Just A Thought

Help Support CattleToday:


Dec 14, 2008
Reaction score
This was just a thought I had that didn't sit well with me and I thought just for giggles that I would share it with all of you. I was Talking with my dad one day and thought for a change that I would purchase a small number of hogs to feed for slaughter and a couple dairy cows to feed the pigs and cats and dogs and stuff around the farm. Just for the spring and summer. And he said that times have changed so much now that you can't just get a couple animals for your farm because they don't give you a very big bang for your buck and thy end up becoming more of a hassle. Now I told him that I wasn't so much worried about the money.. I just enjoy taking care of animals and managing them and if I make some money in the end then I'm still happy. Now what my dad said next really kinda got to me and I'm sure you all know it already but I just wish that it wasn't this way. He told me that you can't go into farming with your heart anymore, but instead your head. I'm sure everyone knows what I'm talking about. I just thought I would share that with everyone and maybe post your opinion if you like.
Your dad sounds like a smart fella. I wish I could say he was wrong but his logic is pretty darn sound. He's right about another thing. Its just as much trouble raising 10 cows as it is a hundred. In spite of your dad's words, many still follow their heart for reasons that can't be explained with a pencil. Good luck in whatever you decide. :tiphat:
You know, I think he's right.

When I was knee high to a grasshopper, people had their big lot of cows, or sheep or whatever interested them the most, then they had a pen full of chooks in the backyard, couple pet sheep for the kids, a handful of pigs to eat and clean up the kitchen scraps and bad grain, a milk cow or two for milk for the house and animals, coupla horses and ponies for the kids to play around on, bunch of cats and dogs ...

I'm dont seem to see that anymore. People have their big lot of cows, or sheep or whatever and thats it. Bit sad really. I'm like you, I'll get one of each lol you know what I mean and it doesnt bother me so much if it doesnt make sound financial sense.
Crowderfarms":2q2acqj4 said:
I've been told all my life to go big, or dont go at all. Now I'm sort of stuck in the middle between the two. :D

Me too, with no apparent way to expand. Can't afford the land to enlarge and cannot find any land to lease around here...

And Jogee is right. Supplements is just one example. If you're buying feed by the bag, you are already in the hole before you start. No way to make money if you're paying $9.00 for a bag of cubes....
Ya I'm just torn right now. I would love to go big with lots of beef cattle and such, but lets face it, the animals are cheap but the supplies are ridiculous and the money just isn't there right now. My idea is to have your main large focused operation whether it be cattle, or grain. But just what ever happened to all of the small scale operations going on that all work for each other. Dairy cow for milk for the animals and house, chickens for yourself and neighbors and left overs for your pigs or cats. You could go on for days about how they all support each other. And I guess my point is, is that there just isn't any such thing as starting small and growing your operation. You have to go in hard, all or nothing right off the bat or your going to get beat before you even get started.
We're one of those that have an assortment of animals. We're making a little money on the cows, but the rest of them don't tote their weight. They are however, good to eat.

Nothing better than home grown chickens, pigs, rabbits, etc...
Many moons ago we raised a little of everything and they all had to pay their way. Pigs, commercial rabbitry, fryers to butcher, hens for egg sales, dairy goat dairy and a copule of beef cows to eat what the goats wouldn;t eat. Even the dogs had to earn their keep. Now days, with everyone having a calf in the back yard and a flock of chickens and no place to market frying rabbits and the added regulations concerning marketing dairy products, none of them would work on a small scale. In the city areas I think most of the people wouldn;t want a side of beef or a half a hog, unless it comes out a meat case in plastic wrap it isn;t really meat.
I would have to be contrary and say that direct mkt. on a small scale is the most profit. As good as you are at this game and as big as you want $75-80 calves do not leave much room to make a living. Is everyone putting fifty or sixty more cows to work to keep your income up? You could invest in 6 more direct mkt. steers and probably make more profit than those cows would. There is not enough niche mkt. for everybody but that does not mean there is not enough for you.
I don't see any chance of even breaking even. On the other hand shouldn't cost a ton to do your plan.

if you got the facilities heck, go for it. When the fun stops you can get out quick. :cowboy:
mnmtranching":3ayzvmoa said:
I don't see any chance of even breaking even. On the other hand shouldn't cost a ton to do your plan.

if you got the facilities heck, go for it. When the fun stops you can get out quick. :cowboy:

I agree with that last statement. But if farming or ranching is something you want to be doing for the rest of your life, then it's pretty hard to get out quick if your large operation isn't working because that is your main career and income. I have the facilities and everything, but the option of bailing out when it gets bad isn't and shouldn't be an option. Right?
To have success in anything you have to have persistance and its always a good idea to be diversified as much as possible. Raising any commodity has its ups and downs so its best not to have all your eggs in one basket. Each operation has its own set of strong points and weaknesses. You have to find what works for you and where you have an unfair advantage over other producers. If these advantages are fully utilized and you still can't make a living then you best divest out of cattle for until you can make it work. I think this is what mnmtranching was saying. You'll know when you are bleeding so much red that you need to change strategies.

Latest posts