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Beef: It’s What’s For Dinner (In A Year Or So)

In 2021 I mentioned we had started the rather lengthy process of raising some cattle: An Eye On The Longer Term

We had just obtained through some horse trading and cash a Murray Grey heifer, just a young one. I wrote at the time:

She will be ready to breed in spring with a calf the following spring of 2023 so not a quick process at all.

That actually worked out for us and she just delivered a few days ago a healthy and rambunctious bull calf….

The final picture is from this morning, he is a lot cleaner today.

The road to turning that little cutie into steaks and roasts is going to take probably another year. You can see just how lengthy the process is, from a heifer born in early 2021 to her calf ready to butcher in spring of 2024. You can turn a young female pig into ready to butcher hogs in a lot less time and chickens are a matter of just a few months but the cycle for cattle requires more forethought. To get beef in the pipeline requires thinking ahead, a long way ahead.

I had hoped for a heifer calf so we could breed her in a year or so but I’ll take a bull calf we can eat next year. We might look to add a young heifer as well and will breed mama cow soon so she calves again next spring. Having a couple of cows that have calves in the pipeline provides a little more peace of mind for us.


  1. WindNow

    We do ours in less than a year. They drop in late Feb/March and are in the freezer by November from our dairy cows. Look how the 4H programs run for show steers to learn how to ge beef in less than a year.

    • Arthur Sido

      We just feed grass and hay, almost no grain at all. We have raised traditional breed cattle to slaughter fairly quickly but then we end up spending a ton on feed.

      • Steve

        How many acres feed your how many cows? Do you rotate quickly? Feed and water the grass? I’m looking at getting chickens again using a few easily moveable tractors to condition our mediocre pasture, then develop and implement a plan to grow grass well. Did you consider sheep or goats or like wife and I prefer beef? We had pigs for awhile but we still have many holes to fill from their moonscaping. If we tried pigs again it would be with IPP because of their flat faces. It looks like grass eaters are better at developing soil than pigs.

  2. D. Beair

    My Grandpa was a small time dairy farmer in eastern Kentucky. He also raised hogs, which he butchered, when the time was right. Amazing and awesome; I enjoyed many summers staying with them. I learned a lot of life from him. Best of times.
    Bear in Indy

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