Keeping a Bull with the Cows

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I don't look at the hourly income. I work strictly on the premise that in the worst years we made more then we spent. The cows are my TV, movies, visting with folks and vacation. I don;t know what a movie costs these days but I figure a couple of hours of just sitting around watching the cows do cowey things is worth as much as any flick I could see. When I get really piised, I go out and sit with the girls, when I'm depressed, the same, if I just generally feel crappy, I do the same. So the cows are also my doctor, my uppers, my tranqualizers, etc. Sure beats having to give somebody else money for a bottle of something. I read a report that claims the average profit per cow is only in the range of 50 to 75 bucks a year. At minimum wage you could only spend 10 hours a year per cow and be behind in the income department. I'll go along with the statement that I've have the cows even if they lost money, they're a lot cheaper then a doctor or a night on the town. One added benefit for me, I like to share whatever useless knowledge I've gathered. Once years ago, I wasn't allowed to go on leave because I was the only one that knew how to do the year end processing system. I swore to myself that would never happen again. That's why I want everybody to know everything I do, it's a 40 year old habit, and may save somebody from some of the stupid mistakes that I've made. Of course, I'm always open to making more stupid mistakes. "Experience is the ability to recognize a mistake the second time you make it." In some things I've gained additional experience by trying the same things over and over.

dunmovin farms

> In my way of thinking you make a
> whole lot of sense, so first let
> me say that I don't disagree with
> a single thing you said. And, BTW,
> power to you and yours! My "real
> job" is also completely unrelated
> to cattle. You refer to you dad in
> a lot of your postings – and I
> like that. Those "old pharts" (to
> borrow a Dun-ism) (he's probably
> one of them) had/have a lot of
> wisdom to pass on. I don't count
> myself as one of them yet but it's
> closer by the year and I'll be
> proud when it gets here. Also, I
> read you loud and clear on the
> hunger remark.

> So, as long we know we're on the
> same page, let me respond. It
> would be hard to justify running
> cattle if I was honest about it.
> But, as my dad always says (here
> we go again), "It's always best to
> have a hobby or pastime that at
> least has the POTENTIAL to make
> money", vs cost you money. I love
> those old cows; they're my golf
> game - except I also profit from
> them. Heck, I'd do it for free (in
> the spring and fall). I make it my
> goal to earn some money at it
> (again, we're not talking Sch F)
> or at least break even. I'm not a
> big enough outfit to earn a GOOD
> living out of cows, but I can sure
> make it pay something. That's part
> of the beauty of it. I'm not a
> very proud guy, so I don't worry
> about being fancy or cutting edge.

> Therefore, I have to look at it
> from the net and the hourly
> aspects. Heck, you have to draw
> the line somewhere, with some sort
> of criteria, or you'd be out in
> the pasture 24/7!

> Now, finally, to the point. It's
> my objective to make money at this
> thing. If you can make money at
> what you like to do, you've got a
> real deal. So, is there a better
> way to draw the line when making
> management decisions?

> Keep posting.

> Craig
I keep all my bulls in a metal container in the basement, I can only speak from observations of others. I had to ahul a bull for a neighbor yesterday, I still don't like dealing with them. I think a 45 day breeding season is the way to go, but that's me and our (mis)management style.

dunmovin farms

> My mother always told me that the
> ranch was dad's barroom, local
> club involvement and every other
> activity that most people leave
> home to fill voids in their lives
> with. You might say, "He was
> "outstanding in his
> field", when he wasn't
> earning the hourly wage from
> electrical work." When
> someone asks if we are being
> burdened with the cattle, I, like
> you, make the point that if we
> weren't spending money and time on
> the cattle, we would probably be
> blowing it somewhere else...and
> getting into a whole lot more
> trouble. You are correct... if you
> can make some money doing
> something you like, then that is
> an added bonus. The fact is: If
> you don't pay attention to the $$
> in and $$ out, you really aren't
> much of a manager. Wise
> stewardship of all of our gifts is
> a commendable calling. In the US,
> of course, we also have that
> entity that is called tax
> deduction, and without record
> keeping and GOOD record keeping,
> the government gets more than
> their fair share. I guess my real
> question to you, if I had one, is
> have you ever TRIED to keep track
> of the hours you spend???? Because
> I enjoy the work so, it isn't
> noticeable to me, until one of the
> others gets out among the herd and
> can't tell one from another,
> doesn't know the personality,
> doesn't know what to expect from
> which. Talking and writing about
> it all of the time can't take the
> place of the actual hands on.
> Which, coincidentally, is what
> makes the difference between an
> active environmentalist and an
> environmental activist... one has
> calluses on their hands and the
> OTHER has calluses on the
> uh-huhs..... I just think that
> running the bulls year round costs
> more in the long run than keeping
> them separate. Other than that...
> lol... we are on the same page.
"...have you ever TRIED to keep track of the hours you spend????"

Sure, and it wasn't bad money -- if you live in a third world country. Any time we start figuring hourly income we should make sure it's on a beautiful spring day. Otherwise, when we got down to the final figures we would all bawl like weaned calves.

I just don't want to throw good time after bad, so to speak. For now, I'm going to keep running the bulls. However, I always reserve the right to change my mind (snort).
According to an Oklahoma State University study, "Lots with two or more steers sold for $4.01-7.14/cwt over the price of steers sold as singles in one study. The premium for multiple head sale lots held for heifers but held at about $4.00/cwt. Multiple head lots that were not uniform sold for approximately $2.00/cwt less than uniform lots for steers and heifers. A premium for uniform, multiple head lots is generally attributed to the convenience of filling orders for cattle of a specified description on the part of an order buyer. Also, larger, uniform lots may indicate a single point of origin for the cattle leading to less stress and fewer health problems as may be associated with pen of cattle put together. University of Arizona scientists recorded average sale prices of groups of feeder calves over a 7 year period and found that the average lot size was 15 head. If more calves were sold together, up to 5% more per pound was paid for calves in groups of 50 to 60 head. If groups of 5 head or less were sold, the calves brought 1 - 3% less than the average." The link to the site of the full report is <A HREF="" TARGET="_blank"></A> and you might be interested in this Nebraska site: <A HREF="" TARGET="_blank"></A>

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It was the hardest thing for me to learn about myself: If there five thousand ways to do one operation wrong, I would do 4,999 of those wrong ways... but I NEVER made the same mistake twice. (small consolation, unless you happen upon a supervisor who realizes that since the same mistake won't be made again, the gain is on.) Anyway, Thomas Edison made I don't know how many light bulbs that didn't work. When someone said, "You have failed x-amount of times" to which Edison replied: "No, I found x-amount of things that won't work." My all time favorite little ditty was one that hung on the wall of the worst boss I ever had... maybe not the worst, but close: A mistake is proof that someone tried to accomplish something. Like I said before... one pregnant six month old heifer is one waaaayyy too many for my pocketbook.... lol. Sure appreciate dun's objectivity. And, Craig's stubbornness.... might come in handy for something one day, my friend. lol

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I will read these carefully tonight, as I'm trying to make up for lost time from yesterday's rain. Had to buy some new mud grips for the pickup this spring and thought they were going to wear out before I ever needed them. Proud to use them now.

This all looks very interesting. It's been a good while since I read any studies. You folks have got me really looking at this again.

Thanks again


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