February 4, 2018
Winter 2018, mild, mostly frozen, animals and people doing well. Above is one of the hogs exploring, and below are some of the cattle resting on their bedding pack, with hogs exploring at the left of the frame.
I wrote that last week. Winter has decided to come back hard in February, with below zero wind chills and several inches of snow last night, February 3rd.
Thank you to everyone who has purchased meat, or boxes, or halves, this winter. Your business is appreciated.
I added several new products, (Brats-links and patties, Breakfast sausage patties, Cottage Bacon, Canadian Bacon, Ham Hocks).
I also tweaked the Classic Pork boxes. Check them out and let me know if something interests you.
I am farrowing several litters in one of the hoop barns with farrowing huts. The sows get to choose which hut to farrow in, and also make their own nest inside the huts.
When it is this cold, I never have any trouble with a sow choosing to farrow outside of a hut, which can be a problem in the warmer months of the year.
I haven’t lost many piglets, even though its been colder than I would prefer, (below 20 F).
Except for one very big Landrace sow who chose to carry way too much bedding into her hut and farrowed on a very cold night. All her piglets died. My theory is whereas the other sows made a nest with at least a little room for the piglets to nurse, see photo below, this sow was so big with so much bedding, the piglets were simply unable to start nursing due to lack of room.
Leave a Comment » | Curious cattle, Curious hogs, Curious meat, Curious weather | Tagged: beef, cattle, hogs, meat, pork | Permalink
Posted by Curiousfarmer
June 19, 2009
Large hogs enjoying their last days on an alfalfa/grass pasture.
Are you purchasing pastured meats for your health? Or are you more concerned that the animals are free-range?
Free-range is great fun for livestock. But without careful management, a pasture can quickly become a dirt lot, and the health benefits that come from eating quality pasture will disappear.
If you are purchasing pastured meats for your health, and want to verify that the animals are getting the majority of their nutrients from pasture, then there is one sure way to know. Observe the animals’ manure.
This is the picture of hog manure from one of the hogs pictured above. It is almost as green as cattle manure and contains less grain than the hog manure pictured below, which is from a hog receiving no pasture or forage.
Now that you have this knowledge, I’m sure most of you won’t use it. And I don’t blame you. The joke in the movie, “Tommy Boy,” is, “You can stick your head up a steer’s ass to find out how good the steaks are; but wouldn’t you rather take the butcher’s word for it?” I’m guessing most of you would rather take the farmer’s word for it, too.
I also have two nice pictures of contrasting cattle manure. If anyone is interested, comment or email.
3 Comments | Curious direct-market, Curious hogs, Curious meat | Tagged: beef, direct-market, education, manure, pastured meat, pork | Permalink
Posted by Curiousfarmer
March 1, 2009
You want to buy beef, in bulk, direct from a farmer. What should you expect? Here is a link to beef carcass cutout charts.
A carcass is cut in half and then can be further divided into front and rear quarters. The front quarter has more hamburger and roasts. The rear quarter has more of your higher value steaks and will cost more per pound.
There is a better way to divide a beef carcass, though. Ask for a half of a half. You’re still buying a quarter, but you are buying half of the front quarter and half of the rear quarter. That way you get some of all the cuts.
I will detail the breakdown of a quarter I sold to my sister recently. The steer weighed 925 lbs. His hot carcass weight was 500 lbs. The hot carcass weight is what is left after skinning and the head and guts are removed. This is the weight we use to figure our price. We charge $2 per lb. so that makes the steer worth $1000.
My sister received a half of a half or a quarter. This is what she received in individual cuts: 33 lbs. hamburger, 4 lbs. rolled rump roast, 2 lbs. liver, 5 lbs. tenderized round steak, 6 lbs. sirloin steak, 5 lbs. cube steak, 6 lbs. chuck roast, 6 lbs. arm roast, 8 lbs. t-bone steak, 6 lbs. rib steak. Total weight of packaged meat equals 81 lbs.
This is a typical cutting order for beef. Our butcher charged $83 for this quarter. There are many variations and different cuts that could have been requested. It is an asset to have an experienced butcher in our community.
The total cost for the quarter is $333. $83 to the butcher and $250 to the farmer. My sister received 81 lbs. in packaged meat, so her cost per lb. is $4.11.
If you have any questions, please comment or email.
Leave a Comment » | Curious direct-market, Curious meat | Tagged: beef, direct-market, food, meat | Permalink
Posted by Curiousfarmer