Thursday, July 23, 2009

Hand Raised Beef

Dances With Cow here updating my latest adventure in bovine slam-dancing. This time I ended up in the pit with Chuck. He likes to play. Just in case you don't remember (or never knew), Chuck Roast is our runty 14 month old Jersey steer. We bought him last summer for $15.00 with the idea that we could raise him on grass for very little and then eat him. He was only 4 weeks old when we got him, so he spent the first few months being bottle fed twice a day. He bonded with me. I guess I fill the role of mom and older herd mate. He likes my attention and he likes to play. Chuck lets you know he wants to play by nudging you in the leg. When he does this I whack him on the head and push him around a bit. Then I scratch behind his ears and give him some attention. He likes it and it has kept him easy to handle. Today I didn't give him enough attention and he still wanted to play. I was busy with the gate trying to get things set so the mob would go where I needed them with minimal effort. Chuck came up on my blind side and "nudged" me in the thigh. I think he put most of his 700+ lbs into the nudge. Fortunately he doesn't have horns, but it still left me limping. I whacked him on the nose and told him we were done. I don't know if we will be able to "play" any more. He is getting too big and too stupid.

Having a hand raised calf is great. He is easy to handle, and will be easy to take to the butcher. He will provide really good meet because he won't be totally stressed by the transport process. But you have to be careful...
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