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Grazing Yearlings in 2021

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Dave

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Boy I really gave some thought to it at the sale on Thursday. Light heifers were every bit as cheap as they were last year. Maybe cheaper when you consider quality. No rain in California and all that pasture that burnt up. They just aren't buying and that is where our light calves go.
 

bird dog

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I would like to buy a handful but we have had no rain in 3 1/2 weeks and my oats are still sitting in the field waiting patiently.. I am trying to do the same.
 
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Stocker Steve

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Calf prices have dropped here too. In theory - - you make more for grass gain when grain is higher priced, since you are competing with the feedlot to put on pounds.

Are cow herds being sold off in the Rockies and the western plains?
 
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Stocker Steve

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The dry area is spreading. So far it has helped to increase grain prices and reduce feeder prices. Fat prices have not been effected, so value of gain has increased.

So is running yearlings a good bet in 2021?
 
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Dave

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One of the things I always look at is comparing the market price today of the purchase size cattle to the price today of the cattle at your target weight. Using last weeks sale report. Steers starting at 450 and taking them up to 850 the value of the gain was $0.81 per pound. Heifers going from 450 to 825 the value of the gain was $0.99 a pound. At those prices heifers definitely work.
 

Dave

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Backgrounding 4 wt calves are too easy. Can you source 3 wt peewees?
No and I don't want them. I only want calves that had a good start in life. I don't want anything under 450. 475 would be a better number. My experience is that those peewees just never do grow as fast as bigger calves. And it is pretty hard to find those little dinks around here. The sales will have 100's if not 1,000's of 450-650 weight calves and maybe half a dozen peewees.
 

Lee VanRoss

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Considering the times and events taking place me thinks I will wait until I see "for whom the bell tolls''.
before deciding to go with the market or run them on grass next summer.
If (and I pray they don't) Tories take this election, all bets could be off.
 

Hereford2

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The last sale I went to they had a couple of hundred of calves in th 250 to 350 pound Range selling on average for $1.75 I haven't bought any of those lightweight calves, but to me, they looked high risk. What's the average death rate on that lightweight of calves, compared to the 450 plus pound calves?
 
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Stocker Steve

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Depends on two things:
1) why are they lightweight ?
2) how good of a stockman r u ?

Most mass medicate when purchased.
Some put them in small pens to help get them started.
Do the above and death rate should be the same as 4 wts..
Need to make change(s) in either case if death rate is over 3%.
 
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Stocker Steve

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Feeder futures really took a dip. Looks like I will be retaining a lot of heifers this year, and buying some pee wees this winter.
 

Allenw

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They'll need more attention and a bettet feed ration then the bigger calves. A couple of weaned bottle calves that know their way around a pen are a great aide in getting them started.
 

Dave

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I have found that if start with a 450 pound calf and a 350 pound calf with a target weight of 850. When the 450 reaches the target weight the smaller calf should be 100 pounds behind. But it very rarely is. More like 150 or even 200 pounds back. It takes more time and money to grow out those peewee calves. They may be a little cheaper at the original purchase but end up being more expensive to reach the target weight.
 

gcreekrch

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In a time that we bought little calves and carried them through for about 10 months, 250 weight calves that were older were the only class of cattle that would triple their weight in that time. Was going to buy some to play with this fall but an upcoming hip replacement changed those plans.

Never much worry about what weights , more interested in dollars left in my pocket. This little downturn is something I have become accustomed to. Mr Feeder and Mr Packer have found another wrench to throw into the fall run for nearly 15 years now.
 
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Stocker Steve

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Many avoid calves less than 350 pounds. That kind need a lot of grain, and some TLC. I think they are money makers.

I have also bought 250 pounders a few times and penned them in a shed. Kind of like raising puppies.
 
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