We feed our cattle a diet that is 85% grass. Grass-fed beef is much healthier for humans than grain-fed beef. Click here to read the Capital Press article on this subject.
If you love cattle, then you love Herefords. In our humble opinion, Herefords are tops in stark beauty with easy keeping and gentleness a bonus. The white-faced spring calves are adorable and even the bigger animals keep that "Panda Bear" softness.
We keep a mix of horned and polled animals. A totally polled herd seems to cause a size reduction unless the animals are constantly rotated. We keep our cows until they can no longer produce calves--as long as 20 years!
But these animals are not pets (although they often mind better than the dogs) and are grown for our nourishment. Herman, our bull is mostly the Limousin breed with just enough Hereford to give him a whiteface. This adds faster growth, body length (for extra steaks) and leaner meat along with hybrid vigor. Herman was chosen for his outstanding form as well as his extremely gentle nature.
Our animals are raised naturally. Antibiotics are only used in a medical emergency and is very rare. We don't even need the harsh wormer generally used because our animals are moved to a different pasture daily and won't return to that area for many months. When an animal develops a sudden lice or worm infestation, we know immediately that there is an underlying problem and the animal is placed in the barn and treated immediately. Often this is just a cold.
Otherwise, the only shelter the animals enjoy are the trees in the pasture. During colder weather, we move them to the thicker woods where the cedars provide excellent shelter.
Flies are treated with a spray bottle as needed with natural fly spray when we move the animals to new grass. One gallon will generally last us from 6 months to a year.
We fatten the beef calves with about 1000 lb. of COB each. This provides enough marbling to make the steaks tender but not so much that the ground beef gets fatty. We pour more water off our hamburger than grease after frying.
We can custom raise your beef if prior arrangements are made. Most feeding operations feed at least a ton of COB/animal. This creates a well marbled steak with ground beef about 15% fat. Feeding only alfalfa will produce a lean animal that more closely resembles elk.
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