What By-Products Do We Get From Cattle?

What do we get from cattle (besides a headache when they get out of their pasture)? A lot.

So the obvious products we get from cows are meat and milk, right? If that wasn’t obvious to you, it’s totally ok. The bottom line is that all cattle produce milk but we really only collect milk for sale and consumption at the grocery store from dairy-type cattle i.e. Holsteins, Ayrshire, Brown Swiss, etc.

On the other hand, ALL cattle are meat producers. After they have lived their life on this Earth, they are slaughtered for consumption and processed into steaks, roast, ground beef, sweet breads and many, many more consumable meat products. Dairy cattle actually account for about 20% of U.S. beef production!

End of story, right? Wrong-o.

Cattle provide us with so many by-products that it’s astonishing we haven’t proclaimed them our national animal, equal to the bald eagle (do not send me threats, please). Pop quiz – which of the following is not made with by-products from a cow carcass?

Piano keys
Beef jerky
Photo film

So that was kind of a trick question, because ALL of those products are made using by-products from cattle slaughter. The uses for a beef carcass are innumerable – in fact, those of us in the ranching community like to say “We use everything but the moo!” It’s true!

cow in my marshmallow 48x24_Page_1.jpg
Image courtesy Florida Beef Council

Cattle are some of the most efficient animals in the barnyard. In fact, 85% of grazing land for cattle isn’t suitable for raising crops, so using it for raising cattle is its best application. When combined with the marvelous use of cattle by-products in real world settings, it’s easy to see why cattle are such a valuable livestock species.

So tell me, did any of these products surprise you? Which one made your jaw drop!

Until next time<
~ Buzzard ~

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3 responses to “What By-Products Do We Get From Cattle?”

  1. Gene Shepherd Avatar
    Gene Shepherd

    How can I get a copy of the ”by-product cow” picture/poster? A poster would be great.

    1. bbuzzard13@gmail.com Avatar

      Hi Gene, this came from the Florida Beef Council, so I would contact them first. Thank you for reading!

  2. Lynn Terrell Avatar
    Lynn Terrell

    Thank you for sending this important information!