Every year at Shady Creek Miniature Herefords we have around 20 new calves added to the herd in the Springtime. Only 1 or 2 bull calves are kept for future breeding and the rest are castrated and become steers. A couple of these steers can be sold as long term grass eaters for small acre hobby farms and we refer to them as “Lucky Boys”. The remaining steers fill the freezers of family and friends when they are approx 16 months old and we are starting to experience reduced pasture growth after Christmas.
The process by which this happens is as follows:
- Before Christmas I contact past clients and any new interested people wanting to buy meat direct from us. The steers are sold as halves and they are allocated to a client.
- The steers are transported straight out of their paddock to Radfords Abattoirs, just on the outskirts of Warragul and only a 15 minute trip from home. The timing is worked out so they are slaughtered within 2 hours of arrival so they are not hanging around for a long time.
The clients in the meantime have received a cutting sheet so they can choose how they would like their meat to be packed. Refer to cutting sheet provided.
- The carcasses are transported to Moreland Meats in Warragul, a popular Butcher shop where they hang for 7 to 10 days before being cut up and packed. The hot carcase weight of the last 4 steers processed were: 215kg, 199.4kg, 198.8kg and 248.6kg. As we don’t have scales in our yards we do not know what their live weights were.
- The clients are contacted when their meat is fully frozen and ready to pick up. They pay by EFT and I then pay Radfords and Moreland Meats for the processing.
Many of our clients are repeat buyers and appreciate their annual fill of their freezers with grass fed beef that has had minimum handling and therefore reduced stress for the steers concerned. This is reflected in the taste and tenderness of the meat. The clients also appreciate the amount of meat with half a small Hereford steer enough but not too much meat to be consumed in a year for a family. They then look forward to the next half!
Dianne and Brian Davey