Monday, January 30, 2017

Filling Our Freezer...

Every once in a while, we have a cow that won't settle (get pregnant), so we breed her artificially to an Angus bull instead of a Holstein.  If we're lucky, we get a bouncing baby bull calf from her about ten months later.

If we're lucky, after the vet pays him a visit to make him into a steer, he continues to stay healthy and grow until he's about eighteen months old. The healthy part can get a little tricky in the winter when the heifer pens (where he lives) are crowded and the temperatures fluctuate up and down. Just like in elementary school, germs get passed around from animal to animal. Several times over the years we've intended to raise a steer, only to send him to market early because of over crowding and respiratory viruses.

Luckily, this year we successfully filled our freezer with half a steer.  The rest went to some family and friends...

Over 150 lbs of ground beef, another 50+ lbs of roasts, chipped beef, dried beef and jerky...

It's actually bittersweet.  We are not hard and calloused and uncaring about having one of our animals butchered!  But...we need to eat, and knowing that the meat we are eating is from an animal that was healthy and well cared for helps.  After a while you learn that you have to distance yourself. The first time we did this, three of us were in tears, and the other wasn't hungry at lunch time!


  1. Most people are completely separated from the reality of where their food comes from. At least you know how this one was raised, what it was fed, the conditions it lived in. I like the square burgers. The butcher we go to does burgers like that too. It makes me feel like I'm eating at Wendy's. -Jenn

    1. I can hardly bring myself to buy beef at the store, because of that very reason! I was surprised by the square burgers, but if they taste like Wendy's, we'll be happy! :)

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  3. Someone once told me their beef had 18 months of good days followed by one bad day. That's the best we can do.

  4. My Uncle Marcus milked Holsteins. Once a year,we would go out to the food locker and pick up a side of beef and then my dad would cut it up in our basement, piece by piece. My sister and I would "help". We ate out of that basement freezer for months.

  5. Like you said it is bittersweet.

  6. It is hard but its life. I think the first time is the hardest. Pretty soon you get passed it. It is nice to see that full freezer.

  7. Raising your own food is the best part of farm life. Even if its bitter sweet!


  8. All my 4-H steers were named black, red, or yellow for a reason. My sister showed heifers.

  9. Part of raising animals and crops. But it's a little easier to put the crops in the freezer.


I enjoy hearing what you have to say! Thanks for your comments!