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 15. As always, let’s first check Bambi’s growth. Here he is at fourteen months old:
And here he is at fifteen months old (technically, fifteen months, one week, and three days old):
This picture isn’t the best because I had to take it on my phone (forgot my camera…). And yes, he’s on the cattle trailer (more on that later). True to form, Bambi wouldn’t cooperate for a good pose either. However, I think it’s clear he’s gained a good bit of weight since the last picture. He’s filled out a bit more, especially around his haunches. I’m not sure why his coloring has changed so much. Part of it is lighting, of course, but his color has changed over time anyway so I’m not worried about it. I’m sure it won’t affect the taste.
Costs & Time
As of yesterday, Bambi is no more. He went to the butcher on Wednesday night (when I took the picture) and they slaughtered him on Thursday. However, I still don’t have a final tally on the costs because I’ll need to settle things up with my friends who’ve been boarding him and pay the butchering fees. Here are my totals so far (same as last month):
- 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
- Boarding – $100.00
- Total Spent – $684.18
- Time – 102 hours
Bambi will probably hang to age for about a week, so it’ll probably be late next week or early the following week before we get our beef back. Figuring out which cuts to order took a while because there were some that I was not familiar with. It’s also difficult to think about all the beef you’re going to want in the next year and in what proportions. For better or worse, this is what we ordered (though we’ll have a chance to review it with the butcher the day before they start cutting):
- Chuck Eye Steaks
- Petite Tender
- Short Ribs
- Delmonico Steaks (Boneless Rib Eye Steaks)
- Skirt Steak
- Top Round Roast
- Eye Roast
- Sirloin Tip Roast (Round Tip Roast)
- Soup Bones
- NY Strip Steaks
- Filet Mignon
- Sirloin Steaks
- Flank Steak
- 24 lbs. Beef Cubes
- 6 lbs. Stir Fry
- Remaining Meat:
- 50% as Ground Beef (1 lb packages)
- 50% as 6 oz. Patties (4/pack)
All the meat will be vacuum sealed. Our roasts will come in 2-3 pound packages. Our steaks will come two per package and will be cut 1 1/2″ thick. The liver, heart, and tongue are all for other people. (I hear the tongue is really good, but I’m going to pass for now…)
After searching for a good used freezer with no luck, we bought our chest freezer on Black Friday from a local business. I figured they’d have a sale and we got $50 off – a decent discount. But I was surprised when we got a free turkey as well. I had no idea they were doing that so it was a nice bonus. Our freezer should get here on the 6th – just in time!
All that’s left now is to add up the last few costs (final boarding costs and the butchering fees) and compare it to retail and/or bulk prices. Any good ideas on the best way to make a useful comparison? Let me know in the comments. Also, be sure to stay tuned for a special tribute to Bambi in the final post of this series!
If you haven’t already, make sure you sign up for free updates to Provident Planning so you don’t miss out on my last post where I’ll figure up all the costs, compare it to buying the beef elsewhere, and see how this whole thing works out.
This post was included in the Carnival of Personal Finance.