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Dec 17, 2019
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N. Central boonies, Oklahoma
So the home place has been empty for a solid month and the grass has really taken off! I'm on the fence about telling my story about the home place. I'll decide after a while if I wanna share or not.
I bought 3 calves today to graze. Average 300lbs give or take. I've got 2 good heifers and 1 bull who's now wearing a band after wrestling them big old testicles. BOY was he well off in that department for a 300lb calf! Had to put em thru the band one at a time.
I've not really been in the stocker game, other than a couple I bought last year as an experiment. Couple heifers that did real well for me. Ya'll probly remember em. The crossbred and the baldy. The crossbred won that profit experiment by a long ways.

These 3 are good solid black calves. 2 solid black heifers. And the baldy steer now.
Actual purchase price of $938 bucks each. I've got a tag, wormer, and shots in em. And 1 band. So I'll figure $955 each with transportation. Gonna creep feed em for a couple few weeks to get em coming to me. The south acre seems to be holding them. Glad I made that minor improvement a while back. Once they are running for feed, I'll turn em to graze about 20 acres in rotation. Plan is to cut the other 30 acres for hay. I plan on getting 2 or 3 more calves to put with em. Sell date late fall.....
Unweaned. Right to work for me so far. Fingers 🤞
I was needing 2 or 3 more and my neighbor, the one who dropped off the umbilical problem calf, has some he's gonna sell Thursday.
Well, he hauled these from the sale for me and told me about em. I asked if he had a few for same money...
He said o heck no! They been bringing couple hundred more than that in Enid pretty easy! That's where he's taking them Wednesday for an overnight stay to sell on Thursday.
If nothing else, I felt a little better about my purchase. I really didn't think I was gonna get em bought for that.
I'll see if I can get a couple/few more to match tho, and hope like heck prices hold thru fall.
So a bit more on this.

Thoughts please!!

@Brute 23 I know your feeding yours and I'm watching your thread.
@kenny thomas I know u have a thread about futures.

Any others please chat away as well!!

So I plan on selling these calves, mix of heifers and steers, towards end of September. But may hold em a bit longer if grass holds. I suspect I may be able to hold them til as late as November if need be. I'm hoping to get them to 600-700lbs from 300lb start weight. I realize I don't have a large group but that's OK. I'll have 6 or 7 to test the waters so to speak. I really think I have enough grass for a couple more. But water is an issue. Don't wanna run out.

Will they gain 2lbs a day on spring flush grass? I did not implant, as I have hopes that replacement heifer prices will be high. I can't make heads nor tails of what cattle are projected to be worth September thru November. (That's what cattle futures are right???)

I DO HAVE some leftover 20% cubes from winter. I'm feeding them a bit now to get em trained to come to the pens/feedbunks.
I have about ½ a ton left. About $180 worth at my old contract price. If I hand feed, that should last quite some time as well as help em when the spring flush starts playing out.

Anyway. Tell me all about it guys and gals. What am I missing?
Would like to turn these $950 calves into $1500-1600 calves
I like your plan.

You may creep them a little for 30-45 days (if needed) but then I would just run them on grass and a few cubes if the conditions are decent. Even if you do #1/d, you have time on your side so no need to really push them. Plus, feeding out through the summer is tough. Imo, you would get more bang for the buck feeding on the tail end starting in like Sept, through sale day (if needed).

Buyers can take a 6wt calf in the fall that has been feed broke, put it on feed for 60 days, get it to a around 800, and sell it to the packers.

What I messed up on was the type of feed. It's a 30, maybe 45 day feed at most while they are being weaned. After that the efficiency sucks, which was the reason for my high consumption rates. With them being out on pasture and feed I needed to switch to a better feed like an accuration mix to put the pounds on at around 1% of body weight. It's a more expensive feed but I would have been feeding half the amount and probably getting better results.
Put them on your grass and leave them alone until July or so and then see where you are at grass wise. 1 1/2 lbs per day is obtainable without anything else but I give mine feed about once a week to look them over and spray them for flys. Implant them and don't worry about the replacement market. No one will know and it doesn't matter anyway on three weights. I implant all mine at first work and decide at weaning if I want to keep any. Fertility has never been a issue.

You can buy a put for the calves if you want to lock in a price. They will take a order for your small amount of calves if you wish. Cost depends on when it expires and at what price you wish to lock in at.
Buyers can take a 6wt calf in the fall that has been feed broke, put it on feed for 60 days, get it to an around 800, and sell it to the packers.
You mean like backgrounders? Grow them and sell them to the feed lots?
I don't know of any packer that will buy 8wt cattle.

I will agree that 100lbs a month is the goal.
Is pinkeye an issue for you, Murray?
I have to vaccinate my baby calves for pinkeye. Come late summer they will all have it. Doesn't seem to bother my cows or older animals.
Is pinkeye an issue for you, Murray?
I have to vaccinate my baby calves for pinkeye. Come late summer they will all have it. Doesn't seem to bother my cows or older animals.
I've been very fortunate!
No really issues around here. Most all my "born" calves never get a needle stuck in em. They most always sell good too. Straight off the cow, all natural. I do band the bull calves at birth tho.

Are u in oklahoma?
1.5 to 1.8 lbs per day is attainable here with no supplement. On a dry year the grass hardens up and is better quality for us. Grass cattle go from the feed bunk to pasture with a few round bales scattered around for them to snack on.
You can buy cheaper priced cattle and do well on them. Just make sure they aren't low quality. Better cattle generally do better all around.
Thanks @gcreekrch
I've been trying to alter my "cheap or bargain" mindset just slightly. Light calves are HIGH. Bidding is tremendous on everything. Didn't think I was getting anything bought the bidding went on so long.
After the dust settled, I thought to myself, why did I buy that shiny one? I wanted a group of black calves. Why didn't I just spend the extra couple hundred?
Maybe I should have kept that lil part to myself......

She is bigger and cheapened the group up a bit. I bet they all do ok tho.

O yeah @moses388
I do spray when fly season starts up too. Calves and cows alike get doused with permethrin every few weeks when flies are heavy! Gotta help with the pinkeye issue.
She should be beefmaster or cross @farmerjan

Time will tell...

I'll get some better pics tomorrow when I turn em out. 3 flakes of Bermuda, 2 scoops of 20's and 5 gallon of water in the trailer tonight.

I plan on procuring 4 or 5 more for the lease place. Understocked there. Have to be steers/bulls tho. I'll have a breeding bull there soon. So no heifers at that place.

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