Advice on building a herd in Central Texas - sale barns vs breeders

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Shoestring

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@TdJ someone may have suggested this, I didn't go back and read all of the hot air put forth in previous posts. I don't know your acreage, but look up the 44 farms. Kinda in your area. Might be of interest to you or someone else starting out.
 

Lee VanRoss

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Doesn't matter where a cow is sold or bought. It's always one that someone else decided not to keep.....a cull.
( Always) does not allow much latitude for drought or death or gift or divorce or what ever reason to sell
without the animal being a cull. All things have a season and the end is not always based on value.
 

Warren Allison

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Around here, if you are going to buy or sell cattle, it will be at the sale barn. If you can't get them to a sale, for some reason, and advertise them for sale at your place, they are going to sell for less than they would at the auction. Anyone coming to look at them is going to know about what they will bring at the sale, and will pay less.
 

Peace

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You could check out this sale....lots of replacements of all kinds close the sale.

 
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TdJ

TdJ

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It's ben a fun few months, accomplished a ton and have a lifetime of work ahead. Dealt with sick calves (lost one to pneumonia) but they've all healed up and are fat and happy. Been feeding the herd sweet feed and sitting on the feeding bin, making them eat around me. Tamed them down a ton, can scratch two young ones behind the ears without spooking. Been a fun project, have more to do here though.
Made 54 bales so far, have another 25-ish before the grass goes fully dormant, amazingly green after mowing - good combo of rain and temperature. Blew up a baler drive chain (replaced and oiled the bahjesus out of the others), broke the bale spike (ugliest weld in the world), blew up my shredder gearbox (seal failed and leaked freshly checked oil out in about 20 minutes). And all I want to do is get up and do it again tomorrow.
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@callmefence, might need your services. Will reach out soon!

@windmillman, apologies for not reaching out yet. We'll connect soon. Probably ran past each other multiple times at watson's or similar.
 

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TdJ

TdJ

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@TdJ someone may have suggested this, I didn't go back and read all of the hot air put forth in previous posts. I don't know your acreage, but look up the 44 farms. Kinda in your area. Might be of interest to you or someone else starting out.
Thanks for the refer, I'll look them up. It's been tough balancing the day job, building the ranch and finding time to talk to folks. I keep reminding myself that this is a 5 year plan and it's been 4 months.
 

elkwc

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Most Small breeders are focused on genetics and confirmation. And tend to be overpriced. They don't cull for performance and if they did you can't cull for performance if you never test it.
Most small breeders I know way more about the performance of their cattle than most you will find at the sale barn. When buying from a small breeder many times he will know their age within a few weeks. At a sale barn it is a guessing game at best.
 

TDM

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A lot of my best cattle came from herd sell outs at the local sale barns. Look for the barns that have the biggest amount of cattle to sale ans ask the owner if he will notify you when they have a herd sell out. They had a bunch of black angus 3 to 5 months bred from a sell out at West this week. Mid age and medium quality. Most of them went to the packers and the ones that didn't sold for less than $100 above packer prices.

For $850 you could get a experienced gentle cow that will calve in early spring. Let her raise the calf through the summer and sell it in the fall.. The calf will bring about what you paid for the cow,
These types of cows will give you some experience on how the sale barn process works and what to look for to fit your operation. Plus they are not so expensive that if one dies or disappears through the fence, the loss won't break you.
Couldn't have said it better myself. A few universities have done studies on commercial cow/calf producers just starting out. The number 1 factor to the operation's longterm financial viability was the initial investment per head in the breeding herd. This by no means is a recommendation to guy buy someone's junk at the salebarn, but bird dog hit it on the head. Go buy experienced solid mouth cows (no heifers--too pricey with more trouble and greater fallout, no old junk) and let them pay for themselves in a just few years.
 
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