New to beef cattle

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New to beef cattle

Post by Ridgetop » Sun Aug 04, 2019 5:06 pm

Hi, I am new on this site. I have 30 years of experience with sheep, dairy and meat goats, but minimal experience with cattle. We did bottle raise groups of Holstein bull calves on our goat milk to 200 lbs, and sold them at auction. We have never bred, calved, and raised cattle with their moms. We are planning a move to East Texas to a combination coastal hay and cattle operation. We will be raising registered Dorper sheep as well. We had originally planned to lease out the grass and hay field operation on shares, but are now considering hiring the hay cut and baled to winter feed the cows and sheep, keeping a small number of cows ourselves, raising the calves on grass, and selling the calves at 700 lbs. The sheep would be on a rotational graze pasture situation with our guardian dogs. We would sell most of the lambs for meat, retaining the best ewes for the flock or sale as breeding stock.

I hope to learn a lot on this site about raising beef cattle. I am not interested in high priced registered or show stock since I don't want to invest a lot in seed stock until we have learned more about cattle raising. Will probably use Angus cross heifers/cows and run a young bull in with them for 1-2 years then replace him when time to breed his daughters. We don't plan to make a lot of money (been raising market lambs and goats for years). No cowboy stars in our eyes! We know that livestock is hard work and everything depends on weather, feed availability, quality of stock, etc. However, since we have anther source of income we won't go bust before learning. We don't plan to have more than 10 cows at first, retain the heifer calves from best cows depending on weight gains, ease of calving, fertility, etc. (Just like sheep) We are planning to buy bred cows - not certain if we should buy bred heifers or older proven cows. On one hand you have young unexperienced heifers calving. I really don't want to have to pull a calf! Have untangled and pulled over 100 kids and lambs, and one large foal so while I know I can do it I just don't want to have to. On the other hand getting older bred cows I may be picking up someone's rejects.

I need to learn about raising cattle on pasture and coastal hay, best type of cattle to buy, etc. I was told solid color cattle bring higher prices since spots indicate Longhorn blood in TX. In my area they indicate dairy cross - either of which brings down the price. Will use chutes, scales, sorting pens to work the cattle when needed.

Looking forward to reading many interesting postings on this site. :lol: Also learning how to use this site! :lol:

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Re: New to beef cattle

Post by TennesseeTuxedo » Sun Aug 04, 2019 7:58 pm

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Re: New to beef cattle

Post by A.J. » Sun Aug 04, 2019 9:25 pm


I would recommend starting with proven bred cows from a reputable farm in the area over heifers. The mommas should know what they’re doing, and possibly save you some headaches you might run into with heifers. Whichever route you choose, best of luck!

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Re: New to beef cattle

Post by msplmtneer » Mon Aug 05, 2019 8:40 am

Howdy and :welcome: Good Luck :tiphat:
If you are going to be stupid you gotta be tough

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Re: New to beef cattle

Post by alisonb » Mon Aug 05, 2019 1:24 pm

What A.J said above.

:welcome: and good luck.
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Re: New to beef cattle

Post by greybeard » Fri Sep 06, 2019 1:36 am heifers to get started. Even with proven mommas, select for calving ease.

1. Hereford mommas bred to Angus or brangus bull=Baldies/superbadlies. Hard to go wrong with them. Watch the udders on the herefords. Breed the female calves to a continental breed bull..Char or Simm. Band the bull calves. Sell all the calves.
2. Straight Angus to straight Angus bull..they will do well but won't grow off as well as if you introduce some Char-simm bull. Band the bull calves. Sell most of the calves, keeping only quality heifers and not many of those.

3. Adventurous? Buy F1 braford mommas & put them under a Angus or char bull. Band the bull calves & Sell all the calves. They don't call them Queen of the South for nothing.
You can also make your own F1 Brafords, and you won't have any trouble selling them at a good price, but that may be more than you want to get into.

4. Composite breed such as Beefmaster mommas under a Char or Simm bull. Most calves will be smokies and they sell well. They'll grow like crazy. Sell all calves.
5.. Niche breed preference like Wagyu is growing in Texas. Higher $$ buy-in tho.
For all the above:
Learn or find someone to do AI. 10 mommas isn't worth keeping a bull year round IMO. Rent a cleanup bull or re-ai anything that doesn't 'stick'. If she doesn't stick again (open) , cull her and replace her.
Develop a local market for your Waygu beef.
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Re: New to beef cattle

Post by sstterry » Fri Sep 06, 2019 4:29 am

Welcome, Ridgetop! Listen to what Greybeard said. You will find that there is a wealth of knowledge on this Board. All you have to do is ask.

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