Raising a Cow for Beef: Month 10

Corey —  June 24, 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 10. As always, let’s first check Bambi’s growth. Here he is at nine months old:

Bambi - 9 Months Old

       And here he is at ten months old:

Bambi - 10 Months Old

       Last time we checked Bambi’s weight (a few weeks ago), he was about 600 pounds. If he keeps growing at his current rate, he should be about 900-1000 pounds by November when he’ll be 15 months old. This is when we’re planning to send him to the butcher, but we might have to do it in October. It depends on the weather and when we can find a friend who’s ready to send their steer to the butcher.

Costs & Time

       Since we don’t have a fenced-in pasture to let Bambi graze on, I have to move him around from place to place using a stake in the ground. This means it takes me more time to take care of Bambi than it would for someone who has a fenced-in pasture. If I didn’t have to move him around and refill his water bucket three or four times a day, it would probably take less than 5 minutes a day to raise him. As it is now, I spend about 20 minutes a day (not all at once though…usually 10 minutes in the morning and the rest throughout the day).

       The only thing I’m worried about is how I’ll be able to handle moving him as he gets bigger. He’s not too difficult to move if it’s only a short distance and he can see where I’ve put his grain. If I have to take him around the corner of a building or to a spot that’s farther away, he can get a bit antsy. Again, we only had to buy feed this month. He did eat a bit of hay while we were gone camping since we left him in the barn to make it easy for Michelle’s mom to care for him. We still have a good bit left though.

  • Feed – $40.00

  • Time – 11 hours

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

  • Cost of Bambi – Free!

  • Castration & Dehorning – $16.00

  • Milk Replacer – $45.54

  • Miscellaneous – $46.87

  • Feed – $321.84

  • Hay – $88.00

  • Straw – $20.00

  • Medicine – $5.00

  • Total Spent – $543.25

  • Time – 94 hours

       Ten months in and we’ve spent a total of $543.25 and 94 hours raising a cow for beef. As a financial experiment, time is going to be the killer here. Right now we’re running less than a dollar per pound (though he wouldn’t yield 600 pounds of beef right now). Add in a reasonable amount for my time and the costs don’t look so good. It’d be at least $1,200 so far, and that’s figuring on minimum wage.

       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.

7 responses to Raising a Cow for Beef: Month 10

  1. Hi. I’m following you on Twitter for the GRABBBR Contest.

  2. Hey, that’s a pretty neat experiment! My best friend’s dad was a butcher and he always turned his head when he saw a cow out of it’s fence. He knew how valuable they were!!!

    I like to do money Experiments too! Nice job!

  3. @Mami2jcn: Thanks! I’ll make sure you get your entries for the giveaway.

    @Money Reasons: Glad you like it! It’s been a good experience so far. We’ll see how the next five months goes.

  4. Paul, I love it – what a great idea. I would love to do it, but I know that by the time my cow was a 1 year old my wife would be attached to it and it would become a pet instead of dinner.

    I am interested to see how this works out for you…

  5. Glad you like it, Bob! I’m not sure how long you’d keep it as a pet even if she did get attached. As you can see, it’s expensive! It would be less expensive if I had enough pasture to feed him completely, but then you still have the winters to deal with.

    We’ll see how it all works out in the end. I’m actually looking forward to being done with this project. It’s been interesting and fun, but he’s becoming difficult to deal with when it’s time to move him from spot to spot.

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