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That Animal Ain't going in the Trailer!!

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posted on Nov, 2 2018 @ 07:21 AM
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Ugh...typed out a big reply to questions and then lost the whole dang thing! GRRRRR. (one feature I really dislike about ATS is that...you can't back up and recover a post).

So, I'll try to type it AGAIN.

How old is too old for a cow? - Cows can indeed live to be 20 years old, although I don't think I've ever seen one. For us a cow is viable only as long as she is able to produce calves. It's all about the calves. When a cow is no longer able to safely produce healthy calves they get culled from the herd. Otherwise you're feeding an animal who isn't making money for you.

What does 'standing for a bull' mean? - Well, it literally means just that, the cow must be able to safely 'stand' for the bull to mount her. Bulls are big, and they're heavy (2,300lbs in the case of our herd bull). As cows get older their hips get bad, just like you and I, so they might fall down when mounted. If the cow gets injured then you've got bigger problems on your hands. Injured cows are expensive and dangerous. Not to mention the fact it's pretty irresponsible to attempt breeding a questionable cow and possibly injure it.

How old is too old for consumption? - Well, never really, but it depends on the cuts of meat you process. Once an animal gets north of 3 years old the large lean muscles are going to start getting tough (these are the steaks and roasts). The muscles start developing more fiber and sinew which is what makes a cut of meat tough. A breed cow will produce calves much longer than this (usually 8-10 years) so they're well beyond this age when they are culled. So what then? Well, if you have the majority of the animal processed into ground it's some of the best ground beef you'll ever eat (FAR better than anything you get at the store) because all the steaks and roasts are ground up with the chuck. It's fabulous burger.

So what happens when a cow is too old? - One of two things happen, some people take them to auction (we don't), or some people take them for processing. We usually take them for processing because it's the most humane thing to do. You never know what someone will do with a cow you take to an auction. They may try to breed it and it could be injured or killed in the process. That's not really a very responsible thing to do with an animal who has faithfully produced $50-75,000 dollars worth of calves for you. So, what we do is take them for processing. We pay to have them aged, processed and packed (usually about 600lbs worth of packed meat). Then we donate the majority of the meat to local soup kitchens and homeless shelters. We keep some just because it's so good.

On a side note, we also process some prime steers (2-3 year olds) for our own consumption too. With just about any animal you're always going to wind up with ground beef, so what we do is keep the prime cuts off the steer and donate the ground. This is why we keep some of the ground off the older cows (noted above).

On average we donate about 1,200 - 1,800lbs of meat to homeless shelters and soup kitchens annually.

One of two things happen with the calves. Heifer calves get sold to other breeders. We buy replacement heifers from outside our genetic pool. Custom bull calves get sold to breeders. Steers get sold for beef to steer operations (we're a cow-calf operation).

I should probably explain that last piece. There are two basic types (beef) cattlemen; cow-calf and steer operations. Cow-calf operations breed their own calves and sell the calves, keeping the breed stock. Steer operations buy steers from cow-calf operators every year and feed them out and sell them to consumers. Some cow-calf operations will also feed out steers (sort of a hybrid operation). The beef you buy in the store is from steer operations.

Dairy cattle is a completely different business, and about the only thing the two businesses have in common is the cow. Otherwise they are just worlds apart. In fact, it's so different that I couldn't even tell you much about how it works. Well, I could, but I'll let someone else more qualified do it.




posted on Nov, 2 2018 @ 07:30 AM
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I should probably post one more thing here to stitch the OP to my last couple posts...

So how then do you wind up with cows which can't load in the trailers?

Well, that's a fair question. You certainly don't plan on it, but sometimes cows get injured. And, that's exactly what happened. We had two this year. One of them got lamed up while being chased by some coyotes (we believe) who were trying to kill her calf. She was protecting it and stepped in a hole or something. She was our matriarch cow too.

The other one had/has a toe issue she never recovered from. She had a toe that didn't break off (like they're supposed to). We had her trimmed to see if we could correct it, but it grew back the same way. It's on her rear leg.

Consequently, I don't think either of those two animals will be able to be safely loaded in a trailer without the cow, or someone else, being injured. Hence the OP.
edit on 11/2/2018 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 2 2018 @ 08:17 AM
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a reply to: Mahogany

the difference between lamb and mutton = age

with beef - you gets lower yealds of prime cuts - and more gets designated " stewing beef "

and the " wastage " - thats dog food only goes up



posted on Nov, 2 2018 @ 12:04 PM
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a reply to: Flyingclaydisk

I'm a meat-eater. All I care about is that the animals who feed me are well-treated while they're alive right up until you take their life, and that should be quick and humane as well.

Since you're not a woman I don't think you appreciate your wife's perspective that the old cows should get a rest from being constantly pregnant.

Not sure if I interpreted your view accurately. Please explain if I haven't. If I have my final comment would be you've mislaid your humanity.



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