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Author Topic: Buying a cow/steer  (Read 472 times)

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Online Firewoodjoe

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Buying a cow/steer
« on: June 10, 2019, 05:36:56 AM »
Kicking around the idea of buying a 12-14 month old from who ever. Thereís a half dozen on Craigslist for $600-$1000. I have some field dad does also. Feed it through the summer then butcher it. We eat a lot of burger. We can butcher it ourselves. Have large grinders and experience.  My question is how would I know if thereís anything wrong with it health wise. If I feed it for a few months would medicines or infections be shown or gone in that time. Iím not a farmer. Anyone do it themselves. Thanks.

Offline Ianab

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Re: Buying a cow/steer
« Reply #1 on: June 10, 2019, 06:16:47 AM »
Some medications (antibiotics etc) will have a "withholding period", where you aren't allowed to send the animal for slaughter for "x" days. But it's usually only 5-14 days. So after a month any medication will have well and truly cleared from it's system. 

You may actually want to give it a dose of drench or a pour-on parasite control, just to keep it healthy and growing. Again that will have a withholding time in the instructions, and there's not point treating it just before you slaughter, it wont get much benefit over a few days. Treat it early on, then it's free of worms, ticks etc and will put on more weight.  

Local vets will here will sell you a small dose of the commercial treatments if you only have a couple of animals. Buying a full container costs a lot, and unless you have ~100 animals to treat you don't want to do that. 

Something like this.   https://www.drugs.com/vet/ivermectin-pour-on-for-cattle.html
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Offline Southside

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Re: Buying a cow/steer
« Reply #2 on: June 10, 2019, 08:58:58 AM »
I have not heard of pour on wormers being used here in the States for a long, long, time. The problem with throwing an insecticide randomly at stock is are you actually treating a problem. 

Things to look for in healthy cattle are a slick hair coat, they should not be scruffy and patchy by now, good movement, no hitches, limps, etc. Are they on grass now or being fed a daily pile of grain? A dry lot steer suddenly turned onto lush grass will actually loose weight until their system adjusts to the new feed. You don't want to see a pile of ribs or the pins (hip bones) protruding way out.  A good beeve will look like a 55 gallon drum supported by toothpicks when ready for the freezer. Just keep that goal in mind as you look at options. 
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Enough cows to ensure there is no spare time.

Offline Al_Smith

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Re: Buying a cow/steer
« Reply #3 on: June 10, 2019, 09:52:52 AM »
From what I remember going back over 50 years,generally speaking if a feeder has steady rate of gain usually means it will be a good beef .
Now going back to my FFA days I placed 8th one year in the Ohio state meat judging contests and 7 th next.That was carcass class .I'm not so sure how that would play out on the hoof  .

It's been ages since I bought any hanging beef .With only two people it would stay too long in the freezer .

Offline Roxie

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Re: Buying a cow/steer
« Reply #4 on: June 10, 2019, 01:28:57 PM »
What breed (or cross) are you thinking of buying?  There is a difference in meat quality, quantity and (also important) temperament within the breeds.  Since you are thinking hamburger, a Holstein steer would be a good choice because they are among the largest of the dairy breeds, and they have reasonable temperaments.  It would be a shame to pay a premium for the meat breeds if your not in it for the steaks and roasts.  Although, raised properly and finished on grain, a Holstein steer is mighty good eating on any cut. 
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Online Firewoodjoe

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Re: Buying a cow/steer
« Reply #5 on: June 10, 2019, 06:39:45 PM »
Ok thanks guys. I donít care what itís is. Iíve ate them all from jersey to herford to angus Holstein and ďcolored cattleĒ lol fry it with some ketchup itís great. Thanks again Iíll do some looking.

Offline Ianab

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30 months
« Reply #6 on: June 10, 2019, 07:02:11 PM »
If you are planning to slaughter at 18 months a Holstein X (Hereford or Angus?) heifer might be the way to go. A lot of the local farmers breed their replacement stock from their best cows via AI with good dairy bulls. The rest of the herd is crossed with a beef bulls, then the crossbred calves can be sold for fattening beefies. 

A Holstein steers get huge, but you really want about 30 months to really grow one. At 18 they are big tall lanky things. The crossbred heifers aren't as big, but they can be fattened up nicely by ~18 months, and are real good eating. 

We have the climate advantage here that cows can be grazed through the winter, with just a bit of extra hay to make up for the lack of grass growth over winter .
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