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My wife and I last year made the step from backyard poultry to include beef production as we continue to grow our hobby farm towards something more substantial. Today we picked our first 2 bulls up from the butcher so naturally after deliveries I had to do some QC and test the product.

 

Needless to say I am impressed that we turned out such a high quality product on our first run with holstein bull calves from dairy production.

 

Sirloin steak nearly fork tender seared 6 minutes a side on the mini egg.IMG_20190207_205341.thumb.jpg.338d594f6e928ac4b1dc3ed34f70f3d4.jpg

 

with any luck I'll be doing a brisket cook this weekend.

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A Hereford steer is where it’s at. We used to grind up dairy cows for burger. Not to say you can’t get great meat from a dairy cow, but if you’re looking for efficient/cost effective growth and great quality then you’re going to want to go with a breed better suited for beef production. Our cattle were a cross of Hereford and charolais or purebred poled herford, you couldn’t ask for cattle with a better temperament and finished product. I was never a fan of raising black angus cattle, they seemed to be a lot more temperamental. 

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I’m pretty sure cattle in the back yard is going to be the last straw with my husband (and that’s pretty sad considering his parents are cattle ranchers). So... I am going to sit back and watch this project from the sidelines.  Very exciting you had such great results on your first go. Congratulations!

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6 hours ago, Mr Cue said:

A Hereford steer is where it’s at. We used to grind up dairy cows for burger. Not to say you can’t get great meat from a dairy cow, but if you’re looking for efficient/cost effective growth and great quality then you’re going to want to go with a breed better suited for beef production. Our cattle were a cross of Hereford and charolais or purebred poled herford, you couldn’t ask for cattle with a better temperament and finished product. I was never a fan of raising black angus cattle, they seemed to be a lot more temperamental. 

 

Although I agree that herefords do yield higher carcass weights, our area is littered with hereford nuts that think their stockers are worth more privately than the meat packer would pay. I've had some less than stellar experience with Charloais and Angus steers and they're in the last resort category. 

 

Because of the way we're operating (and the deal we have with a local dairy farmer) grass fed grain finished holstein is currently our most profitable option. I can't be the only one as 15% of Canadian and 20% of US beef is culled stock from dairy.

 

Our end goal is to run a herd of Galloways, but having more recently become a "hobby farm breed" more care needs taken in selecting stock.

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5 hours ago, KismetKamado said:

I’m pretty sure cattle in the back yard is going to be the last straw with my husband (and that’s pretty sad considering his parents are cattle ranchers). So... I am going to sit back and watch this project from the sidelines.  Very exciting you had such great results on your first go. Congratulations!

 

You never know until you try... they are a pretty eco friendly and sustainable lawn mower.... :lol:

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2 hours ago, Catsn'doos said:

Because of the way we're operating (and the deal we have with a local dairy farmer) grass fed grain finished holstein is currently our most profitable option. I can't be the only one as 15% of Canadian and 20% of US beef is culled stock from dairy.

 

These figures might be easily misinterpreted.  About 50 years ago, I closely monitored the production at a local slaughterhouse (I was looking for specific beef hides for tanning).  I would say that about 15-20% were dairy stock.  The thing is...they aged out of dairy production.  They were categorized as canners and cutters and were slaughtered for further processing into luncheon meat and such, not cut into steaks and roasts.  I didn't see dairy steers or heifers at that slaughterhouse.  There must have been some in that eastern North Dakota area.  They may have been slaughtered by the local butchers.

Edited by pmillen

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25 minutes ago, pmillen said:

 

These figures might be easily misinterpreted.  About 50 years ago, I closely monitored the production at a local slaughterhouse (I was looking for specific beef hides for tanning).  I would say that about 15-20% were dairy stock.  The thing is...they aged out of dairy production.  They were categorized as canners and cutters and were slaughtered for further processing into luncheon meat and such, not cut into steaks and roasts.  I didn't see dairy steers or heifers at that slaughterhouse.  There must have been some in that eastern North Dakota area.  They may have been slaughtered by the local butchers.

 

Not uncommon to see Dairy steers stockyarded alongside beef breeds around here. Beautifully marbled meat but 12-15% more feed input to obtain same yield.

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Here, a local creamery has many Jersey bull calves that go to another local and get raised up as grass fed/finished. I buy a whole beef per year that is dry aged for about a month, and we are absolutely over the moon at the quality of what we get. The steaks look and taste divine, and the ground beef is delicious. I am not sure if it is necessarily most efficient or cost effective, but I enjoy being able to support to local farms we love, and the quality of the beef is fantastic. They are not nearly as big as a bred for meat breed, but I am not sure we would have the freezer space or appetite to handle those.

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I grew up on dairy farm where we were  milking about 100  holsteins 5 at a time. Once the system was updated  we were able to milk 10 at time.  That as around time additional quota was bought so milk pick up had to happen daily, instead of every second day.   I forgot highest number that were milked.   In addition we raised  Herford cows for beef.   Once I Remembering the Holstein young bull that was being the de horned went to shock and died.   When that happenec that one would get  butchered but then Hereford would not be butchered as we only butchered 1 per year, the Herefords when ready for market were sold. I liked the taste of Hereford better than Holstein but we never fatten then up like we did with Herefords,  we tried to maintain enough Holstein to maintain quota,    Under quota fined, over quota fined,   I remember one time we had to dump milk to prevent going over quota,   

Edited by Rob_grill_apprentice

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