Are you in the market for some cows? They are a great animal to begin raising because they can be so versatile. Some people like to raise their own beef. While others like to raise a cow for dairy. Whichever category you fall into, I thought you might want to know what breeds were actually out there so you could decide which breed would work best for your particular situation. So if this has been something you’ve been considering lately, then allow us to do your research for you and you just browse through this article until you find the perfect fit for your situation.
Useful Cow Breeds for Your Homestead Here are the different breeds of cattle: 1. Angus via That's Farming So many people in my area raise Angus cattle. The reason is that they produce quality beef, and a lot of people would rather raise their own beef than purchase it from the store. So if you are wanting to raise cattle for meat, then you should definitely look into this breed. 2. Holstein Friesian via Istock Let’s change gears for a moment.
If you are looking to raise a cow because you’d like to produce your own milk for cheese, butter, and other things, then you’ll want to consider this breed. Actually, when most people think of a cow, this is probably the type of cow you think of because it is used in so many adverts because this breed is known to be the highest-production breed for dairy. 3. Hereford via Gemstone Cattle Company This breed of cow is another really popular breed.
It is one used in many different parts of the world and in many different climates. But this breed is mainly used for meat production and it is in 50 different countries across the world. So it should adapt and do quite well no matter what climate you live in. 4. Shorthorn The Cattle Site The shorthorn was developed to be a dual purpose breed. That way people could raise one breed and get both dairy and beef products.
However, it is said, that usually certain blood lines would come out stronger in one area than the other. Now, you can purchase either a beef shorthorn or a dairy shorthorn depending upon which purpose you’d like to have cattle for. 5. Charolais via That's Farming The Charolais is a breed of cattle that was developed in France. They are raised mainly for beef and are often crossed with another beef breed, like Angus.
But they are known for growing really well and producing quality meat and hides. So if you like to make leather from your cattle, this would be a good breed to consider. 6. Galloway via Galloway Cattle Society I love this breed of cow because of its fluffy coat. Looks aside, this is a great beef breed for someone interested in that purpose. But this breed is also one of the oldest breeds as well.
It is named after the area in Scotland it originated, but it became a popular breed around the world when they began exporting them in the mid 1800’s. 7. Simmental Photo via Dora Lee Genetics This would be a great multipurpose breed. The Simmental breed is one of the oldest breeds. It is a Swiss breed but has been raised in the United States since around 1800. Though it is raised in other parts of the world as a dairy cow, the United States usually produces them for beef.
But they are known for being great dairy producers, large in size, and for growing quickly as well. 8. Brahman via Moreno Ranches This is the super cow when it comes to breeds. The Brahman breed is one of the oldest in the world. It has been able to adapt to the point that it can avoid falling ill due to most parasites, diseases, or other pests that cattle often come in contact with. Also, they have a large hump and horns which helps keep them cool.
They are known for being able to sweat and deter pests that way. But they can even survive in harsh climates and when there isn’t adequate food. These cows are troopers! 9. Limousin via That's Farming So if you want an ancient cow, this breed could be what you are looking for. When historians have studied ancient paintings from France, they found cattle in the pictures that look eerily similar to this breed.
Though they originated in France, they can now be found all over the world. They are great animals to use for work, but they are mainly bred for beef. 10. Scottish Highland via Wikipedia This breed is pretty amazing. It began its time in the Highlands of Scotland (hence where they got their name.) During this time, they were able to build up resistance to many diseases that usually plague other breeds of cows.
Now that this breed is all over the world, they do well in colder climates because they have long hair vs. a layer of fat to keep warm. But they do well in southern climates as well. This breed isn’t even picky about what it eats. You can put it out on pasture, and it is said to eat things most other breeds would turn their nose up at. 11. Brown Swiss via David Clarke Livestock If you are looking for a dairy cow, then this could be what you’ve been searching for.
It is second in line with the Holstein as far as milk production goes. So if you like the idea of being able to produce dairy right on your own land, then you should consider this breed. 12. Texas Longhorn via TSHA If you are looking for lean beef, then you’ll like the Texas Longhorn breed. You will immediately recognize this breed because of the extremely long horns. But what is so interesting about this breed is that they weren’t actually set out to become a breed.
The longhorns are a product of years of adaptation to their surroundings. 13. Brangus via Oklahoma State Unversity This is an excellent choice of breed for a beef cow. It is actually a cross between the angus breed and a brahman. So if you like both of those breeds, but can’t decide on which type you’d like, then maybe you could meet in the middle with this breed. 14. Jersey via Wide Open Pets You hear people talk about Jersey cows a lot.
My great grandfather actually raised them on his 11 acre farm. They are a smaller breed for a dairy cow, which makes them ideal for small farms. But they are also known for having a higher fat content in their milk. So if you like more fat in your milk, then you should consider this breed for that reason as well. 15. Ayrshire via Ayrshires Cattle Services Limited This is a dairy cow that is larger in size.
When I say larger, they usually weigh anywhere from 900 pounds to over 1300 pounds. That is a lot of animal. So you’ll definitely want to take their size into account because usually the larger the breed, the more maintenance they require because of the amount of food they need. 16. Chianina via Agraria.org We haven’t covered any Italian breed of cows on this list, until now. This breed originated in Italy, but is now used as a beef breed all over the world.
But what makes this cow stand out so much is its size. This breed is one of the largest breeds of cows you can raise this day in age. 17. Beef Master via The Cattle Site This breed produces some seriously buff cows. It is actually a crossbreed that has been around since about 1930. Now, it is used mainly as beef cattle because it is a cross between Hereford breed or a Shorthorn cow breed with a Brahman.
No wonder the cows end up being so bulky and perfect for beef. 18. Gelbvieh via Lost River Livestock This cow was originally produced to be a three for one to anyone that owned this breed. The original purpose was to raise these animals to work the land, produce dairy, and also produce beef. However, now, most cows in this breed are usually used strictly to produce beef. They are big and look to produce quite a bit of meat.
19. Dexter via Jennifer Mackenzie If you haven’t noticed most breeds of cattle that are produced in Europe have been pretty large cows. This breed is actually one of the smallest of the European produced breeds. In fact, the Dexter breed is about half the size of a Hereford and less than half the size of Friesian. So if you’d prefer a smaller breed cow, then you might want to check into this breed.
20. Piedmontese via Paus This is another Italian breed of cattle. They have an interesting back story. Many years ago a breed of cattle that originated in Pakistan began to migrate into Italy. Because of the mountainous terrain they weren’t able to go any farther. So they ended up breeding with the native cattle and from that this breed was formed. They are used in Italy to produce specialty cheeses and are considered a delicacy with meat as well.
21. Watusi Oklahoma State University I love the name and look of this cow. They have large horns that stick almost straight out of their heads which make them interesting in appearance. However, these cows are great for multiple purposes. Because they produce smaller babies, the males are used to breed a heifer that has never had a baby before. Their milk is also about 10% fat so a lot of farmers like this for dairy production or to breed with another dairy breed for good milk production and content.
22. White Park via Wikipedia This is definitely a larger breed of cattle. The heifers usually weigh in around 1400 pounds. While the bulls can be up to 2200 pounds. But this breed is obviously so treasured in the meat industry because of the high quality of meat they produce. 23. Santa Gertrudis via Britannica This was actually the first beef breed to be formed in the United States. It is a mixed breed that contains both Brahman and Shorthorn.
So if you are looking for an approved beef breed within the United States, this might be a good breed to check into. 24. Braford via The Cattle Site If you haven’t already noticed, if you are going to have a beef breed of cow, then you will most likely end up with one that has both Brahman and Shorthorn or Hereford. Well, this breed is a cross between a Brahman and a Hereford breed. It is used for beef and judging by the large stature, you should get plenty of meat.
25. English Longhorn via Wikipedia The English Longhorn is another breed of beef cattle. They are large cows that are known for producing lean beef. But what makes this breed stand out is its long, curved horns. They curve around their face almost like pigtails. 26. Beefalo via The Cattle Site Do you like the way bison burger tastes? If so, then you might want to consider this breed of cattle.
It is actually a cross breed between a domesticated cow and a bison. So if you’d like meat that tastes a little different than your average beef, then you might want to consider raising this breed of cattle. 27. North Devon via That's Farming Though this cow is quite large, don’t let it fool you. They are actually known for many wonderful characteristics, one of those being their docile nature.
Also, they are known for being quite fertile, birthing easily, great at foraging, and they are also hearty animals that can adapt to different temperatures. 28. Senepol via Senepol Cattle Breeders Association This breed has developed into a great choice for beef, but they did not get an easy start when they were first developed in St. Croix. As a matter of fact, when these cows were originally produced it was for meat for those on the island.
The cows that didn’t meet the standard the farmers set, were quickly killed. The farmers only reproduced the genes that they knew would work in the, often harsh, St. Croix environment. 29. Maine-Anjou via Maine-Anjou Verband When this cow was first produced, again, people wanted an animal that could do more than one thing. At first, this breed was supposed to produce both dairy and beef. Now, it still could do this today if you desire.
But most people who raise this breed use it only for beef. 30. Red Poll via Belvoir Ridge Creamery According to my research, it is very difficult to find a breed of cow that will make their owners a profit year after year in the beef industry. But this breed, apparently, has been making people money from their beef since they made their way to the states over 130 years ago. That means they must produce some seriously high quality beef! So you now have 30 different breeds of cows that you can take into consideration before taking the plunge into raising cattle.
But I’d like to know, why do you want to raise cattle? If you already raise cattle, what breed do you use? Why? We love hearing from you so please leave us your comments in the space below.See Also: Cow And Gate Milk Reviews
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A growing number of people are now buying their meat, “on-the-hoof”, as it were. This means they are selecting the individual cows, hogs, chickens, turkeys, etc…, direct from the person that breeds them. They can get a complete history of the critter, from birth to the sale. The consumer can take complete control over the quality of the meat they plan to cook. But, what do you do with the animal after you buy it? Luckily for the squeamish, most livestock producers will kill the animal for you, and some may even process it for you, for a price.
You can take it to a processor, but then you run the same risks as buying from the grocery store. Some processors will add water, dyes, etc…, and some won’t. A lot depends on the state regulations that processor has to follow, and what is legally allowed. The best solution is to learn to do your own butchering. Butchering allows you complete control over your meat, especially if you also hunt and fish.
In addition to significantly improving the quality of your food supplies, it gives you a great sense of empowerment. You no longer have to depend on only what is offered by the retailers. However, butchering requires some special tools, in addition to having to master the skills involved. You will need a good set of butcher knives, shears, proper wrapping paper, a good scale, a deep freezer, and at least one meat saw, which brings us to the subject of this article.
Meat saws are specially designed for cutting meat and bone. There are those that have used regular hack saws, but the results are marginal, at best. You need an actual meat saw. There are some important differences between meat saws, and their hardware store counterparts, which we will discuss in the following sections. What Is A Meat Saw? As I said before, some people (including this author) have attempted to use regular hack saws and band saws to cut large pieces of meat.
I can tell you from experience that should you attempt this, the results will be less than satisfactory. Unless you really like ugly steaks, and mangled meat, a regular saw will not work. Comparison of Meat Saw and Hack Saw Blades. In Figure 1., you can easily see the difference between meat and hack saw blades. The reason hack saw blades do not cut meat well is that the teeth are small, and angled to cut on both the forward, and backward strokes.
This allows them to be quickly clogged by meat fibers, fat, sinew, etc… It also causes bone to splinter, rather than be cut. Wood saws will not work either, because their teeth are designed to rip through tough wood fibers, rather than slice. Meat saw teeth are angled much more sharply, and are designed not to clog up from meat and other materials. They slice, rather than rip or abrade. You may be thinking, “What difference does it make if my meat slices are not perfect? My family and I are the only ones eating it.
” It makes a huge difference, for several reasons. One is that for meat to cook properly, especially on a grill, or in a pan, the meat sides have to be even so that it fully contacts the heating surface. Otherwise, you will get some areas of overly charred meat, and other areas that will be underdone. Uneven surfaces conduct heat unevenly, so even if you are baking, your meat will not cook well. Uneven surfaces will not allow the meat to sear properly, allowing the juices to escape, resulting in tough, dry meat.
Another reason is that recipes are based on correctly cut meat. The pieces have to be right shape, size, and surface, or the result may be different than expected. Meat that is mangled, and improperly cut may not freeze properly, or thaw out evenly. There are two types of meat saws, electric, and manual. In appearance, they resemble a regular table or hack saw. But in addition to the different blade style, they are also designed to operate at different speeds, be cleaned well, and sanitized between uses.
Electric and manual meat saw. Some electric meat saws are also equipped with sausage stuffers. It’s a nice touch, and can be very handy at times. Do you need a meat saw? And do you need an manual, or electric meat saw? That will depend on how many carcasses you intend to process, and how dedicated you are to using the very best ingredients in your cooking. Turkeys, chickens, and small game are not big enough to be worth using a meat saw on, at least if you obey the game laws on possession limits.
But large fish that need to be steaked-out, and larger animals such as deer, hogs, cows, and big game are much better sliced with the proper tools, ie; a meat saw. For just one average-sized carcass at a time, a manual meat saw works fine. For several large carcasses, or mule deer, elk, buffalo, 20 ft. sharks, dinosaurs, mammoths, etc…, you will want an electric model. You’ll see why in the next section… Use, Care and Safety of Meat Saws Using a meat saw is not complicated in and of itself.
It’s a saw, just like any other, and it is used the same way. The difference is just the style of teeth. However, to properly process a harvested animal, you need to understand both the anatomy of the particular critter, and the proper butchering techniques. Different parts of the animal produce different cuts of meat, which differ in texture, flavor, and cooking properties. Some are more amendable to smoking than others, and cuts that are intended to be smoked need extra care and diligence to smoke properly.
Also, different cuts require different procedures, such as sawing with the grain, against the grain, between joints, or across a particular joint of bone, etc… Each particular cut will also require it’s own special trimming to cook properly. This article is not intended to be an instructional on butchering. That is beyond its scope, but there are many great resources for you to learn from, starting with YouTube.
In no time at all, you can be butchering like a pro, with just a little learning curve. Processing your own food creates an incredible sense of empowerment. You are no longer simply a target for retail sales campaigns. You don’t have to accept anything just because that’s the only way it comes. Maybe you like your steaks a little (or a lot) thicker than commercial ones. Maybe you like your own ham curing recipe better than Hormel’s.
Maybe you would prefer to select your cow, pork, lamb, or whatever, while it is still on the hoof, so you can judge the health and quality of the animal yourself, and know it’s history. There are all kinds of reasons why someone might want to process their own meat. Besides, it’s just fun….. A manual meat saw requires no set-up, other than really good cleaning and sterilization before use. This also includes your hands.
Electric meat saws will require different set-up procedure, depending on the make and model. You should always follow the manufacturer’s recommended procedures every time you use their saw. Most people reading this probably realize that there is a danger of being cut, or even accidentally amputating fingers, or hands. After all, you are working around an extremely sharp, sometime fast-moving blade.
Most injuries with meat saws occur during cleaning, so exercise extra caution when cleaning and sanitizing your unit. The Number One cause of all slicing accidents, by far, is inattentiveness (this actually covers almost all kitchen accidents). Never let yourself become distracted when using meat saws. Send the children out to play (never let children operate a meat saw), throw the cats outside, chloroform the dogs, send the wife out shopping, put your cell phones on Airport Mode, or whatever it takes to avoid any kind of distractions.
Just pretend you are a doctor doing critical surgery. 8 Safety Procedures While Using Meat Saws There some safety procedures that are common to all makes and models of meat saws. They are: Never attempt to clean a meat saw unless it is unplugged. Never wear gloves when using an electric met saw. They won’t protect your hands, and can cause your hands to slip. Always keep the area around the meat saw clear of obstructions and slip hazards at all times when in use.
Always turn the unit off when not actually slicing with it. This includes when reaching for another piece of meat. Always use a Pusher Plate when feeding meat into the saw blade. Always wear eye protection when slicing meat with an electric saw. I have had bones splinter, and meat juices spray into my face at times. Never force meat through the saw. Your hand could slip. You paid good money for that saw, so let it do the work… Never wear loose clothing or jewelry when operating a meat saw.
If you follow these safety rules, you will minimize the chances of any serious mishaps. No matter how good that fresh, custom-cut steak is going to taste, it’s not worth loosing a finger over The Best Meat Saw: Arisen Dual Electric Meat Saw 550-watt, 3/ 4 horsepower motor Stainless steel construction Integral meat grinder Sliding tray The Arksen commercial-grade meat grinder is equally at home in your house, a super-market, or a meat processing facility, The 5- amp motor easily slices through the toughest gristle and bone.
The integral meat grinder has both course and fine grinding plates, and can process up to 44 pounds of meat per hour. My favorite electric meat saw. I checked out this model at a local meat processor, and I liked it’s performance. Looking at the assembly instructions, I was glad I didn’t have to put it together, because the manual is useless. But once it is up and running, it performs like a champ.
It sliced through ham bones, beef shanks and ribs like they were made of butter. The sliding tray made it very easy to handle meat safety. The meat grinder did an outstanding job of evenly grinding meat chunks. It has a very large hopper, and fed the machine smoothly, with no hang-ups. The only downside is that it is a little involved to take-down for cleaning. But it’s not enough trouble to be a deal-breaker.
And once you get the hang of it, it’s really not a big deal. Weston Manual Meat Saw Review All stainless-steel construction 22” stainless-steel blade Blade is easily interchanged and replaced This is the manual meat saw I use. It is a simple, reliable, no-frills tool that never fails. I’ve had mine for well over 2 decades, and it still works like new. Replacement blades are readily available at places like Cabela’s, Academy Sports, and Sportsman’s Warehouse.
The handle is easy to hang on to, and allows for plenty of leverage and maneuverability. Considering the price, this is one tool that will give you a lot of bang for your buck. Conclusion Whatever your reasons for wanting to process your own meat, you should get the best meat saw you can afford. I highly recommend getting an electric meat saw if you can afford one and have the space. They will make the work go much faster, and easier.
On the other hand, manual saws can be taken into the field with you when hunting, so you can do some preliminary processing before you even bring the animal home, but be sure to check the game laws first. In many states, (mine included), it is illegal to do anything other than remove the organs and glands from an animal in the field, because the game wardens may have to identify the sex and species of your harvest at check stations.
The difference between different models of electric saws are mostly in how easy they are to disassemble for cleaning, and added features such as a built-in meat grinder, sausage stuffers, etc… It’s a good idea to check out customer reviews on the model you are thinking about before you commit to buy it. They can be found in places like Amazon.com, YouTube, etc…. Bear in mind that you will most likely have to assemble your unit when you receive it.
Many times, the instructions leave a lot to be desired, especially units made in China. If you are not good with tools, you may want to line up a local handy-person who is good at assembling things to put your unit together for you. Make sure you have an adequately-spaced area for your unit. A cramped space could cause accidents. It can be aggravating to spend a lot of money on something only to find out that it will not fit where you want it.
Keep in mind that more than likely, blood and small particles of meat and bone can be slung during processing, getting on walls, floors, nearby shelves, etc…. Make allowances accordingly. Many people keep meat saws in their garage, which works out well in many cases. The area can be easily cleaned up with a garden hose and squeegee’d out. However, the unit will still need to be completely disassembled, cleaned well, and sterilized after each use.
If you follow these basic guidelines, your meat saw will be a valuable addition to your culinary tools. Processing your own food is a very rewarding lifestyle.