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Dave

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I went to the sale yesterday. It was a "regular" sale. That means the sale order goes horses (2), sheep (0), goats (5), baby calves (0), Pairs (0), bred cows (15+/-), feeder calves, and finally kill cows and bulls. I knew it would be a short sale. I bought 2 cows and stuck around to watch some of the feeders sell. I wrote down the results of the first 22 lots to walk into the ring. No big groups like there would be a a feeder calf special. the 22 lots had 53 calves. The only calves under 500 pounds was 2 lots of heifers that totaled 6 calves and all weighed 485. Only 4 lots in the 500 pound range with a total of 8 calves. The rest were in the 600-700 pound range. That is to be expected as the vast majority of calves around here are born in February and March.

So I watched and recorded 9 steers weighing an average of 603 sold for $$2.8250 a pound. One bull sorted out of the group weighed 605 and sold for $2.50. They were peas in a pod but the bull brought $191 less. A couple minutes with a pocket knife or a bander. Cost the owner a lot of money. The one other bull brought $128 less than his steer mates. There was 2 Longhorn cross calves. The steer weighed 650 pounds and sold for $0.38 a pound less than his Angus mates. That is $247 dollars less. The one LH cross heifer weighed 565 and sold for $1.82 which was $0.88 less than the Angus mates. That is nearly $500 less money into the ranchers pocket. Yes a LH cow doesn't cost as much to buy. But how long does it take to make up the difference?
 
Don't know if you have ever heard of it , but some people buy 1 and done pregnant cows. Never intend to keep them . Buy the pregnant Lh cow for 1 bid above kill price. Calve her out sell calf for over$1000 sell cow for almost exactly what he bought her for. Looks like a potential money maker to me .
Buyer of LH cow would make more money then if he bought the black hided bulls and cut them feed them out and resell them. With less $ at risk .🤷‍♂️
 
Don't know if you have ever heard of it , but some people buy 1 and done pregnant cows. Never intend to keep them . Buy the pregnant Lh cow for 1 bid above kill price. Calve her out sell calf for over$1000 sell cow for almost exactly what he bought her for. Looks like a potential money maker to me .
Buyer of LH cow would make more money then if he bought the black hided bulls and cut them feed them out and resell them. With less $ at risk .🤷‍♂️
In case you don't read some of the threads... @Dave buys 1 and done cows... runs them on his land and then BLM land; and the cows leave the end of August... calves weaned at his place, and then they get sold....
It does not pay him to buy longhorn cows, even one and dones, because the return on the rail for him is not worth it... He does what works for him there... longhorns do not work there for him.
Buying one and done longhorns might work in some other places... here SOME one and dones do work... and some times they do not. There are some breeders of registered longhorns here, also.... and they do bring more... and bred to some black bulls, they do put some nice calves on the ground... BUT... in that case, right now a black longhorn cross calf that might bring $1000 will be against a beef calf of the same age, similar size... like we sold today... and at 550+ lbs they brought over $3.00 lb and so brought around 1700 each... the longhorn kill cows that I watched yesterday here, brought about half what they were costing for back to the farm ones...$.60-.70 live weight as opposed to the $.90-1.00 for cull beef cows we sold last week... at 1100+ live weight as opposed to 800+ live weight for the longhorn..... there is no win to that here right now...
I have a longhorn cow that was a heifer on a cow I bought 5 years ago... for $350.... cow had a dead calf next time, so shipped her and got maybe $300 for her cull price. I liked the heifer, nice horns... she was my pasture ornament..... got bred, and has had 4 calves and due with her 5th... the calves have done decent but not what my beef calves are bringing. I just like her... and one GREAT thing is she hates dogs and such... so no coyotes or anything running the cattle in that field....
If it works for you, then great... but out where he is it does not pay....
 
It does not pay him to buy longhorn cows, even one and dones, because the return on the rail for him is not worth it... He does what works for him there.
Yep you nailed it .it doesn't work for HIM.
Doesn't mean it can't or won't work for his neighbor. This thread to me comes of very similar to another of his threads were he is being judgmental of anyone doing something different then he does.
Cheep cull cow prices at auction is exactly what makes it attractive to some. Buy a breed cow for $350-$750 cow and produce a $1000 calf. Cow would be all profit. Many ways to make it pay off. Selling a cow at auction for $50 less then you bought her for after selling a $1000 calf is still a larger return per dollar invested. But there are ways to make more than that. Have you priced hamburger lately. Sell the cow for more then bought her for delivered to the butcher for hamburger. Or sell the hamburger your self. Would make at least as much if not more then you could on a black hided cow, especially when you figure the return on dollar invested and the risk/reward ratio.
Far more ways to make money on cows than the way Dave does , even in his area.
 
@Rmc ... do you not understand that it does not work in that area ????.... his neighbors all run beef cattle, selling in tractor trailer loads... they cannot deal with a few odd ball cattle like that... the one neighbor raises Wagyu and F1 crosses because he has a market and sells them by the tractor trailer load also...
It seems that you want to take exception with everything he says..... it DOES NOT WORK THERE for the full time ranchers/farmers in that area... he never said it would not work for someone... but the math does not pan out in general...
 
Around here you aren't going to buy any of these $350-750 cows that will produce a $1000 calf...
The cow I used as an example, I had for nearly 1 1/2 years... bought with a baby calf, raised it, bred back and then dropped a dead calf... lost $50 from her original cost... NOT COUNTING what it cost to keep her that 18 months... If I had sold the calf I would have made maybe $100 profit...it was a heifer I kept, bred then didn't carry the calf and finally culled in the pound pen....
In your statement you said the cow would be profit... the cow would not be all profit if you figure the cost of inputs for that cow to raise a calf...
We just sat and figured what it is costing us to keep a cow here... figuring in everything like @Caustic Burno does... and it is now over $800 /per year/ per cow... right now we are making a decent profit on the calves... but what about all the years we barely made the $100 over the total input costs of keeping that cow to raise a calf.
We do some beef, I am well acquainted with direct marketing some halves and such... and it can be a hassle that some of us get tired of dealing with...
Maybe you ought to go where @Dave is, buy a 1-2,000 acre place, with a BLM land lease, and show them how you can make "far more money" than the way @Dave does it...with the amount of input of time that he does...
 
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. his neighbors all run beef cattle, selling in tractor trailer loads... they cannot deal with a few odd ball cattle like that...
I went to the sale yesterday. It was a "regular" sale. (15+/-), feeder calves, and finally kill cows and bulls. I wrote down the results of the first 22 lots to walk into the ring. No big groups like there would be a a feeder calf special. the 22 lots had 53 calves. The only calves under 500 pounds was 2 lots of heifers that totaled 6 calves and all weighed 485. Only 4 lots in the 500 pound range with a total of 8 calves. The rest were in the 600-700 pound range. That is to be expected as the vast majority of calves around here are born in February and March.

So I watched and recorded 9 steers weighing an average of 603 sold for $$2.8250 a pound.
Hmmm 22 lots totaling 53 head .
So if everyone is only buying and selling semi loads of cattle where are all these small lots coming from? Less then 3 head per lot average isn't a semi load or even a pickup trailer load anywhere I know of . So someone or lots of someone's in the area must be able to raise and sell small quantities of cattle.
Including Dave who doesn't buy his cows by the semi load . But in small lots .hmmm.
Most cattle sold by the semi load aren't bought and sold at the local livestock auction. But are sold using brokers /video auctions or direct to the feed lot.
Also seems to me is that most of the cattle Dave owns aren't on his own property or blm leases but those of a neighbor that Dave runs his cows on in exchange for labor.
 
What I wrote about was my observations one day at the sale. The next ranch to west of me had nearly 1,000 LH cows at one time. They bred them to Charolais bulls. The trouble is they just don't preform in the feedlot. So the buyers pay less for them. You might seek a few through the sale. But when you have the numbers that guy runs they know your cattle and pay accordingly. My neighbor had to change his program.

I am very well acquainted with selling locker beef. The spring and summer of 1969 (the year I graduated from HS) I sold enough to pay for 2 years of college. Did a lot in the years since then. But it just doesn't work here. This county is bigger than the state of Delaware with a population of 16,000. Those people who aren't ranchers are either related to one or friends with one. Every time I raise one for myself and try to sell half I end up selling it cheap or giving it to one of my kids.
 
Anywhere in the western 1/2 of the us that has a livestock auction . I believe that there are enough ranchers buying and selling on small numbers to keep the auction financially viable ,because semi loads aren't normally sold at local auctions.
As date as locker beef not working in Dave's area I call BS .
You are no further from Boise then I am from a large population.
Not only do many make it work here.
I know of one local full time ranch that that has gone 100 % of his production from birth to butchering to grass fed locker beef. And is supporting 3 generations using this method.
If you choose not to do it fine. But to claim it can't and won't work in your area is bs.
 
Anywhere in the western 1/2 of the us that has a livestock auction . I believe that there are enough ranchers buying and selling on small numbers to keep the auction financially viable ,because semi loads aren't normally sold at local auctions.
As date as locker beef not working in Dave's area I call BS .
You are no further from Boise then I am from a large population.
Not only do many make it work here.
I know of one local full time ranch that that has gone 100 % of his production from birth to butchering to grass fed locker beef. And is supporting 3 generations using this method.
If you choose not to do it fine. But to claim it can't and won't work in your area is bs.
How many head are you talking about? In my area you would have a very hard time finding kill slots for very many, and a much harder time finding customers to buy in bulk.
 
Don't know exact numbers. I would say 500 -750 per year. But numbers have been expanding as they are supporting more and more housholds.
I know they sell at several farmers markets, a few different small grocery stores as well as selling direct to consumer. They started out doing 10 or so a year in the late 80's earlier 90's and have been expanding ever since. I know they had to reduce cow/calf numbers in the early 2000's to be able to maintain 100 percent calf crop until slaughter.
They are three plus hours away from any large population center.
But even we have had people drive 100-150 miles to pick up meat from butcher.
 
I would say they have something going on that would be very hard to duplicate.
That is exactly what people have been saying since the 1990's and yet it continues to grow and expand and continues to support more and more people.
If they can do it with 750 animals a year and three plus hours away from a population center, don't tell me it can't be done at a very much smaller scale of 1-10 animals a year as Dave and farmer Jan and others have claimed not only in this thread but in multiple posts on this forum over and over again!
Only thing I have claimed is that a very small scale can happen anywhere in the us . Many on here grip and complain how much the feeders and slaughter plants make and how little they make but won't do anything about it.
Only way it will change is if you are willing to make it change.
Haven't ever seen the opportunity available that is available currently.
The demand for local grown, know where your food comes from , support local has never been at the level it is today since at least the 1970s . If you don't want to do that then fine and dandy but to say it can't and won't work is pure and simple bs.
 
Went to sale in Lexington yesterday.
1678 head, 300 more than last week and double the head sold on that sale day last year.
400-450# steers value added $3.10-$3.50.
Slaughter bulls up to $1.50
 
Went to sale in Lexington yesterday.
1678 head, 300 more than last week and double the head sold on that sale day last year.
400-450# steers value added $3.10-$3.50.
Slaughter bulls up to $1.50
I watch sales on dvauctions most every day. KY has a LOT of sales on there every day. Anywhere from 3-5. They have one starting now in Lexington, and a production sale in Lexington that starts at 1. Yesterday morning I was watching an 8AM sale in KY, and another in Missouri Saw black heifers in that same weight class as those steers bring $2.35- $2.54. Same kind of heifers, same weight in MO were $3.30 to $3.35. On just about every day, cattle in MO across the board, seem to bring the most. KY seems to bring the least, except for the days there is a SC or Ga sale on. But, as far as head cows go, the KY ones are usually the best quality, and the further west you go, prices seem to go up yet quality seems to go down. The sales west of KY don't go quite as high as the MO sales, and the prices east of MO don't get near as high as the MO sales.
 
I watch sales on dvauctions most every day. KY has a LOT of sales on there every day. Anywhere from 3-5. They have one starting now in Lexington, and a production sale in Lexington that starts at 1. Yesterday morning I was watching an 8AM sale in KY, and another in Missouri Saw black heifers in that same weight class as those steers bring $2.35- $2.54. Same kind of heifers, same weight in MO were $3.30 to $3.35. On just about every day, cattle in MO across the board, seem to bring the most. KY seems to bring the least, except for the days there is a SC or Ga sale on. But, as far as head cows go, the KY ones are usually the best quality, and the further west you go, prices seem to go up yet quality seems to go down. The sales west of KY don't go quite as high as the MO sales, and the prices east of MO don't get near as high as the MO sales.
I haven't watched any other sales but yeah that sounds like par for the course. Southeast cattle generally sell cheaper, even though the quality of cattle here have improved significantly over the years.
 

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