sat, Aug 17 '13 at 06:30 UTC)

There are a lot more circumstances that should be considered before making this decision. For the most part it is cheaper to buy from someone that is set up to raise cattle. But don't forget the self satisfaction of raising something yourself. We raise several things in our garden that is more expensive but it is great family fun. Our meat is cheaper for us to raise ourselves but we are in the business of raising meat that we feel comfortable eating because we know its origin and content. Just food for thought.

Re: raising a beef cow    (Posted Sat, Apr 26 '14 at 08:54 UTC)

i want to try,for the taste ad being safe knowing where my family's food is coming from

Re: raising a beef cow    (Posted Sun, Apr 27 '14 at 06:54 UTC)

If you have never raised a steer before you will likely get yourself into some unsafe situations with the animal. And if you don't know what you are doing than the chances of the meat being less than wonderful are high.

As we all have said it is cheaper, safer and the meat quality better from someone who knows what they are doing.

There seems to be the attitude from some that farming is so easy that anyone can do it and do it well with no experience. Raising a steer on pasture that yields tender, tasty steaks and other beef is not an easy task to do and the newbies usually raise something akin to shoe leather

Lucy Goodman Boulder Belt Eco-Farm Eaton, OH
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