Raising Cattle For Meat Tips – Choosing The Right Breed And Right Grade

raising cattle for meat

Raising Cattle For Meat Tips – Choosing The Right Breed And Right Grade

Raising cattle for meat has its own standards and requirements that vary for milk and dairy production. Meat production from cows is much more meticulous to manage and therefore has serious considerations. There are two things, considered as the most important factors in raising cattle for beef, which we will discuss below to help you make informed decisions before venturing into this industry.


Beef Breeds

If you are raising cattle for meat, the first thing you need to consider is the breed. Cows are bred for different purposes. Just like chicken, there are breeds that are best for meat and some for milk or dairy. Some are bred specifically for their hide. Since you are raising cattle for meat, you need to concentrate on the commercial aspects of your cows. The following are the things you need to look at when selecting a breed.

•    Reproductive Performance –this is indicative of the breed’s ability to reproduce. This is fundamental to your enterprise to save on the cost of buying calves.

•    Maternal ability – choose a breed that can wean calves. This ensures a healthy livestock and efficient beef production.

•    Growth Rate – if you are raising cattle for meat, your mantra should be simple: the calf should be moderately heavy at birth, rapidly grow and then mature early for slaughter. This entire process should not take more than six months from birth.

•    Carcass Merit- this is nothing more than the quality of your beef. Consumers prefer lean and tender beef cuts. Your cows should have more meat than bones and fat. Meat is a major factor that customers look into when buying meet.


Beef Grades

To sell your beef effectively, you must ensure that your butchered cows meet specifications. In the United States, there are eight grades or quality of beef based on the cow’s maturity and marbling or intramuscular fat. This grade determines how much you can sell your beef. Below are the eight beef grades.

•    US Prime – this is the highest grade that beef can get. This has the highest intramuscular fat and is also the most expensive. Most of the time, you will only find this type of beef in high-end hotels and fine-dining restaurants.

•    US Choice – this is the second highest grade that is widely served in restaurants.

•    US Select – this is a good grade and you can buy this in retail in supermarkets. It is less juicy and less tender than US Choice cuts.

•    US Standard – these are beef cuts that have low quality. They are not tender but they are acceptable for serving in the family.

•    US Commercial – these are tough cuts that came from very matured cows

•    The other three, Utility, Cutter, and Canner, are not usually sold in supermarkets. These are beef with the poorest quality that are commonly used in processed foods or as extenders.

If you are raising cattle for meat, you need to hire someone from the USDA Agricultural Marketing Services to go to your slaughter house and grade your slaughtered cows.



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