The first time we raised a full-blood dairy steer as beef, we raised him for two years. Reuben was 100% Jersey, raised 5 months on milk (3-4+ gallons per day), then transitioned to 100% pasture diet for the summer time and alfalfa/grass mix hay in the winter months. He never had grain a day in his life..
The picture (below) is of a cut of steak from Reuben. Check out the bright, healthy red color! We thought the meat was delicious!
We cut our meat extra lean, so you can keep more fat on for cooking if you prefer. (We’d rather have it for soap making…) The fat is bright white, not tinged yellow at all, like they say Jersey meat can get…
Now, our calves are most often born in the fall, raised on excess milk and skim milk (the heavy cream is used for buttermaking) throughout winter. By early summer, the steers are able to pasture and if we have extra milk, we keep them on milk as long as possible for best weight gain. (Milk will fatten a calf faster and healthier than grain, though many use grain because in the past it has tended to be comparatively cheaper than milk.)
Winter is our most labor-intensive season, and by only having young calves in winter months and butchering before their next winter, we are able to keep our labor and outside costs (purchasing hay) to a minimum.
Because we process our own meat, everything is boned out. We end up with around 100# of meat, plus lots of bones to supplement the dog’s winter ration, and sometimes a little bit of tallow (a couple pounds, once rendered – young Jerseys tend not to have a lot of excess fat like a two year old animal would).
Below is a filet from our 11 month old Jersey steer. We feel like royalty when we have a meal like this!