Saturday, January 30, 2010


No, I don't have a "beef" to write about. ;) I just have something to ponder!

On tv this morning a reporter was discussing saving money on beef. The solution was "cowpooling" in buying a beef from a farmer/rancher and sharing the meat and expense with another person! That's a new term for me and of course I got a good laugh out of it! Do you suppose it will become a new dictionary word?

Anyway, I wanted to share that new term and thought I'd also share what I've got "brewing". I have a calf coming from a goat trade. I can get holstein, jersey or a crossbred, heifer or bull, and he's promised to hand-pick me the nicest one he can get and will make sure it's healthy. :) I decided a crossbred heifer. Heifers are quieter and more easy going from my experience. Then I can keep it (not really considering doing so) for a family milker or butcher it come winter after a long feeding on goat milk which raises up the NICEST beef! Interestingly I have experienced that if I keep them on milk the whole time I can butcher them earlier, buy far far less grain and they are a whole lot less fat than the typical corn raised meat. Another option is to sell the heifer in the fall or winter for a family milk cow. Such a dilemma!

Now, on top of THAT dilemma I am pondering, I read on a goat list that supposedly 80% of the cattle/dairy herds in this state are positive for Johnes Disease! Goats CAN get Johnes from contaminated land cattle have been on. BUMMER!!! So now I ponder and have decided that I will finish off fencing the area behind the barn for the calf. I will also have to get a blood test done asap for cattle diseases such as Johnes, Brucellosis, TB and anything else that I should "worry" about. So I also ponder, should I ask the guy who traded my goats for the gates, etc and the calf if he can ask to have a calf from a cow that tested negative. I could ask if he can ask if they have a negative herd, etc. I KNOW the answer and yes I will have to ask him if he'd please check on this. I also know that I can ask and yet without seeing the cow and her current test record I can't rely on the answer to be the honest truth and still will need to test! So then the dilemma is do I REALLY want to get back into raising a beef on my ample supply of goat milk?

You know, I use to (yah yah) be able to have goats and cattle and not the concerns! I use to be able to have cattle follow the horses on the pasture and eat the lush grass the horses wouldn't touch. That was part of my plan for a growing calf to do for me. Yes, if the calf comes back clean (as in none of those disease issues) I won't have to worry.

Why does having livestock mean we have to have all these darned issues? Geez, isn't there enough in life to keep the safe and healthy without all these issues heaped on top? Of course it all boils down to if we have them we sure should be accepting the responsibility and doing what needs done.... or we shouldn't have them.

I need to learn to draw blood... and after hubby's issues it out to be a piece of cake!

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