Question about feed and butchering two Jersey steers : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I am raising two jersey steers now. They are 11 weeks old now. One is more calm and friendly than the other. I wonder if the nice one will taste better. Both were bought at auction at three weeks of age and came home with a bad case of scours. After treatment they are both fine. What age or weight would be good for butchering them? Also, what is a good amount of food to feed them. Right now they get all the first cut mixed orchard grass hay they can eat and about two pounds of 34% beef pellets mixed with a little 12% sweat feed to add taste apeal.

-- Gary Morstadt (, December 30, 2001


To start with after you put a bunch of feed in a jersey you still don't have much. There is several larger dairy breeds that would do a lot better on a lot less feed.

-- Mel Kelly (, December 30, 2001.

I have to disagree. An animal eats proportionate to it's size. We've raised several breeds for meat, and as I stated in a previous post, the Jersey meat we just brought home is the best I've ever tasted. We will continue to raise Jerseys for our meat for this reason alone. The ideal slaughter weight is around 860 pounds, and you should be able to achieve this weight in around 18 months. Ours was 15 months. I think hanging weight on ours was around 550 lbs. We split the steer with family, so came home with around 200 lbs of meat. This is a much more reasonable amount for many homesteaders. There was an article in Countryside recently that addressed the suitability of the different breeds, including dairy breeds, for meat.

-- Joe (, December 30, 2001.

I believe Mel was talking about feed efficiency and not about the quantity or quality of the Jersey meat. The Jersey animal is a very tender animal. Only a few beef breeds, like the Wagyu, are more tender on average than the Jersey. The Jersey meat will have yellow fat which is objectionable to some. Feed efficiency is the biggest weakness of Jersey steers. On average, the Jersey and Guernsey are the worst bovine animals when it comes to feed efficiency. Most quality beef animals can make 5-7 pounds of ration into 1 lb. of gain. On average, Jersey and Guernsey steers require 11-15 lbs. of ration to 1 pound of gain. One advantage of Jersey steers is that they can be purchased very cheaply. A local breeder will give them away in winter or knock them in the head because the require so much work.

-- Dr. Charles Weiss (, December 30, 2001.

You got it Dr. Charles. If you are going to go to the effort get the most out of it you can and the best quality.

-- Mel Kelly (, December 30, 2001.

Sorry I forgot to mention that I feed the above mentioned rations twice a day. Is that too much at 11 weeks or not enough? Also, a strange thing happened last night. After feeding I spread some fresh straw in their stalls they both were scraching at it and spinning and bucking around. Generaly acting very funny. I stood there watching for a while when one came up to me sniffing my glove. He acted like he was going to mount my arm. That's when I realized I still had the gloves on from the cow butchering I had just returned from. I guess the blood scent got on the straw. Do you think they were scared of the blood or turned on by the scent of a women. BTW they were both banded on Thanksgiving. Also, I keep them seperated in two different stalls because they have been trying to nurse off each other since they were 3 weeks. They have been weaned for about 4 weeks now.

-- Gary Morstadt (, December 31, 2001.

Gary: Several years ago a neighbor asked if he could hang a deer in my garage to chill. Apparently the wind was blowing towards the back pasture because my bull came up to the garage and started bellowing almost continuous. I though he was about to come through the fence, so had to have the neighbor find another place to hang it. The bull must of smelled the blood and got upset by it.

-- Ken S. in WC TN (, January 01, 2002.

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