feeding out calves

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Jan 25, 2007
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I probably should have put this on the feedyard board but it doesn't seem to active. Also, It could have been put in my other two active threads but many of you have already read those and would never see it. The farm we are likely to take with the nursery trees also has much infrastructure and yesterday I had an older cattle farmer out there with me. He suggested I could feed out as many as 50 calves with the facilities that are currently there. There is a dry concrete lot with good cover and even set up with a manure lagoon. It is also connected to a loafing area (correct term?). There is a nice commodity shed with two separate sections with a concrete floor, he said I could buy commodity in bulk and mix my own. I would obviously not start out with 50 head but a smaller number to get my feet wet. He also said I could run some mama cows on the pasture to raise some calves that way as well. Is anyone currently feeding out calves this way? He was talking about buying them around 300 lbs. This is new to me so I need to really try and have my ducks (cattle) in row before I take the plunge.
If you take a drive across the US midwest (I'm not familiar with TN), almost every concrete feedlot you see from the road is empty with weeds growing up through the cracks. That should tell you something about the economics of what you are considering. Good luck. Jim
Sounds to me that you got a heck of a setup and if you can develop a niche market then your chances of making money is all the more better. Bulk is the only way to go when you buy feed. Look at alternatives too. I think you are doing wise by feeling things out and starting slow. Each journey starts with a single step and it sounds like you are well on your way. Personally, I'd shy away from the 300 pounders unless you really are good at straightening out sick calves. JMO

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