Going cow calf to feeders

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MistyMorning

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Since I can’t call my go to guy from here anymore need tons of advice and thoughts about getting out of cow calf and go to feeders. So 50 acres pasture Northern mn. I’m thinking supports a cow/calf 2.5 per acre. Sometimes more sometimes less. When do I buy feeders at this latitude and at what weight and since grass starts about mid May goes until mid September? Supplements? Number of steers?
 

Aaron

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MistyMorning":29zk51zs said:
Since I can’t call my go to guy from here anymore need tons of advice and thoughts about getting out of cow calf and go to feeders. So 50 acres pasture Northern mn. I’m thinking supports a cow/calf 2.5 per acre. Sometimes more sometimes less. When do I buy feeders at this latitude and at what weight and since grass starts about mid May goes until mid September? Supplements? Number of steers?

50 acres of good lush Minnesota grass should hold 25-30 steers, even if it gets a bit dry. June 1 to whenever the price is right. Buy 650-675 lb weight average and look for green cattle with frame that will gain 300 lbs+. Just salt and mineral.

I've got 50 acres I am going to run my 2017 steers on this year for the first time, so I can give you real world results at the end of the 2018 grazing season.
 

snoopdog

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It's a tough game , Aaron is right , green cattle with frame. A better start imo would be heifers , then if the market tanks you can calve them , a very sharp pencil is your friend. Ease into it with separate groups of different size , so you can keep your cash flow and as soon as you can make a profit sell, don't get greedy. You'll lose on some groups inevitably but that's the way it goes .
 
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MistyMorning

MistyMorning

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Thanks you guys. Gives me a good idea of what needs I’ll have to address. One question what do you mean by “green? I’ll probably have more questions as I think this stuff over. Thanks again!
 

Aaron

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MistyMorning":rhdgujvs said:
Thanks you guys. Gives me a good idea of what needs I’ll have to address. One question what do you mean by “green? I’ll probably have more questions as I think this stuff over. Thanks again!

Green means 'very light flesh'. Some people get mad at the notion of such cattle and view them as malnourished and starving. They are the money-makers and start putting weight on, right off the truck. You want them shrunk out with no fill, hook and pin bones showing, even the last couple of short ribs. But you also want them to have plenty of depth and spring in the rib, width through the back. The really good green cattle will have an awesome hair coat.
 

Aaron

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TennesseeTuxedo":3c40i94e said:
Lordy Aaron, that's the last kind of calf I'd ever hope to raise and sell at our auction barn.

Doesn't work for calves. People think they are runts or sick. But a potload of fancy green grass yearlings? Whoo hoo! Get a briefcase for all that cash. :banana: :banana:
 

TennesseeTuxedo

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Aaron":2rjz63qe said:
TennesseeTuxedo":2rjz63qe said:
Lordy Aaron, that's the last kind of calf I'd ever hope to raise and sell at our auction barn.

Doesn't work for calves. People think they are runts or sick. But a potload of fancy green grass yearlings? Whoo hoo! Get a briefcase for all that cash. :banana: :banana:

Gotcha, I'll give it a try one day.
 
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MistyMorning

MistyMorning

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Hey Aaron thanks for the kind words. Since calving is goi g to start here soon the feeder deal is going to have to wait. So I’m very interested in how your operation goes with the feeders. The feeders definitely are something that might get Work real well here so I’m getting on the learning curve
 

Stocker Steve

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1) To make serious money you need to buy calves out of season, not when everyone has green grass. So now you or someone else is back grounding light calves.
2) Lighter calves need more supplement since their rumen is not developed. I have turned out 4 wts but it was ugly, 5 wts work OK, 6 wts are safer, 7 wts require too much maintenance energy.
3) Lots of literature on supplementing. Energy with an ionophore is standard. DDG avoids the starch issue you have with corn. At a minimum - - you want to bucket them daily for a couple weeks to settle them down and get past the washy grass.
4) Goggle Gordon Hazard and buy his book.
 

Aaron

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MistyMorning":u7bxt89v said:
Hey Aaron thanks for the kind words. Since calving is goi g to start here soon the feeder deal is going to have to wait. So I’m very interested in how your operation goes with the feeders. The feeders definitely are something that might get Work real well here so I’m getting on the learning curve

I typically ship the steers as green yearlings just turning 12 months and do well. Last year however, I felt I was a good $50-75 a head back on the price for the quality that was on the table in April. Had I kept them till August, I would have pocketed at least another $300-400 a head. So this year I will take the yearlings to grass along with my fall calves and ship all the steers at once in either end of August or end of September depending on prices and grass rotation. The fall calves catch up quick, so they should go with the smaller spring yearlings and have everything sell in two groups.

I don't mind shipping in the spring and leaving a couple hundred on the table for the grasser man, but I lose my cool when it is almost double that.
 

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Stocker Steve":1k97dgoy said:
Are you selling heifers and retaining steers?

What do your 12 month old Hereford steers weigh?

Retaining both. Spring steers are around the 700 lb mark at 12 months. They should be around 1000 lb mark by end of August.
 

Stocker Steve

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Aaron":3sr8v16z said:
Spring steers are around the 700 lb mark at 12 months. They should be around 1000 lb mark by end of August.

Sounds like you are holding back on the corn and going for compensatory gain :cowboy:

In this system, are the fall born calves more profitable than the spring born calves?
 

Aaron

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Stocker Steve":rlr85zq4 said:
Aaron":rlr85zq4 said:
Retaining both. Spring steers are around the 700 lb mark at 12 months. They should be around 1000 lb mark by end of August.

Could go grass fed with a little extra tractor time :banana:

Don't know what I would do with them. Can't market locally, market is saturated with cheap grass fed beef. Can't market through salesbarn, no market for fats so you get little better than cow price.
 

Aaron

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Stocker Steve":1vorqdao said:
Aaron":1vorqdao said:
Spring steers are around the 700 lb mark at 12 months. They should be around 1000 lb mark by end of August.

Sounds like you are holding back on the corn and going for compensatory gain :cowboy:

In this system, are the fall born calves more profitable than the spring born calves?

Can't afford too much expensive grain. Cuts into money available for projects. Have lots of cheap oats left over from two years ago, so they are finishing them up. No point making them fleshy on corn - you either lose that on grass or you take a .30 hit at the barn. Sometimes up to .50. Feedlots don't pay for fat.

Fall calves are generally more profitable. They hit that grass hard and take off in gains.
 

Bigfoot

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I will add one thing.........I have never really lost money on my cow/calf operation. I have however lost on feeders. The adage sometimes you get the bear, and sometimes the bear gets you applies to them.
 

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