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cattlepower

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everything you need, (land, facilities, cattle, etc) and it's all paid for what can you realistically net with 50 mama cows, 70 mama cows or 100 mama cows? Answer all three or one or two or none.
 

farmwriter

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Still a lot of variables...
Hay/winter grazing
minerals
feed
vaccines
preg check/other vet expenses
fertilizer
fuel

all before calves arrive, then what?
vaccines
castrate/dehorn
Are you selling them all at weaning? retaining heifers? start on feed?
 

Bez+

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cattlepower":38s3iysn said:
everything you need, (land, facilities, cattle, etc) and it's all paid for what can you realistically net with 50 mama cows, 70 mama cows or 100 mama cows? Answer all three or one or two or none.

Well the national average used to be stated as 100 bucks - now I believe it is somewhere around 25 bucks - and some say it less. Some will tell you it is in the negative and considering fuel, fert, taxes, yardage, machinery, transport, meds, vets, utilities, mineral, fences and even more - I believe that negative amount to be quite possible - so you can start from there.

Cheers

Bez
 
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cattlepower

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Bez+":3lku1cqc said:
cattlepower":3lku1cqc said:
everything you need, (land, facilities, cattle, etc) and it's all paid for what can you realistically net with 50 mama cows, 70 mama cows or 100 mama cows? Answer all three or one or two or none.

Well the national average used to be stated as 100 bucks - now I believe it is somewhere around 25 bucks - and some say it less. Some will tell you it is in the negative - so you can start from there.

Cheers

Bez

I assume you mean per calf?
 
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cattlepower

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farmwriter":30459tn9 said:
Still a lot of variables...
Hay/winter grazing
minerals
feed
vaccines
preg check/other vet expenses
fertilizer
fuel

all before calves arrive, then what?
vaccines
castrate/dehorn
Are you selling them all at weaning? retaining heifers? start on feed?

It's obviously up to you how you figure all these variables, it will be a little different for everyone more than likely.
 

Bez+

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cattlepower":1nrii9bb said:
Bez+":1nrii9bb said:
cattlepower":1nrii9bb said:
everything you need, (land, facilities, cattle, etc) and it's all paid for what can you realistically net with 50 mama cows, 70 mama cows or 100 mama cows? Answer all three or one or two or none.

Well the national average used to be stated as 100 bucks - now I believe it is somewhere around 25 bucks - and some say it less. Some will tell you it is in the negative - so you can start from there.

Cheers

Bez

I assume you mean per calf?

Go back and read my revised initial post - and I am talking about the profit - net / net / net per head.

Far too many believe there is money in cattle - and many love to brag about their selling cost - but if your inputs are high you are screwed. And you have left out a pile of those input costs - and there are a lot of outfits in North America that can claim what you want to start at - and they are going broke.

How and why are you better and more capable than them (the guys who owe nothing on land and buildings and have been doing it for years) of making it a profitable venture?

Feed in drought is a killer - infrastructure and fence repairs - always ongoing - unusual things come up - hurricanes and tornados and hail that wipe out regional areas - political issues that close sale barns - transport costs due to fuel pricing, legal issues, accounting issues, government regulatory changes that YOU pay for and the beat goes on.

I have not even mentioned the business costs and insurance costs and advertising costs and personal costs. Plan on spending at least a buck fifty per day per head - year round - and probably when you start out it will be closer to $2.50 per head per day - and many will laugh at me but most of those who beat that daily cost per head are fine tuned - you are not and you WILL have a lot more expenses than you think - place that against your selling price and your dead loss and you will see there is not much margin.

I am willing to bet there are people here who can top three bucks a day per head costs to keep an animal - but they would NEVER admit to it as they are hobby folks - you are going into business - where will you be? Do you even have an idea? If not keep your money in your pocket.

Do a comprehensive business plan - if you do not know how to do it you are not ready to go into business - learn the facts and the costs and the risks and the personal capability of the business owner - YOU!

In fact if you break even on those numbers 50 - 100 - you should be proud of yourself - I figure you to lose about 75 - 123 bucks per head for your first few years - and that might be light under todays circumstance and your start up initiatives. You might not ever make a dollar.

I am sounding negative but in fact I am quite realistic - you will go down without outside inputs to help pay for your hobby.

A suggestion for you:

Put your money in the bank - then - put a thousand bucks in a jar and do not use any money other than that money to do the following - buy one open cow and put her in the field - then breed her and maintain her and feed her for one year - then sell the calf - if you get one. Bet you run out of money before you sell that calf.

Bez+
 

farmwriter

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cattlepower":27rfreq0 said:
It's obviously up to you how you figure all these variables, it will be a little different for everyone more than likely.

That was my point; Bez did a much better job of wording it. Usually does.
 

marksmu

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Ask me again in a year, and Ill give you the gods honest answer on 20 pairs.

I bought 20 pairs in May, @$1050/pr.....we had one little calf die 2 weeks after purchase, she had pneumonia, and was only 10 days old at the time of purchase. Since then, her momma cow looks terrific and just recently was bred back...some of our first year cows that are still nursing some larger calves are lookin a bit rough bc of the heat we have had, and the extreme drought...but the calves all look great, and its not time to pull them just yet.

Since purchase our input costs have consisted of 1 50lb bag of 20% protein cubes ($8.99) per week (actually 2 bags per week during the first 3 weeks to help acclimate) to keep them gentle and so they will follow my gator into the next field....I dont count lost opportunity for hay, or lost lease income, or any of those numbers...I am looking purely 100% at actual cost incurred and what I get when I sell my first group. I have not fertilized (no need this year), and I have not needed to do anything else yet. They were all vacinatted and tagged prior to purchase.

We are going to have to mow this weekend, which will be the first time this year, b/c the cows are not trampling the bean trees as much as I had hoped, and they will be going to seed soon...but other than that, I figure my expenses are $9/wk at this point, and my loss is about $400 for the calf that died.

I keep meticulous records of every expenses, gallon of diesel, mile incurred to get to the ranch, hours on the tractor etc...at the end of the year, I intend to determine whether or not this is profitable, or if its just cheaper than mowing...Im hoping for a profit, but Im happy with just cheaper than mowing.
 

Workinonit Farm

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Bez+":27fjmrt5 said:
- put a thousand bucks in a jar and do not use any money other than that money to do the following - buy one open cow and put her in the field - then breed her and maintain her and feed her for one year - then sell the calf - if you get one. Bet you run out of money before you sell that calf.[/i]

Bez+

Very good, easy to understand, way of putting it! I know one person who is thinking about 'getting started' in the next couple of years. I will make this suggestion.

Thanks Bez+

Katherine
 

grannysoo

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I have some days that all it costs to keep the girls up is what electricity it takes to fill the water tank. Then I have those days that everything breaks, trees fall on the fence, and everything that can go wrong does. Any way you look at it, if you can make a few dollars a head, you doing better than most.

I do make a little money, and I don't have to mow all of that grass.

The big point to me is that I love raising my cows. It's getting to the point where it's not a hobby anymore as my quantity is getting larger, so it's more important than ever to make money, and especially not lose any.

The bottom line for me is that if you don't absolutely LOVE raising cows, you would be better doing something different with your money.

These black girls are the best therapy that I have ever had...
 
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cattlepower

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grannysoo":26u3kpz8 said:
I have some days that all it costs to keep the girls up is what electricity it takes to fill the water tank. Then I have those days that everything breaks, trees fall on the fence, and everything that can go wrong does. Any way you look at it, if you can make a few dollars a head, you doing better than most.

I do make a little money, and I don't have to mow all of that grass.

The big point to me is that I love raising my cows. It's getting to the point where it's not a hobby anymore as my quantity is getting larger, so it's more important than ever to make money, and especially not lose any.

The bottom line for me is that if you don't absolutely LOVE raising cows, you would be better doing something different with your money.

These black girls are the best therapy that I have ever had...

That last line is liable to get the thread locked :eek:
 

grubbie

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Many people in this area make a good living raising cattle, there is money if you have the land and do it right. My profit last year for 50 pairs was $15,077.00. We do it by watching our costs. Old equipment, raising our own heifers, not giving them a bunch of stuff that some "study" has convinced us they need, not buying overpriced "super" bulls. The cows grow on grass and home-raised hay, get bred, have calves that sell good in the fall. Simple formula. But,....buy one nice shiny green tractor or a fancy pickup or trailer and there goes your profit for a few years. Around here you need a lot more than 50 head to make a decent full time living off cows in my opinion. I'm still building the herd, I just refuse to buy cows, takes 3 years to make a profit off what you buy around here.
 

novaman

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grubbie":2p6wp5b1 said:
Many people in this area make a good living raising cattle, there is money if you have the land and do it right. My profit last year for 50 pairs was $15,077.00. We do it by watching our costs. Old equipment, raising our own heifers, not giving them a bunch of stuff that some "study" has convinced us they need, not buying overpriced "super" bulls. The cows grow on grass and home-raised hay, get bred, have calves that sell good in the fall. Simple formula. But,....buy one nice shiny green tractor or a fancy pickup or trailer and there goes your profit for a few years. Around here you need a lot more than 50 head to make a decent full time living off cows in my opinion. I'm still building the herd, I just refuse to buy cows, takes 3 years to make a profit off what you buy around here.
You made $300/hd profit? Now I've heard it all.
 

Bez+

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marksmu":3uh7bmiq said:
Ask me again in a year, and Ill give you the gods honest answer on 20 pairs.

I bought 20 pairs in May, @$1050/pr.....we had one little calf die 2 weeks after purchase, she had pneumonia, and was only 10 days old at the time of purchase. Since then, her momma cow looks terrific and just recently was bred back...some of our first year cows that are still nursing some larger calves are lookin a bit rough bc of the heat we have had, and the extreme drought...but the calves all look great, and its not time to pull them just yet.

Since purchase our input costs have consisted of 1 50lb bag of 20% protein cubes ($8.99) per week (actually 2 bags per week during the first 3 weeks to help acclimate) to keep them gentle and so they will follow my gator into the next field....I dont count lost opportunity for hay, or lost lease income, or any of those numbers...I am looking purely 100% at actual cost incurred and what I get when I sell my first group. I have not fertilized (no need this year), and I have not needed to do anything else yet. They were all vacinatted and tagged prior to purchase.

We are going to have to mow this weekend, which will be the first time this year, b/c the cows are not trampling the bean trees as much as I had hoped, and they will be going to seed soon...but other than that, I figure my expenses are $9/wk at this point, and my loss is about $400 for the calf that died.

I keep meticulous records of every expenses, gallon of diesel, mile incurred to get to the ranch, hours on the tractor etc...at the end of the year, I intend to determine whether or not this is profitable, or if its just cheaper than mowing...Im hoping for a profit, but Im happy with just cheaper than mowing.

I wish you well, but the first year is always the easiest - no real in puts requried for infrastructire and such - but as the cattle knock down fences, kill off grass in "lounging areas", weeds come in, water systems start being beat up, drought means buying feed and so on - that is when the costs start.

Anyone who puts cows out in the first year smiles and thinks life is good - all I tell them is - "Wait, those animals will begin creating costs and soon you will be spending".

So be aware and take care

Best of luck

Bez+
 

Bez+

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grubbie":xak6mem6 said:
Many people in this area make a good living raising cattle, there is money if you have the land and do it right. My profit last year for 50 pairs was $15,077.00. We do it by watching our costs. Old equipment, raising our own heifers, not giving them a bunch of stuff that some "study" has convinced us they need, not buying overpriced "super" bulls. The cows grow on grass and home-raised hay, get bred, have calves that sell good in the fall. Simple formula. But,....buy one nice shiny green tractor or a fancy pickup or trailer and there goes your profit for a few years. Around here you need a lot more than 50 head to make a decent full time living off cows in my opinion. I'm still building the herd, I just refuse to buy cows, takes 3 years to make a profit off what you buy around here.

Wow - I promise you - you write the book and I WILL buy it - never heard of folks making that much on cows - even in the good days.

In fact - and no I am not attacking you - you could make a pile of money on the lecture circuit if you could prove those numbers - farmers and ranchers would come from miles to hear you speak.

I need 400 pairs of those animals immediately - and yes, I have the room for them and more.

Bez+
 

SRBeef

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I think if you are looking at starting ANY type business, including a cattle business, you need to start at the other end, the sales end, of the road:

what are you going to sell, how much of it are you going to sell, to whom, and for what price.

Answering these questions realistically will give you your theoretical gross sales/income potential target.

THEN start adding up the annual expenses required to reach that sales target. The difference will be your net profit.

Usually the first time through that "net profit" has a minus sign in front of it. Then you get to work either increasing the gross income or decreasing the expenses required to produce that gross income or most likely do both.

This is the essence of the business plan Bez mentioned. The more honest and accurate you are with your sales target and expense initial estimates/assumptions the more valuable this planning will be.

If cattle are a hobby this is still a good exercise to find out how much your hobby is bringing in or costing you. jmho.

Good luck.

Jim
 

Alberta farmer

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If you own your own land and cattle, put up all your own feed, and do all your own work and charge nothing for any of it...yes you can make a profit! But really isn't that pretty false economics?
After all you could rent that pasture out for a price? You could sell that hay for a price? You could be working for wages rather than working for free? The money you spend buying cows could be invested in something else and make a decent return?
I am sure if you only include money out of your pocket you could show a profit? Feed for example: a bit of fertilizer(or not) fuel for the tractor, twine...yep probably you will make some money! Now what if you could sell that hay for $60/bale? Isn't that the real cost to feed that cow?
Sit down and figure out what you could reasonably get for your pasture, feed, your labor and your investment in cows/equipment etc. Then add 15% for your risk! If you are still in the black...then go for it!
If not, then that is okay...just don't delude yourself that you are making money...because you aren't.
 

Jogeephus

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grubbie":36d4jd3n said:
Many people in this area make a good living raising cattle, there is money if you have the land and do it right. My profit last year for 50 pairs was $15,077.00. We do it by watching our costs. Old equipment, raising our own heifers, not giving them a bunch of stuff that some "study" has convinced us they need, not buying overpriced "super" bulls. The cows grow on grass and home-raised hay, get bred, have calves that sell good in the fall. Simple formula. But,....buy one nice shiny green tractor or a fancy pickup or trailer and there goes your profit for a few years. Around here you need a lot more than 50 head to make a decent full time living off cows in my opinion. I'm still building the herd, I just refuse to buy cows, takes 3 years to make a profit off what you buy around here.

I'm not touching this thread but I think you and I have the management philosophy and ironically we both seem to be well in the black. Isn't it ironic how so many people brag on their EPD's and their high dollar bulls and then end up complaining that they don't make any money. I think my mentor was right when he told me you ain't gonna make money chasing breeds and you ain't gonna make money with those front pasture cattle, and a cow will eat all you can afford to feed them.
 

mnmtranching

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Jogeephus":3jk7tbz7 said:
grubbie":3jk7tbz7 said:
Many people in this area make a good living raising cattle, there is money if you have the land and do it right. My profit last year for 50 pairs was $15,077.00. We do it by watching our costs. Old equipment, raising our own heifers, not giving them a bunch of stuff that some "study" has convinced us they need, not buying overpriced "super" bulls. The cows grow on grass and home-raised hay, get bred, have calves that sell good in the fall. Simple formula. But,....buy one nice shiny green tractor or a fancy pickup or trailer and there goes your profit for a few years. Around here you need a lot more than 50 head to make a decent full time living off cows in my opinion. I'm still building the herd, I just refuse to buy cows, takes 3 years to make a profit off what you buy around here.

I'm not touching this thread but I think you and I have the management philosophy and ironically we both seem to be well in the black. Isn't it ironic how so many people brag on their EPD's and their high dollar bulls and then end up complaining that they don't make any money. I think my mentor was right when he told me you ain't gonna make money chasing breeds and you ain't gonna make money with those front pasture cattle, and a cow will eat all you can afford to feed them.

I'm with these guys. There are lots of cattlemen out there making good money with their cattle. You don't need the type of cattle that are praised by the "forum experts" Those that don't make a living with cattle or even own cattle. :shock: $15000 is a modest profit from 50 cows, even with the dry conditions I have no trouble doing better. You keep the expenses down, you make $.
You need productive cattle, cattle that work well in your area, and above all, calves that will top the market. And you don't need to spend over $1500 to get a good bull. And he won't need praise from the "forum experts" to sire those market topping calves. [trust me on this] :cowboy:
Cattle power, Your starting out with Land, cattle, and facilities? is that right?
Stay away from the expensive equipment and machinery. Lots of good working used stuff out there.
Take advise from the right sources, and separate the bull from the bull $hit.
Manage this situation correctly and you will do good.
 

novaman

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Obviously others calculate profit in a much different manner than I do. I don't care if you own the land, hay, etc. It costs money to have that stuff. From what I'm reading it seems most people only include actual money leaving and entering the bank account to come up with their margins. In my opinion, that is not an accurate figure. I guess if you want to feel good about your operation that number would be encouraging. However, if you truly want to know how your operation is doing you must include opportunity costs and the like.
 

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