Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Raising or Buying Beef
Over the years, we have purchased several feeder steers from our neighbor who raises beef cows. We buy them at about 500 pounds and raise them on our pastures until they are finished.
With our sheep numbers growing and work that needs to be done on our pastures, the last two years we have opted to purchase finished steers from the same neighbor, instead of raising our own. We choose to use a local, reputable meat processor for the butchering of the steer.
There are many benefits to buying a steer.
1) Money Savings
We save money when we buy a steer (half/whole) over buying it by the package at the local food markets, especially the more expensive cuts of meat.
2) Better Quality
When we buy or raise our own meat, it has always been superior to what we have found at our local markets.
3) Supporting local farms
I like to know where my food comes from and how it has been raised. When we raise our own, I know exactly how the livestock is treated and what it has been eating. If I can't raise it, I like to support the local farmer who can. Our neighboring farmer, raises steers that are fed primarily on pastures/grass, which is what we prefer. I also know he can use my hard earned dollars, more than the local grocery.
I always find it interesting when I read post in homesteading groups that declare, if you don't raise it or butcher it yourselves, you shouldn't eat it. I have a different mindset. I think raising and processing your own meat are important, useful skills to have. We have done it! But, I have no problem supporting local farmers and butchers. We have purchased chickens, hogs, steers, turkeys etc. from other homesteaders/farmers. Grateful, that when I can't (or simply don't want to) do it, I can support someone else who can/does.
Maybe I am just not a hard core homesteader. Just a city girl who moved to the country, happy that her kids have a connection with where their food comes from. I see many people trying to be more self sufficient, and getting discouraged because they can't do it all. I say, do what you can and shed the guilt when you can't do it all.