Updated: Apr 17, 2021
Interestingly, cows and humans share the 40-week gestation. Spending more than half the year pregnant is just the beginning of the process. Maybe more interesting is the terminology used on ranches everywhere that gets a little lost in translation. A cow is referring to a female bovine only after she has produced a calf. Before her first babe she is called a heifer. For males, it changes based on if they are kept for production or slaughter. Once a bull is castrated, he becomes a steer, the true form of “cow” that you eat.
Before the steer can become beef, he has a full life. These calves graze beside their mother for roughly 7 to 10 months. Here at BFT Ranch we then fence line wean these calves. Allowing both mother and calf to stay close, gives less stress to the animals as they continue to be able to see, smell and talk with each other. These calves then have the next 20 months to graze and grow. Being AGA Certified means they are never given grains or corn. Additionally, they have no exposure to pesticides or herbicides, living a full chemical free life.
As steers are ready for harvest starting at 27 months they are brought into their in own pasture. As they live their whole life with our family, they are again more comfortable and less stressed as they moved by us. The ability to keep their stress hormones low throughout their lives gives the meat its fresh, natural flavor. Once a steer is brought to the butcher, they are processed into the many cut options you see at the store. The process of the slaughter is about two weeks and once pieced apart the meat is flash-frozen and ready to be sent to your door.
In total, we spend nearly 3 years tending to these animals. Our commitment to keeping happy, healthy animals is our privilege. Our hope is that our cows and our story can provide your family with the best beef on the market.