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Does it Make More Financial Sense to Keep Cattle Longer?

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Bullitt

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Cattle can be sold for more when they are a little older. I see yearling bulls selling pretty well and bred heifers sell for more.

Does it make financial sense to not sell cattle as calves and keep them a little longer to sell as bulls and bred heifers?

I am thinking the deciding factors are if a person has enough space on the land and grass available to feed them.
 

Bigfoot

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Usually, when this subject comes up I'm about the only one that sides with keeping them a while after weaning. I actually like a fall born calf that reason. When I wean him, he can go on grass. When a spring born calf, and it goes on hay. I can barely scrape together enough hay for my cows. I don't need calves eating much.
 

Nesikep

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I just find lactating cows need FAR more food during the winter than dry cows if they're going to maintain condition, so I really wonder if it's a savings in hay.

It all depends on how markets are, one year you might be well off to carry calves through the spring, the next there's a glut and you lose money
 
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Bullitt

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Bigfoot":yqjehgsc said:
Usually, when this subject comes up I'm about the only one that sides with keeping them a while after weaning. I actually like a fall born calf that reason. When I wean him, he can go on grass. When a spring born calf, and it goes on hay. I can barely scrape together enough hay for my cows. I don't need calves eating much.


That seems to make sense. You have to feed the nursing cows more in the winter, right?
 
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Bullitt

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Nesikep":lp35wrbg said:
I just find lactating cows need FAR more food during the winter than dry cows if they're going to maintain condition, so I really wonder if it's a savings in hay.

It all depends on how markets are, one year you might be well off to carry calves through the spring, the next there's a glut and you lose money


I live in Texas, so our winters are much more mild than your winters in Canada.

If plenty of grass is available, my idea would be to have calves born about March. Then sell the bulls and bred heifers in the early summer of the next year. If needed, the bulls could be made into steers. Keeping them this long only makes sense if grass is available, though.
 

Bigfoot

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Bullitt":13ldaq6a said:
Bigfoot":13ldaq6a said:
Usually, when this subject comes up I'm about the only one that sides with keeping them a while after weaning. I actually like a fall born calf that reason. When I wean him, he can go on grass. When a spring born calf, and it goes on hay. I can barely scrape together enough hay for my cows. I don't need calves eating much.


That seems to make sense. You have to feed the nursing cows more in the winter, right?

Yes, but it doesnt amount to much. A big 700 pound calf can flat mow through some hay though. I may be unique though. Hay is my limiting factor.
 

TCRanch

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Depends on the market and your operation. Past few years I kept my spring calves and sold them in Jan or Feb the following year because the market was down and I was able to let them graze the brome field so I wasn't going through a couple bales every day. Sold last year's spring calves (2017) in Dec but deferred the payment until this year. Talk to your CPA! I don't keep any bull calves unless I have a prior, private treaty agreement. But I do sometimes retain additional heifers to sell as bred - once again depending on the market trend and our forage.
 
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Bullitt

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TCRanch":2arqq759 said:
Depends on the market and your operation. Past few years I kept my spring calves and sold them in Jan or Feb the following year because the market was down and I was able to let them graze the brome field so I wasn't going through a couple bales every day. Sold last year's spring calves (2017) in Dec but deferred the payment until this year. Talk to your CPA! I don't keep any bull calves unless I have a prior, private treaty agreement. But I do sometimes retain additional heifers to sell as bred - once again depending on the market trend and our forage.

That would be a smart way to do it. If the market is down, hold on to the calves until prices come back up. Hopefully it does not take too long.

Do you not keep bull calves because of lack of space? I know the bulls would have to be kept separate from the heifers after about 10 months old.
 

Caustic Burno

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TCRanch":aqj7h87h said:
Depends on the market and your operation. Past few years I kept my spring calves and sold them in Jan or Feb the following year because the market was down and I was able to let them graze the brome field so I wasn't going through a couple bales every day. Sold last year's spring calves (2017) in Dec but deferred the payment until this year. Talk to your CPA! I don't keep any bull calves unless I have a prior, private treaty agreement. But I do sometimes retain additional heifers to sell as bred - once again depending on the market trend and our forage.

Loose your butt on commercial bred heifers here unless it’s a Brangus or Braford. Best you will get is salebarn price. You can go to Crockett sale on any Tuesday and put together a trailer load.
 

TennesseeTuxedo

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Caustic Burno":2fuh1tj5 said:
TCRanch":2fuh1tj5 said:
Depends on the market and your operation. Past few years I kept my spring calves and sold them in Jan or Feb the following year because the market was down and I was able to let them graze the brome field so I wasn't going through a couple bales every day. Sold last year's spring calves (2017) in Dec but deferred the payment until this year. Talk to your CPA! I don't keep any bull calves unless I have a prior, private treaty agreement. But I do sometimes retain additional heifers to sell as bred - once again depending on the market trend and our forage.

Loose your butt on commercial bred heifers here unless it’s a Brangus or Braford. Best you will get is salebarn price. You can go to Crockett sale on any Tuesday and put together a trailer load.

Good thing she's in Kansas and doesn't have to go to the fabled Crockett sale barn.
 
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Bullitt

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Caustic Burno":2rz9jos1 said:
TCRanch":2rz9jos1 said:
Depends on the market and your operation. Past few years I kept my spring calves and sold them in Jan or Feb the following year because the market was down and I was able to let them graze the brome field so I wasn't going through a couple bales every day. Sold last year's spring calves (2017) in Dec but deferred the payment until this year. Talk to your CPA! I don't keep any bull calves unless I have a prior, private treaty agreement. But I do sometimes retain additional heifers to sell as bred - once again depending on the market trend and our forage.

Loose your butt on commercial bred heifers here unless it’s a Brangus or Braford. Best you will get is salebarn price. You can go to Crockett sale on any Tuesday and put together a trailer load.


Maybe it would be good to raise Brangus and/or Braford heifers, breed them, and sell them in your area.
 

Caustic Burno

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TennesseeTuxedo":2iekuwcj said:
Caustic Burno":2iekuwcj said:
TCRanch":2iekuwcj said:
Depends on the market and your operation. Past few years I kept my spring calves and sold them in Jan or Feb the following year because the market was down and I was able to let them graze the brome field so I wasn't going through a couple bales every day. Sold last year's spring calves (2017) in Dec but deferred the payment until this year. Talk to your CPA! I don't keep any bull calves unless I have a prior, private treaty agreement. But I do sometimes retain additional heifers to sell as bred - once again depending on the market trend and our forage.

Loose your butt on commercial bred heifers here unless it’s a Brangus or Braford. Best you will get is salebarn price. You can go to Crockett sale on any Tuesday and put together a trailer load.

Good thing she's in Kansas and doesn't have to go to the fabled Crockett sale barn.

You missed that part depends on your market I guess along with the word here.
Or were you just trying to start the same old crap over and over again.
 

TCRanch

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Caustic Burno":34k86h4u said:
TCRanch":34k86h4u said:
Depends on the market and your operation. Past few years I kept my spring calves and sold them in Jan or Feb the following year because the market was down and I was able to let them graze the brome field so I wasn't going through a couple bales every day. Sold last year's spring calves (2017) in Dec but deferred the payment until this year. Talk to your CPA! I don't keep any bull calves unless I have a prior, private treaty agreement. But I do sometimes retain additional heifers to sell as bred - once again depending on the market trend and our forage.

Loose your butt on commercial bred heifers here unless it’s a Brangus or Braford. Best you will get is salebarn price. You can go to Crockett sale on any Tuesday and put together a trailer load.

I'm definitely keeping the only ones I retained this year!
 

Caustic Burno

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TCRanch":2zic9otn said:
Caustic Burno":2zic9otn said:
TCRanch":2zic9otn said:
Depends on the market and your operation. Past few years I kept my spring calves and sold them in Jan or Feb the following year because the market was down and I was able to let them graze the brome field so I wasn't going through a couple bales every day. Sold last year's spring calves (2017) in Dec but deferred the payment until this year. Talk to your CPA! I don't keep any bull calves unless I have a prior, private treaty agreement. But I do sometimes retain additional heifers to sell as bred - once again depending on the market trend and our forage.

Loose your butt on commercial bred heifers here unless it’s a Brangus or Braford. Best you will get is salebarn price. You can go to Crockett sale on any Tuesday and put together a trailer load.

I'm definitely keeping the only ones I retained this year!

You could have gotten rich off bred heifers a few years ago no matter the breed in 2012 through 2014 .
Bred cows are going for 800 to 1600 right now, prices have been down last few months, just not a lot of back to the farm interest.
 

TCRanch

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Caustic Burno":ve69udny said:
TCRanch":ve69udny said:
Caustic Burno":ve69udny said:
Loose your butt on commercial bred heifers here unless it’s a Brangus or Braford. Best you will get is salebarn price. You can go to Crockett sale on any Tuesday and put together a trailer load.

I'm definitely keeping the only ones I retained this year!

You could have gotten rich off bred heifers a few years ago no matter the breed in 2012 through 2014 .
Bred cows are going for 800 to 1600 right now, prices have been down last few months, just not a lot of back to the farm interest.
I did very well off my bred heifers a few years back, didn't sell any last year and just a couple private treaty the year prior. I took a 7 year old bred cow to the sale barn a few months ago and was shocked she sold as butcher. Felt horrible, like I should have kept her, but she was giving me a calf every other year and I really needed to cull.
 

TennesseeTuxedo

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Caustic Burno":19auelx9 said:
TennesseeTuxedo":19auelx9 said:
Caustic Burno":19auelx9 said:
Loose your butt on commercial bred heifers here unless it’s a Brangus or Braford. Best you will get is salebarn price. You can go to Crockett sale on any Tuesday and put together a trailer load.

Good thing she's in Kansas and doesn't have to go to the fabled Crockett sale barn.

You missed that part depends on your market I guess along with the word here.
Or were you just trying to start the same old crap over and over again.

Nah, you're the king of old crap so I'll let you hold the title.
 

Dave

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During the 2012-2014 time frame we had a small cow herd nation wide. As that herd was growing it made sense to raise bred heifers. At the present time the herd is not growing. In fact I believe it is getting to the point where it will begin to shrink. That is not when to try to market heifers as bred heifers. As for hanging on to bulls to market as bulls rather than steers, I don't believe that ever makes sense unless you have a top of the line breeding program.
 

Supa Dexta

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As I always say - kill as many as you can. Keeps this train running. More money in them hanging around, than standing around.
 

TCRanch

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Bullitt":3j0o8ket said:
TCRanch":3j0o8ket said:
Depends on the market and your operation. Past few years I kept my spring calves and sold them in Jan or Feb the following year because the market was down and I was able to let them graze the brome field so I wasn't going through a couple bales every day. Sold last year's spring calves (2017) in Dec but deferred the payment until this year. Talk to your CPA! I don't keep any bull calves unless I have a prior, private treaty agreement. But I do sometimes retain additional heifers to sell as bred - once again depending on the market trend and our forage.

That would be a smart way to do it. If the market is down, hold on to the calves until prices come back up. Hopefully it does not take too long.

Do you not keep bull calves because of lack of space? I know the bulls would have to be kept separate from the heifers after about 10 months old.

Bull calves need to be separated from the heifers before 10 months. They're young but still have the potential to breed. Been there. My bulls (herd sires) are registered but my herd is commercial; the bull calves I've sold are private treaty, primarily to neighbors that simply want a "black bull" from good stock for a reasonable (actually, cheap) price.
 
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Bullitt

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Supa Dexta":gnetvte8 said:
As I always say - kill as many as you can. Keeps this train running. More money in them hanging around, than standing around.

From what people are saying, that seems to make sense for bulls/steers most of the time. But I think there is an opportunity to make some more money with bred heifers rather than heifer calves in the right situations.
 

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