Pros and Cons to slaughtering Yearling Cattle

superbouncyball

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 5, 2014
30
16
89
North East PA
Pros and Cons to slaughtering Yearling Cattle

We were considering raising a calf this year and having it slaughtered this late fall.

I've heard pros about feed and cattle being smaller and easier to handle.

I've heard cons that the meat is just not as good.

Can you all give some insight to a newbie here?
 

sylviethecochin

Free Ranging
Jun 14, 2017
5,499
11,305
701
Central PA
My dad raises cattle, and eats the unsaleable ones. (Dairy breed crosses from the milk cow, ones that didn't grow as well as expected, twins...) I think younger ones are more tender, and taste less like...well, less like beef. I ate a lot of beef growing up, and it's just not my favorite meat. (I like venison, though. Weird.) Older = more flavour. Younger = more tender. Perhaps it's just a matter of preference?

I will say that Dad's older cattle are usually easier to handle--they're not as excitable, and are used to being moved around with the rest of the herd. It's all new to the calves--and calves have a lot of energy! Older ones are calmer.

In my experience, it doesn't matter how small the beef is--once he passes four-hundred pounds, if he really wants to go someplace, you're not stopping him! Get them used to working with you, maybe scratch some heads, tails, and chins instead of showing up, dumping feed, and leaving. If they're used to you, they're easier to handle.

Also, there's simply not quite as much meat on a yearling. And when raising two beef--one for this year, one for next--you follow their herd instinct a bit better. It's almost always easier to handle two animals, rather than one.

All in all, I think you'd be better off to raise to second year.
 

superbouncyball

Chirping
6 Years
Apr 5, 2014
30
16
89
North East PA
Thanks for the reply.

Well maybe we will consider getting 2 this spring. Having one slaughtered in the fall. keeping the other until the following fall and get a new calf next spring. If we slaughter a yearling at least 1 time we would at least know if we like it or not.

These will be bottle feed, so they will get human attention, plus we have kids, so I know the kids will be out with them too. So getting human attention and being used to humans I'm not really concerned about too much.
 

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