If I started to raise Angus beef cattle for food do I need to milk the cow's and do I have to have a bull?

My husband and I are thinking about becoming more self sufficient and want to raise cow's for meat for our consumption only. We don't want cows that we have to milk because well I have Lactose problems and we have decided to raise goats for milk. Also to get more cows do I have to have a bull or is there in- vitro for cow's? Is it expensive? What is the best age to slaughter a cow? Is there a difference in taste from female to males? Thank you so much I have so many questions!

12 Answers

  • Anonymous
    9 years ago
    Best Answer

    Angus are beef cattle, not dairy cattle. So you do not need to milk the cows or anything like that, since when they have a calf, the calves are enough to "milk them out" without worrying about having any leftover milk that you will have to milk out.

    If you are wanting to raise "cows" for meat consumption only, don't waste your time trying to find any cows (mature female bovines that have had a calf) or heifers (female bovines that have not had a calf) to make a breeding herd. You're better off buying a couple of steers (castrated male bovines) to keep the grass down and have butchered later on.

    Cows and heifers take a lot of management. They need to be bred to calve once a year, and raise a calf for 6 to 10 months, then you have to decide what should be done with that calf once weaned. The cows themselves need to be bred a couple months after they've calved so that they will produce a calf next year. Cows tend to eat twice as much as a couple of weaned steers bought from the auction mart, which means, depending on how much available grazing land you have, you may have to be buying and feeding hay for a big portion of the year (and that's certainly not being self-sufficient!)

    You DO NOT need a bull. If you only have 2 cows, AI (artificially inseminate) them. Having a bull is much to costly to own, as he is worth half of your herd, and will be most likely trying to escape from your fences if he smells a neighbor's cow in heat. A bull takes a lot of good feed and good management to keep in shape for breeding, and it's not worth it when you only have 2 cows. By the way, one bull is capable of breeding up to 50 cows in one breeding season. Artificial insemination is a hell of a lot less expensive than the costs of keeping a bull, I'll tell you that!

    Age isn't really important in determining when a "cow" can be slaughtered. Cows (like the mature bovine one I mentioned earlier) get slaughtered when they are no longer productive to a breeding herd, which can range from 2 to over 20 years of age. The meat from cows is so strong that it's better off being made into ground beef or sausage. Bulls that also are no longer productive, or are too aggressive to be kept in the herd, are also slaughtered between the ages of 2 to 10 years of age, and are also turned into ground beef or hamburger because often the beef is too strong-tasting to be used for steaks or roasts.

    As far as steers, young bulls and heifers are concerned, most are slaughtered when they reach between 1000 and 1400 lbs. Angus are a early-maturing breed (or, they reach maturity earlier than other breeds), making them able to lay on more fat at an earlier age than other breeds like Simmental or Charolais. The best age to slaughter Angus steers is when they are around 14 months of age, or when they start to lay fat down on their bodies.

    Weaned steers (ones that are around 6 months of age and weigh between 500 and 600 lbs) should be fed a forage-based diet of grass and hay for around 6 to 8 months. In the last few weeks before they are slaughtered (and reach a target weight of around 1100 to 1200 lbs), they should be given around 20 to 25 lbs of grain per day. Rolled oats or cracked corn is the best, and they should also be able to have free-choice hay and/or grass along with the grain. The grain is to help put more marbling on the meat, and make it more juicier and flavorful. But if you choose to fatten the steers on grass, it will take a lot longer for them to reach their target weight. Most grass-fed cattle are slaughtered when they reach between 20 and 24 months of age.

    Since you folks are small-time hobby-type farmers, a steer fattened up to 1200 lbs is good enough for you. The carcass weight of a slaughtered steer is often 50% of its live weight. So, a 1200 lb steer may yield around 600 lbs of meat, more than enough to keep you happy for a good year or two. If you get both steers slaughtered at the same time, you will have at least 1200 lbs of beef in the freezer.

    Source(s): Raised steers, had some butchered for own freezer
  • 4 years ago

    You don t need to milk a angus cow. Yes you do need a bull if you want to have a calf that you can make into beef. The right age to beef a calf would be a 1 year and half. And it sounds like your way to far over your head raising cattle is alot of work you pretty much have done it your whole life

  • MAM
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Angus Cattle are Beef....No milking involved. Your least expensive option is to buy a young steer ( a yearling) at the local Livestock auctions ( held weekly / bi weekly call your local Farm Extension Service for more Information..in the phone book under "State" ) and fatten him up for a few months.....( buy him in the spring & butcher in the fall ) then send him to a local Butcher. Unless you are going to butcher him yourself. To keep a few cows for breeding would be much more costly, because you will feeding them 24 / 7 ( hay is expensive in the winter ) & paying for the AI (artificial Insemination) & all the annual Vet bill$ ...AND..You most certainly do not want a bull on the property. No taste difference between the sexes...but there is in age. Old cattle make good hamburger only, the young ones have the steaks & roasts that you want.

  • 9 years ago

    If you only want to raise the animal for meat, then you can leave the calves with the cows, and they will take care of the milking. That is what the cows are making milk for anyway.

    A point of terminology: in-vitro is test-tube. Cows are typically fertilized through artificial insemination, where a dose of semen from a bull is injected with a syringe in the cow's uterus. This is actually how most cows that are kept for milk production are fertilized anyway, which reduce the need to keep bulls around in farms.

    The average cattle will yield about 500 lb of meat. While it is nice to look at being self-sufficient, do you have the facility to keep a quarter ton of meat, that you can only consume over the course of several months (unless you have a huge family)?

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  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

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    If I started to raise Angus beef cattle for food do I need to milk the cow's and do I have to have a bull?

    My husband and I are thinking about becoming more self sufficient and want to raise cow's for meat for our consumption only. We don't want cows that we have to milk because well I have Lactose problems and we have decided to raise goats for milk. Also to get more cows do I have to have a...

    Source(s): started raise angus beef cattle food milk 39 bull: https://biturl.im/eFRYA
  • 9 years ago

    for angus, which are beef cattle, you do not need to milk the cows because the calves need to drink that milk to grow healthy and strong. Dairy calves are just thrown to the side to die if they're not wanted.

    There is artificial insemination, in which you purchase the semen from a bull, the vet comes out when the cow is ovulating, which is sometimes hard to detect, and the vet puts the semen into the cow. sometimes the cow won't take the first time and you have to try again, which costs for that can add up. the best thing to do if you decide to breed angus cattle, is to find a neighboring farm that is willing to breed your few cows for you, since it's not practical to keep a bull for 2 cows.

    the optimum age for butchering they say is between 13 and 24 months of age, but right around 18 ish months is good. when you finish an animal out, you want to build up their grain intake to get the meat on them. it's complicated to explain, and it always depends on the animal.

    males aren't supposed to taste different from females, but females, you normally want to keep for replacements or to build up your herd, steers-casterated males- you eat, and bulls are for breeding.

    if you have more questions you can ask me. I know my stuff. I've got a beef ranch and I show beef cattle in 4-H.

    Source(s): shown beef cattle in 4-H for 4 years. won multiple 1st,2nd,and 3rd places in showmanship and in market. along with 2 beef carcass contests, best rate of gain and a bunch of stuff. and I have owned my own ranch for 5 years.
  • ROD S
    Lv 6
    9 years ago

    As you only want meat for personal consumption, I would buy a couple of young bullocks (castrated male cattle) at a cattle auction. Breeding cattle can become very expensive: stock-proof fencing and winter shelter, feed, straw (bedding) and hay, plus cattle cake and pellets (winter feed), vet fees, and so on. You also need to consider whether you or your husband will be able to face sending an animal you have bred and raised to slaughter - it's not always an easy thing to do!

  • 3 years ago

    Angus Steer

  • Jay L
    Lv 7
    9 years ago

    Raising cattle is a major undertaking.

    Your best bet is to go to a local farmer and buy a steer (look it up). Then pay him to feed the steer until it is about 1000 pounds. Then have it butchered.

    Source(s): used to be in the cattle industry
  • 9 years ago

    Angus cattle go to slaughter before they are old enough to have a calf, so the milk aspect doesn't arise!

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