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ky colonel

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First some background, we have 2 old cows one of which is open ,3 cows that are pregnant with their 3rd calfs and 4 heifers we kept back that have been AI .have been building each year. We have a pasture of about 7 acres and have been summering on about 50 plus acres of a cousins that no longer has cattle. I don’t know if that is a reliable option but what we have been doing. We have another 6 acre to fence off and have 7 acres of hay field we get bout 60 4x4 rolls from counting both cuts. So should I fence hay land off for pasture and just buy hay? Should I sale the cows this fall and buy steers in the spring next year? Could I buy steers at 350 and sale them at 900 keeping them 9 months? What is reasonable weight to put on steers over 9 months if you add grain and hay?
 

farmerjan

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Okay, you gave a little background but what are your goals? Do you want to have a cow /calf operation or do you want to only raise steers or feeders and not have to feed through the winter? You asked for some advice, but without knowing what you think you want, it is hard to advise.
You said that you have AI'd the heifers, so they must have some pretty decent breeding. Do you want to continue the bloodlines?
Is the 50 acre pasture available for sure every year? I am assuming that you are from Ky so the growing season is fairly long so you will have a long grazing season if there is rain to keep up the pastures. If the 6 acres is available then yes I'd fence it. Only you can judge the pros and cons of making the hay or buying it. If that is the only place you make hay on then you have alot of money tied up in equipment. I'd fence the hayfield if it is yours and then you have the option.
Right now feeders are bringing decent money, but remember that the larger they get the less per pound. They have been alot higher, but could also drop like they did in the past 2 years but most of us sure hope they don't. Good weight gain on steers is in the range of 2-3 lbs per day so hope for 60-90 lbs per month; for 9 months you can look for 6-800 lbs if conditions are good. IF IF IF.... there always variables and some people can get more gain, sickness can throw you off and there is possible death loss to think of.
We are cow/calf, keep some of the calves for a little while and sell according to the markets. Most all our land is rented. We raise our best heifers up for replacements, and buy some cows too, all according to what we can find and what pastures are available.
I would sell the open cow. If she has some age then there is no reason to keep her. she is not going to make you any money. Selling her is better than burying her.
 
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ky colonel

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Well I look like for it to make a profit either way . I would like to have cows and sale calfs but if I would be better off going feeders then I would. Would be a plus to not have to worry about winter feeding and calfs. I would like to sale beef some too and I think I could still do that with the steers. How many steers are recommended per acre, could I add more if I feed them. Really don't know much about the feeder side
 

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