A freezer full of fine beef at half meet market costs (and much less than that if you raise the hay and grain too)? That's just one of the many rewards of raising your own beef calf!
The work involved in the calf's care? About 10 minutes morning and evening and 20 minutes of the weekend for stall cleaning. But it is everyday.
To raise your own calf you need a simple but snug shelter for the first winter months, a little equipment, a stock of hay and calf starter feed, and later about two acres of land for pasture.
Raising a Calf for Beef, delightfully illustrated by Paula Savastano and Cathy Baker, assesses first the pros and cons of raising a beef calf. It tells what's needed, with detailed chapters on:
- Housing and pasture
- Feeds (milk and calf starter mixtures)
- Raising your own feed
- Choosing a calf
- Veterinarian help
- Caring for the newborn calf (what to do everyday)
- Weaning your calf
- A barn medicine chest
- Upsets you can treat and what to watch for
- Keeping records
- Fattening the calf
- Butchering time
- Your beef on the table
After you've raised your calf to 800-1000 pounds -- or larger if you want -- off he goes for butchering and packaging. For those who want to do this themselves, a special section is included on slaughtering, butchering, and cutting beef for the freezer. Each step is illustrated with special drawings or photographs.
It you're interested in raising a beef calf, Phyllis Hobson's clear and unique guide will tell you all you need to know. 128 pages.
By Phyllis Hobson