Home Butcher Guide

How Long Does it Take to Butcher a Cow at Home

Butchering a cow at home takes years, weeks, and hours.

A beef cow should be between 15-24 months old before it is butchered. Raising beef for this amount offers the opportunity to put weight on the beef before butchering. You will know when he’s ready to be butchered when his brisket is filled out. When you look at him from the front and he is filled out between his legs -this is his brisket area. He will also have fat rolls at his tail head. 

On our farm we pull the calves off the cows right around 3-4 months old and put them into a separate pasture, a smaller one. Smaller so they have less room to run around, allowing them to gain weight. It’s still a pasture, they are not confined to a pen but much less acreage than the cows have.

home butcher cow

Compare an office job to a job that requires a lot of activity, like home building. If your sitting in an office chair all day eating the same diet as the guy who is swinging a hammer and jumping around building walls all day, the office guy is more likely to gain weight faster because his activity is limited. We are not butchering humans here people, but it’s the same idea.

Less pasture, more muscle mass and increased weight. Not all farmers do this or believe in this view, nor do they have to. It is simply a preference for the best way you want to raise your beef. We also find that it is easier come time to kill the beef. We already have them in a smaller area, we can easily get close to them and humanely kill them without getting them worked up.

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