Tracing a calf from birth to harvest…

Anne of "Feed Yard Foodie"

I think that a large part of my job as a Feedyard Foodie is to illustrate where your beef comes from.   In order to do that, I need to show you the life cycle of a calf.  Over the next several posts, we are going to trace the life of a calf from birth to harvest so that you can understand exactly what happens prior to your beef showing up at the grocery store.

As we journey together tracing a calf , I will be looking to you all to ask questions and let me know what components of a calf’s life I should spend the most time describing.  Please take a few minutes and send me your thoughts and questions (either comment at the end of this post) or post them in the “ask me” section.

We will be tracing a calf born on the AL Ranch near Halsey, Nebraska; finished on

A young calf at AL Ranch near Halsey, Nebraska

my cattle farm near Cozad, Nebraska; and harvested at a packing plant in Central Kansas.

Some example thoughts and questions that I have thought of to address are:

When, where was the calf born? How much did the calf weigh at birth?

What was the calf’s life like on the ranch?

How old was the calf when he was weaned?

Where was he weaned?

How much did he weigh when he was weaned?

What did the calf eat while on the ranch of origin?

When and how was the calf shipped from the ranch of origin to my cattle farm?

How much did the calf weigh and what was his age when he was shipped to my cattle farm?

What did the calf eat at my cattle farm?

Did the calf receive any beef enhancement technologies?  For example, growth hormones and if he did, why?

Did the calf receive any antibiotics and if he did, why?

What was the age and weight of the calf at harvest?

How did the calf travel to the packing plant?

What kind / quality of beef did the animal produce?

Where did this animal’s beef go following harvest and fabrication?

How many pounds of beef did this animal produce?

Other thoughts and questions???

An AL Ranch steer just prior to harvest...Notice this steer's curious herd mates who are crowding in to see what is going on...


Filed under Beef Life Cycle--Calf #718

2 responses to “Tracing a calf from birth to harvest…

  1. Bobbi Lorenz

    There are so many things to know about the calf as he grows. I think you hit most of the questions I was thinking of. Here are a few more that I find important as well.
    – What is his preventitive health history (vaccination, boosters, wormed, when given, what product used)
    – Is he precondidtioned to life in a feedlot pen -bunk broke for example
    – Did the ranch follow BQA guidelines

    Love the Blog!!

  2. I love it! Thanks for all of the awesome-ness you do to help promote the Agriculture world in such a great light!


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