Herd Dispersals

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Well-known member
Jan 20, 2004
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I have read about many big farms that have become very known for there cattle and there genetics. Now when this farms have a herd dispersal production sale , is always the case that maybe there getting to old to keep farming or they just want out? Or is that they know they have exceptional cattle and they want to get rid of everthing a make a bundle of money, then they start all over again.
some hold back donor cows and start over. some sell off older cows and hold back heifers ... i know of a ranch that has had 2 disperal sales in the last 10 years . 2-3- years after a disperal they hold a production sale.. some will sell out with prices high and then start over when prices fall...
some ranches do have "dispersals" to cut back on cow #s & will keep some donor cows or young heifers or certain bloodlines & start over.

some ranches have dispersals when the original owners get too old or die & the children don't want to continue in the business. these are always the sad dispersals.......sad to see many years of really hard work & dedication come to an end & no one to carry on the tradition.
I've been to a few dispersals where the owners wanted to "go a different direction".. or change breeds. A big Simmental breeder had a dispersal sale about 8 years ago.. he sold his "spotted" cows and got into reds and blacks.
There are lots or reasons to hold a dispersal

1. Business partnership dissolves, legaly all cattle must be sold to disperse funds equally to partners

2. Death or health issues of owner, and family does not want to deal with the cattle

3. Old age, at some point it becomes harder to manage cattle, especialy in your 90's, and need to use help, which reliable help is HARD to find, and the old addage "If you want it done right do it yourself", applies and sometimes that just is not possible any more

4. Retirement, what this is I am not sure, not mentioned in the Bible so I don't ever plan on it, I love my cows and they will send me out feet first when I quit

Dispersal sales are a great place to pick up good genetics at reasonable prices, semen, equipment, cattle, embyos etc. etc.

Usually there is a lot of semen in storage, and it sells at 20-50% DISCOUNTED COST COMPARED TO RECENT MARKET pRICE
A total herd dispersal would be a good place to acquire breeding stock. You have mature cow dispersals where your older cows are sold off to make way for the younger ones. You have breeders who want to change their herd traits and sell off all the animals and retain embyros to start over again with. You have some that are force is to selling by bad management decisions or health reasons. Then some may have to show a profit for tax reasons.