Chloe is getting ready to give birth to her Angus/Jersey cross calf. We were talking and thought that maybe we shouldn't wait until the calf is 2 years old to kill it. I mean, that's a lot of meat, and we might not need that much.
What about slaughtering at 1 year old? How much should I expect it to weigh by then?
Does anyone know the percentage dress weight cows usually average? For instance, I know that pigs can dress out at up to 80% of their live weight. What is it for cows?
Dressing out at 60% is good, a lot of times with dairy framed steers the percentage is less, because they have such a large frame. Our Brown Swiss steer at a year old looked like a great dane puppy - all long legs and gangly joints. He didn't put some meat on till he was 2. By 2 years old he weighed around 1000 lbs and dressed out a little over 500 lbs.
Yours, being a cross with Angus, should have a lot more muscle and a lot earlier muscle development. Your calf may look like a butter-ball at 1 year old, especially if he has access to milk for a long time. I know a farmer here that has a small herd of beef cross cows, and he butchered an 7 mo old steer that was still suckling his mama, and the live weight was around 700 lbs! Anyone who raises meat for the table needs to keep in mind, that [glow=red,2,300]it takes 10 litres of milk to produce 1kg of meat[/glow], so the more access the calf has to milk and the longer he has that access, the more weight he is likely to put on. Also, according to that article on calf rumen development someone has posted previously, early introduction of grain speeds up the rumen developmen, from which one can speculate the calf's growth rate increases.
Here's a link to my post that has my Jersey Angus cross heifer in it. She is EXACTLY 1 year old in the pic ;D. You can read what people estimated her weight to be. Note, she was still nursing her momma. She shared her momma until March (9 mos.) with the Holstein in the pic. The Holstein I just took in yesterday, he weighed in at 1120# at 15 mos. old. I'll modify this again to say one more thing. We are a family of four; two adults, 1- 8 yo and 1- 3 yo. We eat a LOT of hamburger. We took in an 800 lb. beef steer last Sept. I think we sold about 100 lbs. of meat to family and kept the rest. We have just a few pkgs. of hamburger left and we have not rationed or skimped on anything. So it worked out well for us. I figure we'll have 100 to 150 lbs. of meat more this year since this calf is bigger. Hope this helps. Shawn
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)
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?'