From the City to the Country - Cows

Posted by Connie Gibson on 3rd Jan 2015

Who would have guessed that I would be living on a farm with cattle, goats and growing herbs?Life is awesome!

One of the things I have enjoyed is having the opportunity to grow out our own beef. I would never have thought this would be something I get excited about.We didn’t start this adventure into the country with cattle but I’m so glad we have them.

Discoveries about cattle along the way are numerous.They seem to have long memories and recognize each other.We can move some cows to other pastures, separating those who were raised together as babies, reunite them after a year or more and they seem to celebrate when that cow’s voice is heard again. I have seen them running to join each other with actual leaps in the process.

When babies are moved from their mom’s it is hard on both of them.Some of the cows (by the way a cow is a female that has had a calf) cry out for days calling for the calf and listening for the calf’s reply.The calves seem to adjust a bit quicker. We try to keep a small herd of the same age young ones together because they need each other.If we leave the calves with their mom to long, we have found many of the calves will continue to nurse way past what is required. So we must move them off of the cow mom.

A bull stays with our cows all of the time, allowing for the cattle to become pregnant quickly.If a calf continues to nurse and the cow is pregnant it causes stress to the momma cow.

Cows, heifers (a female that has not had a calf) and bulls will gather together in the evening at dusk and groom each other.I love being out in the pastures with the cattle at this time of day.

There is always a leader of the herd.Ours is number 19 and she is quite the talker.She is physically very large and very vocal.She will call out as if to say “We are changing pastures now” she will begin walking and everyone will follow along.

All of our cows are very docile so I feel so comfortable in the pastures. They are typically very curious animals and their curiosity will get the best of them, if your patient enough.I will stand very still in the pasture and some will come up very close to me to check me out, especially the young ones.As I stand there I will lift my arm slowing and one of them will get brave enough to come and lick my hand.That experience is not for everybody but I kind of like it. I like watching as the others, standing close behind but not brave enough to approach that close, react when I don’t move when licked.Then those shy ones will begin to approach. If I stand completely still, I will have them gathered all around. J

Occasionally, we will get one that can be aggressive; they don’t get to live on our farm.

So back to the beginning, best of all, we constantly have one being raised for our freezer. All of our cattle are grass fed only and they have plenty of property to graze. We do have to supplement hay in the winter but only hay.It is the best beef we’ve ever had not to mention the health benefits.Amazing!! We eat red meat now without concern or guilt because we know what went into the steer (a bull that has been neutered) and what the health benefits are.

If you get the opportunity to purchase a grass feed steer try to purchase it for processing.The processing of the meat will come to less than @2.00 a lb. At this price it is definitely worth buying a freezer for.