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Grass fed, grain supplemented - opinions please?

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  • Grass fed, grain supplemented - opinions please?

    I'm putting together a cowpool in my area and have been in contact with the farmer. I asked about whether or not his cows were completely grass fed and this was the response that I got:

    "I give them only four or five lbs. each per day of an all natural grain feed that I have mixed at a feed mill near me. The rest of their food is grass pastures, I have a lot of peanut pasture, and Bermuda as well as some Bahia. During the winter they are given peanut hay. I give them the small amount of grain to keep a steady growth rate and it keeps them friendly to me and makes it easier to move them from pasture to pasture. We use a rotational grazing schedule which requires moving them often to eliminate the need to use chemical wormers."

    Do any of you know how that affects the meat? I know there have been discussions on here about grain finished beef and how that wasn't so great.

    We're still planning on purchasing the meat because it's a great price and still healthier and more affordable than what we can purchase at the grocery store. I was just curious about your opinions.

  • #2
    I don't have much advice for you, but you should do some googling. Joel Salatin would be a good place to start. If this place is affordable for you, it probably is better than CAFO beef, but maybe not ideal.

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    • #3
      It doesn't sound that bad if it's cheap as you say. Think of it as the cow's 80/20.
      .`.><((((> .`.><((((>.`.><((((>.`.><(( ((>
      ><((((> .`.><((((>.`.><((((>.`.><(( ((>

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      • #4
        Peanut forage is common and great for dairy cows in areas where alfalfa doesn't grow. Be sure he's selling beef grade steer. I'm pretty sure the grass fed I was so disappointed in wasn't a good beef breed. I personally wouldn't worry about the grain much, but I understand the 3:6 ratio will be skewed the wrong way and keep eating copious amounts of fish and fish oil. If he isn't selling a half dairy breed, I bet that is some fine tasting beef.

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        • #5
          A lot of the benefits of grass fed cows (dairy & the meat) is lost when grain is introduced to their diet. I would recommend shopping around a bit more to find a grass fed grass finished farm. Where are you? I'm in California and have found a great farm with great prices if you are interested. If not, use this site www.eatwild.com

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          • #6
            That seems like A LOT of grain to me. I'd probably keep looking. Also, what kind of cow is it?

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            • #7
              If your desire is healthy meat, any grain is a problem. Studies show that feeding grain one time in a ruminants life changes it's CLA (conjugated linoliec acid) for life. If you are just wanting to know where you meat came from then it is probably fine for. Just know that the nutrient value of the meat is lower. I would not be too concerned about the breed, it is more a question of the feed that controls flavor, breed can effect tenderness but milking animals often are more but less beef per pound. I would encourage you to look someone up on eatwild.com or you can pm me and I may know someone in your area. Yes, I am a grass producer and consultant. You can visit my sites at the Grassfed Exchange and the Grassfed Network, these sites are for producers, maybe you can find a producer on the Exchange site.

              I think I answered your question Mark. Any grain defeats the grass, even one feeding.

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              • #8
                (I was wrong, I didn't find him on eat wild) I live in central Florida and I haven't been able to find another affordable farm yet. I'm getting this beef for less than 5.00 a lb. I'll be doing more research.
                Last edited by fyrespryte; 06-21-2010, 06:44 PM.

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                • #9
                  The more I read the more I understand that you must increase your omega 3's (by what degree I'm not sure) if there is any grain part of your food chain.

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                  • #10
                    I went to the local farmer's market on Sat. to get some local, grass-fed beef. Turns out the farmer raises the cattle on grass, then "finishes" with corn. I wasn't thrilled to learn that, but I bought a steak anyway to see if I can tell the difference between it and what you get in the grocery store. I need to find a place for pure, 100% grass fed beef.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Namasteak View Post
                      A lot of the benefits of grass fed cows (dairy & the meat) is lost when grain is introduced to their diet. I would recommend shopping around a bit more to find a grass fed grass finished farm. Where are you? I'm in California and have found a great farm with great prices if you are interested. If not, use this site www.eatwild.com
                      I'm in SoCal and have not found grass fed beef locally that I was happy with. Texan may have changed my opinion though. Who's your farmer?

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                      • #12
                        @Grol, where in SoCal are you? We get our beef & raw dairy products through Organic Pastures. They are at the Santa Monica farmers market on Wednesday mornings but do ship in state. Also, come to the meet up I'm trying to get together!

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                        • #13
                          Nama there's a decent chance I can be there the weekend of the 12-13th, so I am following that conversation. I'm unfortunately relocated to the Mojave Desert, but work and play brings me to your area bi-monthly.

                          I am very familiar with the farmer's markets around you, and Wednesday Santa Monica is certainly one of the best just one I won't be able to attend. I will look up Organic Pastures. If they are also at one of the weekend markets, then I will be able to stock up without shipping.

                          I recommend the Brentwood market on Sundays. As good or better than the Santa Monica market, with a parking issue that forces you to make a very lovely walk. Hollywood's Sunday market is the hot spot for people watching and great prepared food. Also if you want to beat all the crowds Westwood has one on Thursdays with extended hours behind the VA. That's west of Sunset, barely Westwood, and you have to drive through the VA property to get to it. I have good friends in booths there selling things I no longer eat. It's billed as the only farmers market in a garden. Hehe... mention an LA area farmer's market and I ramble.
                          Last edited by Grol; 06-21-2010, 10:47 PM.

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