Questions on starting up herd of cattle.

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Weekend-warrior17

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Hey y'all, hears a little back ground on me. I'm in the Western part of Virginia State and I'm young 19 years old looking to get my foot in the door raising beef cattle for market. Don't have as much experience in the cattle business as I do with horses but I'm trying to transition. I've worked on several horse ranches from Washington state to Northern Tennessee , and Multiple areas in Virginia. I've got a full time job making decent money that seems permanent( Although I may move back in a few years with a set herd to Tennessee looking for better less expensive land prices.) For now I've got 15 acres of creek fed proprrty partial pasture and par wooded that I can run cattle on free of change hear outside of Lexington Va. I've been reading the forums looking for answers and have found a lot of great ones.

I'm looking for advice on cattle auctions what should I watch for? what should I keep in mind when looking for calves? hows the best way to find the right heffers and a good bull at auction ? I've been going to several auctions in my area for several weeks getting an eye for pricing now but if you have any advice when it comes to that I'm more than willing to listen. I've got electric around most the property and some wire, should that work? How many heffers would be a good number for the 25 acres and how many would be the max for good production I don't plan I putting hay out during late spring thru late fall / winter we don't have to bad of winters hear. One more question for now is what should I do about HORSES , we have four Morgan horses ( two mares and two geldings wagons horses) on the property. Should I keep the cattle separate from the horses or would it be okay to mix them? If I mix the two they would have a lot more pasture and property it would be 30 acres with the horses and 15 without.
Thanks everyone for your responses in advance and for reading. Thanks for the help!!! :cboy:
 

coachg

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Welcome ! If I was starting from scratch I would buy as many bred cows or cow calf pairs I could afford and stay away from heifers till I got some experience with cows under my belt.5-6 momma cows would be about right for your acreage . Some will argue but black is the best seller now at livestock sales. It doesn't matter if they are angus, Simmental , black baldies or what as long as they are black.Fencing sounds ok depending on how close your neighbors cows are and for me I have never liked to run my cows with horses. Good luck, prices are better now for entering the cattle business than they have been for the last few years so go for it !
 
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Weekend-warrior17

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Thanks for your advice ! It's much appreciated, so are you saying I should wait on getting a bull until I work threw have a few calfs? I was leaning toward getting a couple calfs and raising them from there but if you think some pregnant momma would be best I'll start to consider that.
 

Tim/South

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Welcome to the forum.
First I would keep the horses away from the cattle. Some horses pasture with cattle, some chase cattle. Either way, horses generally make cattle nervous. Stressed cattle do not gain well. Horses are feed aggressive and will chase cattle away from feed.

If I was getting into the cattle business right now I would buy some young thin cows. Deworm them, get them on good feed and hope they were bred. Buy or borrow a bull if they come in heat.
A neighbor has been buying thin young cows at grinding price, getting them straight and bred then selling them as long bred replacement cows. He is making more money right now than anyone I know.
 

greybeard

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For now I've got 15 acres of creek fed proprrty partial pasture and par wooded that I can run cattle on .........horses...If I mix the two they would have a lot more pasture and property it would be 30 acres with the horses and 15 without.
Get 30 acres if possible and forget the horses if you want to start a small cattle herd. On good forage, figure 2.5-3 ac/head or per pair (momma with calf by side) Maybe a little better ratio if it's really good pasture and rotated really efficiently.
 
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Weekend-warrior17

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True Grit Farms":1prmihxu said:
You have an ole man down in southwest Va. that knows a thing or two about cows. Maybe he'll help you out some. Good luck and welcome.

That's great I'd love as much help as possible! And would be willing to meet up! I'm all ears!

greybeard":1prmihxu said:
For now I've got 15 acres of creek fed proprrty partial pasture and par wooded that I can run cattle on .........horses...If I mix the two they would have a lot more pasture and property it would be 30 acres with the horses and 15 without.
Get 30 acres if possible and forget the horses if you want to start a small cattle herd. On good forage, figure 2.5-3 ac/head or per pair (momma with calf by side) Maybe a little better ratio if it's really good pasture and rotated really efficiently.

I see what your getting at and yeah that makes since thank you.

Tim/South":1prmihxu said:
Welcome to the forum.
First I would keep the horses away from the cattle. Some horses pasture with cattle, some chase cattle. Either way, horses generally make cattle nervous. Stressed cattle do not gain well. Horses are feed aggressive and will chase cattle away from feed.

If I was getting into the cattle business right now I would buy some young thin cows. Deworm them, get them on good feed and hope they were bred. Buy or borrow a bull if they come in heat.
A neighbor has been buying thin young cows at grinding price, getting them straight and bred then selling them as long bred replacement cows. He is making more money right now than anyone I know.

That sounds like something I can work with! I think I'll keep those horses separate. Haha I've got a couple more questions for now but will type them out a little bit later. Any more advice is more than welcome.
 

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