We butchered our steer this summer and truthfully, it's the best beef we've ever eaten. I was apprehensive because 1. he was a Jersey, 2. Our butcher would only hang for 3 days, and 3. He was completely grassfed, with no grain whatsoever. But it was very, very tender and flavorful beef.
Now it's time to buy another calf to raise for meat. Should I buy another Jersey or go with a beef breed? Around here I see a lot of angus, hereford, and baldys.
I'm thinking a beef breed will gain weight faster and have a better feed/weight gain ratio, right? (I'm embarrassed to say it, but really the main reason I want a Jersey is because I have to look at it for 2 years and I like to look at Jerseys. Pretty shallow, huh? )
Does all beef really taste about the same? Would any breed be equally delicious if it was pasture raised with love, and butchered humanely? Or are my oldtimer neighbors right and Jersey meat really IS the best tasting beef? They usually say this while gazing wistfully at my cow.
Are there other considerations I'm not aware of?
Last Edit: Nov 30, 2012 8:19:17 GMT -5 by happydog
People who have had both told me Jersey meat tastes a little sweeter. I'd say get one you like to look at and raise it the way you did the other one.
Proud momma to 2 great kids
Lady Vivienne, Arthur, Eloise, and Ivy - our fold of Scottish Highland cattle; Clarabelle, our Charolais baby & Chuck, angus steer; Sophie - Highland/Dexter bottle baby; 12 mini meat pigs; around 60 chickens; 5 dairy goats (1 doe, her two boys and 2 wethers); 2 dairy sheep; 4 dogs; 3 cats; and 2 bunnies
Is your steer going to be eating pasture during the summer and can you get affordable good hay for the winter? If you can say yes to both of those, I would say that cost-wise, you could go either direction.
If you're looking for the most bang for your buck.... I'm pretty sure you could per pound be cheaper with beef, although the initial cost of purchasing a calf may lessen that difference some (Jersey steer = $50-200, beef steer = $300-600+)
I have Jerseys, so am biased, but I do love the meat!!! Beautiful and lean and tasty. Our most recent butchering, the meatloaf has been delectable!!
My parents raise angus cross and their meat has always been good. 18 months to get to 1300 live weight. vs. Jersey 24 mo. to get 900lb. live weight.... Big difference. For me, we have the steers already (calves from our cows) and it's just two of us eating the meat, and we butcher at home. So, smaller is better for us!! Plus, I don't have enough freezer space for several hundred pounds of meat. Our last steer was only 10 mo. old, so we didn't ever have to overwinter him. Anyway, that might give you some things to consider, what works best for you!
I've been told by two different sources that jersey/angus or jersey/lowline is second only to wagyu in marbling. I have yet to find out personally. Are there any jersey/beef crosses around that no-one wants because they are "mutts" ? You might get the best of the hybrid vigour for growth and good meat too.
Big Moo (dexter cow), Little Moo (dexter steer), Jack (lowline steer), Ziggy (lowline x dexter steer), Flora, Di & Daphne (lowline cows), Sieka (lowline x jersey heifer), Erg (lowline calf). A dozen sheep (dorper and awassi x white dorper), two cats, Willy the merino lamb and Alvin & Poppy the Amazing Maremmas.
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