One of our On Pasture readers sent us this question:
I would like to know what size I should be buying cows in order to grass finish before slaughter. I know grass fed beef is different than grain fed beef. Can you help?
Since John Marble frequents sale barns for some of the stock on his pastures, we asked him for a response. Check out John’s thoughts, and then share your own below. We know there’s more than one right answer out there!
I looked at this question and I immediately thought, “Sweet! A short and simple question.” Turns out, the more I think about it, the more it turns out that just ain’t so.
Personally, we don’t produce grass-fed beef, at least not to any great extent. We do produce and sell a certain amount of grass-fed burger for friends and family. Our guarantee is that we don’t supply any grain, supplements, hormones, etc. and that we try to do a good job taking care of our land. I feel pretty comfortable calling our burger “clean” and natural, because we typically run a cow on our grass for at least 90 days prior to harvest. 90 days is approximately twice the withdrawal period for all drugs, wormers, etc that that cow might have had access to. What I really like to do is harvest cows that have been with us for quite a lot longer than that. Still, every cow we butcher for meat originated from a sale yard and our knowledge of her history is zero.