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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 10:03 am 
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Location: Hubbard,TEXAS
We are in the process of fencing/cross-fencing for smaller paddocks, and
we are selling off our cross-bred cows. We want to but goats as soon as the fencing is complete. Then we plan to start a herd of quality, grass-fed
beef. Our plan is to sell to individuals...Along with veggies & eggs.

The goats are needed to clear an area of briars, etc. And to sell. What kind of goat is best and where can we get them?

Also, with the cattle--what's recommended and where can we get grass-fed? My thinking is Red Angus. I know Black is all the rage, but I think
Texas is too hot in the summer for black cows.

Thanks,

Pat


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 3:19 pm 
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I'm curious to see what replies you get! I want to look at raising some meat goats... especially if there's a market for organic cabrito.

NPR's Morning Edition ran a story on meat goats in Georgia just this morning. Apparently, we in this country are the only ones in the world who aren't just absolutely hooked on goat meat! Here's the link to the audio file:

Ga. Farmers See Increased Demand for Goat Meat
http://www.npr.org/templates/story/stor ... Id=4522366
Morning Edition, March 4, 2005 · Emily Kopp of Georgia Public Broadcasting reports that America's growing immigrant population is pushing a demand for goat meat and some farmers are moving to take advantage. Outside of the United States, goat meat is very popular and an American farmer can raise seven goats on the land it takes to raise a single cow.

There's also a link to a recipe for Jerked Goat on the NPR site.


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PostPosted: Fri Mar 04, 2005 11:19 pm 
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Somewhere I found a link to Texas agricultural history where they talked about the Spanish clearing the land with goats. A year after they started the goats they added cattle on a 1:1 ratio with the goats. The goats they used are now called Spanish goats. I'm not sure what that means.

Regarding the type of cattle to raise, I'd go to the auctions and feed lots to find out which cattle fetch the highest price. If one is selling for 20 cents higher than all the rest, then you should know what to get. I've seen lots bigger spreads than 20 cents.

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PostPosted: Tue Mar 08, 2005 4:30 pm 
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What is wrong with keeping the cross bred cows? Get a small bull and breed down right? Also why, if a person intends to raise grass-fed meat, would we care what price they fetch at auction?

Why would it matter what color they are? Buffalo are shaggy, near black grazers that roamed all over the plains. Doesn't nutrition matter more? People who eat a raw, organic, no suger, ect. diet supposedly have a high tolerance for cold and heat. I realize if I buy into that theory then eating better would probably make Texas summers more enjoyable. :)

Speaking of cold and heat in animals. Doesn't a larger animal have a harder time cooling off but easier time staying warm. Is this why deer in the north are larger than Texas deer?

What are the established grass fed producers raising? I have seen Burgundy Pasture Beef cows right before slaughter. They were black, medium sized cattle.

Thinking, thinking, thinking (bad idea I know),
Pam

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 Post subject: grass fed livestock
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 4:20 am 
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Location: Whitesboro,TX
There are kinds of stuff to bring up on this topic.
Stay away from Bremmers - they may tolerate
heat but they don't taste very good.
As far as I can see black or red doesn't mattter.
We have mini Herefords and mini Lowline Angus. I
have also been around mutant large cows in the
past. They all hide in the trees during the hot part
of the day and eat in AMand evening. You almost
never see them breed as they do it in the dark.

We had the greatest tasting cows with tenderness
genes and marbling genes that produced all the
good meat on grass - in other words grass eating
machines. Then along came the 60's and everyone
was convenced that bigger was better and out
crossing was good. We brought in mutant from
Europe or where ever and we destroyed the
genes. We had land grant colleges advising out
cross (farmers didn't realize that the schools were
being paid by feed lots and processors for their
own needs and wants) and the farming community
goose stepped in line. If one out cross was good
for a F! then outcrossing with a different bull each
generation must be better. They didn't realize that
with each out crossing the genes began to disappear.
By the 5th out crossing even fertility disappeared.

If 20% of the cattle have genes for tenderness,
marbling, and finishing on grass it would be outstanding.
Is it any wonder that there is so many bergers
today - the meat is so tough it has to be ground up.
The mutants only finish on grain. If you put them
out on grass you are going to have a bad product -
as a lot of the grass fed beef is today.
There are a few breeders that still have grass fed
genetics but not many.
Jim Lentz - line bred Herefords. He and his family
have not changed course in over 50 to 80 years.
Line breeding produces quality tasting beef. Kit
Pharo produces quality tasting doing cattle - black,
red and mixed. Gerold Frye is involved with a red
cow breed that is supposed to be very good. We
have miniature Herefords that have been line bred
and do very good. The best are Lowline Angus from
"down under". We have tested and we have the DNA
for tenderness and marbling. Our animals finish
choice on grass, and the meat can be cut with a fork
on some cuts. We produce more more meat per acre
and more better cuts per acre.

Assume that you had a perfect acre of grass and you
put a mutant steer on it. He might finish at about 1100
pounds. On the rail he will probably be 600 lbs. On that
same 1 acre you could finish 3 Lowline Angus steers
that weigh about 750 lbs and on the rail they will be
(they also finish at 20 to 24 months as opposed to
30 to 36 months) about 1125 total weight. Out of the
mutant we get one set of steaks - t-bone, porterhouse,
round, etc, but out of the three mini Angus steers we
get 3 of everything. In other words we have more
premium beef that has grass genes for quality. You
do the math.

I could add more but this is enough for now. In summary
buy short legged cows that are line bred and been on
grass. The more daylight between the ground and their
bellies the worse the meat. If you want quality food
product do DNA testing and ultra sound for tenderness
and stay out of feed lots. Price doesn't matter, quality
does matter - it is everything.

Goats

We bought goats this past year to clear some new land
and to offer another grass (really brush fed) product.
We choose a spanish cross - about 80% spanish and
20 % Boer. I don't want Boers. They are a lot like
mutant cows and breeders in this country are going
down the same road. They want a big baby for the
market and they brag about 90 to 100 lb males for
slaughter. They feed these critters grain (theres goes
your grass fed Omega III, etc) and brag about there
weight. They don't tell you that these suckers can only
breed about 15 to 20 does - any more will kill them.
They don't don't tell you that you have to pull babies
or the they will die.

The spanish we have are bred to have twins to quads
after their first season. The males will weigh about 65
lbs per animal but at that weight they are producing
130 to 195 lbs (triplets) each year. A male that can't
breed 75 does + in a breeding season goes on the
meat truck. Females that can't deliver naturally goes
on the meat truck. If a female has twins and does not
feed them both she is on the meat truck. We will
supplement quads.

The problem with cows and goats that are quality you
are going to pay. You can hardly find Lowline Angus
and when you do you will pay - heifers are about
$5000. + , bulls about $3500. But lowline has a
breeding up program for pure breds - get a good
bull and cross him on cows that have angus - find
the shortest legs that look like somewhat like our
older breeds. Keep the females and eat the steers -
sell them. The 1/2 s, 3/4 and the 7/8 bring good
money (female). Start selling them and buy fullbloods.

The goats are also hard to find. You want to by from
a closed herd to avoid STD's and you want the genes
for health, fertility, no delivery problems, and
disposition (if I had a male that butted me, he is on
the meat truck. There is probably not a male worth
over $750 if you expect them to earn their keep with
almost no problems.

Now the bad news is finding the animals I have
described. I am not writing this to sell animals - I
don't have any for sale.

You can't get a silk purse out of a sows ear. Are
you willing to spend the bucks to have a first rate
product or do you want to be like everyone else - using
an inferior product and trying to make a quality
product out of junk?

What do you want to put your name on?
Robert D Bard


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 Post subject: Livestock
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 8:44 am 
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Location: Hubbard,TEXAS
Robert,

Thanks for the info. It confirms my thinking. Pharo is having a bull sale in April...he said a good Red Angus would run $3000-$4000. And probably another $500 to go get it.

Have you tried AI? Would that be a way to get what's needed, cheaper?
Don't want to do it this way, but...

Pat - Central TX


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 Post subject: grass fed livestock
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 12:19 pm 
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AI would be a lot cheaper. Buy the straws and find a good tech or vet and then send the straws to them. Find short stocky cows and breed them. If you want to make money - quality tasting with tenderness and worth some value for breeding stock and sales,- you need to do lowlines. This will set you apart in the market place. As good as Kit's cows are, they are just red or black to most red necks.
Robert D Bard


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 Post subject: Lowline
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 1:22 pm 
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I was shocked at the price of lowline Angus cows. Other than dairy cattle, I was of the opinion cows were cheaper than bulls. But maybe not!

pakin


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 Post subject: Lowline Angus
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 8:09 pm 
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As expensive as lowline Angus are, I'm sure they're not being sold for meat. Do the DNA/ultra sound tests confirm the tenderness, quality and taste of the meat?

How do we know this isn't similar to the Emu craze? Sorry, I've got to ask.

pakin


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 Post subject: grass fed livestock
PostPosted: Sun Mar 13, 2005 9:43 pm 
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For one thing these are cows not birds. People
are not going to eat Emu or any other bird on a
large scale.
The question is "If the gov does away with
subsidized grain where will the grass fed genetics
come from" ? Also if grass fed really takes off
how long will the public put up with the poor
quality beef that we have had for the last 30
years?
All line bred smaller cows produce better
quality meat. Lowlines have the DNA and
genetics to up grade all cows. Do you get
"Stockman Grass Farmer"? There was a letter
from a friend - Gene Kantuck - in Idaho about
all the ultra sound tests that have been done
to confirm what I have said. Also another
friend and I pulled DNA tests in 03 on Herefords
and Lowlines All the Herefords had one star or
more on tenderness. The Lowline had 2 stars
on tenderness and 1 star on marbling. No one
is going to eat a fullblood Lowline unless he is
passing some trait that needs to be terminated.
But people are eating 1/2, 3/4 and 7/8 bulls. You
would not eat the females. A 1/2 female brings
about $1500.00 and the price goes up for the
others. I am into this for paying off my land
and one more income stream after I leave
the office.
If the cattle industry ever wakes up, where
will the genes come from? These mutants
can't cut it - no pun intended. The Lowline
grades choice on grass - not many others
will do that.
If you are buying semen and paying a vet
or tech (which is the cheapest way to get
started) for their work, why not start at the
top and end up with a great piece of meat
and a registered animal. The investment is
the same, but the profit possibilities are
drastically different.
Robert D Bard


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 Post subject: Lowline Angus
PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 7:57 am 
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Robert, thanks I needed to hear that to help me make a decision. I've located a lowline Angus in central OK. The owner doesn't have enough land to carry enough cows to keep him happy. So she's offering him at what I feel is a reasonable price. It takes courage to do something different...

Good luck on retiring to the farm.

pakin


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 14, 2005 8:07 am 
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Location: Hubbard,TEXAS
P.S. Yes, I do take the Stockman Grass Farmer. I come from a long line of South TX cattlemen where the thinking was that Brahmas make the best mammas. I've been trying to educate myself, going to organics, etc.

pakin


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 Post subject: Lowline Angus
PostPosted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 8:39 am 
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Location: Hubbard,TEXAS
Robert,

Just wanted you to know I've committed to the purchase of a Lowline Angus bull. We'll pick him up in central OK in 3-4 weeks. Where can I get insurance on breeding stock?

Thanks,

Pat Akin


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 Post subject: grass fed live stock
PostPosted: Thu Mar 17, 2005 3:11 am 
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Location: Whitesboro,TX
There is a good company in FW that we have used
for our Lowlines. I am going out of town for a seminar
until Sunday night. If I don't remember to get info
when I get back, send me a reminder on Monday.
My wife has all the numbers and stuff filed. This
company has been very easy to work with. I have
not had any claims but a friend that refered me
said they were good to work with on claims.
Robert D Bard


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