TBF 089 :: Dexter Cattle, The Big Bin Ordeal, and a Hard Lesson Learned

Released Wednesday, 12th November 2014
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The very first "farm animals" that we had while we still lived in town were chickens that we raised in our backyard. But, while still living in town the second "farm animal" that we began purchasing were our Dexter Cattle. Obviously we weren't able to keep them in town (the police even made us get rid of our chickens), but my dad only lived a little more than an hour away and had plenty of pasture, so that is where we began our herd. Before I knew it we had way too many Dexters because I had been finding way too many "good deals". At that time (around seven years ago) I was completely enamored with the Dexter breed, with grassfed cattle, and with having cattle as the center piece of our farm. Times have changed quite a bit and while we still do have our Dexters I am beginning to question their place on our farm. Not cattle as a whole, but the Dexter breed specifically.
While I very much appreciate the smaller size of Dexters, the tri-purpose use that they can have, the great flavor of their meat when raised solely on grass, and of course their stately looking horns ... there are somethings that are beginning to make me question whether or not they are the best fit for our farm. Over the years I have often had this thought pop into my head in regards to high price for breeding stock compared to the amount of meat you receive from each steer, but recently a few other questions have begun bouncing around my head and they have me thinking maybe it is time to shift my focus when it comes to cattle. Generally speaking, while I do love my little Dexters the economic realities of wanting to have a wholly viable and financially sustainable farm has me question where they fit into the picture. I think the real question then becomes what are your goals for having cattle on your farm. Do you just want a small herd to provide a few steers for you, your friends, and a few customers? If that is the case then maybe they are a perfect fit for you. But, if you would like grassfed beef to be more than a small sideline to your business then I think you should at the very least consider other options ... or maybe even write-off Dexters completely. What does that mean for this beginning farmer and for Crooked Gap Farm? Well, the jury is still out and honestly I probably won't be quick to make a decision on this one because I have quite a bit invested (time, money, and emotions) in even my small herd of cattle! I would love to hear your thoughts on the subject. Leave a comment below or join in the fun on The Beginning Farmer Show on Facebook. Check out The Beginning Farmer Show on Facebook!  As always, I want to thank you so much for listening and supporting the show with your encouragement and reviews on iTunes! I am continually working to produce a better show, and I'm thankful for all of the listeners sticking with me as I learn. If you do enjoy the show, don't forget that you can subscribe on iTunes and leave a five star rating and review (by clicking the link). If you are an Android phone user you can also subscribe on the free Stitcher App. It is so very encouraging to know that people are listening and enjoying the show! I would love to hear your questions, show ideas, or comments about the show. Feel free to shoot me an e-mail! As always you can follow along with "The Beginning Farmer" and Crooked Gap Farm by checking out these links ...

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40m 1s

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