Monday, December 23, 2013


Today is December 23 and it was clear and I had a chance to document the actual sunshine.  The sun came out from behind Pioneer Peak at 12:20. It ducked behind different peaks in the Chugach range until it finally set at a little before 3 PM.  Actual sunshine was less than two hours.

Working daylight was closer to 6 hours.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Unexplained Decease of #45

Found #45 White cow with red points away from the herd and less than 24 hours dead today 12/17/13.  No broken bones.  Was in good health Friday when they were found "out".  Perhaps ate something bad but no one else is hurting apart from being nearly twenty below zero.  Her first calf was weaned and is doing fine.  Incision on the shoulder is something I have never seen before.  Is this how cattle mutilation by aliens happens???

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Fall 2013 Meat Season

When I went to schedule slaughter dates at Mt McKinley Meat it became apparent that we were going to start earlier this year.  Our first slaughter date is September 30. That means that about half of our meat orders will be filled by the middle of October.  Those that have confirmed orders will be receiving notice via e mail very soon.

I knew that it had been quite a while since we had changed the price for our meat but in looking back I was shocked to find that our price of $4 a pound on the hanging weight hasn't changed since 2007!  Unfortunately, most other prices have changed in that time by a lot.  I went to the live stock price index and  you can compare the 2007 price and the 2013 prices- and that followed a lower trend after a peak in 2011 and 2012.

By my math these charts represent a 33% raise in the wholesale price of meat.  We  have decided to set our price this year at $4.25 for the meat per hanging weight.  That means just the carcass without organs or hide.  We will keep the same fee for cutting and vacuum packaging the meat as last year - another $1 a pound on the same hanging weight.  

You can get more details on our web page-  A normal side of beef averages about 250 pounds but they range from 200 to 300 pounds.  You can expect a "standard" cutting package to yield about 15% fat and bones that will be in the trim box.  This year we will cut up the bones as part of our "standard" cutting package.  You can then use them for soup stock or leave them for the mushers as many of you have in the past.  Your meat is always from animals younger than two years old (unless you order something older).  It is always from our own beef breed stock and finished on grass without any antibiotics or growth hormones.  That is our promise.

Because many of you are new this year I will say more about our benchmark "standard" cutting package.  It is the benchmark from which you can customize your order.  Remember, you can feel free to take your hanging side to another butcher or do it yourself.

Our "standard" package consists of about a three way split between hamburger (which is as lean as possible- like 90%), roasts, and steaks.  The roasts are 3 to 4 pounds each and include prime chuck, sirloin tip, rump, bottom round, brisket, and eye of round.  These are vacuum packaged individually. The steaks are cut 3/4 inch thick and are the rib eye, T bone, sirloin, flank, and round steaks.  They are normally two to a package except that a lot of the large sirloins are single packed.  The "standard" includes short ribs, some stew meat, and no organ meat.  Hearts, livers, tongues, and tails and extra hamburger can be bought separately.

When we call you to attach your name to a specific side we will get your cutting instructions and you can change from the benchmark any way you want.  A few have wanted only hamburger.  I remember one that only wanted steak!  That is unusual but possible.

I hope you enjoy your meat.  We have always maintained a money back guarantee.  We will buy back whatever you haven't already eaten if you don't like it.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Pippy Long Stockings has large white heifer 6/5/13- Liberty

Pippy finally had her first calf- a large white heifer with black points and black crown named Liberty.  Weighed in at 92 pounds- took four to pull her out.  Both mother and daughter took a long time before they finally stood up.  Pippy was born the same way (named Becky then).  Sire of newborn- James Henry with the same coloring.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Forty Five Red Tipped Heifer Delivers Black Tipped Bull 5/26/13

45- the white heifer with red points that I have been watching for days finally delivered in an isolated swale 5/26/13.  They were both skittish so I'm guessing the little white guy with black points is a bull.  He's just learning to walk and his first wobbly run went right over the top of a stump!  Hard to believe that just last Sunday we had six inches of new snow.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Number 9 has Black Girl 5/12/13

Big number 9 cow had a good sized black heifer on 5/12/13.  I found them away from everyone else and had finally found the calf and checked its gender when it jumped up at a dead run and was even scared of mom.  Eventually she caught up with the calf and they worked things out.

The robins and the swallows all arrived in the same couple of days around the 11th.  Late this year for the robins and earlier than last year for the swallows.   The robin songs and the swallow skeeter eatin are all appreciated.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

#12 Has Girl-5/7/13

#12 Older cow had a girl that was still dripping wet on 5/7/13.  She is white with black points and favored with a lot better weather than the rest have had.

So far eight heifers and three bulls.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

#5 Delivers - Black Bull

#5 had a little black boy on May 5, 13.

Friday, May 3, 2013

New Herd Bull comes out of Quarantine

Meet our new bull.  Number is 43X.  Needs a name.  The federal vet inspected him and let us take him out of quarantine.  He is with the rest of the boys until July when his new career starts in Alaska.

Tierra #2 Alpha has white heifer 5/3/18

Tierra #2 went off to the snow banks to have her calf- a large white heifer with black points and a black crown.  She had picked her spot yesterday but was interrupted with the carrot delivery and came up to eat.  She is being a good mother and tucked the calf on a small spot of bare ground but it is cold with freezing rain.

Priscilla has White Heifer 4/29/13

Priscilla delivered a dainty long legged (very wild) white heifer with red points.  Rose Marie was born with her tail bent up behind her back.  It has returned to normal but when she lifts her tail it still goes completely over her back!

White Heifer- black points has black heifer- 4/28/13

This white cow had a black heifer on April 28.  At least three of the cows have lost their numbers in less than three weeks.

#34 Has White Heifer 4/27/13

#34 had a white heifer with black points on April 27.

#42 Has Black Bull 4/26/13

#42 has black Bull on 4/26/13.  All seems to be well.

#8 Has Heifer 4/25/13

#8 had white heifer with black points on the 25th of April.  Good calm mother.

#48 Dead with Calf

While I was in Canada #48 died trying to have her first calf.  Calf was far enough out to have easily been pulled but no one was there.  Hopefully this ends the troubles this year!

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Sad Discovery

After the snow melted in the corral this unfortunate little bull showed up.  I figure he was born the same night as the first calf when it was below zero and in 20 inches of new snow.  No idea who the mother was.

Canada Trip- April 2013

Dennis Bieber and I went out to get our new bull in Three Hills, Alberta Canada.  Left on the 24th, spent a couple of days at the Prairie Bible College graduation and returned in 48 hours on the evening of the 29th.  Lots of snow and ice.  Had to weld the stock trailer a couple of times. Otherwise uneventful.
Menu was drive or sleep.  Sleeping  accommodations was a coffin I was putting together from left over wood from the barn.

Farmers in Alberta were complaining that spring was about 2 weeks late.  Still snow drifts on the fields.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Number Seven Delivers Again- 4/21/13- White Bull

My most efficient cow #7 delivered 4/21/13 a good sized white calf with black points and mottled neck and head.  He is a bull.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Dun Point Heifer has Dunn Heifer 4/19/13

This heifer had just dumped her dun colored calf of yet unknown gender on the snow.  She is the only one that lost her neck tag since just a couple of weeks ago.

Next day she was tucked down on the snow while mom went to eat carrots and seemed well.  She's definitely a girl.

Next day she was following us around while mom was gone!  The geese were flying in circles looking for bare ground and feed!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

First calf for 2013- Canadian has Black Heifer

This isn't how it is supposed to happen but the miracle here is that little heifer is alive at all.  She was born the night of the tenth of April while I was flying back from lobbying in Juneau.  It was below zero that night and there was 20 inches of new snow on the ground.  She was pretty stiff when I found her the next day but got her sucking by putting mom (Canadian by name) in the squeeze chute.  Bella (the new girl) was moved down to be bottle fed and nursed on Ade the dairy cow because mother refused to go into the chute after two times.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Hooves and Tags- Spring 13?

 April 5 we got ready to run the cows through the chute for tags and hooves prior to calving.  Took about 6 hours to shovel it out.

Then on April 7 we got another 15 inches with another 17 inches predicted for the 8th.  Not the greatest calving weather!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

New Year's Baby

Adelaide had her little bull New years night.  Name is Levi.  Father is a Highlander bull in Talkeetna.

They were joined by Cinderella on Jan 20.  She is a Dexter cross from the Havemiester Dairy.  Ade is going to be a nursemaid this cycle instead of producing raw milk.  She is being a wonderful mother.