Our experience in feeding cattle in western Missouri at Briarwood Farms means utilizing pasture longer and limiting the time calves are in the feedlot to only 45 days, while achieving prime and choice at harvest.
We steer approximately 50% of our bull calf crop and feed all heifers that do not meet our strict criteria as replacement females. Beginning at weaning and up until they reach approximately 1000 pounds, calves will have access to ample grass consisting mostly of fescue, ladino clover and lespedeza. They’ll run to a large round bale filled with prairie hay when needed and we supplement with a ration of 1/3 pelleted corn gluten, 1/3 ground corn and 1/3 ground prairie hay. Hand feeding allows for close observation and further develops much of the great disposition we’ve bred into our calves.
The yearlings are then implanted and put on a self-feeder, while still enjoying grass pasture. The ration is composed of corn and Purina® supplement and calves will remain on it until they reach approximately 1400 pounds. The last 45 days they are placed in a dry feedlot, prior to being harvested at National Beef through U.S. Premium Beef® in Dodge City, KS.
Our fall calves are usually harvested in January at 16 months of age and the spring calves usually go out in June at 15-16 months of age. The last load at U.S. Premium Beef® graded 30% prime with 100% choice or better and 95% qualifying for CAB®.
We turn this kill data into the American Angus Association and find carcass data and performance information very useful in our management of the herd here at Briarwood. We’ve harnessed Angus genetics that are adaptable and functional for our region and reduced the number of days on feed, while producing prime beef. From pasture to prime, Briarwood Angus breeds and feeds for profitable carcass genetics. — Doc & Dave
As a charter member of US Premium Beef®, Briarwood Angus Farms understands value added products and is proud of superior stock that consistently produce calves that grade over 90% Choice, with more than 50% qualifying for Certified Angus Beef©.
There are many brands of beef, but only one Angus brand exceeds expectations for the most flavorful, tender and juicy cuts. Since 1978, the Certified Angus Beef® brand, as the original, has set the bar for high-quality beef and premium programs.
Not all Angus beef is created equal. Each Angus program varies in its set of standards, not always delivering consumers the quality they expect. That’s where the Certified Angus Beef® brand shines, consistently providing consumers the high-quality beef they crave.
The brand relies on a set of 10 strict quality specifications – developed by leading scientists, researchers and academics – to consistently deliver a superior beef-eating experience. The brand begins with Angus-influenced cattle, which are known to produce more highly marbled beef, but, in fact, only 1 in 4 Angus cattle meet the brand’s high standards. Briarwood Beef makes the grade!
Research at the Meat Animal Research Center (MARC) has proven over the years that the Angus breed is superior in marbling to all other mainstream beef breeds.
The CAB brand requires Modest or higher degrees of marbling (“Upper 2/3 of Choice” or “Premium Choice”). In more than 90% of the Angus influenced (black-hided) cattle that fail to meet CAB specifications, inadequate marbling is to blame. Keep in mind that the percentage of Angus genetics varies greatly in black-hided cattle.
- The EPD for Angus cattle that predicts marbling is MARB.
- The amount of marbling needed in a herd sire depends on the cowherd he will service and your goals. If the cowherd is of Continental or highly crossbred genetics, selection for higher marbling is recommended. If the cowherd is Angus or English-based and known to produce calves that can marble, moderate to high levels may suffice.
Read more about why marbling is important to beef demand here.
Superior marbling and maturity
1. Modest or higher marbling – for the taste that ensures customer satisfaction
2. Medium to fine marbling texture – the white “flecks of flavor” in the beef that ensure consistent flavor and juiciness in every bite
3. “A” Maturity – the youngest classification of product delivers superior color, texture and tenderness
Three specifications ensure uniform, consistent steak size
and plate presentation:
4. 10- to 16-square-inch ribeye area
5. Less than 1,000-pound carcass weight
6. Less than 1 inch external fat
Fresh beef appearance and tenderness
7. Superior beef muscling – restricts the influence of less-tender dairy cattle
8. Practically free of capillary rupture – ensures the most visually appealing steak
9. No dark cutters – ensures the most visually appealing steak
10. No neck hump exceeding 2 inches – safeguards against cattle with variability in tenderness
I can’t emphasize enough the end product and I remain committed to the longstanding reputation of industry-leading Angus genetics. — Dr. Curtis W. Long
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