Getting Started

Help Support CattleToday:

A

Anonymous

Getting started and need some advice. I'll never be able to have more than about 10 head and my goal is to sell calves as they hit the ground..likely at the sale barn. Can't go the purebred, registered route as money is tight. But my question is this: I can buy bred cows by private treaty from a friend and know exactly what I'm getting...or I can get them at the sale barn for 300-400 dollars less and be guessing at what I've got. With a small operation and not having many calves to soften the initial investment expense, is the higher priced, private treaty deal the way to go? Any help would be appreciated...I'm in Alabama on pretty good pasture if it makes a difference in your answer. Thanks Much!

[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

why sell the calf when it hits the ground? if you are planning on keeping the cow, then the money from the new born calf will not even come close to paying for what the cow will eat, worming her etc.

as to whether the private treaty cows are worth 300-400 more... depends on a lot of things.. some being, are they better cows, what would they bring at the sale barn vs what the seller wants from you for them, how long do you plan on keeping them, etc.

i know a man here where i live in louisiana, that buys and sells cows. in my observation and conversations with him, he usually buys larger cows, older cows, med to heavy bred, BUT sound cows, i mean, she might be old, but she is in good shape, (bag #1, if she isnt giving alot of milk this equals poorer calf, feet, etc) and if he is buying a pair, the calf is of quality. it seems sometimes that these cows are bought cheaper per # because they are old and big. (1200-1500#) he will give killer price almost for them, let them have the calf and it get up to 300-500# and sell them both. since he didnt give much for the cow, she will return most of her cost when he sells her, then the calf is his profit.

easier said than done, this takes time, he goes to alot of sales and knows sound cows when he sees them.

good luck, gene

> Getting started and need some
> advice. I'll never be able to have
> more than about 10 head and my
> goal is to sell calves as they hit
> the ground..likely at the sale
> barn. Can't go the purebred,
> registered route as money is
> tight. But my question is this: I
> can buy bred cows by private
> treaty from a friend and know
> exactly what I'm getting...or I
> can get them at the sale barn for
> 300-400 dollars less and be
> guessing at what I've got. With a
> small operation and not having
> many calves to soften the initial
> investment expense, is the higher
> priced, private treaty deal the
> way to go? Any help would be
> appreciated...I'm in Alabama on
> pretty good pasture if it makes a
> difference in your answer. Thanks
> Much!

[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

> Thanks for the info Gene...When I said sell the calf when it hits the ground I meant after good and weaned off...around here probably $325 at the sale barn. My thought was to keep the mamas and sell the calves once weaned, then breed them again.

[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

This is a quandry, sort of like free ham to the Jewish. I personally when I was first getting started would have opted for buying known quality cows from a known source, verses buying an unkown quality/problem cow that came from who knows where. Now after nearly 40 years at this, I would buy from either depending on which could provide the animal I was looking for, i.e., black baldy vs Hereford, angus vs soething that is black and looks angus, etc. One other intangible about buying from the known source, you would probably have more recourse if there is a problem then through the salebarn. Also, it could provide you with a valuable mentor for the future. Good will and a mentor can frequently be worth more then the dollars you may have saved going through the salebarn. Quality calves when weaned should bring closer to $500 then $325. How will you get them bred? Just opinions and things to think about

dunmovin farms
 
OP
A

Anonymous

I agree with dun. If you are a good to fair judge of cattle you may be able to find what your looking for at the salebarn. If not, buying from someone you trust may be worth the extra money.

[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Go to some of the bred heifer sales. I know there are some in AL. that have quality animals with some history. There is also a good one in South MS. thathas a lotof good replacements

[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

> Getting started and need some
> advice. I'll never be able to have
> more than about 10 head and my
> goal is to sell calves as they hit
> the ground..likely at the sale
> barn. Can't go the purebred,
> registered route as money is
> tight. But my question is this: I
> can buy bred cows by private
> treaty from a friend and know
> exactly what I'm getting...or I
> can get them at the sale barn for
> 300-400 dollars less and be
> guessing at what I've got. With a
> small operation and not having
> many calves to soften the initial
> investment expense, is the higher
> priced, private treaty deal the
> way to go? Any help would be
> appreciated...I'm in Alabama on
> pretty good pasture if it makes a
> difference in your answer. Thanks
> Much!

Not all people use the term "sale barn" to mean the same thing. If you mean the weekly auctions that mostly sell 300 to 500 pound calves plus assorted older bulls & cows -- I'd steer clear of any cows you see there if you are inexperienced. A lot of those cows are problems (won't breed back, not good mothers, bad teeth, prolapsed, fence jumpers, etc.). True, some are good cows that have to be marketed because of drought, retirement, etc., but more often than not you are buying somebody else's problem

However, consider going to several of the Saturday fall or spring "replacement" auctions, which just happen to be held at the same facility that conducts a weekly "sale barn" auction. The cows you see at these auctions typically are much better stock, younger, pregnancy tested, OCV's and are being sold by breeders that sell at those auctions every year and have a reputation to maintain. For a beginner, I'd suggest that you stay away from "bred heifers" and instead spend a little more and buy young "pairs" (or even 3 in 1's) at one of these replacement auctions. Also, consider what are commonly referred to as "second calf heifers". Go to several auctions and sit on your hands and observe before you start to enter the bidding frenzy. Then try to work out a deal with a neighbor relating to use of a bull or go the A.I. route --- it's a bit of a waste of money and bull power to buy and maintain a bull for only 10 or so cows. Good luck.
 

Latest posts

Top