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!
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/.