USDA Classifications

Veal, “Bob”

  • About 15% of veal calves are harvested from days old, up to three weeks of age or approximately 150 pounds. Primary Source: Holstein bull calf

Veal, “Special Fed or Formula Fed” (also known as ‘Nature’)

  • Special fed or formula fed” Calves are raised until approximately 16 to 18 weeks of age, weighing up to 450 pounds.
    Primary Source: Holstein bull calf
  • Housed in specially designed facilities that typically include single calf stalls or crates.
  • Recently, some growers have converted to a more humane and compassionate pen raising method. This is referred to as “group raised ”.
  • Diet consists primarily of a whey based liquid milk replacer.

Veal,” Grain Fed”:

  • Grain fed” calves are typically raised on a liquid whey formula until 6 to 8 weeks of age.
  • Then move to outdoor pen or group facilities and fed a diet of grain and forage.
  • Harvested at approximately. 16 to 18 weeks and 450 pounds

Veal, “Pasture Raised”:

  • Defined January 2008
  • Calves are born and raised in an open pasture. Calves are free to roam, never tethered or confined.
  • Diet consists of mother’s milk and natural grass pasture and forages.
  • Primary source: varies upon producer, may include heritage beef or dairy breeds.

Note: Classifications of veal source: FSIS, Glossary V