Joined: Sun Aug 29, 2004 11:48 am Posts: 62 Location: Kemp,Texas
I am considering raising my own meat but am a definite Rookie.
I have 5 acres, 4 acres of grass and was wondering if that was enough land and also how much hay would I need to supplement if any. I would only be raising 1 or 2 and would rotate the calf to different areas of my property. Would it be economical to do so? Alot of the reason I wish to do this is learning how but I want to do as good a job as I can.
I am no expert - hopefully someone else will comment too. I started out raising goats and will be getting a few calves this coming spring maybe sooner. I believe you could easily raise 2 calves on 5 acres. And I would suggest doing atleast 2 and not 1. Animals do much better when they have a companion and someone else to compete with for feed, etc. Also, you can have 1 butchered for your family and sell the other to pay for processing.
On the hay. When do you plan to get your calves? Now or spring. And how old - are you going to have to bottle feed (they need milk for atleast 4 weeks & then feed/grain) or are they already weened? Do you have some winter grass planted? A round bale of hay would last a long time for 2 calves but it is much more economical for the animals to forage on their own rather than baling or buying hay.
I would suggest buying or going to the library to check out "Backyard Livestock" book they go through raising chickens, pigs, goats, beef, etc. And the book does a pretty decent job taking you from the ground up. But I don't agree with everything. I'll have to go reread the beef section - it's been a while. I am considering buying a couple of dairy bull calves on the cheap. What breed are you looking into?
Let's us know how you do and if you find a good deal on some calves.
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