The one thing certain about raising babies is that they don’t stay babies. In November, 5 calves were purchased at a local stock sale and brought to the farm. These were calves just pulled off of their moms, so each one had to be bottle fed. Once weaned onto grain and hay and off of the bottle, they started to grow.
Three boys were kept to raise and have names: Big John, Jasper, and Sonny and they love to have their head and horns rubbed. Even though I can walk around them and pet them, they were purchased to raise for freezer beef and the first one will be processed sometime in November at a year of age. This is still young beef or veal, but will produce quite a bit of beef for the freezer until the next one is processed around May.
It is very important for anyone getting into homesteading to understand that they shouldn’t get too attached to the stock. Always keep in mind that the animal you’re naming or petting is going to be butchered for meat. Quite often I talk to people who when the time came to butcher, sold the animal rather than butchering it. I have talked to others who went ahead and butchered the animal, but a member or members of the family wouldn’t eat whenever the meat was prepared for the table.
Part of the whole idea of a homestead farm is to raise things to feed your family. By raising them yourself, you know what they were fed and how they were raised. This allows you to control the chemicals and additives in your food supply.
Living a natural homestead life is not glorious or simple. There is a lot to it but going green or going back to basics is quite satisfying and brings a lot of control back to you and your family.
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