I'm fairly new to cows, but I'm learning a lot with this site.
We have a young steer that I'm starting to figure out how we're going to slaughter him when the time comes. I don't feel comfortable doing this myself, maybe in a year or so (but maybe not). Does anyone know if there are mobile slaughterhouses in the Northern Virginia area?
When is the best time to slaughter? The Fall, Winter, Spring? Or does it not make any difference? How about feeding prior to slaughter? Do you give them grain? Or is grass better? As you can see, I have a lot of questions.
Any help anyone can give me would be wonderful. I'm open all suggestions.
Can't help you on the first question. I never realized there were such things as mobile butchers until I joined this site. I wished early on we had one, but now that we're set up to take them, it's not a big deal. Hopefully someone in your area will comment on that. Or you could put an ad on Craig's List or check with the people who certify butchers, they could tell you for sure.
Graining is entirely a personal thing. Many on here feed grain; just varies whether it's the whole life of the animal, or like me, I feed the last 30 days.
Time of year for me to butcher depends on whether I need beef. ;D I just bumped an October date to next June because we have a huge beef in the freezer. there are some differences in the way the fat sets and tastes from winter/summer butchering, but hopefully Jenn will chime in about that, it's rather interesting but I can't explain it at all. Sorry, this isn't that helpful, maybe you'll get some better responses. Welcome to the herd!
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)
We live in central VA and were unable to find a mobile butcher. So what we did was find a butcher that would let us do the kill at the farm then transport the carcass to his shop. All went beautifully, Chuck was contentedly eating, we used the tractor to bleed him and get him on the truck. The butcher was waiting for him when we got there. We will definitely do that again....just threw that out there in case it was something you could work with.
Married to my best friend, going on 35 years Mama to 7, 3 DD and 4 DS Nonna to 6 Gran'kids Opal the Jersey Vivian, (Opals heifer calf,) Sarah (The spoiled Jersey) Graci (Jersey) Vida! (Jersey due in July) 2 dogs 3 cats flock O' Chickens
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This book is intended as an inspirational manual for keeping a family milk cow. A lifetime of practical experience has been bound into one volume. Practical advice for the everyday and procedures for cow emergencies. Plus, answers to FAQ's like, 'Should you get a cow?' and 'How Much Space do I need?'