- How can I possibly eat an animal I have met personally? Augh! Will the children ever stand for it?
- First of all, you will eat them while making num num noises. My beef is more tasty, more tender and more nutritious than anything I can buy.
- Secondly, kids tend to get it - the meat in the package came from somewhere, right?
- Lastly, and most importantly, make the end result evident from the beginning. You are welcome to any of our cow names .....Sir Loin, Brisket, Chuckie, Patty, Stroganoff, and Stu to name a few. I have three on the way and would love some suggestions for future names. (Keep it clean, though.)
- Is it a lot of work?
- Well, yes. It kind of is. All livestock need fencing and require rotation through paddocks or pastures to get a good quality 'grass finished' product.
- You will need a way to get them loaded onto a trailer and transported to your butcher. Obviously, a smaller animal like a goat will be easier than a cow.
- Can I make money at it?
- I have no trouble selling shares of my beef. My butcher is inspected, but I am not, so in effect my customers are buying a quarter of the entire cow.
- Goats and sheep are going well all around the country - here in the southeast, I hear much more success regarding goats rather than sheep.
- Where do I learn more?
- I would recommend anything by Joel Salatin as a baseline to understanding how to raise pastured pork, beef, or hens for eggs.
- Why should I even consider doing this?
- Research continues to confirm that grass or pastured animals provide meat that is lower in cholesterol, higher in Omega 3's and lower in calories. If you are a true science nerd, you can see that even our government agrees here.
- It'll make you a real farmer - although I have to admit I do things differently enough from the standard way that I tend to raise eyebrows when I talk about my cows.
Thursday, August 23, 2012
Raising Your Own Meat
The Third Level in homesteading is raising your own meat. Today we'll chat as if you are in the 'Can I imagine doing that?' stage. Check out the front page that says "Four Levels in Homesteading" if you haven't already. If you have a few acres, you can consider raising animals specifically for meat. Here's a question and answer format to help you think it through.