In the last post we noted that we are three years into our beef operation, yet we have not shipped any beef yet.  Last year we had our first calf crop, 5 heifers and 4 bulls.  The 5 heifer calves were shipped off to be developed into future momma cows.  We kept the four bull calves and are “finishing” them out, fattening them in our pastures to sell as pastured grass-fed beef.  Our first beef – one year to go – will be ready to butcher mid summer 2015.  Could we speed things up? Sure, the industrial agriculture sector does it all the time. Just bring in an outside energy source (oil) and you can compress the growing to finishing process.  Calves put into feed lots can be “finished” in less than 18 months, fed corn, corn by products and provided other growth promoting technologies.  Our farm uses very little outside inputs (minerals and stored forages).  The main energy source used on our farm to create beef is solar.

So what does a solar fattened one year old beef look like.  We are happy to share the photos below of our pastured only fat yearlings.  These cattle are just over one year old.  We need one more year to get these animals to “fat cattle” that are ready for your table.  Join us over the next year to watch these animals turn into gourmet pastured beef!

 

grass fat yearling

Where the tail meets the rump we can see a roll indicating good fat cover. Also smooth along back and folds along neck and behind front shoulder indicating good fleshing.

 

grass fat yearling

Note the smooth top line and folds of skin on neck, both indicating good fleshing. Yes this yearling is sporting a nose ring, that is a story for another day.

This yearling is also showing good developement on grass.  We look forward to next year with good anticipation.

This yearling is also showing good developement on grass. We look forward to next year with good anticipation.

pasture fat yearling

Here is the same animal shown above from another view. The hind end is full and smooth indicating good fat cover.

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