Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder),
Posted May 25, 2013
My family raised Angus cattle for food for several years. We had both bulls and steers.
There are so many stories that I could tell about raising these creatures. They weren't just food to us. We knew that we would be eating them but treated them as pets while they were alive.
All of ours were gentle. I could go out in the field and walk the ones you see in the picture. I didn't do it after he got to be that size just as a precaution, but he never tried to hurt anyone. I can remember taking walks with him when he was younger. You would be leading and the next thing you knew, he would lifting you and carrying you through the field. The red one didn't do that. He would just get tired of walking and lay down. It didn't matter where we were. You would feel a tug on the rope and turn around to find him curled up.
Two other steers we had didn't get halter broken completely. They were a little bit more timid. You could go out and pet them and brush them, but they shy away with quick movements. These two got in more trouble than any other cattle we owned. The one somehow managed to get an eye hook wrapped around his eyelid. Man that was a job fixing. They both got sick and needed antibiotics.
Now to the pros and cons.
- These cattle were a blast to own. We loved playing with them and brushing them and being around them in general. We taught the first set we owned had to walk on a halter and lead and to play peek-a-boo around the large round hay bales.
- There were cuts of meat taken from the second set of steers that tasted really good. We don't think we got the right meat from the first set. What we got tasted old and extremely strong. It didn't fit with the age of our animals.
- For the most part the animals grew at a decent rate. The first two we had grew extremely fast. Those are the ones in the picture. The second set didn't grow quite that fast.
- For the most part all the animals were healthy. We only had to give them antibiotics once.
- The biggest con to owning a bull is there unpredictability. We worked with ours all the time and he was great. There is still a danger. I know that the one in the picture got out and went to the neighbors house once. Mom was home alone and had to try to get him home. The only thing she could think of was to take his chop bucket up and lure him back. That worked good until another neighbor drove his truck up behind them. Black (that was his name) was furious that a vehicle was following him. Mom said that he would stop and kick the ground and snort. She just kept coaxing him back. I will hand it to him that he never tried to hurt any of us. The possibility is always there though.
- Since I mentioned Black getting out, I have to say that is another con. We never raise any cattle that didn't get out at least once.
- Feed can be high if you feed chop or have to buy hay.
- The slower growing Angus that we raised had a lot of fat in their meat.
- The meat can have a bad taste if an older animal is butchered.
- Other than feeding and watering them, they were pretty easy to take care of.
I wouldn't recommend any child be turned loose with a steer or a bull. There size alone is a danger. Teenagers and adults are fine though. I have to say that I loved our animals. I would raise this breed again in a heartbeat.