4H/FFA Beef Project?

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milkmaid

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I introduced myself a while back, but neglected to mention that I am also just 17 y/o. For the past several years I've wanted to participate in the local beef 4H/FFA program. This coming year I have the opportunity to do so, if I would like, and I'm looking for a little advice.

A friend has about 20 red and black angus calves from this past spring he's getting ready to sell. They are nearing 800lbs. I also have to own the animal by March (shouldn't be a problem, even if I pass on these calves). The county fair rules are that the animals must be 1,000lbs by fair time (August 2005) and there is no upper weight limit, although the last judge did prefer them around 1400lbs. How much would I expect a steer to gain between now and August...8 months...and when would be the ideal time to put him on grain to be "finished" at fair time?

Now, this friend has heard rumors that the border may be opening by February, and the market may be flooded by Canadian cattle - dropping the price. Obviously he wants to sell well before then. While I understand that...I'd be depressed to buy a steer at $1/lb (price in the ring last week was $.98-1.11/lb) and then see the price drop drastically in February. Anyone have any ideas as to what the market nationally is likely to do in the next few months and if the border is going to open?

Anything else that may be helpful that you can think of to add would be welcomed. Thanks!
 

certherfbeef

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Around here you have to have your steer weighed in. Our fair is mid September and weigh in is just before Christmas. May want to find out if there is a weigh in of some sort and when it is. That will help you decide when to buy.
 

TheBullLady

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Keep in mind that a 800 lb. calf is really hard to halter break, especially for your first one! I would get a younger one if you can find it.
 
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milkmaid

milkmaid

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Thanks for the responses! =)

certherfbeef - the initial weigh in is the first week of March, so I'd have to buy before then, which gives me plenty of time to be particular.

TheBullLady - the only concern I have about weight is whether or not my steer is going to be at the right weight or not; one of my brothers had a 4H pig that didn't make weight by 6 pounds this past summer. Not good.

I think you saw my pic of the nurse cow and four calves I own - I bought her this summer as a wild, 6 y/o, 1200lb dairy cow and halter broke her myself. Compared to her, an 800lb calf should be easy. LOL! :lol:
 

cornstalk

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Hey Milkmaid.

Glad to see your ambition. I showed steers in both 4H and FFA, and can tell you, it's a lot of fun.

I woulnt worry too much about making the weight if I were you. Our calves were always born in April,....and I would show them in the ring the following september. We halter broke early summer, and I poured the grain/ high protien hay to em all summer long. My calves typically gained about 2.75-3.3lbs per day. (County Rate of Gain winner several times) In a show steer, you want em to be pretty blocky. Pour the feed on, and take whatever measures possible to grow there hair longer. (fans, shade, water, ect.)

Best of Luck to you......and honestly,.....I wouldnt worry much about the markets. The markets are something that niether you nor I can control. Buy when the time is right, and dont worry about whats going on elsewhere.
 
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