Natural BeefGrass-fed Genetics
All of our cattle are hormone and antibiotic free, and raised on grass pastures and hay.
About Our Beef
The steers are American Shorthorns, which is one of the traditional meat breeds of American cattle. They are known for natural marbling under grass fed conditions. This results in a steer that has all the healthy qualities of a natural grass fed steer, but the tenderness and marbling of a corn fed feedlot steer. The Shorthorn cattle are a calm breed and ours are raised under low stress conditions, which also helps to differentiate our grass fed steers from those typically offered for sale. In addition our steers are antibiotic and hormone free.
The spring calves are typically marketed at a year & a half of age in the fall; however we do have some born at differing times of the year, so they are maturing at other times of the year. Because we have selected for larger framed cattle, ours reach market weight at a younger age than many other cattle.
The steers can be purchased "on the farm" for you to transport to a butcher of your choice, or you can purchase part or all of a steer to be picked up as packages of cut & wrapped meat from Mt. Angel Meat Company in Mt. Angel, OR. We sell meat by the whole steer, half of a steer, or by "split quarter" of a steer. (We do not sell individual steaks, ribs, roasts, etc.) Orders can be place via email or over the phone. Check this page for order status and when they will be available.
- How much is the butcher's fee?
Beef is $100.00 for butchering (cost is split when ordering ½ or ¼ steer), plus $0.90 per pound of hanging weight for cutting & wrapping. Please see their website for more information:
Mt. Angel Meat Company
- What is a "split half" or "split quarter" of beef?
There are different amounts of meat and different cuts from the shoulder compared with the rear leg (more roasts in front and more steaks in the rear), so when the butcher does a "split", each 1/4 gets some cuts from both the front & rear legs.
- When are the steers ready?
They are generally finished in late October / early November.
- Will larger steers be older & tougher?
Our mature foundation Shorthorn cattle are larger than many mature cattle. This means the calves are larger at birth, and bred to be faster growing on just pasture. Our 1100-1350# steers will be as young or younger than the typical commercial market steer of 1100-1200#.
- Does Whispering Hills Farm use any hormones?
Absolutely not. Our cattle are raised only on grass & clover pastures in summer, and grass hay in winter. We use no hormones, antibiotics, or chemical feed additives, etc.
- What affects the amount of meat that I get from a steer?
From the "live weight" to the" hanging weight", what is lost is mostly the hide, head, hooves, extra body fat, rumen & intestinal content (quite a large % of a ruminant animal), lungs, large blood vessels & nerves, and other "innards" that we don’t consider food.
From the "hanging weight" to the "packaged meat/in your freezer weight", what is lost includes: the backbone & breast bone, rib cartilages, excess fat trimmed from around steaks & roasts, and extra bones trimmed from gourmet boneless cuts of meat. The amount of packaged meat also depends on whether you ask for medium, lean, or extra lean ground meat, and whether you ask the butcher to save you some or all of the following: heart, tongue, liver, kidneys, oxtail, soup &/or dog bones, etc. If you do not want the organ meats, and choose extra lean cuts & ground meat, you will have a lower total amount of packaged meat than someone else might.
- What is Heritage Shorthorn Certified Beef?
Heritage Shorthorn Certified Beef comes from Heritage Shorthorn and Heritage Influenced Shorthorn cattle. They are raised by members of the Heritage Shorthorn Society, helping to preserve the heritage genetics which trace back to the 1800's.