Bull Beef

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Mark S
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Bull Beef

Post by Mark S » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:22 am

I am currently finishing a couple of dexter bulls, currently 11months old. They are being finished on ad lib haylage and 4 lbs Beef nuts/day and are displaying good levels of finish. I aim to have them finished in the next 4-6 weeks and will sell the majority of the Beef to customers. What experience do other breeders have of finishing bulls and do they find that bull Beef is as good as heifers/steer Beef in terms of eating quality etc.

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Re: Bull Beef

Post by Mark Bowles » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:17 pm

I have never done it, I would assume that the feeding of nuts would impact on the quality of the beef, ie, not as good as grass fed. I have also been told bull beef is not as good.
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Louisa Gidney
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Re: Bull Beef

Post by Louisa Gidney » Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:30 pm

I used to do bull beef back in the day of the BSPS subsidy, as one could make one claim on the entire and get them away rather than the two claims for the steers. Bulls certainly finish sooner than steers.
At 11 months they are not going to have developed a lot of flavour, that's one criticism I used to get. You may need to emphasise to customers that it may be more akin to rose veal than matured beef. There shouldn't be as much waste fat. I've never seen the point of feeding to produce fat that then gets trimmed off & binned.
I've no idea what effect beef nuts will have, have never fed them.
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Rob R
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Re: Bull Beef

Post by Rob R » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:47 pm

Louisa Gidney wrote:
Mon Feb 04, 2019 8:30 pm
There shouldn't be as much waste fat. I've never seen the point of feeding to produce fat that then gets trimmed off & binned.
Waste fat - I'm not familiar with that concept - the fat is as popular as the beef these days and makes beautiful dripping from the Dexters.

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Re: Bull Beef

Post by Rob R » Sun Feb 10, 2019 2:56 pm

I used to finish bulls when I didn't have much land (and like Louisa, collected the single BSPS payment) and I wrote about it in the bulletin once - I remember being told that I'd ruin the breed's reputation for good eating qualities by one unhappy breeder at the time.

These days we do a lot of conservation grazing and mix the heifers and steers so it's not really possible but we've got a group of 7 now that didn't get castrated soon enough. They're older and look well finished on grass after 3 years but the younger ones do tend to be on the leaner side compared to steers that look the same. They are a lot more prone to stress at slaughter though so handle carefully and ask the abattoir to do the same.

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