The cows grazed here are a mishmash. Black cows, white cows, and colored cows. Old ones and young heifers. Why you may ask? They were cheap and grass has no opinion on the type of animals that eat it. Always had a few cattle. My dad wants a cow herd for his retirement and I want to turn green forage in to green money.
The cows are my dad's and we buy stockers together and seperately. Stockers are calves, usually 350-500 lbs, that are bought and raised and then resold. At present, stockers are expensive. About $340 for a 400 lb animal. Thats not cheap but I am, so I am buying 3 day old holstein bulls from the neighboring dairy for $30 each, bottle-feeding them for 5 weeks and then turning them onto winter pasture. Could be very profitable, could be alot of work for nothing but it is sure nice to stand on the back porch and watch them run around.
I have a crazy idea of building a cow herd of jersey cows mated to a black angus bull. Jerseys and angus cattle are ranked in the top 5 of all cattle breeds for meat tenderness but jerseys are not even a beef breed, they are dairy cattle.
I have become fascinated with with dairying but I am way too lazy to actually do it. So, instead of taking the calf away from the cow after a couple of days, as most dairies do for increased milk production, I'm going to graft 2 or three 3-day old holstein bulls onto the jersey cow to go along with her calf and let them do the milking. 18 to 20 months later I will have one steer that will produce very tender beef and 2 or 3 more that will produce naturally lean beef. If the American consumer really wants lean beef, holsteins steers are one of the best breeds to produce it. But holsteins do not fit the cookie-cutter production model of the feedlots and packers. To be honest, holstein beef makes good, lean hamburger and lends itself well to slow cooking in a crockpot, in stews, and as roasts but it will be a little tough grilled or panfried. Which, in my opinion, is also true of about 75% of the steak cuts bought in the local supermarket chain store.
Oops! starting to rant and rave again, better save some for later.