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Feed lots

Tman

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New ot the cattle world, bought some calf cow pairs and want to maximize the return. Do I sell the steers outright at 500-600 pounds or send them to a feedlot @ 700-800 pounds ? Help out a greenhorn.
 

D.R. Cattle

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Sell them at whatever size they are at 7 months old. Unless you have some volume, it will be difficult to get involved with feedlots. Loook up your local sale barn or sell them to a private individual.
 
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Take them as big as you can reasonably do yourself. Price of feed and price of cattle any cattle will make money.
 

Tman

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D.R. Cattle":1at1qec0 said:
Sell them at whatever size they are at 7 months old. Unless you have some volume, it will be difficult to get involved with feedlots. Loook up your local sale barn or sell them to a private individual.


What type of volume ? Ultimately I would like to play with the big boys, just don't know how to start .
 

D.R. Cattle

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Volume means at least a pen full. Look up or contact some feedyards to find out what constitutes a pen. Better yet some of the folks on here will know.
 

dun

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Form maximum profit but also maximum risk you can retain ownership through the feedlot to slaughter. Or you can retain partial ownership. For starters though, I would sell them at weaning. If you can find a number of other folks around you that have fairly similar genetics you can co-mingle your calves with theres and if you get close to 49000 lbs total you will do some better then just selling a few at a time. Pot loads (49000) are preferred by most buyers. Also look into the various preconditioning/vaccination programs available. Your sale barn my have regular pre/vac sales. If so, you will get a little more per head that way.

dun
 

Tman

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dun":1t05t9q9 said:
Form maximum profit but also maximum risk you can retain ownership through the feedlot to slaughter. Or you can retain partial ownership. For starters though, I would sell them at weaning. If you can find a number of other folks around you that have fairly similar genetics you can co-mingle your calves with theres and if you get close to 49000 lbs total you will do some better then just selling a few at a time. Pot loads (49000) are preferred by most buyers. Also look into the various preconditioning/vaccination programs available. Your sale barn my have regular pre/vac sales. If so, you will get a little more per head that way.

dun

Sounds like I should be building a calf/cow operation at the same time I buy a pen full of steers for the feedlot, am I thinking right ?
 

D.R. Cattle

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Tman":1htifnkx said:
New ot the cattle world, bought some calf cow pairs and want to maximize the return. Do I sell the steers outright at 500-600 pounds or send them to a feedlot @ 700-800 pounds ? Help out a greenhorn.

I was under the impression that is what you have, with the exception of the bulls.
 

Tman

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D.R. Cattle":1t6hbncs said:
Tman":1t6hbncs said:
New ot the cattle world, bought some calf cow pairs and want to maximize the return. Do I sell the steers outright at 500-600 pounds or send them to a feedlot @ 700-800 pounds ? Help out a greenhorn.

I was under the impression that is what you have, with the exception of the bulls.

Dun,

Thanks for the reply. I have bought some calf cow pairs, 5 cows-5calfs. I need to figure out which way to head from here. I have 621 acres bermuda coastal mixed with the typical South Texas Mesquite. Yes, 5 pairs look pretty funny out there all alone. I would like to get serious but for a newbie you can imagine my confusion. Calf/Cow, Seesdstock Breeder, Feedlots ??????? I am just hoping to start right and minimize my errors. So where do I put my next lump of cash ?
 

Tman

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D.R. Cattle":193eonty said:
Put your money in heifers bred to calving ease bulls.

Thanks for the info D.R. Cattle, Hey are you the guy that the Department of Commerce is telling me about. The old Boy down in Florida that is exporting to Cuba ????? If you are it sounds like a sweet deal, if not you might want to look into it, being in the perfect geographical area and all.
 
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Tman --- 621 acres, man that's a real nice sized place for a beginner, I'd kinda like to be in your shoes!

Try to get yourself a good, experienced local mentor, preferably a guy that actually makes his living ranching in south Texas. Also, study all you can about the different breeds of cattle common in your area and have a look at all the publications that A & M has to offer on forages, drought mgmt., cattle diseases, management, etc. If you decide to try to buy some more cattle at one of the good replacement auctions try to take a well experienced cattleman with you and follow his lead and advice. And don't be afraid to sit there with your hands under your butt, so to speak, because you don't need to buy all your cattle (or any, for that matter) your first time out --- and some auctioneers are more than happy to take extreme advantgage of a newbie. Don't try to buy your herd at a normal weekday auction. Don't try to cut corners and go the cheapie route when it comes to buying your bulls. In south Texas you'll see a lot of what are called "tigerstripe" cows (50/50 Brahman/Hereford crosses) and unless you just overpay you really can't go too wrong buying them. Being a newbie, I would recommend that you not put Charolais bulls with any first or second calf heifers because of possible calving problems. A Brangus bull would be fine to use IMHO.

Get an experienced person to assess and advise you on the condition and adequacy of your fencing (including cross fencing), corrals, catch trap, water sources, etc. Learn about rotational grazing and the proper fertilization requirements for your bermuda pastures. Decide what you intend to do about winter feeding, hay buying, stockpiling of forage, etc. Start a maintenance program on the mesquite --- you probably can't completely eradicate it but you need to very much control it before it really takes over.

You might also consider leasing some of your place to a trusted and experienced cattleman as a way of letting yourself ease into the business and being able to closely observe and learn from somebody else (with a properly written and well thought out lease agreement).

With a place full or bermuda you probably don't have much in the way of deer do you? As you probably know deer/quail/dove hunting revenue is typically a MAJOR component of ranching revenues in south Texas and for many ranchers wildlife mgmt. is a very important ranching consideration.

Man, there are so many things to consider and I could ramble on and on so I'll stop now. Don't be afraid to ask questions here, and of the ranchers in your locale. If you can, learn from the mistakes of others rather than from your own!

Good luck, Arnold Ziffle
 

Tman

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Anonymous":2lrrfolo said:
Tman --- 621 acres, man that's a real nice sized place for a beginner, I'd kinda like to be in your shoes!

Try to get yourself a good, experienced local mentor, preferably a guy that actually makes his living ranching in south Texas. Also, study all you can about the different breeds of cattle common in your area and have a look at all the publications that A & M has to offer on forages, drought mgmt., cattle diseases, management, etc. If you decide to try to buy some more cattle at one of the good replacement auctions try to take a well experienced cattleman with you and follow his lead and advice. And don't be afraid to sit there with your hands under your butt, so to speak, because you don't need to buy all your cattle (or any, for that matter) your first time out --- and some auctioneers are more than happy to take extreme advantgage of a newbie. Don't try to buy your herd at a normal weekday auction. Don't try to cut corners and go the cheapie route when it comes to buying your bulls. In south Texas you'll see a lot of what are called "tigerstripe" cows (50/50 Brahman/Hereford crosses) and unless you just overpay you really can't go too wrong buying them. Being a newbie, I would recommend that you not put Charolais bulls with any first or second calf heifers because of possible calving problems. A Brangus bull would be fine to use IMHO.

Get an experienced person to assess and advise you on the condition and adequacy of your fencing (including cross fencing), corrals, catch trap, water sources, etc. Learn about rotational grazing and the proper fertilization requirements for your bermuda pastures. Decide what you intend to do about winter feeding, hay buying, stockpiling of forage, etc. Start a maintenance program on the mesquite --- you probably can't completely eradicate it but you need to very much control it before it really takes over.

You might also consider leasing some of your place to a trusted and experienced cattleman as a way of letting yourself ease into the business and being able to closely observe and learn from somebody else (with a properly written and well thought out lease agreement).

With a place full or bermuda you probably don't have much in the way of deer do you? As you probably know deer/quail/dove hunting revenue is typically a MAJOR component of ranching revenues in south Texas and for many ranchers wildlife mgmt. is a very important ranching consideration.

Man, there are so many things to consider and I could ramble on and on so I'll stop now. Don't be afraid to ask questions here, and of the ranchers in your locale. If you can, learn from the mistakes of others rather than from your own!

Good luck, Arnold Ziffle

Arnold,

I really appreciate the information. I have sectioned the place off into 5 main pastures so as to rotate evenly through the quarters and allow for one resting period. Water is not much of an issue, the entire east side of the ranch is bordered by a constant level lake. Hunting is a problem though as the audobon society has controll of the west side of the lake and I think they would frown on bird hunters (Ducks O'Plenty though), interestingly enough I have hogs out my ears and have yet to see a deer ! How did you know ?

As for the few pairs I have, I purchased them at a replacement auction, went to lots of regular auctions and did not seem welcomed nor could I keep up, I think the main audience was order buyers. Guess I stumbeld into the replacement auction, glad I did. I had thought about buying a full herd of mommas and trying an embryo transfer program to build a strong herd then sell off the surrogates. Unfortunately the Embryo Transfer program would put my new herd two years away from production. I purchased Black Angus, only because they seemed to draw a premium at most auctions but I do not have a clue as to why?

A local mentor would be terrific, most people I know in the business look at me like they have no idea why I believe they are doing well and then turn around and send another load to the feedlots, buy their kids a new SUV on thier way to Baylor and head down to Morton's for a steak. They either do not realize that they have special knowledge and skills or prefer to keep it to themselves, hence my appreciation for your sharing nature.

Your right my head spins most of the time nowadays, spending way to much money and having the time of my life though.

I have been lucky this far and hope it holds, if you know someone in this area that would take me under their wing I would be obliged.
 

dun

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The suggestions to find a mentor and lease out grazing are both solid. With leasing, you will need someone that is knowledgable to make recommendations and keep you from getting burned. You might look to your local USDA NRCS office or the University Extension Service. If the place lends tself to it, haying it and marketing the excess hay could give you a bit of an edge. Just remember that anything removed from the land needs to go back in to maintain the requied level of nutrients to keep it healthy.
On our excess pasture we get a bunch of stockers and run them for 90 days or so, that's to just keep a little ahead of the grass. Then they get shipped, and we hay some of the remaining pasture and graze others. There are just so many alternatives, and what works in this part of the country may not be prectical in others.

dun


Tman":ifg1j4gw said:
D.R. Cattle":ifg1j4gw said:
Tman":ifg1j4gw said:
New ot the cattle world, bought some calf cow pairs and want to maximize the return. Do I sell the steers outright at 500-600 pounds or send them to a feedlot @ 700-800 pounds ? Help out a greenhorn.

I was under the impression that is what you have, with the exception of the bulls.

Dun,

Thanks for the reply. I have bought some calf cow pairs, 5 cows-5calfs. I need to figure out which way to head from here. I have 621 acres bermuda coastal mixed with the typical South Texas Mesquite. Yes, 5 pairs look pretty funny out there all alone. I would like to get serious but for a newbie you can imagine my confusion. Calf/Cow, Seesdstock Breeder, Feedlots ??????? I am just hoping to start right and minimize my errors. So where do I put my next lump of cash ?
 
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