Originally Posted by Saddlebag
A farmer friend buys very young calves in the late fall and keeps them inside and on milk replacer. About the time they are big enough to eat grass, the grass is coming in. He then sells in the fall. With 12 acres no more than 3 head
Milk replacer costs a lot! We had to buy it when our cows dried up and we had younger calves (dairy). My recommendation would be to buy a couple yearlings in the spring, feed them over the summer and sell them in the fall. I would also stay away from the lean breeds. A nice Herford/Angus (either black or red with white/spotted face), puts on meat quite well and the buyers like them at the auction. Like someone else said, just go and sit through a couple of cattle auctions, see what brings the good prices. Up here anything that looks dairy (including long horns), is painted (like a Simmental), or has horns, they won't pay as much as they would for a pure black or red or a brockle face (red or black). They know what breeds put the meat on in the feed lots. The auction mart will actually dock you if you animal has horns. Last time I sold at a auction I think it was around a dollar a horn, but then the buyers see the horns and know it's not Angus and they give you about 2/3 the price of a polled one same size and color. It's crazy, but it's the game.