Thursday, January 12, 2012


We love our Cowies. We originally bought 2 steer and a heifer. We bought the steer to raise for beef. Grass fed natural hormone/antibiotic/steroid free beef. Then the guy we bought them from told us that he had a heifer for sale. They were all at lower prices than what were on the market at the time, And we were anxious to just get our "farm" going. So we had 3 cows and you know we kind of just did what we read to do. Animals basically need 3 things; food water and shelter. Once you get that in your head and you get away from the"right" way to do things, it makes it just fun and easy.

We bought them all young, around 6 months old. Generally, people slaughter their steer at around 2yrs old. Well we got them in march, and just before thanksgiving we realized our steer were bulls. Yep, they had a couple of meatballs up under there. This does happen sometimes. They are castrated at just a couple months old, from a process called banding. They put a rubber band (not an actual rubber band) around the young bulls balls, and after a few days the whole thing just fall off. Well in this case, the testicles slipped back up into the stomach during the castration process. So one of our bulls had just one testie and the other had a full set. Anyway.

So we put them up for sale on Craigslist. We figured we could sell one and use that money to butcher the other. So that's exactly what happened. BUT of course there was an adventure to it! This Arab guy from San Diego calls Nathan and in a distinct Muslim accent says, " I want to buy your bull. But I butcher on your property. And I no use gun. I slit his throat" HAHAHA ok weirdo. So Nathan tells him that we don't have any supplies or the equipment to butcher. He assures Nathan that he has done it before and he will bring what he needs. So Nathan tells him he can come over and check it out as long as he pays for the for the bull before he does anything to it. Lol. So yes, the guy ends up coming over. He is totally Muslim, wearing a robe and yamica. He has a big bushy beard and pulls up in a mini van. Yeah. So he does it. And it actually turned out to be pretty neat. He had definately done it before, so he knew what he was doing. He ropes the bulls feet together so it fell to the ground. Then the guy slit its throat, it was quick. He then hangs the bull onto the pulley system and starts working on him. He gutted him, skinned him, it was a very clean process. And through it all, he was saying prayers to Allah. Yes, when he killed him he said a prayer to Allah, and all through the process, praying. It was a sacred thing. So he bagged up all the bad parts, and came away with 4 quarters of the cow in the back of his mini van. He put his robe and yamica back on, said another prayer and drive off into the sunset.

Soon after that, we fattened up the one bull left for us, then called Bernadino out to butcher him. Bernadino is the guy here in Anza that everyone calls to "take away" their animals. He was professional, super fast and easy. Bernadino takes the gutted, skinned cow to Cathy (she's the lady that processes the meat into nice little packages of steaks, roasts and ground beef) and we are now waiting for our freezer full of beef:-)
Calling Bernadino out to kill, gut, skin, and take away the cow is $100. Then Cathy charges based on the "hanging weight" that is the weight of the cow when it is hanging upside-down all gutted and skinned, head off and feet off. So the hanging weight of our cow was 360 lbs. Just on a side note, the hoof weight of our bull was about 650 lbs. Hoof weight is the weight of the bull while he is alive. Then Cathy processes the meat from there. From buying the cows, raising them on our natural grassy land, paying Bernadino and Cathy, our meat all comes out to about $4.50 / lb.