Wednesday, December 12, 2012

A Cull Cow Named Millie

None of us gets out of this world alive...and that includes dairy cows from South Pork Ranch. On average our cows live 8-9 years with some as old as 13-14 years before they are done providing milk to us and our loyal raw milk customers.

View of Millie from our front porch. Worried she might bring shame to the
rest of the herd she asked we not identify her.

But some will be loaded into the livestock trailer for that final trip to the locker, excuse me, abattoir, sooner than later. Thus is the fate of our dairy cow Millie.

It's not her fault, she did nothing wrong. She came in from pasture before curfew, she got pregnant after each of her visits with Keith's glove (we AI all our cows, stopped keeping bulls years ago when one tried running down Keith out in the field) but over the last few months she has indeed let us down...milk production wise.

In general we don't have the highest standards for milk production. We believe animal health and life span is preferred over actual pounds of milk produced each year. But even with our lower than dairy industry standard, Millie was not producing enough milk to validate the cost of hay which must be fed this winter.

So while she is in in great shape physically she will soon be made into burger. Cows older than 3 generally do not make the best steaks and roasts so her entire cowness will become ground beef chubbies and ground beef patties. This is truly one of the most economic things to do with a cow who no longer is putting milk on the table.

Her hanging weight will be in the 700 pound range which means over 500 pounds of burger to take home. At least 200 pounds will go to the grocery stores we service and the remaining 300 pounds  will go into our own farm store which will make our customers happy since we've been without ground beef for a couple weeks.

Ground beef, which is actually ground sirloin here, has NOTHING added  like it is in your average grocery store.  Ours has no added cereals, no added fat, so Pink Slime.  It also comes from an animal that is certified organic and 100% grass fed, no grain ever. And it is the number one seller in our farm store.

So Millie, we want to thank you for the milk you did produce for us and our farm and we want to thank you again for the lovely ground beef you'll be gracing us with very soon.


  1. Even though I won't be eating any, I want to thank Millie for providing for you until the end.

  2. Thank you for thanking Millie! If only everyone though as much to really give thanks for the animals that give their lives for our dinner tables.

  3. All our burgers here in France are 100% pure beef, as are our sausages 100% pure pork. 'Pink slime' (and all other additives) should be banned.

    I do hope that Millie gets a little treat before her everlasting holiday.

  4. Can't help it, Donna, I feel so sad... on the other hand, well done, Millie...

  5. We raise our own beef as well, and each evening that we sit around the table to enjoy our beef, one of the kids usually says, "Is this from Tuffy? Or Sucker?" So, Thanks Millie!

  6. I split a cull cow with a local farmer. Curly was 5, so best for ground beef, although i did get some stew meat, steaks, and small roasts, too, knowing they'd be a bit tougher. I have teeth, so chewing is not a problem for me, and i've found that if i marinate the meat before cooking and cook over low heat, it works well.

    She was raised with the same care that you've given Millie, and i'm very grateful for folks like you.

    I give thanks before every meal. When it's beef, i also give thanks for the farmer and Curly.

  7. The 'circle of life' for our dairy cows as well. We thank them for their contribution when they are in the milking string and also when their lives turn them towards our dinner table. Thanks for sharing Millie's journey.

  8. Glad Millie had a good life.

    Thanks for sharing her story with us.