This is a multiyear business and you can't look at the bottom line for one year without considering the cumulatice effect over a number of years. Is it easier or harder on the ladies to have the old man floating around all the time, i.e., does it make them more or less efficent, or have no effect at all? Even with mixed cows, there should be a degree of consistancy by age from any given bull. If there isn't, why would you use the bull? I'm sure no expert on bulls, I help others with their herds that us them, went and picked one up for a guy yesterday, but I do all AI, always have, always will. I don't like the extra burden of having a bull around that I need to worry about the welfare of, or the problems of insurance if he gets out and goes a visiting. One herd here only runs around 300 mother cows. They synch everything in three day periods. They AI by observed heat, after everything has been bred by heat, those not observed are injected again and bred by time. At preg check, anything that is open grows wheels. They do them in groups of 50. Calving season is a real killer labor wise. But ut's over in a couple of weeks at the most so he can get on with the haying, etc. Every management method has to take into account what works for them. If you are satisfied with the way things are and can't come up with a better solution it's best to stick with what you've got. If you're not sold on another way as being better it very well may become a "SFP" (Self fulfilling prophecy) and doomed to fail.
> OK folks, see if this makes any
> In my way of thinking (and I’ve
> never been accused of being
> brilliant) the cattle business is
> jut that – a business. The keys to
> making money as a producer,
> especially in a mature industry
> with a commoditized product, are
> efficiency, low overhead &
> expenses, and working hard/smart.
> There are two ways to look at what
> you’re really making (I’m not
> talking Schedule F) at the end of
> the year. One is bottom line net
> income that’s generated. Another
> is hourly income. Let’s face it,
> you have to love the business to
> be in it. Like the daydreamer
> said, “If I only had a million
> dollars, I would ranch till it was
> all gone!”
> Anyway, to make a wise decision on
> something (like whether to run
> bulls all year) I try to figure
> out how much NET INCOME - not
> revenue - it will add, and then
> how much time it would cost me to
> get the bump in the net. And there
> lies the challenge.
> I don’t argue that it wouldn’t be
> advantageous in a lot of ways to
> have a 60 day calving season. But,
> having your calf crop come in all
> at once could work for you or
> against you, depending on several
> factors. I’m not really shooting
> for uniformity because I’m running
> mixed cattle. Sure, I might come
> out a little better selling by the
> truckload, if the market was
> right. But would it be enough
> better to make it worth the time,
> extra bulls, etc.? Maybe, maybe
> As far a feed efficiency goes, I
> don’t run that complicated of an
> operation. I’m like most folks, I
> guess. All my stock is on the
> pasture year round and they get
> all the hay they can eat in the
> winter – whether they have a calf
> at their side or not. Besides salt
> and minerals being out all the
> time, they get cottonseed cake
> when I check them. Enough to
> entice them in the summer and
> enough to help them in the winter.
> That’s pretty much it. Nothing
> fancy, but they look good.
> Now, I have done a lot of thinking
> over the years about weaning
> programs and breeding seasons.
> We’re running cattle on a few
> different places and it would be
> somewhat of a pain to manage.
> There is no doubt that we could
> squeeze a little more revenue out
> of them. But would it be worth it?
> Don’t forget the litmus test of
> hourly income. I can see it
> working real good for a single
> place with a couple dozen momma
> cows, or on a big time operation.
> Maybe we’re stuck in the middle.
> I’ve sure given it a lot of
> consideration. I don’t claim to
> know the answer for sure and y’all
> might sell me on the idea before
> this is over. But so far when I
> look at the increase in NET profit
> and the extra time it would take,
> I get the feeling I would be
> trying to fix something that’s not
> really that broken.
> If anybody has read any studies
> lately that contain hard numbers,
> I’d love to get the URLs to them.
> Thanks for all the food for