The folks at Homestead Meats have been processing meat animals in the North Fork Valley for over 20 years. We understand that you have invested
Please schedule you processing appointments as early as possible. This will ensure that we can harvest your animals when they are ready.
Tips on Feeding a Beef for the Freezer
First Things First – Have You Got the Facilities to Raise a Feeder Beef?
Start by evaluating your facilities at home for raising and feeding a beef animal. Feeder animals need plenty of room to exercise for improved health. Make sure all fences and gates are secure and won’t fall down. Feed bunks should also be in good repair (don’t feed hay and grain on the ground), and clean water must be available at all times.
Next, Select Your Calf
Select a calf that is at least six months old (choosing an older calf is also acceptable). Consider the frame size of the calf . Calves with larger
Feed Your Feeder Right
Beef convert six pounds of feed into one pound of gain. When your animal is on full feed, it will gain 2.5 pounds per day; therefore, your animal needs to eat 15 pounds of feed per day to gain 2.5 pounds. Your animal will eat approximately 450 pounds of feed per month. Start calves on one pound of grain (typically corn) per head per day, and free choice grass hay. Increase grain by one pound per head per day every three to four days. Feed your calf at the same time each day. It is best to feed twice a day (morning and night), and split the grain equally between the feedings. Clear uneaten feed from feed bunk before the next feeding to avoid dusty, moldy or spoiled feed.
Approximate Feeding Chart
Calf Approximate feed amounts (after initial start-up ration)
Weight Grain Grass Hay
600 lbs. 10 -12 lbs. 3 - 4 lbs.
700 lbs. 12 -14 lbs. 4 - 5 lbs.
800 lbs. 14 -16 lbs 4 - 5 lbs.
900 lbs. 16 -18 lbs. 5 - 6 lbs.
1000 lbs. 18 -20 lbs. 5 - 6 lbs.
1100 lbs. 20 -22 lbs. 5 - 6 lbs.
1200 lbs. 22 -24 lbs. 5 - 6 lbs.
Good Processing Means Good Eatin’
When your animal weighs between 1100 and 1300 pounds (depending on its frame size), it’s ready for processing. Be sure to contact us early to book your processing appointment!
Still Got Questions?
Any questions on rations, feeding, or the care of your meat animal, contact the Colorado State University’s Cooperative Extension Office at