Need Some Opinions

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Atimm693

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I help manage a cow-calf operation as a day job. We have very nearly 400 head, black and red angus. I've always worked on the mechanical, feeding, and operation side of things, I help catch and sometimes work the cows, but my experience with that is somewhat limited.

There is a 30 acre pasture where I will be living. This property is almost 400 acres, my employer has a herd on the rest of it. The 30 acres and house rent are included in my income, so the cost of land is not much. I would offer a percentage of what it makes to the owner, but that has yet to be negotiated.

Say that I buy a dozen bred red angus heifers at 1500 per, it will be a minimum of two years before I break even on the cows, provided that I raise the calves to 500lbs, not including any feed. That means weaning as well, which I'm not sure I have the facilities for. There is a good corral and pen here, that I'm free to use as long as it doesn't interfere with the main operation.

I estimate a maximum of 30 rolls of hay needed. I may be able to work out a deal with my employer to keep the cost down, but it will still cost money. It largely depends on the winter too, last year I fed hardly any hay.

At that rate, I find it hard to justify. It would take me probably 4 or 5 years to pay off the start-up loan and actually profit from them. Unless there is a way to lower the startup cost. Any and all input is appreciated.
 

dun

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If your long term goal is to get into the cow/calf business, now is as good a time to get started as any. The first step in getting somewhere is to take the first step.
If you just want to do stockers and not get into cow/calf, just get a couple of stockers, sell in the fall when the grass is gone and pick some more up in the spring when the grass comes on.
 

Bigfoot

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Your right, it takes a while, to see a return on your investment. Then of the original 12, some won't work out and will leave production early. You really lose on those kind. Lots of other incidental expenses you haven't included, but I can see you get the general idea. Makes me wonder why I do it?
 

farmerjan

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I agree with the idea of stockers to get started. Prices are way down for them this fall, you could even get some this winter and have a few rolls of hay in them before you turn them out on grass. Is it cross fenced at all? I also don't think I would start with heifers, find a sale where someone is selling out and buy a half dozen 3-4-5th calf cows that shouldn't be a real problem to calve. Get some income back from the stockers, see which you prefer to deal with, and make a decision the following spring to get a few more cows or more stockers. Dun is exactly right, if you are going to get into the cow/calf business, now is the time to do it with prices being so off. But stockers are way off too so they will give you a return of sorts in 6-8 months. Don't know why we are doing it somedays, except that we just like cows... :bang: :bang: :bang:
 

Ebenezer

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Don't ruin or jeopardize your day job (income) by trying to make a few bucks on the side. Best thing to do is to raise some other species or at least a totally distinct breed so that no one can accuse you of any wrong doing or favoritism. My father managed a plantation for a number of years and there were locals always waiting to get a jab in with the owners because my father would not cut them a deal, let them slip in and hunt, ... Live and learn.
 

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