|Enjoying their new grass...|
We bought our first two steers today. What an exciting event to go to the sale and bid for the first time. The breed we have chosen is a cross between a Red Angus cow and a Hereford Bull. Now, that being said, the first two we bought are red angus steers...and here is why. First of all we need the experience before we get more into a cow/calf operation like we would like to. Secondly, we need more cash. And thirdly, we want to be certain that this cross finishes out well on grass as we have been told and read. These red angus steers will be close enough taste wise. Actually, as far as the taste, I am told it is basically the same as black angus. Apparently the reason these crosses are better for the intensive grazing we plan to do, is because of the way they were bred originally, to finish on grass verses grain. Ok, now for the way we are going to raise them. We plan on rotating them daily in front of our chickens. It is called mob grazing. Basically, you give however many cows you have enough grass for a 24 hour period, enough meaning: 60% eaten, 30% trampled and 10% left. This is a model that we found in our research, done by Greg Judy. I believe that Joel Salitin does this as well, although I am not sure if he rotates them daily or not. Either way, these intensive, rotational grazing methods not only eliminate the need for hay ( in our area), but it quickly builds the topsoil while growing some of best meat you can eat. The cows also live a much happier life, and they are much more tame. We will be rotating our milk cows in a similar manner, but we will bring them to the barn area at night so that they will stay tame for milking. This is going to be an exciting year!
|Area to the left grazed, area to the right ungrazed...|