Raising a Cow for Beef: Month 12

Corey —  August 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 12. Bambi just turned one year old on Saturday. Happy birthday, Bambi! As always, let’s first check Bambi’s growth. Here he is at eleven months old:

Bambi - 11 Months Old

       And here he is at twelve months old:

Bambi - 12 Months Old

       I’m not really sure how much Bambi weighs right now, and I probably won’t know again until he goes to the butcher. Now that he’s living with other cows and has little interaction with humans it would probably be difficult to check him with a weight tape. But I can definitely see an improvement between these two pictures. He’s a bit stockier and more filled out.

Costs & Time

       Thanks to moving Bambi to our friends’ pasture, I haven’t spent any time on raising him this past month. I will be paying our friends some amount per month, but they haven’t let me know what it will be yet. I’m thinking it should be somewhere between $20-40/month. I was spending about $40-60/month to feed Bambi, but it won’t cost our friends that much since they have a large pasture. He’s still being fed some grain, but he gets most of his fill from the pasture. So I don’t really have anything to report in terms of time or money spent this past month. But here are our total costs so far for your reference:

  • Cost of Bambi – Free!
  • Castration & Dehorning – $16.00
  • Milk Replacer – $45.54
  • Miscellaneous – $46.87
  • Feed – $362.77
  • Hay – $88.00
  • Straw – $20.00
  • Medicine – $5.00
  • Total Spent – $584.18
  • Time – 102 hours

       If you want a more accurate estimate after a year, let’s figure on about $620 so far.

       Moving Bambi to our friends’ farm was probably the best decision I’ve made. It’s nice not having to move him around our yard, feed him every day, and refill his water buckets several times a day. We couldn’t have simply paid our friends to keep him from the beginning because bottle feeding requires a good bit of time.

       But it would have been better for us to raise him on the bottle, get him used to eating grain and grass, and then send him back to our friends. Then, we could have paid them a set amount to cover his boarding costs. This would have saved us some money (maybe about $160?) and a ton of time (probably well over 60 hours). The nice thing is that it doesn’t take any extra time for our friends to feed Bambi since they already have other cows to care for.

       We’ve found another friend from church who can send Bambi up to be butchered when he sends his cow in November. All that’s left now is to get it scheduled with the butcher and decide how we’d like things cut, packed, and processed (jerky, sweet bologna, etc.). I’ll be learning about that process in the next month or so because we need to get it scheduled soon.

       Make sure you sign up for free updates to Provident Planning if you don’t want to miss out on the final steps in the process of raising 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 12

  1. Awesome! I’ve really enjoyed your “Raising a Cow for Beef” series. It’s been really informative, and it was neat to watch it grow up!

  2. Glad you’ve enjoyed it, K. Kellogg! It’s been a good learning experience for me as well. I’m excited to see how it all works out. I’ve never really handled going to a butcher before, the pricing, the options, etc. so I’m looking forward to it. Still have a couple months, but it’ll be here before I know it!

  3. Hmmm… your cow looks so cute. It’s kind of sad to hear you talk about butchering him. I know that the meat I eat has to come from somewhere, but I don’t usually see pictures of the cute little cow I’m going to be eating. Good luck!

  4. Haha, yeah I’ve heard several people say that I sound harsh when I talk about Bambi. The truth is I’ve just been careful to think of him as “cuisine” and not “companion” from the very beginning. I could easily have become attached to him since I bottle fed him. But focusing on the final purpose for him has helped me not to become so overly attached that I can’t bear the thought of eating him.

    I’m surprised no one from PETA has attacked me yet. Maybe they will when I post the final update about Bambi… 😉

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