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I don't own any cows but would like to in the couple of years. Do you butcher steers or? Are steers banded bulls? Heefers are females that will be milker and the birthing cow? How long does it take to fatten up the cow you want to butcher? At what age do you start fattening them up? I am really considering the mini cow breads. I would prefer to raise the heritage mini breeds. Any feedback back would be great. Thank you in advance.
 

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Wow! That's a lot of questions! Ok I'll give it a few minutes and my best shot. :D We have raised our own beef here for a long time. Yes a steer is a neutered bull, usually done early in life. A heifer is a young cow before she has her first calf. After that she is a cow. We usually only butcher the steers because the females are valuable as breeders and as long as they are doing that job they get to stick around. We like to raise our steers to be 18 months old or so before we butcher them, but sometimes we go to almost two years. Ours are usually born in January and butchered August (because of hunting season...our processor will only butcher game animals from August to February so we go in early.) However, when we cut them ourselves, we will keep them through fall, using the pasture until it is gone, and then butchering. We like our beef grass fed (it is leaner) but for the last couple of months they may get some grain if it looks like they need it. We have mostly bred our few cows, not because it is cost effective, but because we love our cows. If you want to raise beef it may be better to buy weaned steers from a breeder or at the sale and raise them up to butcher weight, because feeding cows is expensive too! Usually a producer can feed more inexpensively and so the cost of a weaned steer from them is a better value than breeding and raising your own. I have no experience with the mini breeds so I can't help you out there! :) Good luck! Hope it works out for you!
 

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I don't own any cows but would like to in the couple of years.

Do you butcher steers or?
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Yes, you can butcher anything. Bulls are normally not used because of the testosterone hormone making the meat taste "off". Cows aren't normally used unless down or cull cows. Steers are typically extra bulls without a "job".

Are steers banded bulls?
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You can knife, band, or burdizzo bulls. And yes, they are called steers.

Heefers are females that will be milker and the birthing cow?
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Heifers are referred to animals under 2nd lactation. Heifers are from birth till their second baby in better words.

How long does it take to fatten up the cow you want to butcher?
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We raise our meat animals to between 800-1000#. Usually takes a year to a year and a half.

At what age do you start fattening them up?
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Right away. You keep meat animals on full feed. Ideally milk for as long as possible to maximize growth, and grain every day. Good quality hay.

I am really considering the mini cow breads. I would prefer to raise the heritage mini breeds. Any feedback back would be great. Thank you in advance.
In your scenario I would go with a Dexter or Dutch Belted (Galloway). They are smaller, with both meat and milk qualities.

All other answers are above.
 

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We have a dairy farm of about 200 head and down the road there is a mini jersey farm of about 30 head. They raise their mini jerseys in really about only 2 or 3 acres. Depending on the weight u want ur cows to be in and what you're fattening them up for. Regular size feeder calves take only bout 4 months to fatten up to where if u sold it it would bring about $400 depending on the market. I live in illinois. Where 3 day old calves go for $130. But like others have said the longer you fatten up your steer the more it will weigh. Around here a 1 year old steer will bring around $1000
 

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We raise a varied of breeds, but if your looking for a mini or something smaller another option is the Lowline Angus. Registered/Purebred stock average in height only up to 44 inches for the larges but can weigh anywhere from 900lbs-1300lbs. Extremely docile, easy to work with and no trouble calving.

If you want to go on the crazy side of mini you could try a mini zebu or mini zebu cross...but those are REAL small. Or a Yak Cross (we have those) they are super fun and smart and the meat is super lean...even though the actual animal is real goofy looking.
 

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O here is one more of this particular cross with her first calf. Mom is next to a pony so you can kinda get an idea on size.

People find these extremely odd but they are fun to raise. The cow was bred to a lowline angus bull and the calves average 40lbs. They eat half as much as regular cow and they are more disease resistant.
 

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I grew up on a beef farm. We raise ours and butcher likeused2bmimi, but we grain feed. I personally don't like the taste of grass fed. There is a big difference. Once they are weaned, they stay in the barn and are grain fed until about 18 mos.
 
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