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Thursday, June 7, 2012

Beef and Noodle

Beef and Noodle in their new home, and not really too sure about it.

A few years ago we decided to try our hand at raising a steer, so we acquired Banana a Holstein steer who was about two months old, we raised him for almost a year and half and then had him butchered.  While raising Banana, we acquired another steer, Jersey, he was a Jersey, and eventually we had him butchered.  Home raised beef is the best! We have not had a steer for about fifteen months, throughout the winter we talked about getting another one in the spring. Then our older two children, Matt and Amber, both married and out of the house, expressed and interest to go in together on a steer and have half for each of their respective households. Over the past few months we started getting ready for the new steer and two weeks ago started our search to find calves.  We were aware of a man a few miles north of us who raises Black Angus, Dave and Matt went to talk to him to see if he sells his calves, he does not, instead he raises them to full size and then sells.  A few miles south of us a family keeps a fine herd of Black Angus, we do not know these people and we were not comfortable simply knocking on their door to ask if any calves were for sale, so I wrote them a letter. The letter was received and the man called my husband, although his calves were not for sale he provided contacts for a number of other people who might have calves for sale.  I emailed a couple of other people who keep livestock to see if they knew of anyone selling calves, they did not.  Throughout the spring we made numerous trips to Springfield Greenhouse, owned and run by a nice Amish family, many of their neighbors had barns full of Holstein calves, so Dave asked the husband if any of the neighbors were selling calves. We learned that the Amish farms along his road don't own the Holstein calves, rather they are paid to raise them and that is it.  We kept running into dead ends, we did not want to go to an auction because we are amateurs and felt that we would most likely end up overpaying and not be too sure where our calves had come from. Our son Matt purchased the Free Ad paper, there were a few ads for calves, most were much larger than we wanted and too expensive, the going rate is about $1.40/lb.  We called and left two messages, one man called back, he had 350lb calves which were too expensive, he then mentioned that he had five eight week old calves who were fully weaned, they were holstein/jersey mix and were ready to go. The Amish farmer lived a few miles down the road from Springfield Greenhouse and not too far from us, Dave and Matt stopped over to check out the calves, they looked good so they purchased them.  The following evening everyone was excited the new calves were coming home!  When Dave pulled in the driveway on Tuesday evening all of us, Matt, Brad, Emily, Amber, Henry, Patrick, baby Charlie, and myself, were waiting on the front porch.  Dave, Matt, Brad, and Emily left to pick up our neighbors horse trailer and headed over to get Beef and Noodle, (daughter Amber picked the names). A short while later the calves arrived, they did not want to get out of the trailer, but very soon they were settled into their new home and although a little shaken with their ordeal they seemed okay, and we are now back to raising steer.
Waiting for Beef and Noodle to get out of the trailer. Henry, Emily, and Patrick all wore cowboy boots for the occasion.

Noodle - waiting to leave the trailer.

Henry climbing the gate

The nosy girls in the chicken run!

Hi, my name is Beef!

Hi, my name is Noodle!
I am pleased that the calves are Holstein/Jersey mix, in blind taste tests of home raised beef, Holstein is #2 and Jersey is #1, so we should have some good beef.  I have to say that the Jersey we raised was delicious, the fat was yellow like butter, and the meat extremely tender.  It is said that meat from a dairy breed is always very tender and very good, both Holstein and Jersey are dairy breeds.  The only drawback to the dairy breeds is that the ratio of bone to muscle is higher so pound for pound there is less meet on a dairy steer - but it is such good meat that a little difference in quantity does not worry us.


Michelle-ozark crafter said...

Ha, ha! I love their names!

Arthur Sido said...

Our Jersey is due to calve anytime now, since she is carrying an AngusxJersey cross calf I am hoping for a steer. If we get a steer we need to get together and have a taste test to see which is best!

Bean said...

Well we read that in blind taste tests Jersey was #1, and Holstein #2. Most comments we read about raising Dairy breeds for beef were positive and the general consensus is that dairy beef is very tender.
Our Holstein was awesome. And I really, really liked the Jersey we butchered. Jersey fat is yellow, apparently due to beta carotene, who knew?
A taste test between steers would be great!

Thanks for stopping by,