Waiting!!!


Calf watch is officially on!

Part of our farm dream is to establish a quality herd of cattle. We are well on our way. Our two heifers were impregnated in November and are due at the end of this month. Similar to humans, the gestation period for cattle is about nine months. Like any pregnancy, the due date depends on a lot of factors and first births can be as early as two weeks before the due date.

Pregnant heifers re

Today, both heifers look very pregnant. Callie seems a bit bigger than Cherry. We hope both births go smoothly and the calves are a good weight for a first birth.

The bull, Pedro, is a calm, laid-back Black Angus. Our heifers are Red Angus. Cherry is a Maine-Anjou cross and Callie is part Shorthorn. Based on their genetics and their dispositions, we should have some very nice calves soon.

Just like women who are pregnant, we’ve been watching their feed. Plenty of good hay is always available. They are on pasture, so they can graze if they want. And they get supplemental feed to make sure they don’t lose weight, but not so much that they get fat.

Once the calves are born, we will have a whole, new routine here. But mostly watching the young calves being introduced to their world and just having fun!

KeiLin Farm, a producer of farm fresh beef and eggs, as well as premium hay, is located in Rose Township, Michigan and is in the process of acquiring the required licenses to become a small wine maker.

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How do I cook that?


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When you buy a quarter of a steer, you get a quarter of all the cuts available from that steer. You know you get steak – porterhouse, T-bone, chuck, and ground. You get roasts – English, rump, and chuck. But what about these other packages? There are soup bones or shanks, stew meat, and short ribs! What do I do with those?

These cuts could end up being your favorites once you know how to use them.

Soups

The crock pot can be your best friend. Put the soup bones in the pot with a generous amount of water and your favorite spices. Experiment with the spices – thyme, oregano, and basil make a great Italian seasoning. Mix rosemary with black pepper, lemon zest, garlic, and salt (optional) for another great flavoring. Add some vegetables and let it cook on low for about 8 hours. The meat will fall off the bones! Dice it, add some barley if you like and cook it for another half hour. If you don’t like barley, boil some noodles and mix with the soup.

Stew

Stew is another crock pot favorite. Just like the soup, cook the meat for about eight hours on low with your choice of spices and vegetables. Thicken the broth when it’s done. Hearty meal on a cold day with little effort from you.

Fajitas

Any dish that uses small, sliced meats can also be made with the stew meat. We love fajitas. The stew meat is already chucked, so I only cut the larger pieces, stir fry and follow our favorite recipe. Done!

Short ribs

This cut also works best in a crock pot. I like to add my favorite bar-b-q sauce and let it simmer away all day. Serve with a microwave baked potato and salad for another delicious and effortless meal.

Just as a note, we’ve recently added an electric pressure pot to our kitchen. We’ve made the same meals that we made in the crock pot quickly. It’s been a life saver on the days that “someone” forgot to start the crock pot in the morning.

These are just a few ways to serve these lesser-known cuts of meat. How many have you tried? What is your favorite ways to prepare them? Let us know in the comments below.

KeiLin Farm, a producer of farm fresh beef and eggs, as well as premium hay, is located in Rose Township, Michigan and is in the process of acquiring the required licenses to become a small wine maker.

Have a Great Burger!


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Nutrition has always been a primary interest of mine. For years, when my children were growing up, I would freeze and can fresh fruits and vegetables when they were in season. Often, I would take the kids to the farm so we could pick our own. I think the “farmer” gene has always been in me, even when we lived in the city.

Now that we raise our own cattle for beef and hens for eggs, I’m very conscious about what we feed our animals and how we can produce the healthiest food for the table.

The controversy over grass-fed and corn-fed cattle has been going on for quite a while. Now, with the government looking at how much meat we should really consume, there are more and more studies that look at the nutritional value of our meat.

One of the latest studies that was published by researchers from Texas A&M University’s Department of Animal Science1 compared ground beef from grass-fed cattle with traditional, grain-fed cattle and the risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) and type II diabetes in men. The conclusion? No significant difference.

What they did find is that ground beef is one of the most important sources of the healthful monounsaturated fatty acid in our diet. The interesting thing is that although grass-fed beef is higher in omega-3 fatty acids, something we would expect, it is also higher in saturated and transfat. This is the fat we should monitor and eat as little of as possible.

Premium beef, on the other hand, although lower in omega-3 fatty acids, again as expected, it was higher than grass-fed beef in monounsaturated fats and lower in saturated and transfat.

But what this study did not take into account is how some cattle farmers feed – which is neither 100% grass nor high concentrations of corn.

We feed our cattle free choice pasture and hay, much like most grass-fed herds, but, we offer our cattle a small amount of a grain feed, which is blended for us at the feed elevator. It is a mix of corn, barley, and other grains to provide a more balanced feed that is both nutritious and contributes to the marbling that is required to produce premium beef.

So, go ahead and treat yourself to that burger. Grass-fed or grain-fed, it’s great for dinner.

  1. http://animalscience.tamu.edu/2013/12/07/ground-beef-from-grass-fed-and-grain-fed-cattle-does-it-matter/
KeiLin Farm, a producer of farm fresh beef and eggs, is located in Davisburg, Michigan.

What’s a Quarter?


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One of our most frequently asked questions is – what’s a quarter? Is it the front or the back?

Understandable confusion – many years ago there were butcher shops around that would sell beef by the front quarter or the hind quarter with the front being less expensive than the hind. But, you only received chuck and ribs if you selected the front quarter, and the porterhouse and T-bone steaks are in the hind quarter.

When we sell by the quarter, you receive one-fourth of the steer. The means, you get ALL the available cuts. T-bone, porterhouse, Delmonico, chuck, round steak, sirloin steak, roasts, steak-burger, and soup bones.

Wow! That’s quite a variety of cuts.

And a quarter typically weighs out at 100 pounds of table ready beef. Yes, that’s a lot of beef. Considering that the average American in 2012 consumed 71.2 pounds of red meat and about 60% of that was beef, a quarter can last your family anywhere from six months to two years.

Note: this figure includes ALL red meat eaten, regardless of where it was prepared.

The next question is how do I prepare the cuts I’ve never tried before? We’ll help you there. Both on this blog and on our website we will be adding recipes and tips on how to prepare every cut of meat you receive in quarter.

Whether you grill, roast, or fry, we want you to enjoy your quarter.

KeiLin Farm produces farm fresh beef and eggs and is located in Davisburg, Michigan.

Got Beef?


Steak dinner from farm raised beef
Beef! It’s what’s for dinner.

 

It’s National Beef Month and whether you enjoy steaks, roast, burgers or any of the other cuts, beef is a staple for most families. And if you are like many, you want your cuts to be tender, flavorful, and nutritious.

To celebrate this month, here are some beef facts:

  • The basic cuts of beef are the chuck, loin, rib and round. The names for some cuts of meat can vary from one area to another.
  • There are 50 breeds of beef cattle in the U.S. The breed most recognized is Angus. Hereford, Brahman, Maine-Anjou, and Charolais are among other breed raised for beef.
  • A 3 ounce serving of beef provides more than half of your required protein for the day.
  • Beef is an excellent source of all the necessary amino acids.
  • The United States provides 25 percent of the world’s beef, but only has 10 percent of the world’s cattle.
  • A 3-oz serving of lean beef contains about 150 calories provides about the same amount of protein as 1½ cups of cooked black beans which is about 341 calories

Purchasing your beef by the quarter or half from a local farmer allows you to see the growing conditions of the cattle. Most farmers are more than willing to discuss the feed sources for their animals. Many grow their own hay to ensure that their stock receive the best hay available so you get the best beef possible.

Beef! It’s what’s for dinner at our house. How about yours?

KeiLin Farm produces farm fresh beef and eggs and is located in Davisburg, Michigan.

How Big?


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Two of the most frequently asked questions are how big is a quarter of beef and how big of a freezer will I need?

What is a quarter?

A quarter of beef is one-fourth of all the cuts found in the steer. This includes steaks, roasts, lean ground beef (we call it steak burger) as well as soup bones. The entire list is on our website, so I won’t list it here. Every person who orders a quarter gets every cut of beef that is available from that steer.

The weight of the quarter will vary depending on how big the steer was when we take it in for processing. On average, a quarter of beef will produce 90 to 100 pounds of beef.

Yes, that’s a lot of beef! And that’s why we are always asked, “How big of a freezer do I need?”

Freezers

The type of freezer you purchase is your preference. According to a recent report, a chest freezer is usually more economical. They are well insulated and are very efficient at keeping the food cold. Even during a power outage, as long as the freezer not opened, a chest freezer can keep your food frozen for 2 or 3 days. This, of course, depends on the quality of the frozen food. Typically chest freezers use the least energy to run.

How big of a freezer you purchase will depend on how you plan to use it. Most sources say a cubic foot will hold 15 to 35 pounds. That’s a big range! It might hold 35 pounds if it was all stored in neat little squares – but beef tends to come in different shapes and sizes. We tell people to figure 15 to 20 pounds per cubic foot. This means a quarter of beef – which is 90 to 100 pounds – should fit in a 5 cubic foot freezer.

The price difference between 5, 7, and 10 cu. foot freezers is not that great. You know you will want to put more in that freezer than just the beef, so go with the 7 or 10 cubic foot freezer. From what I hear from our customers, the quarter just fits in a 5 cubic foot freezer.

For more information on our farm, fresh beef be sure to check out our website.

KeiLin Farm, producer farm fresh beef and eggs, is located in Davisburg, Michigan.