Cattle on land away from home, how far is too far?

Help Support CattleToday:

jvicars

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 9, 2007
Messages
173
Reaction score
0
Location
SW FL
i have thought about the same issue. living in fl makes it a bit easier to manage since i dont have to worry about extra feed or hay on the right lease.

my take is not more than 1 hr. if u are there once a week its 2 hrs round trip. i keep most items i need for cows in the truck as extras.

i would not do it for less than 30 head. you can always run the numbers and see how many calfs, fuel, lease costs and in the end return on investment. that may scare you so prepare at own risk.

my motto is if its not fun or enjoyable 1 mile is to far since i am merely a hobbyiest at best.
 

grannysoo

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 29, 2007
Messages
4,813
Reaction score
0
Location
The Briar Patch
I live on the farm with mine. :) Lots of different factors involved in this decision, especially water. Too many variables without enough information for me to help with your decision.
 

ArrowHBrand

Well-known member
Joined
May 28, 2007
Messages
574
Reaction score
0
Location
NW Iowa
While we don't currently have any cattle off of our home place my wife and I have talked about renting pastures away and how far we would go. We would like to stay within ten miles just for the fact that we could ride a horse to check on the cows and fence. Driving I wouldn't want to drive any farther than 30 miles because no matter what the weather cattle need to be checked, doctored, etc.
 

texast

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 28, 2007
Messages
413
Reaction score
0
Location
houston
After reading this thread I really need to rethink my lease. I drive 40min one way my job is about 15 to 20min from there straight drive. I was going out there at least every other day then on off days everyday just to see them and then in the winter everyday before work. Mind you this is only 15 acres and 4 cows at that time.
Now that lease is about up I was considering getting into another lease less land but I love cattle so I really need to rethink this whole thing.
 

Running Arrow Bill

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 24, 2003
Messages
3,439
Reaction score
2
Location
Texas Panhandle On US 83
We live at our cattle and horse facility. Both get checked 2X a day. Cows about ready to calve are put in a 50x75' calving pen with water & shed. Feed them specially. We have secure fencing too. Horses are fed 2X a day.

Our longest "walk" to check on an animal is about 5 minutes. A 30 second drive down an alleyway. Closest pen with animals is about 100' from house.

On the other hand, any "separate place" to stash cattle should probably be not more than 5 miles from your base of operation. However, a number of ranchers around here drive miles from one pasture to another, esp. in winter, hauling 1 round bale several times a week. Not for me...lol.

Our loafing sheds are easily seen from our alleyways. In bad weather cattle usually hang around the sheds so we can do a quick count and inspection while driving down an alley. Also, they usually come closer to the fence when they see our truck.

3 Vets work with us too: 30, 32, 45 miles away. Neighbors frequently drive down highway in front of us. Local Sheriff's office is also watchful for stuff. We get a call if anything suspicious going on; and, we have 2 alarm systems for alleyways. Hay and medications are stockpiled. If our power goes off (periodically happens) and Elec Co doesn't get back on within an hour (they usually do), we can haul water from town 3 miles away from the city's coin-operated (2'" hose) dispenser.

In sum, as a registered producer, the only cattle I'd put in a pasture miles away would be "cross-bred sale barn" animals, not seedstock...
 

msscamp

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 5, 2004
Messages
10,701
Reaction score
0
Location
Wyoming
Running Arrow Bill":xbttnnve said:
We live at our cattle and horse facility. Both get checked 2X a day. Cows about ready to calve are put in a 50x75' calving pen with water & shed. Feed them specially. We have secure fencing too. Horses are fed 2X a day.

Our longest "walk" to check on an animal is about 5 minutes. A 30 second drive down an alleyway. Closest pen with animals is about 100' from house.

On the other hand, any "separate place" to stash cattle should probably be not more than 5 miles from your base of operation. However, a number of ranchers around here drive miles from one pasture to another, esp. in winter, hauling 1 round bale several times a week. Not for me...lol.

Our loafing sheds are easily seen from our alleyways. In bad weather cattle usually hang around the sheds so we can do a quick count and inspection while driving down an alley. Also, they usually come closer to the fence when they see our truck.

In sum, as a registered producer, the only cattle I'd put in a pasture miles away would be "cross-bred sale barn" animals, not seedstock...

That might be a viable solution for you, AND YOUR LOCATION, but it is not viable for a lot of locations in this country. My location requires 33 acres/animal - so they have to be ran a lot farther than 5 minutes away, or they have to be supplemented, and that is not cost effective. Location is not necessarily the enemy, provided one knows how to manage their herd under those circumstances, and can monitor their herd on a daily/every other day basis.
 

ArrowHBrand

Well-known member
Joined
May 28, 2007
Messages
574
Reaction score
0
Location
NW Iowa
Running Arrow Bill":3epgs26h said:
In sum, as a registered producer, the only cattle I'd put in a pasture miles away would be "cross-bred sale barn" animals, not seedstock...

It's true this might not work for every situation, but I do agree with you. Right now all of our animals are on our homeplace, but when we do end up getting pastures away, I won't put our registered "high dollar/high risk" animals out there. I don't know the price of your stock is RA Bill, but a couple of our show cows were pretty expensive when we bought them as feeder heifers. I prefer to keep a close eye on them and their calves. That's why I would look for a place under ten miles away so we could ride out and check the homeplace and then ride to the "out" pasture and check the livestock there. Having the necessary supplies is always a hit or miss, but our saddle bags have the basics all of the time and what we don't have it is just a short trot away.
 

msscamp

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 5, 2004
Messages
10,701
Reaction score
0
Location
Wyoming
fourstates":7asyt6ms said:
I'm thinking about supplies...it's not like you can run home and pick up meds or more syringes....or worse calf chains! You will have to keep your truck loaded or have a secure place to store stuff.

Ok, so you keep your calving cattle closer to home, drive a few steel posts/set a few wooden posts, and set up a temporary pen - complete with a workable chute! All it takes to administer a shot is a small area that the critter can be confined in - it does not require a headgate. As far as supplies - get a Playmate cooler and stock it with whatever you think may be needed BEFORE you leave. Our's has a sharp pocket knife for castrating, 2 automatic syringes for multiple doses when working the entire herd, several disposable syringes of varying sizes, enough needles of different guages to work a herd of 100, a small bottle of water for rinsing the automatic syringes after use, and whatever medications we choose to put in it. It's not brain surgery. As far as a secure place to secure stuff - try a crossbed toolbox in the back of your pickup that can be locked if that is the type of area you live in. Where there is a will, there is a way! ;-)
 

lennie

Active member
Joined
Oct 18, 2006
Messages
25
Reaction score
0
Location
New York
We have 8 head of cattle and one horse that are an hours drive from our home. They are on my parents homestead, although my parents no longer live there. We go once a week during the spring/summer/fall and twice a week during winter. We do have some neighbors who "kinda" keep watch and would probably help in a pinch, but we have been doing this for about 5 years now, with few problems. The biggest problem so far has been getting in to feed them when we get a couple feet of snow. The barn is about an 1/8th mile off the main road and we have to plow it ourselves when the snow gets deep. It can be a pain sometimes and yes, gas to get there can be expensive, esp. these days!
But then again......no one said we were in it to get rich!
 

Hitch

Active member
Joined
Mar 25, 2007
Messages
27
Reaction score
0
Location
Hawaii
How far is too far is sort of like asking how much wheat can you get from an acre? The answer is, it depends! I'm reluctant to add to the number of good inputs you have already received but here goes... If ample shelter, water, herd density/pasture, or good fencing are not an issue, a lot of reasons for frequent trips are mitigated. Predicting seasonal driving conditions is your call. Supplemental quality hay (or cubes if that's your choice) could well be needed long before winter. Grain supplement is a matter of personal choice since it is certainly possible to finish cows on (good) grass alone. So, figure out how you are going to provide supplemental hay/feed that keeps bellies full and weight gains increasing. Then figure out how often you need to make the trip just for that basic requirement. You can consider giving the pasture a chance to "rest" without any grazing going on since it seems you may be moving closer anyway. A couple good mowings and the fertilizer of your choice sure can't hurt if done at the right time of the year. In general terms, a weekly trip to check on possible fence and animal health/safety issues makes sense to me.
 

Latest posts

Top