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How many cattle to make a living?

J Baxter

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Everyone seems to have a different opinion on this subject, but I thought I'd get everyone to throw in their input. I'm talking no bank payments, all equipment owned outright and good commercial cattle.

I'd love to hear what everyone has to say. Some of us think that $25k is a living and some of us think $100k is a living. Let's shoot for a comfortable median.

Thanks,

JB
 

Texan

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J Baxter":3lch4q98 said:
Some of us think that $25k is a living and some of us think $100k is a living. Let's shoot for a comfortable median.
JB, before you get too involved figuring the numbers required, since that can be so variable depending on management, I have an idea to share with you. Adjust your idea of what is required for your living downward. Way down!

I don't know what you would consider a comfortable median between the $25K and the $100K, but I can nearly assure you that its too high. I can't even imagine somebody who does this for a living having an income of even $30K. Anybody will have a better chance of making it work if they can make it in the $18K to $20K range. Or less.

Also, don't use today's inflated prices as a basis for your figuring. If you figure 80 cent steer calves and 60 cent heifers, it will keep you from having to go back to town to work when the market gets back there. And it will.
 

hillbilly 2

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Its all about cost.
If you can keep a cow in good shape and calving every year for less than $200 it will take alot less cows than if you have $350 cost per cow.

Everybody comming in figures they are going to reinvent the wheel.

After they have been in it a while they realize its all about controlling cost.

Where are you located? Different area's have different minimum costs.

I have a neighbor thats sole income is feeder calves he raises. He has 100 cows. He lives a simple life, is a heck of a mechanic and is as happy as a clam.

I have another neighbor with 250 cows that works in town, lives the high life, hires most everything done, and is borderline bankrupt everyday.

Hillbilly
 

Dave

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It is about keeping a tight rein on cost. It is also figuring out how you might have an unfair advantage. That can be a number of things that you have available to you that allow you to do some portion of the expence at a lower cost than most of the other cattlemen. This may be a cheap by-product feed, lower pasture rents in your area, proximity to premium markets, etc etc. Everyone has these unfair advantages. It is a matter of figuring out what they are and how capitolizing on them. They can and will dramatically change your bottom line.
Dave
 

txshowmom

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Just answer the question and don't analize it to death. It's just a guess. Figure it on the best case.
 

jt

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txshowmom":174ug9do said:
Just answer the question and don't analize it to death. It's just a guess. Figure it on the best case.

no offense meant, but that could be misleading. jb could be thinking about going into this full time.

jt
 

Dave

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There are so many variables and possibilities that if he doesn't analize it at least semi-to-death the answer could be off by a mile.
Dave
 

J Baxter

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I will not be going into the cattle business full time for quite some time and then it will not be full time cattle. I'll still be farming some row crops, raising some hogs and will do a little tax work on the side. I just want to get a feel of what everyone feels would provide a living. In the area I'm in I can run a pair on slightly more than an acre (with a lot of work). The ground is fertile (class 1 soils) and water is readily accessible (my water table averages 12 feet). Land is quite hard to come by though. Most of it is devoted to rice and cotton (and therfore priced out of range), but I am taking advantage of a few pieces that are rolling and don't work well for row crops.

JB
 

frenchie

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J Baxter...........I will not be going into the cattle business full time for quite some time and then it will not be full time cattle. I'll still be farming some row crops, raising some hogs and will do a little tax work on the side.


I think thats a very wise move, not to have your eggs all in one basket.
 

wilde

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I agree with hillbilly 2 it is extreemly complicated if you are going to be profitable and continue to grow. There are so many factors that play a part in it. Depending on the type of operation you want depends on how many
 

sillco

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J Baxter":10sdicn9 said:
Everyone seems to have a different opinion on this subject, but I thought I'd get everyone to throw in their input. I'm talking no bank payments, all equipment owned outright and good commercial cattle.

I'd love to hear what everyone has to say. Some of us think that $25k is a living and some of us think $100k is a living. Let's shoot for a comfortable median.

Thanks,

JB

I attended a Texas A&M short course awhile back and they said that in Texas that it takes an average of 500 hd of producing cows to earn $30,000 yr.

I think it depends on where you live. I use a program called Cow Costs to figure my cost per cow and my income. I seems to work well when I work my plan. :D
 

TLCfromARK

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I had a old timer tell me several years ago that IF your cows, equiptment, land, home, etc. was paid for you would need 100 head of mama cows to make a go of it. Sell 50 calves a year to cover operation costs and sell the other 50 to cover your family's living costs. If you're having to make payments on any thing else then it makes it that much harder to get by, you need more cattle.

;-)
 

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