Acquired: Breeder (non-professional, hobby breeder),
Posted Jan 23, 2015
Finding a newborn cow and having it gelded is pretty easy and even a Black Angus baby isn’t very expensive. In most cases, you would have to bucket feed them but luckily, my uncle keeps milk cows and we added a calf each year onto one of his cows and helped pay for her feed while she was nursing as compensation. Did you know that a milk-breed cow produces plenty of milk for not only her own calf but can feed two or three calves or her own calf and a human family?
Once the baby was weaned to solid food, we trailered it back to our small family farm and put it in the horse pasture. We bought one a year so we sometimes had two in the pasture. They had a shelter area where we fed them but not stalls like the horses. The door to their shelter area was low to keep the horses out of it. We really didn’t handle them very much except for grooming a few times a week and checking their feet. They were hardy creatures, pastured full time. We grew them strictly grass fed, using a combination of our own pasture, bought hay, and pelleted hay style feeds with zero grain. We butchered between 18 months to two years depending on weight and always had enough beef to last the year and even share some. It was good we had a big deep freezer.
They were sweet tempered and easy to handle but us kids knew not to get attached, no matter how long they were with us because they were destined for the freezer. I no longer live on the family farm so I don't have them anymore.
Oddly enough, I’m still a little soft-hearted about my dinner. I like to buy locally and to know that the cattle or chickens or whatever were treated humanely and killed quickly. It makes me feel better about being a carnivore.