Raising a Cow for Beef: Month 8

Corey —  April 21, 2010

       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 8. As always, let’s first check Bambi’s growth. Here he is at seven months old:

Bambi - 7 Months Old

       And here he is at eight months old:

Bambi - 8 Months Old

       Bambi continues to gain weight at a steady rate. He’s up to at least a quarter of a ton now. I’m hoping he’ll reach 1,000 pounds by November, but I’m not sure he will since he’s 75% Jersey. We’ll see!

Costs & Time

       Now that spring is here, I’ve been able to let Bambi graze. While it saves me money on hay, I have to spend a little more time than normal to take him out from the barn along with his grain and water. However, it takes very little additional time.

       As I mentioned last month, we won’t be spending as much from here on out for hay and straw. We still have to buy feed (grain) every month and that will continue until Bambi goes to the butcher. Here are our costs for this past month:

  • Feed – $40.62

  • Time – 9 hours

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

  • Cost of Bambi – Free!

  • Castration & Dehorning – $16.00

  • Milk Replacer – $45.54

  • Miscellaneous – $46.87

  • Feed – $241.78

  • Hay – $88.00

  • Straw – $20.00

  • Medicine – $5.00

  • Total Spent – $463.19

  • Time – 72 hours

       After eight months we’ve spent a total of $463.19 and 72 hours raising a cow for beef. Bit of an expensive experiment, huh?

       My idea to clean out Bambi’s pen a little every day helped when I cleaned the whole thing out one Saturday. It wasn’t nearly the struggle it usually is, so I’m happy about that. But now that he’s not eating as much hay and is spending more time outside the barn, I expect the cleaning to go quite a bit quicker.

       A side benefit of mucking Bambi’s stall is the material I get for compost. I suppose I could consider that on the plus side of the equation, but I don’t want to complicate things too much. Compost is valuable and should help in my garden, but it’s probably not worth a whole lot.

       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.

9 responses to Raising a Cow for Beef: Month 8

  1. Sounds like Bambi is doing great. This is really interesting to follow.

  2. Thanks, Kaitlin! Glad you like it. :)

  3. It’s a bit ironic that you commented on my post about not buying meat as a way of saving on groceries–and you’re raising a cow for…beef!

    Actually, it’s perfectly consistent, so I mentioned it in my response to your comment.
    .-= Kevin@OutOfYourRut´s last blog ..15 Ways to Cut Your Grocery Bill to the Bone =-.

  4. True, Kevin! We’ve become accustomed to using less meat in our cooking though, so I’d say it’ll last us a long time. We’re also planning to donate some of it for meat canning (it goes overseas for relief efforts).

  5. Don’t eat that poor cow! How could you take care of an animal & then kill it & eat it?

  6. Well, I won’t have to do the actual killing – I’ll just send him to the butcher. I don’t have a problem with it conceptually because his purpose is to be eaten. He is not a pet, and I don’t think of him that way. He’s cuisine – not companion.

  7. For me it would be hard not to form some kind of bond with any animal I took care of, regardless of why I got it. Good luck.

  8. That’s OK, Faria. I’ve grown up around farms for much of my life, so I’m used to the concept. I can see how it would be more difficult for someone who hasn’t. My wife will probably be a little attached to Bambi. I probably won’t be quite as much because I have to deal with him more than she does and he’s pretty ornery sometimes. 😉

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