Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Beef We Eat

Me: So, what kind of beef are we eating? I mean, do we eat the mama cows that are too old to have babies anymore? Is that when you butcher them?
Him: No.
Me: So do we eat the steers?
Him: Yes.
Me: So what do you do with the mama cows? Do you just let them get old and die?
Him: No, we usually sell them. People still eat them, but we usually don't. That's probably what you are eating in McDonald's beef= Old cows and crippled cows.
Me: Yum.......So you raise the steers for beef? And then you sell them at their prime cause they have great meat on them?
Him: No, we don't raise them to sell them like that. We usually just raise the calves until they're weened and then we sell them to someone else to raise them to their prime. We keep a few for us, to raise for our own meat.
Me: Oh. So what about the bulls. Instead of neutering all your boy calves, do you keep some of them to raise as bulls, so they can reproduce.
Him: No, you have to have a good line.
Me: What do you mean a good line, like a good breed?
Him: No, like a good family line. There are people that just raise bulls.
Me: Oh, so then you buy some from a "good line" when you want your cows to reproduce.
Him: Yeah.
Me: How much is a bull?
Him: Oh anywhere between 1500 and 5000.
Me: Wow.....So how long do you keep those summer, a few summers?
Him: Oh, they last quite a while. But you want to rotate them. Otherwise they'd be coming back to breed with their own children.
Me: Oh...yeah, I didn't think about that.

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