September 2019 steer in front of a 2018 steer. We harvest our 100% Grass-fed, Grass-finished cattle around 24 to 30 months in age, considerably older than the typical corn-fattened cattle, harvested around 15 to 20 months in age.
I really like fall calving. The cows are calving in great shape, as they’ve been grazing pasture all summer. The calves winter well, drinking their mother’s milk and eating hay. The cows eat all the hay they want out of feeders and my cows stay in good shape, despite the added stress of nursing a calf. The calves are weaned in May or June directly onto lush pastures and never seem to miss a beat.
My cattle never see the inside of a barn. When the weather turns extreme, I use straw or hay to make a bedding pack near a wind break. You can see the bedding pack in the bottom photo. Sometimes the edge of a calf’s ears will frostbite, but otherwise they handle the elements very well.
Check out the heavy winter hair coat the fall calves in the bottom photo exhibit. For some reason, they develop what looks like a heavier coat than the older cattle. They almost resemble Scottish Highland cattle in their shagginess.