Post by txhillcountrymomma on Apr 16, 2008 7:52:34 GMT -5
Just wondering how a Jersey or Jersey/dairy cross steer or bull would dress out. The last few years we've bought a grass fed and grass/grain finished Simmental steer or heifer as a beef cow from a rancher friend (mmm-mmm good!!). Prior to that I bought dairy/beef cross calves (older ones, not little babies) from the lady who ran a small traditional raw milk dairy. They were good too.
My dilemma is that with my Jersey heifer I will need to breed her to a Jersey bull or a small dual purpose cow. She's pretty small.
If she has a bull calf, I'd like to eat him since he won't sell for squat around here. Will it be worth finishing him out? How long, on average, do you keep a Jersey or cross steer before he's butcher weight? I know you won't get a beer steer yield, but is the yield decent?
I'm eyeballing the Milking Devon breed right now as a possible cross. Catherine has gotten me very interested! Would that make a nice cross size wise and with the intention to eat a bull calf (gonna keep a little heifer around!).
The reason we ended up with Buttercup in the first place was so that we could always be assured of having our own Jersey calves to raise for our own meat. (Of course, that will probably mean that we will be "cursed" with nothing but heifers!)
Our family is hooked on Jersey beef, as it is very tender and flavorful. We do feed them about 15 lbs of grain per day once they are around a year old. Most of them we butcher at about 18-22 months and we've gotten decent yields of beef from them. However, we are a family of three now. We raise a calf about every other year and even sell some of the beef.
Milking Devon would probably give a meatier calf cross for you.
We butchered a pure jersey steer. The meat is delicious! He was about 17 months of age, hanging weight at 500 lbs. A friend of mine that does a lot with the Quality Beef Improvement says all the beef producers here will tell you the dairy meat tests out to better tenderness than the beef breeds with the tenderness gene. The yield/gain is not the same, but if it is enough for your family for a year that may not be an issue.
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We ate a pure Jersey steer at about 18 mos., raised on grass with just a bit of grain, and it was delicious and tender. The Milking Devon will give you an easy keeper on grass alone and a beautiful animal. I had a bull and heifer, now have a Milking Devon x Hereford cow from that bull who is calm, beautiful, a great mother, and keeps in better flesh through the winter than the other herefords. MD's are good eating, too. We did butcher a Holstein steer we raised, and we didn't like the flavor.
Great thread, Liz! I've been interested in potential beef yield, too (and I'm always interested in hearing about people's experiences with Jerseys and Milking Devons!). In fact, I'm trying to figure out how we're going to get our own butchering done! Liz in Conroe says she used to have a great butcher on Hwy 105 in Dobbin (near us in Montgomery), but he's retired ( :'(). I've got a pig or two to do, in the next month or so, so I need to be getting things lined up. There's another KFC lady who does her own butchering, and has posted pictures (wish she'd do butchering workshops! Hint, hint!). I'm going to see if we can do our own, too...and maybe work up to a beef. Hey...it's like butchering a chicken...only BIGGER and MESSIER...right? lol.
Liz...I'm tickled to hear of your potential interest in MDs!!! Come on over...the more, the merrier! I really want to see some Jersey/MD crosses, and there's another lady near us that wants to use our MD bull on her Guernsey, which should be interesting, too! Just fyi, I know you are interested in a bull that will throw a smaller sized calf on your Jersey. I think our little MD heifer must have weighed give or take about 55 lbs. at birth. I wish I'd weigh-taped her, but I didn't have one on hand (duh), though I did end up having to carry her. I'd say she weighed right at, or just a bit more than, a 50 lb. sack of feed (though a lot more gangly! lol). She has grown A LOT since then!
Thanks for the info. on butcher weights, everyone. I have really been wondering about how dairy steers dress out. So...a 500 lb. dairy steer butchers out to about 280 lbs., including bones? What do the bones weigh, and the hide? We have a Milking Devon steer who's just over a year old. I need to weigh tape him, but he's looking pretty good to me. Interestingly, he's just the nicest, sweetest guy, not a pain in the least, but then again, he was raised in the pasture on his mama, as were the bulls, who are also mellow. We were thinking of letting him grow on, and butchering him out next year, after he's had a chance to finish on good spring grass...though my son harbors thoughts of training him (he's too old) as a ox and "saving" him! From what I gather, even 10 yr. old MD bull eats like a dream! We've only had hamburger from one, so far, but the flavor was excellent.
Drover girl...funny you should mention Hereford/MC crosses! We had a BIG crashing thunderstorm about 2 months back (I wrote WAY too much about it in a thread here titled something like "Rodeo in Texas"), and the neighbor's Herefords broke through into our pasture, then our bulls followed them back. Granted, our bull is just two years old and the other two of our "boys" are just calves, but those Herefords are Giantesses! Anyway, they spent a couple or three days running with the neighbor's 100+ herd before we could get them home, along with his HUGE (read MOUNTAINOUS) Brangus and Brahma bulls. Interestingly, our little MD bull looked pretty good along side those big boys...smaller, but his conformation compared surprisingly well. Anyway, we told the neighbor that if he got any small dark red calves from our bull, we'd be happy to buy them back from him (spelled "tickled pink"! lol). He didn't seem concerned, as he said he didn't think his bulls would have allowed our's to do anything, but you never know!
So...what does a Hereford/MD cross look like? Do they keep the white face, but with the MDs darker auburn body? How much does the size come down? It's interesting that you've noticed that the cross keeps in better flesh through the winter than the pure Herefords. I'd be really interested in any other observations you might care to share on MDs and their crosses. Thanks!
Post by txhillcountrymomma on Apr 16, 2008 18:59:55 GMT -5
Thank you much for all the replies! Really just makes me feel better and better about buying Daisy. I think it's going to be great for my family all the way around.
Yearly we buy 1/2 of a steer that weighs a little over 1,000 lbs (Simmentol). I can't remember exactly, but I know we got over 400 lbs of meat, I'm thinking close to 500. I'd have to find my meat ticket to be sure. Right now, we're not using all that up in a year for a family of 6, but my little ones are getting bigger and eating more. I'm doing meat chickens for the first time this year, so we'll be eating a lot more chicken now. I think that might offset a smaller beef steer.
Catherine, would you email me offlist? I'd really like to talk more with you! I hope that isn't breaking protocol. You can email me at: daboonies @ peoplepc. com (remove spaces, trying to foil the darn bots out there). I looked at the link you sent me on the MDs and they are BEAUTIFUL!!! I sure wouldn't mind a bright red baby out in my pasture, and honestly, I think a MD/Jersey cross heifer might be close to the perfect cow!! I'm going to want to/need to breed Daisy pretty much as soon as I get her home (next month or two). Unless I find something real nice here locally (and it isn't looking good) I might just have to load my girl up and head down for a date with one of your boys!!
Post by hazelsmilker on Apr 16, 2008 20:00:07 GMT -5
Jersey beef is the tastiest! We butchered a 16 month old steer a little over a year ago. He will last us another year. (We're just a family of 3 and have home-raised pork and lamb to enjoy as well.) Honestly, this is the best beef I have ever eaten, and I grew up on home-raised beef. Our guy lived well and died happy, but I think he must have had the marbling gene too.
Whenever I hear of someone being disappointed with Jersey beef I can't help wondering what went wrong. One after another our Jersey steers have dressed out well and the meat flavor has been superb. It's not just me. Everybody who tastes it is full of praise. I feed very little grain compared to many people. The steers were lucky to get 4 lbs a day at most.
I go to a lot of trouble to avoid stressing the steer before butchering. Some day when the time has come he has his head down in the feed pan, the next second he is dead.
We did butcher a Holstein steer we raised, and we didn't like the flavor.
You know, there's been a couple of times in our roasts this year (Holstein steer) that I've tasted something different. I don't know what it is, but I didn't care for it. And it wasn't always the whole roast either. I don't notice anything diff. in the hamburger. I did think the first steak tasted strange, but the second ones we had were really good. We raised this steer the same as our beef steer the prior year. So since I had 4 boys in the barn this year, I sold off the Holstein bull calf I had. I now have a Jersey/Holstein, a Holstein/Angus, and a jersey/? in the barn. I guess we'll have a sample of all of them at some point as we sell off the extra.
Home to Fern & Ivy (Jersey), Paprika (Shorthorn/Angus) Melvin, Jack and Ringo Steer (steers); Candy, Star (horses); Louie (Doberman) Gypsy (LGD mix); 4 cats & a variety of chickens.
RIP to these special ones:
Belle & Emma (Jersey) Brody (Doberman) Lady (Holstein) Poco (QH) Skittles (pony)
Post by buxombeefcowdairy on Apr 18, 2008 19:03:57 GMT -5
Jersey has a reputation for marbling and tenderness, very good beef. I think Washington State University tried breeding Charolais first calf heifers to Jersey bulls, and the steers were consistently outstanding.
Catherine, keep in mind that Liz is talking about a steer at 500 pounds hanging weight, his live weight would likely have been closer to 850 or 900 pounds. Jerseys won't yield near the amount of meat that a beef steer will, but the meat will certainly be worth eating.
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has anyone had any success keeping the bull entire, breeding him to a couple of cows and then butchering? I know the old timers say not to do that, but a friend has had great success with Devon bulls. How difficult are the YOUNG Jersey bulls?
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Domino Fresian/Jersey, Diamondstar, Jersey and one more still searching...
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we do it. We just butchered a black angus bull. He had gotton to big that he was downing our jersey's. So we put him in the freezer. We figured this one would be just hamburger but the butcher has something that can tell if it is OK for steaks and stuff. And he was good. We have done Jersey's too, we always figure if they are only good for hamburger that is OK, we go through so much. Our favorite meat is Jersey, once one of my young Jersey Hiefers broke her leg, she was full grown, just bred, so we had her butchered, everyone in the family still talks about how good that meat was. I was upset by the loss of a milker but at least we were able to have the meat. I am butchering a really old Jersey milker that I have next week. I figure she will be just hamburger. I can not feed her when she is no use to us anymore. I admit that a normal year I would of kept her as a pet, but we did not get enough feed to make it a month because of the drought, so our freezer is getting full.
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Post by buttercupvelvet on Oct 13, 2011 7:44:49 GMT -5
We just butchered out a 1000lb jersey steer that was 22 months old and he dressed out at 498lbs. A beef (herford or Angus) will dress out at about 1/2 of their on the hoof weight. So we were very happy to to have the same yeild off the jersey steer.
Post by hazelsmilker on Oct 13, 2011 8:37:43 GMT -5
Our all dairy Jersey cross steer that we just had butchered had a hanging weight of 633 pounds. He was about 18 months old. The meat is very good, but not quite as tender as our all Jersey steers. We think that he had some milking shorthorn in his background along with the Jersey.
Post by stablefood on Oct 13, 2011 22:17:13 GMT -5
Great thread, Thank you everyone for your expeeriences, I think it helps us all decide what we want from all the choices!
Wholly owned by one Andalusian Stallion 'Merlin' who somehow seems to tolerate sharing me with Pearl 5 yr Jersey Wife to a most tolerant husband Followed incessantly by one Queensland Heeler'Dog' 3 more Stallions, 2 Andalusian, 1 AQHA Cremello 8 Brood mares, a full garden, 100 tree mixed orchard "They told me I couldn't grow a dang thing here" now, (7 years later) it nearly supports all of us
We butchered a 13 month old steer this spring. We taped him at around 950 pounds, and his hanging weight was 606 pounds. He had been on mama (separated at night) for 10 months. He got maybe 5 pounds of grain a day for the last month or so.
The meat is tender and well-marbled. The guy that we sold a rear quarter to said that it is the best steak he's eaten in twenty years. He bought a Beefmaster steer from another local guy at the same time, and he said our steer tastes better. It was about $1.00 a pound cheaper, too, since we basically had almost no cost to raise.
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