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Testosterone, Bulls, and dietary questions.

 
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I have a small farm and am interested in the market for anatomically intact male animals.  I not sure if there is an official number but I would guess that around 90% plus of animals raised in today's food system are either A. Castrated males or B. Processed pre sexual maturity. This is highly atypical from a historical perspective and is a radical dietary shift. Examples of animals that are not typically raised for food anymore are bulls, boars, rams, cockerels etc.

I am in the process of learning more about testosterone and have some questions I thought this forum might have some input on.  
1. How does Testosterone/meat from animals impact the body (specifically male animals)?
2. How do we typically source Testosterone supplementation (diet, pills...) ?
3. Typically what are the quality of those supplement sources?
4. Do most people need more testosterone in their diet?  
5. How much do the massive amounts of soy in diets and the increasing lack of red meat (and fat) have to do with infertility and sperm counts in men?

I am always up for learning more so if you have insight or ideas you would be willing to share I would enjoy hearing them.  

I know a common issue with male animals aside from issues of raising them would be taste. We recently butchered a grass fed bull (to be honest it was more swamp raised) who was 2 years old. Most of the bull was processed into ground meat, but we decided to have some various cuts, mostly steaks saved and they taste amazing. I wouldn't be able to tell you it was a bull. Oblivious this is one sample, but an additional question I would have would be do others have experience with this at all? Do male animals really taste that bad?
 
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I do not castrate my ram-lambs, but it has nothing to do with taste, but marketing. I winter-lamb just so I can hit the high-price market in the fall when the Muslims have a holiday that require INTACT ram-lambs. They pay a premium for that.

Typically whole sale markets dock the farmer about $10 per ram-lamb if they are INTACT. That is a flat fee, but since intact Ram-Lambs put on weight faster, (not to mention their nads weigh some too), I can actually make more money by the conversion of grass to meat and still take the deduction at the wholesale market. This actually extends to tails on sheep too, but I still dock tails despite the 1/2 pound I lose, only because I dislike dealing with flystrike.

Taste is a very subjective matter. I once knew a customer that insisted upon Corridale lamb because he thought it was the best tasting. I have cooridales so I did not tell him the difference, but it had more to do with the "customer is always right" than any convincing theory he gave me. So most of "taste" is really just marketing. Take Black Angus beef for instance. Again it is just marketing, in blind taste tests 7 years in a row the Jersey Dairy Cow Breed came in first place, and the lowly Holstein came in second for just as many years, yet most people turn up their nose at the thought of buying jersey beef...such is the power of the Black Angus Beef marketing campaingn. BUT...and this is a huge but...a Jersey Bull is downright mean. On teh dairy farm we would let intact Holstein Bull Calfs be sold to homesteaders, but any Jersey Bulls had to be casturated. They are so mean that we just did not want someone to be hurt by them.


 
Joshua Fryc
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Travis Johnson wrote:I do not castrate my ram-lambs, but it has nothing to do with taste, but marketing. I winter-lamb just so I can hit the high-price market in the fall when the Muslims have a holiday that require INTACT ram-lambs. They pay a premium for that.

Typically whole sale markets dock the farmer about $10 per ram-lamb if they are INTACT. That is a flat fee, but since intact Ram-Lambs put on weight faster, (not to mention their nads weigh some too), I can actually make more money by the conversion of grass to meat and still take the deduction at the wholesale market. This actually extends to tails on sheep too, but I still dock tails despite the 1/2 pound I lose, only because I dislike dealing with flystrike.

Taste is a very subjective matter. I once knew a customer that insisted upon Corridale lamb because he thought it was the best tasting. I have cooridales so I did not tell him the difference, but it had more to do with the "customer is always right" than any convincing theory he gave me. So most of "taste" is really just marketing. Take Black Angus beef for instance. Again it is just marketing, in blind taste tests 7 years in a row the Jersey Dairy Cow Breed came in first place, and the lowly Holstein came in second for just as many years, yet most people turn up their nose at the thought of buying jersey beef...such is the power of the Black Angus Beef marketing campaingn. BUT...and this is a huge but...a Jersey Bull is downright mean. On teh dairy farm we would let intact Holstein Bull Calfs be sold to homesteaders, but any Jersey Bulls had to be casturated. They are so mean that we just did not want someone to be hurt by them.





I appreciate the reply! Very interesting. I will have to look into the ram lamb market as I live very close to the Twin Cities. Do you have a halal butcher or do they take the ram live from you?

I am with you on the Black Angus! Never really got what all the rage was about, but the marketing is certainly all out. I will make sure to stay away from jersey bulls, the bull we just had processed was given to us from a neighbor and he was a Simmental, and he was the most docile beast I have ever seen. Would eat out of your hand....I have to admit I was a bit sad to see him go.
 
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Joshua Fryc wrote: Examples of animals that are not typically raised for food anymore are bulls, boars, rams, cockerels etc.


1. How does Testosterone/meat from animals impact the body (specifically male animals)?


I know a common issue with male animals aside from issues of raising them would be taste. We recently butchered a grass fed bull (to be honest it was more swamp raised) who was 2 years old. Most of the bull was processed into ground meat, but we decided to have some various cuts, mostly steaks saved and they taste amazing. I wouldn't be able to tell you it was a bull. Oblivious this is one sample, but an additional question I would have would be do others have experience with this at all? Do male animals really taste that bad?



Bulls and Boars are typically not raised for meat. Boars for fear of Boar taint. I generally don't know much about pigs.

Bulls and heifers in heat can produce gamey meat if they have recently been excited. Steers are less excitable so are less likely to produce gamey meat. Steers can also be kept on grass with heifers while you cannot keep bulls with heifers. In my experience working with beef cattle a 1 or 2 year old bull is pleasant to be around, not too different from a steer. A 3 year or older bull is much more likely to be agressive and dangerous. I would expect the behavior to reflect the meat quality, an animal pleasant to be around will be pleasant to eat.

Intact ram lambs and buck kids can be marketed to people of certain religions who demand intact animals. There is a strong niche market for these animals.

Most meat birds are raised straight run, male and female together. Sometimes dual purpose chickens are raised male and female together, the males being butchered shortly before the females begin laying. The prosses of castrating a cockerel is called caponizing. The testes are internal and this is a major surgery, and is almost never done.
 
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Raising bull beef as a commercial proposition is not uncommon here in the UK.  I am not involved, just aware.
 
Joshua Fryc
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Hester Winterbourne wrote:Raising bull beef as a commercial proposition is not uncommon here in the UK.  I am not involved, just aware.




I have read that bull meat is preferred in Italy. I guess I should have mentioned my estimate is for the USA market. Can you go to the store in the UK and buy meat packaged as bull meat? I have read as well that bulls put on meat significantly faster and more efficiently than steers and cows, maybe that has something to do with it.
 
Leora Laforge
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Joshua Fryc wrote: I have read as well that bulls put on meat significantly faster and more efficiently than steers and cows.



Yes they do, a bull should gain weight 10% faster than a steer. A heifer will gain weight 10% slower than a steer. A bull carcass will have a higher proportion of lean meat compared to a steer, the heifer will put on fat earlier.

Feedlots feed synthetic hormones to steers to make them gain weight more like a bull does. I.e faster gains, more lean meat.
 
Hester Winterbourne
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Joshua Fryc wrote:Can you go to the store in the UK and buy meat packaged as bull meat? I have read as well that bulls put on meat significantly faster and more efficiently than steers and cows, maybe that has something to do with it.



I've never seen it marketed as such, no.  Some farmers do it because it is faster, like you say.  I think they are required to put up warning signs once the bulls get over a certain age (you don't have to put up a sign just if you have a bull running with cows) and not have them in a field with a public footpath.  But they are mostly barn-raised anyway.
 
Joshua Fryc
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Hester Winterbourne wrote:

Joshua Fryc wrote:Can you go to the store in the UK and buy meat packaged as bull meat? I have read as well that bulls put on meat significantly faster and more efficiently than steers and cows, maybe that has something to do with it.



I've never seen it marketed as such, no.  Some farmers do it because it is faster, like you say.  I think they are required to put up warning signs once the bulls get over a certain age (you don't have to put up a sign just if you have a bull running with cows) and not have them in a field with a public footpath.  But they are mostly barn-raised anyway.




Gotcha so they are not raised for taste, or dietary reasons at all. Thanks!
 
Joshua Fryc
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Leora Laforge wrote:

Joshua Fryc wrote: I have read as well that bulls put on meat significantly faster and more efficiently than steers and cows.



Yes they do, a bull should gain weight 10% faster than a steer. A heifer will gain weight 10% slower than a steer. A bull carcass will have a higher proportion of lean meat compared to a steer, the heifer will put on fat earlier.

Feedlots feed synthetic hormones to steers to make them gain weight more like a bull does. I.e faster gains, more lean meat.




So it would be reasonable to think that bulls that are not pumped with synthetic hormones would be a better dietary option if one was looking for food with natural hormones as heifers and steers would not produce hormones as much as a bull would?
 
Leora Laforge
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Joshua Fryc wrote:

So it would be reasonable to think that bulls that are not pumped with synthetic hormones would be a better dietary option if one was looking for food with natural hormones as heifers and steers would not produce hormones as much as a bull would?



Steers without synthetic hormones would have less testosterone present than bulls, but similar amounts of everyother hormone. Heifers would have similar amounts of total hormones to bulls, but instead of testosterone they would have estrogen and progesterone.

Hormones regulate a lot of things in the body, sex hormones are only a small subset of the hormones in the body of any animal.

When hunting animals for food it is much more common to take females as they tend to put on fat better, have more tender meat, as well as being less agressive. I wouldn't go looking to consume male animals to increase testosterone levels.
 
Joshua Fryc
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Leora Laforge wrote:

Joshua Fryc wrote:

I wouldn't go looking to consume male animals to increase testosterone levels.




Why not ?

 
Leora Laforge
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Everything you eat has to go through all your stomach acids and digestive enzymes before it can be absorbed in the intestines. A lot would break down on the way through. Skeletal meat would not have particularly high levels of hormones to begin with. If you wanted to eat prairie oysters that might make a difference in your testosterone levels.

 
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