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Questions About Feeding Grain to Beef Cattle

 
Posts: 88
Location: South Central Mississippi
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I don't have the acreage at the moment to do rotational grazing for beef cattle but yet I want home grown beef.

Here's my question . . .

If one is determined to obtain a calf and then use a grain based diet to bring that calf up to slaughter weight (figure 1000 lbs), what is the most permaculturally sound method of doing so?

Also, has anyone ever used a straight corn diet to fatten a steer? If so how did it work for you?

Lastly, has anyone here ever used pre-soaked/fermented corn and if so did you use it exclusively and what were your results?

Any other tips and advice on feeding a steer a grain based diet would be much appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your help.
 
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George Collins wrote:
If one is determined to obtain a calf and then use a grain based diet to bring that calf up to slaughter weight (figure 1000 lbs), what is the most permaculturally sound method of doing so?



Personally, I think you need to analyze the question a bit more. Why do you want home grow beef? It's a question I wrestle with every day!

What you propose is not possible via "permaculture techniques." People occasionally ask how you can grow a monocrop of corn using permaculture techniques. I don't think that's possible either.

I have 4 cows & for a variety of reason, I don't rotationally graze. I do feed hay though, which is what cows are designed to eat. I only feed corn as treat so that they will come if I shake a bucket in an emergency. I'm working towards a way to do this that is sound, permaculturally speaking, but I'm not there yet.
 
steward
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If grain is the only only choice, a local grain supplier might be a direction to pursue. Organic grain can be a hard to find local item but can be shipped to your door.
I had a small bull, a Lowline Black Angus keeping my back field mowed for 4 years until lightning took him this summer. Small breeds need considerably less space than a regular sized breed. They can be more expensive, but a Lowline can put on marbled beef on pasture alone. 2 acres kept him fat and happy most of the year. In the winter month he'd go through 3-4 round bales. I found a local guy who did not treat his hay field with any chemicals, I was happy to buy for just a few bucks more.

I always kept a sack of corn around in event of emergency. In 4 years I gave him 3, maybe 4 bags. He was short and black, and wanted the tall grass along the road. There are no streetlights on this road and the traffic goes pretty fast. This was a combination begging for an accident. I used the corn as bait to lure him back into the field when he broke through the fence until I figured out a leaf blower directed at his jewels will move him much faster.

In 2012 the Suwannee River flooded, rising to 85'. The water covered most of the back field leaving insufficient pasture to support the little guy. Just a little ways down the road is a grassy patch of field beside the electrical substation. I have a bagging mower for gathering grass and leaves for compost. I mowed the patch, kept him in fresh grass for a couple of weeks. He'd eat 9 wheelbarrels of grass clippings every day. If I can't take him to the pasture, I can bring the pasture to him.

 
George Collins
Posts: 88
Location: South Central Mississippi
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Cj Verde wrote:Why do you want home grow beef?



Taste!

 
Cj Sloane
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Taste is complicated! If you prefer grain fed beef (some people do) why do you think your grain fed beef will taste better than beef you could purchase? Around here, you can buy a whole or half on craig's list or farmers market at a pretty good price.

I raise mine because I want grass (hay) fed beef from a breed meant to be raised that way (Belted Galloway). Belties are lean yet well marbled. Also, I have mini-Belted Galloways which gives me a good amount of meat and I can still sell half. A full size cow would be too much meat.
 
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When feeding grains, watch out for acidiosis.
 
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