Cow Calf Pairs or Heavy Bred Cows???

Help Support CattleToday:


New member
Mar 4, 2004
Reaction score
We have 100+ acres on the OK/TX border. We live about 1.5 hours from this place, but are there usually every Sunday and Wednesday. At our residence we have 3.5 acres so we have a little room to keep something at the house if need be but it is mainly for our 2 horses. We are looking to buy 10 Cows either heavy bred or 10 cow/calf pairs. The question is which would be more economical and logical to buy? The other question is what breed? We are looking into Shorthorn or Hereford. This is just to get our herd started. The heifers will be kept and the steers will be sold. We will lease a bull (probably angus).

Also which are usually cheaper cow/calf pairs or heavy bred cows?
Heavy bred cows are usually a bit cheaper, there isn't actual proof that live calf delivery will take place. Likewise, you won't be aware of calving problems and could suffer losses due to that because you are an hour and half away. That being said you can decide. Hereford are great cattle and should do fine as long as you aren't in a tropical climate and offer shade to them. They are nice looking, have power in the marketplace and cross well with just about anything. Maybe some others with Shorthorn experience will reply on them.
If the cost difference is too big of problem for you, I would go with the cow / calf pairs. D.R. is right about the calving. It also will give you time to get to know the individual mamas and how the do with the calf. I've been in the same position.
have you met any of the neighbors up there who might be able to keep an eye on the place for you? It seems kinda risky to just let them go up there and then only check on them twice a week? got good fences, water and stuff like that?
And I would buy the pairs if you can afford it, maybe just buy a few now and a few later if you dont want to spend that much all at once.
Might look at picking up three and ones, Cow,calf and breed back . This would solve your bull problem for a while until you get feet on the ground. Can usually purchase reg 3&1's for around 1500 in my area.
I agree with the above posts. Good advice
I would feel safer with cows I know don't have trouble calving, the 3&1's or cow calf pairs are both good, and I'd sleep alot better having some local guy around that could keep an eye on your place. Stuck waterer,broken water line, cows got out, ect. Some people don't mind doing it for the price of a little beef meat now and then.
In your situation(being 1.5 hours away) the cow and calf is alot less risky. There is no doubt that there will be times of trouble during calving and your success rate will depend on upon the time you have available to watch and work your herd. The one time that you may miss or are late checking your herd will usually be the one that cost you. Best of luck!!
For the past 3 years, we've only been able to get to our place on weekends, school holidays and summers. A lot of our managment and infrastructure strategies have been based on our absence Mondays thru Friday afternoons. We've put in multiple troughs and of course we have a pond on our seasonal creek.

I have to admit, I've made a lot of 200 mile round trips after school checking for frozen pipes and electrical outages. The good Lord has taken care of us. We've only lost one calf at birth and no cows when we were not there. By the way, I have a wonderful neighbor who is more than willing to help out in a pinch.

All of this will change after we move up there full time this summer.
A lot of good comments above. Another advantage to pairs over bred cows is that you can see what the calf looks like. Bred cows aren’t a bad option, it’s just that you don’t know what kind of papa they were bred to.

Thanks for all the wonderful advice. I really appreciate it. We have family and good neighbors that live close by. Also water is usually not an issue there is a spring fed stream that runs into a pond on the place that has never dried out and the land has been in the family forever. As far as fences they are all very good and have all been recently replaced or repaired.
I had good luck and bad luck on both tread. I would go with the cow/calf pairs because you already know the calf is alive plus you may get lucky with a cow could be bred back. Once bought a pair as a pair but they turn out to be profitable because the cow was already bred! (the previous breeder didn't know she was bred back!). I had fairly good luck with bred cows/heifers except for a few head that the breeder was certain they were bred but they were not....I got scammed in believing they were bred. Never went back to those breeders again. I heard both breeders had gone out of business...hmmm wonder why? Guess honesty is not part of their personality. Wish I had your luck inherit land! Live is so much easier this way... Whatever you do DO NOT sell the land to developers...they are A rated crooks! Keep it as farmland forever and ever....they are getting rare by the year. Enough babbling.
Eat wisely; eat healthy; eat lean beef!
I agree, buy three in one's if you can, but buy pairs for sure. It reduces you risk of not having a calf and maybe a cow after calving. In the area you are operatering I would suggest you visit the Noble Foundation and talk to them about the breed selection. I would consider Brangus for their hardness and easy calving. With little supervision or management available I would want something that will take care of themselves.
Good Luck

Latest posts