We have learned a lot about cattle management since my potentially disastrous start. The problem is that most of our lessons have been learned the hard way. Take Mr "Before-and-After" for example.
My wife and I have an "understanding". She's happy for us to raise cows for consumption, as long as she only sees them "before" (happy in the paddock) and "after" (frozen packets of meat neatly labelled).
When a cow is deemed by us to be ready for the freezer, I will ring up a “homekill” guy and give him a very good description of the animal. He turns up when I'm at work, does something loud and messy, and takes what's left to our preferred butcher.
The first time I dealt with him he asked me if I wanted to keep any of the offal. The conversation went something like this:
"Do you want the tongue?"
"umm yeah, sure"
"What about the liver?
"the tail is good"
"how about the kidneys?"
"umm yeah okay".
I didn't think anything more of it until I came home that night. Mr "Before-and-After" had been and done his job. Upon leaving, he presented my wife with a bag containing a couple of kilograms of grey steaming entrails. She was pregnant at the time and easily persuaded to part with her lunch.
We don't keep the offal anymore.
Last week Mr "before-and-after" came and dispatched one of our heifers, best described as moody and uncooperative. Her nickname was "Fillet Steak". She'll look great in our freezer.