In 2017 we started to focus on raising Charolais cattle. They are fast growing, large framed cattle with excellent muscling. In the late spring we artificially inseminate (AI) our cows with semen from high-quality purebred bulls. Their offspring are raised as purebred Charolais stock. Cows that don't take with AI are bred with a Lowline Angus bull and their offspring are raised for beef. Lowline Angus are a small Angus breed that grows well even when they are only grass-fed. Lowline Angus have well marbled beef and, when crossed with Charolais, Lowline traits are hybrid into a large frame.
We have cows, heifers, steers and calves in the pasture. Expected harvest dates for finished steers and heifers are April, October, November and December 2019. We take deposits at any time.
Our beef at the Rockin’ h are raised with continuous access to pasture. Steers/heifers to be harvested in the fall finish in choice pastures, with alfalfa and with a limited amount of grain (corn, barley and soybeans). We walk among our cattle a few times a day, to check them and to acclimate them to people. Our goal is raising low-stress, happy animals that are mostly grass-fed, but with some grain over the last 4-6 months to assure good marbling and great taste. Our cattle are raised antibiotic-free (except if they are being treated by a veterinarian) and are never treated with hormones.
Buying a side of beef can be confusing:
Literally, we are talking about a side: ½ of a whole carcass; left or right. All beef cuts come with each side. Suet, soup bones, and internal organs (liver, heart, tongue, kidney; about 27 lbs) are also available. A “mixed quarter”, containing all cuts found in a side, may also be purchased. Each cut or meal is wrapped individually to fit your family’s appetite. Typically, fresh beef is packaged in waxy butcher-wrap paper (recommended). Wrapped beef should easily last for 9 -12 months in a good freezer. For a small extra charge our butcher will vacuum-pack your cuts (note: any nicks to the wrap may result in freezer-burn).
Generally, 2 adults who regularly eat beef will eat about 130 lbs of beef in a year – or about 1/4 of a carcass. Buy enough for you and some friends, but please don’t over buy. You can order more next year.
Typically, 30-40 lbs of cut wrapped beef will take up about 1 cubic foot (1 ft3) in a freezer. A standup freezer may hold between 8 and 22 ft3. Chest freezers typically hold more meat and are more efficient.
We are currently taking orders for 2019 harvest. A deposit of $100 will reserve a quarter. About a month before pickup we’ll ask you to fill out a form from the butcher with your preferences: roast size, steak thickness, cuts to be ground, special drying or processing…
Our beef is butchered on the farm by Riverside Meats (Swanville). This reduces stress for the animal. Our beef is dry-aged for 14-21 days prior to being cut and wrapped. Aging makes the meat tender, and brings out the succulent flavors of high quality beef. During aging, the carcass loses weight as it dries. Fresh beef is priced by the carcass (hanging) weight. Carcasses for our cattle may run 600-850 lbs, depending on the size of the frame of the animal. All totaled, including loss due to the choice of cuts (boneless or bone-in, processing and choice of variety meats), fat and bone trimming and the aging loss, the final packaged weight you receive is about 50-60 % of the hanging weight. In addition, butchering (per carcass), cutting, grinding and wrapping (currently about $0.53/lb) are added to the costs you pay for fresh beef. As a result, beef purchased for $2.50 per pound hanging weight may average out to about $5.25 per pound cut and wrapped. (Average annual U.S. retail Choice beef price in the 3rd quarter of 2018 was $5.764/lb - https://www.ers.usda.gov/webdocs/DataFiles/52160/beef.xls?v=6218.1)
Currently, our pick-up or on-the-farm price is $2.50 / lb hanging weight for a quarter, half or whole carcass, plus butchering and processing costs. A $10 charge is added for delivery to the Twin Cities – but you should visit us and see where your beef comes from!