15 year old cow, insane to buy? - Page 3 - The Horse Forum
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post #21 of 50 Old 03-12-2014, 01:13 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Texas
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Cattle prices are very good now and have been for a while.
The cattle herd in Texas is now at its lowest since the 1960's. Due to the drought and producers taking advantage of good prices to cull early.
With the amount of land you have minis are a good investment.
Cattle are not horses and can eat and digest much more variety than horses.
They can process roughage better and do not need more expensive hay.
Mine do well on cornstalks and milo stalks.. They bloom on rye grass hay and johnson grass.
Flygap where i live now there are estates from 5-15 acres. Mini cattle are in high demand.
Like I said earlier we now have something in common to talk about . Look into mini jerseys. Then you can produce your own milk. Shalom
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post #22 of 50 Old 03-12-2014, 02:04 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Cornstalks? Like silage form? Or corn stalk hay?

EWWWWW Milk?!? That's for babies! LOL!
Can't stand the stuff. Do you think I could skim some off a lactating cow enough to make a bit of butter? Now we're talkin! Have you eaten Jersey beef? I've heard its yummy and yellow.

Yes, ugh the drought. Many in my family sold off their entire herds, some farms that have been going for over 100 years. So so very sad.
Now everyone seems to be heifer poor, but the almanac is predicting yet another dry summer here. I'll be cautious.
I'm mostly worried about feed costs. Wheat is up what? 18 points? Corn today? It's looking gloomy and I'm trying to go GMO freeish anyways.

Mini meat is in high demand. It's supposedly better for the niche markets... Not that I'll depend on that.

Part of the FB is cutting hay on around 1,000 good acres. It was hit hard by the drought and is still poorer quality than normal. I get most of my hay "free" in exchange for work. I've been supplementing with pricy Bermuda to keep the ponies fat. Lots of Johnson and native grasses took over with the Bermuda killed out.

Do you finish yours on grass alone? I read the other day that only 8% of our beef is grass finished. I'll be using wheat/barley fodder grown myself. It's labor intensive but that I have more of than $$$ and pasture acreage! ;). It's an "experiment" of sorts but if the claims are true it's more natural and has added health benefits which for small time me may pay off.

I have plans to clear more land up here but it'll take LOTS of time. One of these days...

Thank you for the good advice!
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post #23 of 50 Old 03-12-2014, 07:48 AM
Join Date: Jul 2013
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Jersey meat is disgusting to me. My husband who was raised on it (lived/works on the family dairy farm) eats it just fine. Yellow fat instead of white, little to no marbling and a gamey taste. Give me a nice angus or Hereford anyday, I won't eat jersey and can smell the difference as soon as I open the package, and it stinks up the kitchen!
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post #24 of 50 Old 03-12-2014, 10:08 AM
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Texas
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Corn stalk hay. Cattle do well on it. Your older cow might need regular hay at her age.
We finiish all our beef on grass now. We are selling organic grass fed beef to local restaurants and individuals. Demand is high.
The mini market for breeding animals is also good and they eat less and use less water.
This drought will end sooner or later. Hopefully sooner.
I have never had jersey meat. I did not know it was different. I know the milk is high in butterfat.
Once again good luck and welcome to the cattle business. Shalom
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post #25 of 50 Old 03-12-2014, 11:58 AM
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With just a pair on 15 acres in your area, I don’t think summer feed will be a problem. ;) But, thinking ahead you might ask around and see how many head/acre your neck of the woods supports in all “conditions” (drought to lush) to get an idea of how big your future mini herd could be. Organic cert takes a little doing, but worth figuring up the in cost vs gain for the future. I am only guessing organic is “big” in the mini market, but I so wouldn’t plan on holding back antibiotics for this particular future calf given mama’s age.
No telling what ethanol has done to the price of corn silage, but at least it should be available in your area. And, when perfectly good high quality hay gets rained on and it “saved” by turning and drying – it bleaches and its price goes to “cow feed” – i.e., cheap! It can be way cheaper to feed beef cattle b/c of the variety of feed, and if they are small, cheaper yet!! ;)
Such a neat adventure for you! Minis..they have a “forever cute” factor.

There is just as much horse sense as ever, but the horses have most of it.
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post #26 of 50 Old 03-12-2014, 03:46 PM
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Are you leaning toward making the purchase? :>

The sensitivity of the internet baffles me.
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post #27 of 50 Old 03-12-2014, 04:57 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: MN
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Originally Posted by dbarabians View Post
I would not buy a 15 yo cow. That is ancient.

Most cattle dont live past their mid to late teens.
Please do not tell our herd that!

We have a couple of bloodlines that live and CALVE well into late teens!
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post #28 of 50 Old 03-12-2014, 08:33 PM
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Have you researched how to help a cow calve?

My dad is in the rendering business and he deals A LOT with cows who died calving. I don't mean to be a downer ('cause I'd be about to the moon in excitement lol) but it's always good to know what's what when it comes to birthing babies. Especially cows. My dad says they more often than not have a really hard time giving birth.
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post #29 of 50 Old 03-12-2014, 10:02 PM
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I grass finish my cows. I feed grass hay, alfalfa and in Winter they also get protein cakes.
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post #30 of 50 Old 03-12-2014, 11:22 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2011
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Yep Z she's on her way Sunday!

FSR I've been pouring over info and videos. I have my FIL just 7 miles away on standby. He's had cattle off and on for years and grew up on a farm, has tons of knowledge. So we'll have help, plus the vet if need be.
Part of the reason we got her is because she's always had an easy time calving, no intervention needed ever.
But there's always a first, we'll be ready!

I've been planning for this for quite awhile now. Already have extra hay on hand and am growing fodder for her. She's been grain fed for most of her life so I'll keep that up till she's acclimated and for sure while nursing.
They are deworming and vaccinating before delivering her, that's good!!!

Soooo excited!

Other than iodine, chains, towels, milk supplement/bottle, what do you all suggest to have on hand in case there's trouble?
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