Posted on

Seattle Grass Fed Grain Finished Beef | The life of a Cow, birth to harvest.

Seattle Grass Fed Beef

The life of a calf

There are many steps from birth of a calf until they are finished and ready to be harvested for steaks, roast and ground beef. In Seattle, Washington grass fed beef starts early on at conception. Cows gestation is nine months, just like humans. After cows give birth to the calf, the calves are standing within about an hour. Seattle, Washington grass fed beef calves start to milk on their mother within an hour. Usually the cow licks off the calf right after Birth and cleans them up. Once the calf is standing it is able to start nursing from its mom. After the calf is a couple months old he starts eating grass with his mom, but most of its nutrition and growth is still coming from the milk. Cows that are nursing require a lot of water so they can produce the amount of milk that is needed. Grass fed beef cows near Seattle come back in heat about three months after they give birth to the calf, they are then bred by the bulls or artificially insemenated if a rancher is doing specialty cattle. The bull breeds the cow and that cow will then give birth nine months later. The cows have one calf each year and each bull can cover about 20 to 30 cows, so a rancher with 100 cows would have about three to four Bulls. Seattle, Washington grass fed beef start as calves and grow quickly when they are born they are typically 50 to 90 pounds. Many ranchers use what’s called calving ease bulls. These are bulls that produce smaller calves but then also grow at a good pace so the rancher can make decent money after their weaned and they sell them at auction. Most ranchers do not keep Seattle grass fed beef all the way until finished weight, they sell the calves when they are 6 to 9 months old. With Seattle, Washington grass fed beef, some ranchers do finish all or a portion of their calves until finished weight of about 1300 to 1400 pounds live. This takes 16 to 18 months if they are grain finished or about 24 to 30 months if they are grass finished. Once the calves are about six months old, the rancher will wean them from their mom then they will go into a separate pasture. If you are grain finishing grass fed beef in Seattle, Washington, you will introduce them slowly to some silage along with their hay, after a few months, the silage ration increases, slowly and steadily this is called the growing phase. As you get to the finishing phase of Seattle, Washington organic beef you introduce regular grain along with a silage and hay. Some ranchers finish with barley, wheat, oats, triticale and some ranchers finish with corn. Ground corn or rolled corn are the most commonly used and it usually depends on the area in which the cattle are being fed. Some areas have more peas or more oats, or more corn or more barley, so depends on that part of the country that you are in and what crops are produced in that local region. Seattle grass fed beef can be grass finish or grain finished. Grain finished provides a different flavor and makes the cattle finish quicker, grass finish take longer about one year longer than Grain finished. So the rancher is holding on to those cattle longer and also requires more pasture ground because they are eating more grass than a grain finished. In summary, a calf is conceived nine months later it’s born, within a day it’s walking and drinking milk from its mom. The cow is then bred three months later by the bull in the pasture. The cow has another calf the next year, the calf is weaned at about six months, and that calf will start eating more hay and silage typically at that point to help it to start growing a little faster. If it is a grass finished beef, it will most likely graze for the winter and then out on pasture the following year. If it is a grain finished beef, it’ll start eating silage and grass or hay through the remainder of its life. At 16 to 18 months the grain finished Seattle, Washington grass fed beef will be ready to harvest. When it’s ready to harvest, it will go to a butcher shop and be cut and wrap to customer specifications or rancher specifications. If you are looking for Seattle, Washington grass fed beef, make sure to check out Farm Fresh NW they have been ranching for over 100 years in eastern Washington and provide the best quality grass fed beef near Seattle, Washington.