I am not raising a beef calf at the moment, I went to get a calf this spring, I did, I am picky on what I get and where I get it from, I get my week old calf*s from Farmer R, I know they have their first feedings, I know how they are treated, and I know how their mothers are treated etc.
And boy was I in for a shock, my normal 50 to 100 dollar calf was sitting at around 400 for a week old.. ok then.. so the price of beef at the moment in crazy and I am not paying 400 for a calf, I will wait a year or two for the price to come down on it, as the supply will catch up to demand to a point. (plus I have a lot of beef in the freezer and cellar) so I have flex to a point..
But there is a catch, if you are only eating out of the freezer or the panty and not putting anything back.. you have a issues for sure.. add in the fact that I have limited steaks and limited stew meat, but boy do I have lots of burger 🙂
No problem, I got this.. I increased my duck breeding program.. my amazing machovy duck breeding program, no other duck breed will work for this plan..
I was on the hunt this spring and the last of the ducks came out of quarentee this past weekend and all my duck breeding pens are in force, I have a total of three active breeding pens, each pen has a set unrelated ducks, for a total of six unrelated breeding lines that are being started with this year, this should allow me to breed out for a number of years before needing to bring in new blood if I want to, but it also allows me to trade with friends and provide them with a nice mix of bloodlines.
My first hen is sitting currently, and she is due this week if my dates on her sitting solid are right, she is with grumpy drake.. I had to laugh I put silver girl with pretty drake and they went into the pen that had the big goose straw house, well she loves it.. she strutted in and looked in and went.. YES! and made a nest and laid her first egg, made me laugh.. that pair should produce outstanding ducklings.
The third breeding pair is a nice chocolate hen with a sweet but HUGE Bard black and white male carrying chocolate himself.
Now I should be able to get the hens to have a min of two sitting on 12 to 16 eggs, for a min of 50 ducklings to raise this year.. that’s 100 steaks or 50 steaks and 50 pounds plus of stew meat..
Add to that another 400 pounds or so of duck meat for other uses.. o my.. that is a lot of meat, I expect that to be honest, the prime cuts will taken and the rest will be used as hound raw food.. The feathers are used for the garden use. They are a wonderful 0 Mile farm critter in the sense that nothing at all will go to waste.
I will need to cure out a good amount of them into Salt Cured Duck Breast Prosciutto and then give them a gentle smoke for awesome smoked meat sandwiches.
So are you adjusting your breeding programs based on costs this year, are you increasing the amount of meat chickens you are raising, are you hoping to pick up a young kid or lamb to raise for the freezer this fall.. I tell ya even the cost of lamb this year is crazy high.. Its almost double from last year..
I am looking forward to doing a fully done cost out program on the duck meat compared to raising my beef, it will be detailed to be sure.. I wish you all the best of luck on finding a way to grow more of your own food, be it eggs, meat, milk or fruit or veggies..
Trust me, I may not get to the store much but I read the flyers and the prices are rising and then some!