How We Raise Our Grass Fed Beef - Clover Meadows Beef
Top 10 Reasons to Raise & Eat Grass-Fed Meat. July 5, in Eco-Farming, As they graze, they trigger the plants to push more root exudates into the soil. y3y3games.info say that you raise your cattle with NO antibiotics. What does that really mean? y3y3games.info is grass fed beef more expensive than grain fed beef? God's grass. The success of a grass-fed beef operation relies on getting average daily gains of at least 2 pounds per day. Animals will need to maintain a.
Cattle stocking rates have a direct influence on forage utilization, animal performance, and acceptable carcass quality; so, they are a very important component of pasture management. When planning for year-round forage production, there are several factors to consider. Adapted forage species differ across various climatic-vegetational zones of production.
Top 10 Reasons to Raise & Eat Grass-Fed Meat | Eco-Farming Daily
Even within the same zone, seasonality of forage production varies and forage nutritive values change with weather and other environmental characteristics. A target average daily gain ADG of 2 pounds per day is needed to put enough fat on an animal to produce a desirable carcass. This means that the animals will need to maintain a body condition score of 6 or better. Desired total body weight at harvest and ADG determine how long the calf will need to be fed.
A plan is needed A certain amount of forage quantity and quality are required to produce the desired ADG. Forage quantity is measured as dry matter, and forage quality is primarily determined by crude protein and total digestible nutrients TDN. Grass-fed beef producers can learn forage management techniques from stocker operators who normally feed minimum amounts of supplements. There are forage systems in the southern United States that produce 2 pounds per day ADG on stockers year-round. Cool-season annuals in the systems are small grains grazed from December through April, annual ryegrass utilized from January through May, and clovers that are available for use February through May.
Warm-season annual grass provides good grazing in May through July. Dry matter requirements are met with these annual grasses during July through October, but supplement is needed to fulfill nutrient requirements during the late summer and fall.
Supplement requirements do not make these systems unusable for grass-fed producers. Good-quality hay, silage, or haylage meet supplement criteria for grass-fed beef. Warm-season perennial grass provides good grazing from April through June and again from July through October with supplementation during the latter period.
Forage classes for southern pastures and some of the species within each class are shown in Table 1. Grass-fed beef producers should develop forage calendars that are applicable to their area and use them to design a year-round forage system. Silage or some form of harvested forage may have to be fed during winter when snow covers the ground. The forage calendar example presented in Table 2 demonstrates the ability to provide year-round grazing and production overlaps of the various classes of forage.
Southeast forage types Warm-season perennial grasses are the foundation of pastures in the southeast United States. These grasses produce the highest amount of dry matter per acre and provide the most sustainable pasture systems. The bad news is that they are in the lowest nutrient category of all forages. Common warm-season grasses used in the South are Tifton 85 bermudagrass, Coastal bermudagrass, bahiagrass, and native grasses.
Nutritional value of bermudagrass and other warm-season perennial grasses is limited by their relatively high concentrations of fiber and lignin that reduce digestibility. Tifton 85 has higher dry matter production and drought tolerance than other bermudagrasses. It has lower lignin concentration than Coastal bermudagrass and higher digestibility. Because of these characteristics, it provides superior animal performance over the other bermudagrasses. Warm-season annual grasses are ranked medium in nutritive value and include brown midrib sorghum-sudangrass, pearl millet, and crabgrass.
Make sure it's dry, crispy, light green, and won't snap when bent. A steer, you see, must eat 21 pounds of grain protein in order to produce one pound of beef protein. It is commonly assumed, of course, that grain-fed beef is the world's best. However, the "fossil" you tasted then wasn't typical of real grass-fed beef, because such meat can be as tender as any touted commercial cut. So if your land produces hay — or if your climate is such that you can keep cattle on pasture for a good part of the year — you can save money by growing your own feed and raising grass-fed beef.
Furthermore, even if you have to buy your supply of hay, you'll find such feed to be much less expensive than grain and a better nutritional buy than most folks realize: Production-Line Cattle When you consider all the advantages of grass-feeding, you'd think there'd be more livestock raised in such a manner. Young steers are weaned early and sent to large feedlots to fatten quickly on grain. Some such "cow factories" hold more than 10, animals, yet they don't require much area, as compared to the amount of land needed by even a modest number of grazing cattle.
Thus, the feedlot owner's investment and taxes are lower than those of a farmer who pastures his or her beasts. Consequently, enormous feedlots supply the gigantic packing plants, and the assembly-line steaks just keep moving right along.
But families who raise their own beef don't need such super-efficiency, and they can use the extra to pounds of meat usually found on an animal that's fleshed out naturally. Continue Reading My husband and I have raised Hereford and Angus cattle on grass for six years now, and our old-time rancher neighbors in Alberta.
How is grass-fed beef different from feedlot meat? What is the best way to manage pasture and winter feeding? And how should carcasses be treated if they're to produce the most tender meat? The methods we learned from our friends certainly seem to work, because our customers always reorder, and they usually accompany their requests with comments about our homegrown meat's "real beef flavor.
The most obvious difference between grass-fed beef and grain-fed beef is in the light, tawny color of the fat on the former.
Once the beef is cooked, however, such color differences disappear entirely. Another dissimilarity is in the amount of fat found on the meat. On the one hand, the man or woman who ranches grass-fed cattle won't waste money raising carcasses that are enveloped in a coating of tallow. On the other hand, poorly managed grass-fed beef won't have as much fat marbled into the meat's texture as will animals that subsist on grain. Therefore, to produce really tender beef, careful feeding and careful hanging are essential.
The third factor to consider is that top grade grass-fed cattle take longer to raise than do feedlot animals, but keep in mind that it's darned expensive to force-feed a steer on grain so he can be killed a year earlier.
It Starts in the Pasture You can start to improve the quality of your meat a long time before slaughter if you pay attention to the rule often voiced by old-time cattle ranchers: Your grass and hay will probably be made up of locally favored forage. In Alberta, for example, the standard mixture is alfalfa and brome, while southern U.
But no matter what your climate and soil, there are certain general hay-growing rules that hold true. First, a pasture that combines grass and legumes has many advantages over a single-crop field.
Most legumes are nitrogen fixers and provide higher levels of protein, calcium, and magnesium than grasses do. In addition, their longer root systems keep fields from rapidly becoming sodbound. They also speed up the drying process if you make hay.
Finally, many animals prefer a mixed feed. By the way, don't be too fanatical about cleaning out weeds. Eliminate any poisonous species, of course. Remember, too, that both cattle and land benefit by simple rotation grazing.Grass-Fed VS Grain-Fed Beef!
Any pasture crop can be safely eaten down to about two inches. At that stage there's practically no leaf surface left, so you should move your cattle out. Then, if you watch, you'll notice a basic three stage pattern in the recovering field.
For the first few days three or four in a lush pasture, five or six in drier areas the grass will grow slowly.
How We Raise Our Grass Fed Beef
But—once some leaves are out—there'll be a burst of growth. During the second stage, the pounds of forage per acre can multiply as much as 10 times in 12 days. Finally, the pasture will reach maturity, the grasses will begin to crowd and dry out, and the nutritional value of the forage will drop.
Unfortunately, separating your pastures with fences costs money. One solution is to use a simple electric fence that can be moved up and down the field as needed.
With such a "border", you can grow more beef on a given amount of land, and—should a good year come along—you can make your paddocks smaller and leave some extra hay for cutting.
The value of that "bonus crop" alone could equal the cost of the fence! If you buy your winter fodder, be sure to take a good look at its color.
Old-timers usually poke into a bale or stack to pull out an occasional wisp, which they twist—or even chew on a little—to check it for freshness. Such experts aren't just fiddlin'. You may want to be tactful in doing so, but be sure to make that examination.