Annual Cost per Cow

Backgrounding & feeding questions.
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Re: Annual Cost per Cow

Post by Lucky » Sun Nov 24, 2019 8:21 am

There’s no profit in cows, the profit is in the calves. You have to wean and feed them to make money.



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Re: Annual Cost per Cow

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:26 pm

a "profitable cow" is a cow that breeds back each year and produces a calf that pays her way and puts extra money in your pocket.
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Re: Annual Cost per Cow

Post by Silver » Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:31 pm

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 1:26 pm
a "profitable cow" is a cow that breeds back each year and produces a calf that pays her way and puts extra money in your pocket.
Quite right. The cow is the factory, the calf is the product of the factory. The more productive the factory, the more profitable.

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Re: Annual Cost per Cow

Post by Ebenezer » Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:51 pm

This is the best thread to discuss calving seasons. It's a money decision, like it or not.

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Re: Annual Cost per Cow

Post by Lucky » Sun Nov 24, 2019 10:31 pm

Ebenezer wrote:
Sun Nov 24, 2019 5:51 pm
This is the best thread to discuss calving seasons. It's a money decision, like it or not.
I agree but you’re fixin to open a can of worms talking about calving seasons.

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Re: Annual Cost per Cow

Post by Ebenezer » Mon Nov 25, 2019 8:37 am

I never opened the can of worms. I know that chat sites have limits. Why do I want to discuss calving seasons in another far away place when the guy or gal never saw a fescue plant? Why do I want Vet advice when I have a Vet who knows me and the livestock? Why do I want to discuss production agriculture with a show jock, a semen pimp, a blind follower or a declared hobbyist? Same for genetics - for example, I laugh every time somebody in the upper midwest comments on ear cattle. Know your limits and know that local (home) trumps far away. Life is too short to chase shiny objects and illusive dreams until death do us part.

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Re: Annual Cost per Cow

Post by Lucky » Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:16 am

I’m a strong believer that the first step to becoming successful in the cattle business is to have a defined breeding season. The next step is to find the type of cattle that work for you in your area. From there you need to move on to a feeding program that suits you. I’ve tried year round calving and it just isn’t efficient enough to be profitable.

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Re: Annual Cost per Cow

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Mon Nov 25, 2019 6:00 pm

Lucky wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:16 am
I’m a strong believer that the first step to becoming successful in the cattle business is to have a defined breeding season. The next step is to find the type of cattle that work for you in your area. From there you need to move on to a feeding program that suits you. I’ve tried year round calving and it just isn’t efficient enough to be profitable.
Very, very good post.
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Re: Annual Cost per Cow

Post by Ky hills » Tue Nov 26, 2019 8:04 am

Lucky wrote:
Mon Nov 25, 2019 11:16 am
I’m a strong believer that the first step to becoming successful in the cattle business is to have a defined breeding season. The next step is to find the type of cattle that work for you in your area. From there you need to move on to a feeding program that suits you. I’ve tried year round calving and it just isn’t efficient enough to be profitable.
I used to have 2 distinct breeding seasons, spring and fall, then over time AI failures and bull injuries spread it out and I gave up for awhile. Now we are in the process of tightening the calving back up as we move to all cow calf. It just doesn’t pay off from efficiency of cattle or time management. I hate having to work, wean, in shifts. Then having to continually watch for calving is time consuming. This coming year should see a significant improvement for us getting the cows back to a more consistent calving time.

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Re: Annual Cost per Cow

Post by Lucky » Tue Nov 26, 2019 9:17 am

I had a year round operation at one place and a 90 day at another. When I combined the two it was a real headache and took several years to get everything on schedule. I was rocking along just fine with May 1st-Aug 1st breeding season but last year changed to a April 15th-July 15th season. Not so sure that was a good idea.
I know a ton of people that calve year round and there’s nothing wrong with it. For me it’s just too hard to keep up with what cow calved when and preg checking becomes confusing. I was ending up with dead beats that calved every 15-18 months and wasn’t sure what to do with them. The biggest advantage I see to a defined season is calf marketing though.

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Re: Annual Cost per Cow

Post by Jeanne - Simme Valley » Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:40 pm

I would think it would be near impossible to have a good health program if you calved year round. There is no way I could manage it. I guess you would have to use Killed vaccines.
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Re: Annual Cost per Cow

Post by Ebenezer » Tue Nov 26, 2019 6:32 pm

Jeanne - Simme Valley wrote:
Tue Nov 26, 2019 5:40 pm
I would think it would be near impossible to have a good health program if you calved year round. There is no way I could manage it. I guess you would have to use Killed vaccines.
Just put a capable person at the head gate and use records to either give a KV to breds or MLV to cows that have calved. Pretty easy really.

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Re: Annual Cost per Cow

Post by farmerjan » Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:27 pm

We have 2 "defined" calving seasons..... mid-feb to mid-april, and then fall is usually Sept to early Dec. Problem is the cows we buy and sell, don't always fit in the schedule. I would prefer to have calves mid-march to mid-may just because of the weather being a bit warmer.... ON NORMAL YEARS.... but what is normal anymore? Actually, more calving from Aug thru Nov would suit me the best because the calves would have a little size before the worst of the winter, and better able to take the cold wet rain. Plus the lighter weight calves do better in the spring. We are pretty much weaning most calves now so the spring calvers get weaned off at 8+ months now, and fed until the market looks good.
I use all KV so don't have to worry about it. Some of these feeder marketing plans call for MLV so don't know if we are going to be doing it or not. Will have to keep those calves separate so they don't pass anything to the others. Since the cows all get KV there is no problem with them possibly losing a pregnancy.

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Re: Annual Cost per Cow

Post by farmerjan » Tue Nov 26, 2019 7:36 pm

With the dry conditions here this past summer, although we had enough pasture for them, we are still figuring that our cost per cow is going up a bit. I am thinking that it will be closer to $1.60-1.75/ day or about $600 a year. That's up from the $550 we used to pretty much figure. I am really hoping that the prices will show a little improvement in the spring, and that 2021 will be better.
Some of that is going to depend on the elections, and if we ever get past the stupid foolish nonsense going on and we get some trade agreements. Sad thing is, I wouldn't blame Canada or Mexico from saying BS and not wait for a formal agreement because nothing is getting done. Congress is hurting this country just from what it isn't doing...... leaving out the whole BS impeachment issues. There is no reason that they are so obsessed with this. I hope that people see that regardless of their political leanings, that this has caused more damage by what ISN'T getting done.... and I hope that they vote accordingly.

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