Raising a Cow for Beef: Month 3

Corey —  November 20, 2009 — 3 Comments

       Last month, I posted my first article detailing how my wife and I are raising a cow for beef. As promised, here is a summary of our activity and costs for month 3. First, let’s check Bambi’s growth. Here he is at one and a half weeks old:

Paul with Bambi at one and a half weeks old

       Here he is at two months old:

Paul & Bambi - 2 Months Old

       And here he is today at three months old:

Paul & Bambi - 3 Months Old

       As you can see, he’s already grown a good bit, but he’s still not much more than a couple steaks and a few hamburgers.

A Lot Less Time, A Little Less Money

       The biggest change from last month to this month is the amount of time I have to spend taking care of Bambi. As of last month, we had spent a total of 30 hours caring for him over two months. This month only required 6 hours of my time which included feeding him, unloading hay and straw, and cleaning out his stall. It only takes me about 5 minutes to feed him now and I only need to do it once a day. (This is in contrast to the 15 minute feedings twice a day that he needed while he was on the bottle.)

       While our total costs have increased by $71.35 this month, it’s important to note that I bought more hay and straw than Bambi needed for this month. We’ll still have quite a bit left for next month, so our costs for December will be quite a bit lower. Here’s what we spent this month:

  • Calf Feed – $31.35
  •        

  • Hay – $31.00
  •        

  • Straw – $9.00
  •        

  • Total Spent – $71.35
  •        

  • Time – 6 hours

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

  • Cost of Bambi – Free!
  •        

  • Castration & Dehorning – $16.00
  •        

  • Milk Replacer – $45.54
  •        

  • Miscellaneous – $39.90
  •        

  • Calf Feed – $42.19
  •        

  • Hay – $31.00
  •        

  • Straw – $9.00
  •        

  • Total Spent – $183.63
  •        

  • Time – 36 hours

       So after three months we’ve spent a total of $183.63 and 36 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. I should note that I have not included the cost of water for Bambi because we have our own well and the cost of electricity to run the pump is negligible. He currently drinks about 3-4 gallons a day right now. Even if you have to pay for your own water, the total cost wouldn’t amount to much over Bambi’s entire life unless you’re buying bottled water.

       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

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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.

3 responses to Raising a Cow for Beef: Month 3

  1. This is cool. Could you please breakdown why this all seems so time intensive? I am a father and I have 10 acres, but don’t have too much time. I would love your input. Thanks,

  2. Thanks for your comment, Bruno! The first two months took a long time because we had to bottle feed the calf twice a day and it took 15 minutes each time. After they’re off the bottle, it’s only time intensive if you don’t have a fenced-in pasture. I move my steer around our lot on a stake (he’s 10 months old now) so that takes a bit of time, but not as much as it used to. If I had a fenced-in pasture with a water source, it’d only take 5 minutes a day at most (to feed him some grain). You could keep a steer in a barn, but then you’ve got to keep buying hay (or using whatever you can make yourself).

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