Feed bugs and heifer backgrounding?

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Well-known member
Oct 4, 2015
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Miami, OK (NE OK)
Question#1. I have a 3 ton feed bin that half full. I normally empty it before summer and refill in fall when I wean calves. This year I did not empty. It now has bugs in it, look like big fleas but don't jump. Best way to get rid of them? Do need to spray empty bin or just refill?

Question#2. Is there any money to be made to backgrounding my best heifers? I just weaned calves last night. I retain my own replacements, this year I plan to keep 5 or so. I had 24 out of 34 that were heifers, so to help offset the difference in so many heifers, I has thought to keep them longer and sell as replacements for steer prices. Thoughts? I think I can pick 15 , send the ugly ones on with steers next month. Keep 5, sell 10. Keep in mind my cows are commercial mixed cows, heifers out of charloais and black bulls. Heifers weigh 400-500 now.
If you have the room the house the extra heifers I don't see the down side. Just don't pour a bunch of money in them expecting to get it back just in case they have to go back to the ring.

When I wean calves I always catch the bulls first. I like to get them weaned and if we have the extra grass I turn them out on grass. Then a month or two later I like to go back and catch the heifers. Any heifer that just wont make the cut or that have bad attitudes will get sold with the bulls. I'm already keeping heifers for replacements also so it's no a big deal to keep a few extra and try to sell them private treaty. Most of the time I do not have a problem selling them but a few have had to go back to the ring and I've never lost money on them.

I have quite a few people that will pay $150 over auction prices for what I would call kind of the plain heifers that I would run thru the ring. They like having some back ground on them and they know I stand behind them. Do that on 10, 20, 30 heifers annually and it adds up.
1) There are chemicals for treating stored grain, but I would just feed it.

2) Beef mag periodically does a detailed estimate of back grounding profit. Generally, you need no price decline along with "high" ADG to cover all the OH and cover the direct expenses and still have a profit.
I would keep them if you can right now. Market may get even worse.

Like the other posters said you need to figure your cost of gain.
Thanks guys. Appreciate the advice. I'm already keeping 5 heifers, another 10 won't take anymore time really, just bit extra feed/hay. I won't sell crap heifers because my names attached to them selling them myself. Those I wouldn't want in my pasture, will sell with my steers

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