The Hammett Family has been raising beef for about 17 years. Hammetts did raise beef before , but the records and memories aren't clear as to when. We believe we stopped in the late 1960s.
We currently have 15 cows that trace their lineage back to the Limousin breed from France. Historically, we have targeted breeding to produce calves born in the March to May time frame. This makes it easier to care for the animals as we don't have to fight terribly cold weather with the babies. The calves are with their mothers until they are about 6 months old. At this point, they are separated so that they get a diet more appropriate for their age. They continue with us until they are approximately 16 months old. At this point, the boys (steers) are turned into the steaks and burgers that we love so much. The girls (heifers) would have recently bred to produce the next round of calves.
That doesn't mean our heard grows at a 50% rate, though. If cows have difficulty in becoming pregnant, have difficult pregnancies, or difficult childbirths a couple years in a row, we take them off to market. Also, we previously sold some of the bred heifers before they gave birth because there was a premium for that combination. However, our recent partnership with Whiskey Acres has greatly increased our annual demand, so we will be keeping more of our heifers so we can grow the heard.
The Whiskey Acres partnership and our offering directly to the public has given us new challenges. We now no longer have the luxury of calving only during the most convenient time of the year for us. We now have year-round demand that is better served via staggering our animals rather than bulking up on freezers.
Starting in 2020, we will be directly marketing our products to our neighbors, both homes and restaurants. If you know of anyone interested in our products, please reach out to us. We would love to cut out the multiple layers of middlemen that affect the quality and price of the meat you purchase.