“…from our ranch, to your table!” If you are seeking beef with exceptional flavor, tenderness and nutritional value, then you have found it in our grass-fed, organic (non-certified) Dexter beef.
Grass-Fed and Grass-Finished
Our Dexter cattle are raised the old-fashioned way, meaning no growth hormones, no steroids and especially no feed antibiotics. Quite simply, they are 100% grass-fed which means they are raised on natural, native grass pastures.
Consumer needs are our top priority. Not only do our Dexters graze freely on native grasses, we finish our cows also on native hay. By “finish” is meant how cattle are fed at the end before they are taken to the butcher. Most of the meat you buy in a grocery store is from cows finished in a feedlot on grain and weight-gain enhancing chemicals. They gain a lot of weight from fat and look full and “finished” so they earn more at the stockyard or auction (since there they are sold at live weight).
We want our customers to have a great eating experience. We also want everyone to know we have done our best to care for our animals and to not degrade the environment. Since all our cattle are raised on natural, native grass pastures it only seems logical to feed them throughout their lives with what they would only consume in nature. More and more people are looking for grass-fed and grass-finished beef that is free from any grain products.
Also be aware as if you “shop around”, sellers indicating cattle are grass-fed or using the word “natural” still allows a rancher to finish their cattle on grain or food supplements or feed grain during the winter! In fact, we have even checked natural food store chains and have found grass-fed beef separated from grass-fed and finished beef. There is quite a difference in price, and taste! We select animals for processing when they are between 20-28 months of age. At this age any fine, pearl colored marbling fat easily “dissolves” when cooked.
Studies show that grass-fed and finished beef is lower in saturated fat, higher in omega 3 for a better ratio of omega 3 and 6, and lower in calories and cholesterol making it healthier beef. Dexter beef is naturally lean and tender without any supplemental marbling. Grass-finished Dexter beef was preferred 2 to 1 over the well known Angus breed in a recent flavor test conducted among chefs and beef connoisseurs. As you can imagine, larger animals have larger muscle fibers which lends itself to a more “chewy” meat. To compensate for this breeders and fed lot owners want to add fat which develops between the muscle fibers and assists in tenderness but of course increases the amount of fat consumed. For it’s comparable size, the Dexter rib-eye is larger than other breeds.
The goals for our ranch have not changed since the beginning. We wanted to preserve the past while improving on the future of the Dexter breed. We sought to improve Dexter genetics through responsible breeding, to insure animal welfare, and to provide sustainable pastures in tune with the environment (now THAT is green!). We are very proud of how both our animals and pastures have responded. We never use fertilizers on our pasture lands and never used growth hormones or other products that would jeopardize animal health and negate the organic nature of our land or animals. As a result our herd is organic (non-certified), grass-fed and grass-finished. Organic certification is a long and costly process which we have opted not to pursue. But we are certain that our Dexter cattle processes would pass even the most stringent evaluations.
We are presently only in position to sell by the half (side) or whole. Many consumers who have experienced buying freezer beef in the past from larger breeds of cattle find that half a cow or steer weighs more than a comparable Dexter steer and takes up quite a bit more freezer space. But they are not necessarily buying a lot more edible meat. Grain-fed cattle result in considerable more “waste” when you cut off the fat or it melts away in the crockpot. An average grain-fed Dexter steer has a live weight of 750-800 pounds as compared to an Angus at 1,200 or a Charolais at 2,000 or more. Comparatively, our grass-fed and finished Dexters typically weigh between 600-700 pounds, but some are larger.
We are regularly asked how much beef one derives from our grass-fed Dexters. After dry-aging (hanging in a cooler) for approximately 2 weeks, the cut and wrapped meat weighs approximately 270 pounds (obviously, a half is 135 pounds). This equates to about enough beef from one whole animal to easily fit into a standard 15 cubic foot freezer with room to spare.
Farming costs have skyrocketed in the past few years as has been well documented in the media. The severe drought has forced many cattle ranchers to sell off large portions of their herds. The media reported in 2013 that beef prices were are the highest they have been in 21 years! Also, the local Colorado drought also stressed the supply and demand for hay and forced to feed hay year round rather than just in the winter months. Although we have the option of feeding poorer quality hay to save on the cost, we have resisted that trend and still feed only high quality, higher priced native grasses and alfalfa hay.
LAST ONE FOR 2014! We have only one steer left for 21014 (as of June 12), so if you are looking for wonderful grass-fed and -finished beef, please call now. This last one will still sell for $6.25 per pound hanging weight. This price includes all the USDA processing fees for butchering, cutting and wrapping. There are no hidden ”gotcha” fees. Although the final price can not be determined until the beef is hanging, in 2013 our average hanging weight was 400 pounds. Using this as an example, a whole beef would cost $2,500. If you were to buy cut by cut at the local Whole Foods market, for example, you would find the price for a whole extremely higher than this! .
SPECIAL ORDER SALE
Ground beef = $6.95 (ten pound minimum order)
Customers who have ordered from us within the last two years (2012 -2013) = $100 off per whole ordered ($50 per half)
We require a $100 non-refundable deposit to reserve a half of beef and $200 for the whole (checks made out to Hanover Dexter Cattle Company) that will be applied to the final price. When we receive your deposit and the check clears the bank we will send you a receipt and a cutting list to be used by our processor.
We will also need to determine how you want the finished meat packaged and delivered (see above for shipping). The cutting specifications can be done at any time prior to the animal going to the butcher. If you are unfamiliar with the various ways to have beef cut, let us know and we would be happy to help you make your selections. Because the same USDA inspected processing facility butchers and processes our animals, you are assured of quality every time. If you wish, we will work with you on any special cutting requests and relay this information to the processing facility. All packaging can be done with traditional white butcher paper or vacuum sealed.