Beef Requests and the Challenges to Overcome

We have been receiving a lot more requests for frozen locker beef than ever before in the last couple of weeks. This is great and we wish that we could deliver the meat immediately! However, unfortunately our beef will be ready no sooner than December 2020, simply because this is when the calf will reach the correct weight and maturity.

Grades and Yield

One of the main challenges to raising grass-fed beef is keeping the daily weight gain high. If the calves do not gain weight on a daily basis (around 3 pounds per day) then they may begin to burn fat to make up for the lost nutrition and if too much fat is burned then the finished meat may result in a lower grade.

In general, grades consist of Prime, Choice, and Select.  Prime is considered the best grade due to it’s high content of marbled fat, resulting in the most tender steaks.  Prime also yields the most meat from a carcass. Select is the lower grade, has less marbled fat and may not be as tender. Select also yields less meat from the same carcass. So when you purchase a carcass, you get more cut up beef from prime than you would from select; therefore, prime is the better deal since you get more meat for the same dollar.

Why such a long process?

We usually reserve calves born in the spring (March) for our beef program.  The calves will be raised by their mothers until they are 8 or 9 months old and then we take them and wean them, usually in November.  At this point the calves weigh about 650 pounds.  After they are weaned we usually sell 700 pound calves in January, so the calves are now about 10 months old. The calves that we sell will be put on wheat pastures and they will continue to gain around 3 pounds per day; however, the calves that we retain for our beef program will be grazing stockpiled forage, hay, and they will be given protein supplements. The retained calves will be lucky to gain 1 pound per day.

In May when the grass turns green and begins to grow, the retained calves begin gaining weight.  They are left to graze all summer and fall and typically reach a final weight of about 1300 pounds by December, depending on the grazing conditions during the summer. At this point they are about 22 months old.

The point being made is that this is a long term process. It takes 22 months to make a finished product and it takes 12 months of advance notice to know how many calves to retain.  If we think that there will be high demand, then we hold back more calves in January. If we think the demand will be low, we hold back fewer calves in January. We must know 12 months in advance what the demand will be.


The next problem is inventory on hand to deliver meat in a more timely fashion.  As discussed above, the delivery is always around November or December because we are only holding back calves born in the spring. There is a way around this issue, we can hold more calves back (both born in the spring and fall), graze them to 1300 pounds, and then butcher once a month for monthly delivery.

A Final Note

Finally, a note about the national meat supply: Calves are usually born in the spring or fall, but as you saw above they can gain weight at different rates in the winter causing cattle to approach harvest weight at different times throughout the year.  Feedlots are used to control weight gain on the cattle as well and keep the beef supply matched to consumer demand. In a normal situation, beef is prepared for export, grocery meat cases, and restaurants.  During this abnormal time we still have the same amount of beef but it is not getting to the end user as quickly because the restaurants are now closed. Eventually, the amount of beef headed to grocers will increase and there will be plenty of meat available on shelves again.  Once the restaurants reopen, there will be another supply jolt as beef is rerouted from grocers back to the restaurants, meaning you may see an under-supply at the restaurants and an over-supply at the grocers; eventually this will work out and supplies should return to normal.

At Grant Creek Ranch we are continuing to raise calves for the national market and our freezer beef program. We are also trying to increase our herd size so that we can provide even more calves to the market.  We will continue to grow our freezer beef business and continue to provide 700 pound calves into the national beef chain. We are glad to see that beef is a product that consumers desire!

Here are some pictures to illustrate the post!

Pictured below are the cows

And here are the bulls

New crop of baby calves that have just been born

Weaned calves, these weigh about 700 lbs and are 10 months old

These steers are mature, they are 21 months old and they weigh about 1200 pounds.

Beef Steer

Steers for our Beef Program

Update on Beef Sales

2018 Grass Fed Beef Sales – Tulsa Area

Our beef will be ready to be picked up from the processor in late December 2018.  The hanging weight should still be the same as discussed in the sales page and the price will still be $3.99/lb hanging weight plus processing. We still have some beef left to sell, so if you are interested in beef for 2018 please take a look at the sales page for details on reserving your beef. There is a form that you can fill out to get in touch with us. We will get in touch with everyone who has reserved beef in about a month to discuss payment of your deposit which will guarantee your beef for 2018.

2019 Grass Fed Beef Sales – Tulsa Area

We are already planning for 2019 beef sales and if there is enough interest we may have beef sales in July 2019 and November 2019. Our normal beef sales time is late in the year, but we understand that some people may want beef before this date. If you are interested in beef for either date in 2019 then please fill out the form on the sales page and in the comments section let us know that you are interested in either summer or winter 2019 beef purchase.

Update on Calf Purchases – Oklahoma City Area

We have for sale 1 year old weaned calves that have had one round of shots and are eating out of a trough. These calves are located at our Carney, Oklahoma pre-conditioning facility and may be delivered from here if you are interested. If you are interested in purchasing these calves please fill out the form on the sales page and let us know. We will then be in touch with you to arrange a time for you to take a look at the calves and to discuss pricing and delivery of the calves.

Calves for Purchase


Fire!: The Benefits of Controlled Burning


There is a surprising enemy of the native grass pastures and that is: Trees! More specifically the Red Cedar, Osage Orange (Hedge Apple), and Locust trees.  Among these, others are lurking such as weeds and parasites. The Tall Grass Prairie is one of the most endangered ecosystems and the only way to keep this ecosystem healthy is by using prescribed burns.

At Grant Creek Ranch our goal is to preserve, restore, and enhance this important ecosystem found at our farm. A prescribed burn will kill any new seedlings that try to come up which will aid in keeping the pasture tree-free for the following year. It reduces the need to spray for weeds and may reduce internal parasites which live in the pastures over the winter. Finally, it will enhance grazing by the cattle which we know contributes to all that delicious grass-fed goodness.

So how does it work? Areas that burn the best contain the most grass fuel. These just happen to be the least grazed areas from the past grazing year.  Vice versa, areas that will burn the least are the heavily grazed areas from the past grazing year since there is not as much grass fuel.  After a burn, new grass will quickly grow and the cattle will want to eat the new grass over having to pick through last year’s dead grass to get to the new growth. So the areas that burn the best, the under grazed areas from the year before, will be grazed during the new grazing year while the overgrazed area from the year before will not burn as well and the cattle will not graze this area as heavily because there is not as much new grass.  This effectively rotates the cattle to new areas of the pasture and forces them to graze more efficiently.

Read more about the benefits of burning!

Why Grass-Fed Beef?

What makes Grant Creek Ranch Beef better than what you can get in the grocery store? There are many differences and we will discuss a few of the them in this post. Grant Creek Ranch Beef is from Angus cross cattle.  These cattle have been specifically bred to produce great taste from grass-fed animals.  This cross breed also produces cuts of meat that are restaurant quality; cuts of meat that you would be proud to serve to your dinner guests.  These animals are raised in a sustainable fashion: born in a pasture and allowed to roam freely until weaning time.  They are weaned at our preconditioning facility in Carney, Oklahoma.  Here they can be observed on a daily basis to make sure they are not under any undue stress.  Once weaned they are turned out onto our pastures in Oklahoma where they eat a mix of native and Bermuda grass.  During the winter they are supplemented with native or Bermuda grass hay and protein cubes, as they continue to forage in a pasture unconfined, through to the finishing process.

At Grant Creek Ranch our cow herd is a closed herd.  We are not bringing in new cows unless we are sure they are disease-free.  Because our herd is closed, the animal health is excellent and disease is held to a minimum. As a result we are only handling the cattle a couple of times a year (spring and summer) and the rest of the time they are busy grazing away on our pastures.

We are not interested in rapid weight gain or incredible size, therefore neither growth hormones nor steroids are ever used. This is because our customers want and expect naturally-raised, high-quality beef worth every penny.

To sum this up in one simple word: Flavor. Our grass-fed process results in some of the most tender and flavorful meat on the market. Why would you want anything else?

We are currently delivering sides of beef for no charge in the Tulsa area.  It is also for sale in the Wichita, Oklahoma City, Bartlesville, and Stillwater Areas (Delivery available for a small fee). Please check out our For Sale page for more information.

Once your try our meat you will never want to buy store-bought beef again!

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