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bullred

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So far I’ve gotten some great advice from this board so I’ve got an idea I’d like to run by y’all and see what you think. I’ve recently bought some property and have been moving toward getting back into the cattle (cow/calf) business after many years of absence. My plan was to pick up about 20 bred tigerstripe cows, or 3 and 1’s this August. I would then pick up a pretty decent Black Angus bull and continue on. Well, last week I was offered a great deal on a bull calf out of a very good Clark Angus Ranch sire. So I went ahead and bought him. The catch is, he’s only 4 months old. So I’m looking at about a year (Jul-06) before he’s ready to start reliably servicing cows.

Now if I pick up even short-bred cows in August they’ll be calving around Feb-06 or so. This is going to mean I’ve got five months or so before the bull is ready to go – if everything goes as it should. If I buy long-bred cows, I’ve got even longer to wait unless I AI or borrow/rent a bull.

So as an alternative to this I’ve been thinking about picking up about twenty 400 lb. calves at the sale barn, feeding them out until they are about 700-800 lbs and then sending them back to the auction. Here’s some data. 300-400 lb feeder calves are going for an average of 133.00/cwt around me. That’s $528 for an average 400 lb calf. 600-800 lb feeders are going for an average of 102.00/cwt, or about $714 for a 700 lb calf. That’s a $186 spread. If I figure 2 lbs/day gain that’s about 150 days start to finish. After which I would then buy my bred tigerstripes, and my bull should be ready when they are. Of course this all depends on market conditions, and other variables. I’m not looking to make a ton of money, just cover my expenses with the spread. I’ve got 88 acres of knee high bahia grass right now, and plenty of hay given to me by the rancher that’s been cutting hay off the place up until I decided to do something with it. One question I have is should the 400 lb auction barn feeder calves be ready to go straight to grass, with supplement of course, or will I have to go to creep feed to get the 2 lb/day gain? Any other insights or opinions are truly appreciated. Thanks.

CJ
 

bigbull338

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heres my thinking on your idea.id go s head an pickup the 20pairs as planned . an get a bull with them. by 2006 you would used that bull for 3 breedings. an if you wanted breed your bull to them when he is 18months old.i know this want the answer you wanted . just hated seeing you lose a yr waiting your bull to get breeding age. scott
 

jgn

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I would go ahead and buy the cows and buy a good breeding age bull with them. You should only need the bull for one breeding cycle, your calf should be old enough by the time the cows are ready to be bred again. You could sell the older bull or keep him around long enough till the calf is old enough to be tested to make sure he's okay. If he's not you already have a bull and can sell him or fill the freezer.
 

Texan

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bullred":1s9e5x7h said:
I’ve got 88 acres of knee high bahia grass right now...
I don't have a lot of Bahiagrass, but in my experience, the 4 weight calves you are talking about won't do good on Bahia that tall. Bahia needs to be managed differently and grazed closer to keep it vegetative.
 

houstoncutter

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Texan hit the nail on the head. Bahai at that height isnt much more than a filler. I ranch not too far from you in Liberty County. 4 weight calves on Bahai at this time of the year will melt right before your eyes. Try to buy some good pairs, the work has been done for you. Get a bull to cover em and if your bull calf wont test sound at 14 months eat him.
 

Rod

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I would buy the cows now and see if you might could rent a bull for a spell. You could save that money rather than buying an extra bull.
 

Jeanne - Simme Valley

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If he's 4 months old, he must be a March born calf?? IF you do a good job of raising the bull calf - weighing around 1000-1200# by 12 months of age - he should be ready to service 10-15 cows by next May (at 14 months old). 20 head may be pushing it for him. Depends on how fast you want your cows bred back & how short/long a calving season you want the next year.
My question would be why were they selling a 4 month old bull calf? And if he doesn't weigh 400# at this time, he probably isn't a good "bull" prospect.
You would be better off buying a breeding age bull along with your 20 head of cows, and raising this one for a feeder.
 

Conagher

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Why not sell the bull calf, put the money in the cows and a breeding age bull - unless this bull calf has some super genetics you are after. There are a lot of very good angus bulls out there.
 
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bullred

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Thanks for the advice. Now y'all have me leaning back toward my original plan. I think I may be able to work a deal with a rancher close to me to borrow his bull for one breeding season.

To answer the questions about the Angus bull calf - I got him from my father-in-law for a steal. Not only does he have some great genetics on paper, but his sire is impressive! He's been servicing some black baldie and beefmaster cows for two seasons and has produced some fantastic calves.

CJ
 

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