Grit Blogs > Homesteading with Mrs D

One Less Mouth to Feed

By Robyn Dolan 


Tags: ,

Mable and Ezra 

It was a bittersweet moment when we finally took the beef steer into the butcher. Ezra, a dexter/jersey cross, was upwards of 500 pounds and nearly 2 years old. The joy of watching him scamper like a kid goat had given way to the fact that his playfulness could do extreme bodily harm. The warm fuzziness of feeding him handfuls of sweet feed was wearing off as hay continued to climb to over $13 a bale. He was eating his way through half a bale a day.

Unlike other beef steers I've raised, Ezra was very cooperative and friendly. Mama Mabel even helped load him into the trailer, though when the trailer came home empty she circled it, bellowing, for hours, seeking her lost companion. Or maybe she just wanted the leftover hay inside... At any rate, when we brought Ezra home again, he was in neatly wrapped white freezer packages that nearly overloaded our large freezer. Though we miss the thunder of his not-so-dainty hooves, we now have homegrown beef on the menu again, mmmmmmm!

Meat in the freezer 

Unfortunately, we have not yet bred Mabel back, so the next calf will be a while in coming. We have had misadventures finding a bull, and even artificial insemination seems to be fraught with road blocks.

We'll be posting updates on our blog and feel free to stop by anytime for more adventures, book, media and homeschool curriculum reviews, and just general homesteader blab at: http://mrsdshomestead.blogspot.com/

nebraska dave
6/5/2011 8:12:07 AM

Robyn, home steading like pioneering of a century ago is not a pretty or gentle lifestyle. Things must be done for survival that are rather harsh at times. My Dad tells stories of our survival from what he could hunt down in the woods and was all that we had to eat for a whole winter. My contention is that no matter what we decide to eat, something must die. Even plants are alive until we kill that spark of life by either cooking it out or digesting it out. I have butchered hogs, deer, chickens, rabbits all for meat to eat. Now, do I get all pumped up and have adrenaline flowing about taking life out of animals? Not at all, it's always a rather somber event to know that a life was given to sustain life. Do I enjoy a good fried chicken or a grilled steak? You bet I do. I believe that you, Robyn, feel the same way. Farm life is quite different than any other kind of lifestyle. It can be the best of times and the worst of times. Don't you think? Have a great home steading day.


robyn dolan
6/4/2011 10:18:33 AM

Karyn, so sorry to have offended you, but that's just part of the whole homesteading concept, growing your own food. And yes, I do butcher the smaller animals myself, not without compassion or gratitude for the sacrifice they are making to nourish my family and keep us healthy.


karyn
6/4/2011 2:41:19 AM

Well it's hard for me to feel your story was worth while to read it's awful how so easy you are about butchering a animal like it's no big deal..I hope your stomachs are good and full you should have watched the whole butchering process..it's brutal but hey just as long as your good and full that 's all that matters right.Oh! and thanks for showing the cute cow in your freezer the was just CRUDE.