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Guernsey steer to be sold for meat how to proceed?

 
Sarah Chenkin
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We inherited a Guernsey steer when we took over livestock management at a living history museum in southeast PA. The steer was supposed to be trained as an ox but learned too many bad habits to be trainable before we arrived on the scene. He could be a liability so we want to process him for meat. He is about 900lbs. We don't have the capital to have him professionally slaughtered and we don't have the infrastructure for selling beef for freezer trade. Any suggestions would be most welcome. We are near Philadelphia. He has been grass fed.
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Paul Ewing
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Location: Boyd, Texas
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Your best bet would be to sell him as a whole, two halves, or four quarters and have him processed at a local custom processor. This will get around many of the problems with licensing and health department rules since you will legally be selling him to one or more people as a live animal and just delivering him to a processor for the customers. The safest thing is to have the customers deal with the processor directly for their cutting instructions and pay the processing fee themselves. We do this fairly often for co-ops besides our standard cut beef sales. I would charge at least $4/pound based on the hanging weight (this is assuming they pay processing and pick up). We are currently charging $4.50/pound for our beef animals (we do include processing because we have the needed licenses to resell meat and us a state inspected processor) but will be going up soon because cattle prices are skyrocketing.

For a dairy breed you will probably have a hanging weight of about 50% maybe 55% of live weight. You can then expect about 50% of hanging weight in retail cuts. I haven't eaten Guernsey, but I love Jersey meat. It has a distinctive sweet taste. The only problem is most of the cuts are much smaller than in beef breeds. Personal single serving round steaks for example. These were from 700 pound steers though.

Check around for local custom, state inspected, or even small USDA processors.
 
R Scott
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Location: Kansas Zone 6a
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At that size, he is not finished and will not be as tender as a fully finished steer. It would be better to let him fill out if you can keep him out of harm's way and then do as Paul said. If that doesn't work, you can sell direct to someone that does do direct sales to finish out if they are willing to take a feeder.

You need to find a custom processor that can do the legal part for you. And make sure everyone pays who they are supposed to with a check or give a receipt. Everyone pays you for their share of the live animal, everyone pays the processor for the processing. ESPECIALLY YOU!!! If you are going to keep a portion of the meat, make sure you get paid by everyone for the live animal and not just cut bigger checks to the processor to cover your share.
 
Paul Ewing
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Location: Boyd, Texas
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900 pounds is pretty big for a Guernsey. How old is it? I would wait till it is 24 to 36 months, but not a lot past that.
 
R Scott
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Paul Ewing wrote:900 pounds is pretty big for a Guernsey. How old is it? I would wait till it is 24 to 36 months, but not a lot past that.


It is? I thought they finished more around 1000-1100. My bad.
 
wayne fajkus
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can you transport it?

like previously stated, get it slaughtered locally but sell quarters or halves beforehand and you should come out ahead. The sheer size is why we switched to lambs. It would take us two years to eat through a cow. A year if we sold a half share and kept half.

If you are not looking for meat or can't find a partner for half the meat, I guess it could go to auction.
 
R Scott
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Don't forget craigslist. You usually can get more for one or two animals on craigslist than taking them to the auction, and the buyer provides transport. Maybe someone will buy it to be an oxen that doesn't have to worry about kids or strangers being around.
 
Andie Shire
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Finish him out and sell him as locker beef, or if you need the space sooner there is always the auction. Not sure what your price average is there, around here I believe it was $1.80-2 per pound. And as was already mentioned, you may be able to re-home him on Craigslist. Good luck!
 
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