Preconditioning question

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Douglas

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I read everyday about discounts for unweaned calves and calves not preconditioned. My question is how buyers at the sale barns know I have precondition my calves. Are they just guessing based on the behavior for a few seconds in the ring? Are barns sales always considered unweaned. If I have my calves weaned for a couple months will the sale barn buyers know it? I don’t see how they can especially for small lots. I have tried to sell groups of uniform calves so far, but what I have left now is a mixed bunch with different colors.
 

dun

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I guess they can tell parlty from the calves behaviour and probably their condition. We use an age/source verified tag and sell them through the preconditioned sales at the salebarns
 

S&WSigma40VEShooter

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Douglas":vwjm7ncy said:
I read everyday about discounts for unweaned calves and calves not preconditioned. My question is how buyers at the sale barns know I have precondition my calves. Are they just guessing based on the behavior for a few seconds in the ring? Are barns sales always considered unweaned. If I have my calves weaned for a couple months will the sale barn buyers know it? I don’t see how they can especially for small lots. I have tried to sell groups of uniform calves so far, but what I have left now is a mixed bunch with different colors.


Experienced cattle buyers for feed lots can tell it. If the calf is walking around balling and looking like its confused and the rest of the "supposed preconditioned ones" are not then yeah they can tell. Also, the sale barn workers can tell it when they pen em.
 

Brute 23

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Talk to your sale barn. IF you take 10 or more that have been preconditioned and all look simular... some times they will run them thru together and announce that they are preconditioned.
 

msscamp

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Douglas":obmhgla7 said:
My question is how buyers at the sale barns know I have precondition my calves.

Buyers know when a calf has been truck-weaned because of the way the calf looks. A freshly weaned calf goes off feed. He will have hollows in front of his hip bones, he will also be more agitated than usual, and bawling.

Are they just guessing based on the behavior for a few seconds in the ring?

No, they are not just guessing. When you've been around cattle you can tell which calves have been truck weaned, and which ones have been fed out following weaning.

Are barns sales always considered unweaned.

No.

If I have my calves weaned for a couple months will the sale barn buyers know it?

Generally speaking, yes. Now, having said that, I think you also need to bear in mind that sometimes calves wean hard and it could take that long for them to really start eating and gaining weight. I would suggest you visit a few sales, really look at the calves, take notes on what weights are bringing good prices, and what those calves look like.

I don’t see how they can especially for small lots. I have tried to sell groups of uniform calves so far, but what I have left now is a mixed bunch with different colors.

Request that your calves be sorted by size and color. Some colors are docked, some are not - the people at the salebarn should have at least an idea of what is docked in your area. By making that request, you reduce the chances of having the undesirable colors lowering the prices on all of your calves.
 

1982vett

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Douglas, If you are going to be compensated for preconditioning, you are going to have to find a market for such. When/if you find it their are always the mismatched calves that need to be sold.

(Some may sell these to individuals to raise for freezer beef or breeding stock) :p
 

S&WSigma40VEShooter

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Douglas":dj4oas43 said:
Thanks guys

No problem. You get more money in the long run when you precondition because if they are preconditioned and go to the feed lot and stay healthy and thrive you can bet your bottom dollar that order buyer that bought from you last year will buy from you again this next year and is willing to pay a premium for your cattle.
 

Howdyjabo

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There are several specialty sales - just for preconditioned calves
They will group them with others that they match up with.

Getting paid for preconditioning thru a regular sale isn't consistent.
 

novaman

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Maybe I'm looking at this too simply but the time of year would also be a good indication of preconditioned or not IMO. Around here most calves are being weaned right around this time and most are sold within the next month. It would be hard to sell "preconditioned" calves at any sale around here right now. A few months from now most of the calves going through the ring would be preconditioned. Weight would probably be another way to determine how these calves have been handled. Would be tough to convince any buyers that your 550# steers are preconditioned. Now if you have 800# steers running through the ring it would be a different story. Just 2 cents!
 

S&WSigma40VEShooter

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novaman":2z6xz5gf said:
Maybe I'm looking at this too simply but the time of year would also be a good indication of preconditioned or not IMO. Around here most calves are being weaned right around this time and most are sold within the next month. It would be hard to sell "preconditioned" calves at any sale around here right now. A few months from now most of the calves going through the ring would be preconditioned. Weight would probably be another way to determine how these calves have been handled. Would be tough to convince any buyers that your 550# steers are preconditioned. Now if you have 800# steers running through the ring it would be a different story. Just 2 cents!


I know the barn here has preconiditioned sales at different times of year. Does yours?
 

donaldjohnson

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why not sellyour calves in a special preconditioned sale. cph 45 in ky is a good one. usually 4-5 cents higher than regular sale. :banana:
 
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Douglas

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donaldjohnson":1us00gja said:
why not sellyour calves in a special preconditioned sale. cph 45 in ky is a good one. usually 4-5 cents higher than regular sale. :banana:

Yes, we had them in early August and late september at the local barn. I was not ready in August (would have need to weaned at 4.5 months), and work issues kept me out of town the last one. Not another one till next spring.
 

dun

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Douglas":3jvwy9gj said:
donaldjohnson":3jvwy9gj said:
why not sellyour calves in a special preconditioned sale. cph 45 in ky is a good one. usually 4-5 cents higher than regular sale. :banana:

Yes, we had them in early August and late september at the local barn. I was not ready in August (would have need to weaned at 4.5 months), and work issues kept me out of town the last one. Not another one till next spring.
Check some other barns. The 2 closest to us don;t do them at all the next when headed west has them once a month. Hopefully you will be able to find a barn (usually the larger ones) that will have some scheduled
 

plumber_greg

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To me, to say a calf is pre-conditioned without some sort of vet certificiates, is just saying that. The backgrounders I talk to and work for say that if a group of calves, no matter the size, are ran in a ring and the ringman shouts "Weaned 45 days and had all their shots", without some sort of official paperwork they are worth no more than any others. Mainly because what does "All their shots" mean? But they all also say that to have vet paperwork they will always pay more. I think all states have some sort of pre-condidtioning program. I know in Missouri it is the Gold Label Program, and a White Tag, and maybe a Red Tag Program, they all mean different pre-conditioning methods, and I know Iowa has something also. With the paperwork, even in a regular sale, those calves will generally bring more, even if you are only cleaning up your odds and ends. I always thought that to go to the feed store and buy a syringe and some medicine and wormer, is for the current owners benift only in extra gain and health. They may sell better in the sale barn because they look healthy, but probably not enough to offset your costs. My opinion on pre conditioning. gs
 

ToddFarmsInc

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One other thing.... Sale barns have "regulars" Bidders that show up week after week looking and purchasing animals. They know what pre-conditioned animals look like.

I dont' know what I'm doing right. Our sales barn publishes all the sales from the previous week, and when I take animals to the barn I always look up what they brought the following week. For some reason, my animals always bring the upper end of the scale on the bids. :???: Not that I'm complaining. ;-) I do notice that they will sort off the mouse color calves and they always bring less than the other ones. (I'm sure they taste the same on the inside) Anyway, my theory is that my calves are being bought by the regular purchasers, and they know from past experience what they are getting. :nod:
 

ToddFarmsInc

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Douglas":2dvnl5zz said:
Todd, do you sell large uniform lots?

Not really. I haul in calves in small groups of about 20 animals or so. The sale barn breaks them up into uniform groups, sometimes ther will be 3 or 12 or even 1, just depending on what they look like, size, and colors.
 

options

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I can't imagine for the life of me why anyone would sell cattle at any auction, where the auctioneer doesn't state the owners name and a brief explanation of the cattle being sold. The sales I attend have a printed sale order, along with that they will announce them when entering the ring. It is valuable info for both the buyer and seller.
 

1982vett

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options":23gczse1 said:
I can't imagine for the life of me why anyone would sell cattle at any auction, where the auctioneer doesn't state the owners name and a brief explanation of the cattle being sold. The sales I attend have a printed sale order, along with that they will announce them when entering the ring. It is valuable info for both the buyer and seller.


Sounds like a fancy outfit. What does it cost to sell a calf? How many sales do they have a year? Where is it at?
 

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