Raising a Cow for Beef: Month 4

Corey —  December 21, 2009

       Last month, I posted an update about how my wife and I are raising a cow for beef. This is a summary of our activity and costs for month 4. First, let’s check Bambi’s growth. Here he is at three months old:

Paul & Bambi - 3 Months Old

       And here he is today at 4 months old:

Bambi - 4 Months Old
       It’s difficult to tell from that picture, but Bambi is filling out nicely and gaining weight steadily. He’s getting big enough that it’s difficult to handle him when I try to take him from the barn to the grass.

Costs & Time

       There hasn’t been any change in the amount of time it takes to care for Bambi. It takes me about 5 minutes to feed him every day, and about forty-five minutes to an hour to clean out his stall. The only other time I spend on him is making the trip to buy his feed, but that’s only about 15-20 minutes once a month.

       We spent about $30 less than last month because we didn’t need to buy any more hay or straw. Here’s what we spent this month:

  • Calf Feed – $40.31

  • Time – 6 hours

       And here are our total costs over the past four months:

  • Cost of Bambi – Free!

  • Castration & Dehorning – $16.00

  • Milk Replacer – $45.54

  • Miscellaneous – $39.90

  • Calf Feed – $82.50

  • Hay – $31.00

  • Straw – $9.00

  • Total Spent – $223.94

  • Time – 42 hours

       So after four months we’ve spent a total of $223.94 and 42 hours raising a cow for beef. I doubt the total cost will increase by much over the next month, and I expect the total time to stay the same.

       That’s it for this month. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. And make sure you sign up for free updates to Provident Planning if you’re interested in knowing what it takes to raise a cow for beef!



Corey is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree in religion. While he enjoys learning and writing about Christianity, another one of his new passions is writing about personal finances in order to help others make wise decisions with their money.

5 responses to Raising a Cow for Beef: Month 4

  1. A wonderful experiment! Perhaps oddly, however, I would have a much harder time emotionally speaking dispatching with a cow for food than chicken, goats, and other animals. Best of luck.

  2. Thanks for your comment, Ben! I’d say anyone could become attached to any type of animal (maybe not chickens…), but it depends on how you look at it while you’re raising it. I’m not very attached to our steer because I don’t spend much time with him any more – maybe 5 to 10 minutes a day. When he was on the bottle it was more like 15-20 minutes a day plus it was like feeding a baby (a very big baby).

    We just view him as future steak/hamburger/pot roast/etc. and not as a pet. :)

  3. I just can’t believe you’re calling him Bambi lol. I think if there were more of them it would be easier- but with just one- I just look at him and think oh my goodness Paul is going to KILL him and EAT him and he’s so cute lol. I think it is neat that you are able to do this though!

  4. Thanks for leaving a comment, Amanda! :) He was named before we got him – “Bambi” since he looked a bit like a deer when he was little.

    He looks cute, but you probably wouldn’t think so if you had to clean his stall or if he dragged you around a bit! 😉 I’m about ready to eat him as it is!!!

    It is fun raising him though, and it’s a good experience. I’m still looking forward to some steak and BBQ though!

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