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Wallee 01-15-2013 12:09 AM

Starting small cow operation ?'s
 
Well I am looking at getting a few cows here in the next few months and starting to try and make a few bucks and enjoy doing so. I am looking to find some information on what would be most profitable for me to do on my small operation. The pasture I have set aside for the cows will be about 12 acres and I have the ability to pump the hay to them as well so I am not so concerned with grass being all they will have to eat. I was considering buying weaned calves and raising them to sale weight and then selling or would it be more profitable for me to raise or??? This is where I need some help! Fill me in with the knowledge I need! BTW I am not new to handling cows by no means lol I am just new to being the owner and sole operator of them as in feeding and daily things.

Horseluver10 01-15-2013 12:14 AM

It depends on where you are at and what type of cows you are intrested in. We breed long horns and my grandpa breeds beef the beef animals definatly pack a lot of extra waste but the long horns are really lean. I would start by doing as you said.
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Wallee 01-15-2013 12:18 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Horseluver10 (Post 1844888)
It depends on where you are at and what type of cows you are intrested in. We breed long horns and my grandpa breeds beef the beef animals definatly pack a lot of extra waste but the long horns are really lean. I would start by doing as you said.
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Yeah thats what a few friends of mine have told me as well. Seems like it would be the easiest to start with and I am more than sure it will be a great learning experience too!

Horseluver10 01-15-2013 01:50 AM

O yes! And the market prices are crazy sometimes up sometimes down so really start to pay attention to those things :)
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Bellasmom 01-15-2013 01:27 PM

You are not going to make money raising cattle with only 12 acres, especially if you are "pumping the hay to them". IMO, I would just get a few beef calves in the spring, raise them over the summer & sell in the Fall before you have to start feeding hay. I would also stick to commercial beef cattle, longhorns ARE lean beef, but they are slower growing and don't sell for nearly as much. Spend some time at your local cattle auction before you do anything.

PaintHorseMares 01-15-2013 03:33 PM

^^^ Around here the main reason people start small cow operations is for tax relief. If you have 10+ acres and generate $1000+ of income, you get a tremendous break on your real estate taxes.
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equiniphile 01-15-2013 04:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by PaintHorseMares (Post 1845733)
^^^ Around here the main reason people start small cow operations is for tax relief. If you have 10+ acres and generate $1000+ of income, you get a tremendous break on your real estate taxes.
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Yes, here too. If you have less than 10 acres you have to prove income for three consecutive years before qualifying, I believe.

Saddlebag 01-15-2013 07:00 PM

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

GallopingGuitarist 01-15-2013 07:21 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Saddlebag (Post 1845973)
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.

katieandscooby 01-15-2013 08:48 PM

I have been trying to make money on cattle my whole life! Has yet to happen. Anyways 12 acres really isnt much if you want to raise "grassers"

By this I mean you want to either buy weaners and raise them up till they are big enough like 1200lb yesrlings no? There is no way you will decently finish an animal for market on grass and hay only. No profitable way at least. You need balanced rations and if you want to reduce the risk of bloat on those weaners having a ration with rumensin in is a good idea. Keep this far away from any horses though as it can cause heart failure in them.

Up here right now nobody is buying cattle for grass. There is no money in it at all these past few years. Feedlots are empty because with the price of feed and the price of cattle right now there is no profit either. The way to go at the moment is cow calf and birth to finish.

Depending what your pasture is like depends how many cows can go there. We have a pasture that is a lot of bush and slough. Three quarter sections - we throw at max 50 pairs. Plus the bull. Very very good quarter sections ( one quarter being 160 acres) of alfalfa brome mix on a five way rotation graze ( 160 acres is split into 5 paddocks or more) can do maybe 40 pairs. At best in a good year. Once it starts to get poorer grazing over the years the number of head it can handle decreases.
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