Beginner from Port Charlotte, Florida

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andyngo2006

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Hi everyone, i just recently bought a 10 acres, got it all cleared up. Now i'm thinking about putting a few beef cows in there. So i have a couple questions for you, hopefully you can answer it for me.
1. How many cows will be good in 10 acres of land, (i also will grow grass to feed them daily).
2. What kind of calves will make a good income ?
Thank you for reading.
 

farmwriter

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10 acres is not really enough for profitable cows, imho. They'll need too much feed.
Read all you can before you do anything that costs more than a book. Have you thought about chickens and goats instead?
 

talldog

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It's according to what you call Profit--- According to the Breed, you should be able to have 8-10 cows. That is, if you have good stand of grass in your pasture. Do your homework on your cattle and ---Good Luck !! :tiphat:
 

Busterz

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You probably need to check with a county extention agent to see what the carrying capacity is in your area, then I'd ask around and see how it compares. Make sure its a year round carrying capacity unless you want to rent more pasture or buy feed/hay (you may have to anyway).

But you might be able to make a profit on a small herd if you sold beef direct or sold club calves or something like that (value added). If you go with straight market calves, you might make a profit but it probably wouldn't be enough to make it worth your time.
 

OLF

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If I had 10 acres, I would split it up into at least 10 paddocks, probably twenty. I would start with 4 bred cows with calves at their side. That way you don't have to worry about breeding for a while. With the paddocks, the cattle get moved to new grass every one to five days. Once the cows learn the routine, it is easy, and good for the cattle and good for the grass. The only trick is getting water to each paddock. Raise the calves to finish (16-20 months) and direct market the beef.

Good luck and read some good cattle management books.
 

farmwriter

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Rotational grazing might get 10 acres to work if your forage quality is good and all 10 acres is fenced and viable for grazing (no wooded areas, no barn, no working facilities), but that still leaves you with fencing to take down for winter grazing to be planted or considerable hay costs. And then I still think 8 cows and four calves (which is what you would eventually have if you buy 4 sets of 3 in 1 and don't sell any until they are over a year old) might be too much for 10 acres.
I don't know what part of FL Port Charlotte is in, but I'm in AL less than 2 hours from the FL line, and in my part of the world it is beyond cruel to put cows where they have no shade or water. Now you might be willing to drag hoses and otherwise keep a water system going, but I doubt you're going to want the work involved in making sure they have good shade.
My intention is not to down you or start a feud with other posters, I just want to help you understand what you're talking about getting into. If you already know all that it takes to care for them properly, forgive me if I'm insulting you. I promise I mean well... ;-)
 

cypressfarms

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talldog":1rxoaeyk said:
It's according to what you call Profit--- According to the Breed, you should be able to have 8-10 cows. That is, if you have good stand of grass in your pasture. Do your homework on your cattle and ---Good Luck !! :tiphat:



Whoa!! There is no way that 10 acres of land will support 8-10 cows! Unless, ofcourse, you feed them their entire diet, which will mean that you will not make a profit. I'm not sure what type of profit your after, but 10 acres is not really enough - even in the best growing conditions with great grass - to make a substantial profit. As an example, I'm lucky if I clear $150 to $175 per moma cow per year. This is after all expenses are taken out. Goats, as mentioned before, would be a good idea.

Welcome to the boards, though. If you dead set on cows, that's fine, just don't expect to do it for profit, and you'll probably only be able to carry3 or 4 cows (ofcourse I don't know your pasture situation)
 

OLF

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farmwriter":9pdmhfct said:
Rotational grazing might get 10 acres to work if your forage quality is good and all 10 acres is fenced and viable for grazing (no wooded areas, no barn, no working facilities), but that still leaves you with fencing to take down for winter grazing to be planted or considerable hay costs. And then I still think 8 cows and four calves (which is what you would eventually have if you buy 4 sets of 3 in 1 and don't sell any until they are over a year old) might be too much for 10 acres.
I don't know what part of FL Port Charlotte is in, but I'm in AL less than 2 hours from the FL line, and in my part of the world it is beyond cruel to put cows where they have no shade or water. Now you might be willing to drag hoses and otherwise keep a water system going, but I doubt you're going to want the work involved in making sure they have good shade.
My intention is not to down you or start a feud with other posters, I just want to help you understand what you're talking about getting into. If you already know all that it takes to care for them properly, forgive me if I'm insulting you. I promise I mean well... ;-)
I agree completely. I forgot it was in Florida and wasn't thinking about the shade. There are people that tow around portable tarps, but your labor is going way up. I really don't think ten acres is enough to raise cows. But if your going to do it, I think rotational grazing is the only way. If you put four cows out on ten acres, your best grass will be overgrazed and your worst grass will be undergrazed and overgrown. Maybe some type of stocker operation would work.

Before you commit to cattle, consider the chickens, goats or even pigs. Pastured pork is a hot little niche. That said, I know nothing about raising livestock in Florida.

As far as the 4 sets of 3 in 1's, I would get steer calves at the side, and they would be your first beef. Run the four cows for a year, and you have an idea of what your carrying capacity is (maybe 2 or 3 cows, maybe 5 or 6).
 

dieselbeef

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im in myakka city...depends alot on yer grass but ya better have 2 ac per in the winter it wont even be enuff...bahia dont last cept when its rainin
 

Ryder

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cypressfarms":2nmy5jfe said:
][/quote:2nmy5jfe said:
Whoa!! There is no way that 10 acres of land will support 8-10 cows! Unless, ofcourse, you feed them their entire diet, which will mean that you will not make a profit. I'm not sure what type of profit your after, but 10 acres is not really enough - even in the best growing conditions with great grass - to make a substantial profit. As an example, I'm lucky if I clear $150 to $175 per moma cow per year. This is after all expenses are taken out. Goats, as mentioned before, would be a good idea.

Welcome to the boards, though. If you dead set on cows, that's fine, just don't expect to do it for profit, and you'll probably only be able to carry3 or 4 cows (ofcourse I don't know your pasture situation)
________________________________________________________________________________________________

Cypress is right. Theoretical cow per acre might work sometimes in some places. But everything has to fall togeher just perfect. Including prices and weather. That is not likely to happen.
Nothing wrong with keeping a few cows just for the fun of it and to learn from them. But there is not going to be any serious profit and the trouble and aggravation can mount up unless you have flexible time and just enjoy it.
 

dieselbeef

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ive got 13 cows on close to 50 acres. in the summer like now gras is huge...in 5 mos it will be dust. not knowing what ya got and if ya just cleared it ya probly got mostly weeds. get 2-3 and see how it goes..if ya can get more then go for it. good fence/and a way to load/may need to doctor. even prifert panels will set you back more than yer cows will....it aint all fun
 

SRBeef

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OLF":1zhz14mu said:
If I had 10 acres, I would split it up into at least 10 paddocks, probably twenty. I would start with 4 bred cows with calves at their side. That way you don't have to worry about breeding for a while. With the paddocks, the cattle get moved to new grass every one to five days. Once the cows learn the routine, it is easy, and good for the cattle and good for the grass. The only trick is getting water to each paddock. Raise the calves to finish (16-20 months) and direct market the beef.

Good luck and read some good cattle management books.

I don't know anything about cattle in Florida but I like OLF's idea generally. Starting up I would buy a bunch of 6 ft tee posts with speed braces for corners, rebar posts for intermediate posts to divide it up into OLF's paddocks and put a 10 ft wide lane down the middle to a single water source. Put in one 14 gage electric wire for all divider fences and one medium size charger. You can use slinky gates across openings to control access. Try cattle as suggested and see how it goes. You need to provide some natural or man made shade in each paddock this time of year but that is true about anywhere. I think with intensive management you could start with 4 bred cows on 10 acres in many areas. But again, I don't know FL. Just keep an eye on them and their condition.

A bit of fertilizer on those 10 acres is a lot cheaper than trying to buy and pay taxes on more land. Will you make a little money on this? Possible after initial startup costs are paid. Good luck.

Jim
 

djinwa

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Two cows make a herd. Control your appetite, start small. Overgrazed grass doesn't grow.
 

3waycross

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djinwa":3lwu2fll said:
Two cows make a herd. Control your appetite, start small. Overgrazed grass doesn't grow.

Best advice yet. Probably not a bad idea to just keep 2 to 4 steers. 2 being a good start. Sell one and keep the other for yourself to eat. A good way to get your feet wet and not lose your butt in the process
 

dieselbeef

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if i can help you out with feed or anything let me know. i sell citrus pellets and can help ya out marketwise or whatever...im a few miles north of a but not too far by backroad
 

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