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Sale Barn Bottle Calf Prices

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Hereford2

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I'm just curious, because I'm going to my first, sale barn sale, and I was wondering what kind of price I could expect to pay at the sale barn, for a bottle calf?
 

MurraysMutts

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I shouldn't spill the beans.
But the heifer I just bought cost me 300.
Now I couldnt make the sale, had a buyer get it for me.

Most I've seen worth bringing home are gonna be 200plus. Usually 300. Depends how many people are there that day looking for baby calves.

I've also seen folks get all worked up and seen em sell as high as 425 recently. Craziness!!

Idk wth a person does with a 425 dollar bottle calf....

Be hard to turn any kind of profit, especially considering milk replacer costs, unless it was going on a cow. And even then, its probly a loss.
 
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Hereford2

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Thank you for the reply's! I was thinking around $150. I can get beef calves from craigslist for $200, to $300.
 

MurraysMutts

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Varies by region and how many people are there on what day. Lol

Be careful of so called beef calves on craigs. Just because they are black dont make em not dairy...
Sometimes it's hard to tell when they are very little.
Dairy calves are still a dime a dozen.

I saw a tiny lil black calf with bad pinkeye bring 150 at the barn the other day.
 

farmerjan

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My first thought is "why a sale barn calf" ? Unless there is just no one else around to get a bottle calf from.... You are bringing home every germ there is there.... Granted sometimes it is the best/only way to get a calf when you need it....But BUYER BEWARE..... and with many dairies breeding the lower end of their milking herd to beef, you can easily get a 1/2 dairy 1/2 beef calf. They will grow and make a decent beef for your freezer.... but you will not get the growth as you will with a straight beef calf.... and the buyers can spot a dairy mixed calf as a 5 wt feeder and most everywhere it will be sold at a discounted price.
Still a 1/2 dairy 1/2 beef calf will save a lactation on a cow that you don't want to sell.... pretty much pay you back your input but probably not make any money.... but that is better than no calf to sell. And they do make good beef in your freezer.
 

SBMF 2015

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MurraysMutts said:
I shouldn't spill the beans.
But the heifer I just bought cost me 300.
Now I couldnt make the sale, had a buyer get it for me.

Most I've seen worth bringing home are gonna be 200plus. Usually 300. Depends how many people are there that day looking for baby calves.

I've also seen folks get all worked up and seen em sell as high as 425 recently. Craziness!!

Idk wth a person does with a 425 dollar bottle calf....

Be hard to turn any kind of profit, especially considering milk replacer costs, unless it was going on a cow. And even then, its probly a loss.

Little granddaughters love them. Lol.
Around here mid April to mid May is when most people buy 4H bottle calves. Several times I've seen Grandpa's with little granddaughters run good "pretty" calves up to $ 500.
 

Buck Randall

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Jerseys: 10-25
Holsteins: 75-125
Dairy Beef X: 150-250

Not sure what a true beef bottle calf would bring; there aren't many of those for sale around here this time of year. Don't be fooled by the cheaper Jerseys and Holsteins, they're worth less than that.

Beef cross calves should be really easy to find if you have much dairy in your area. Most of the progressive farms are producing more crossbred calves than Holsteins now.
 
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Hereford2

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Thank you for the reply's! I may just go to watch, it would have to be a really beefy calf for me to buy it , and it would have to look good also. I've had experience with the half beef calves,..
 

kenny thomas

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First sale, that's hard for me to even remember. When I was younger and trading a lot I have been to as many as 5 sales a week. Go to one every Saturday now. I do enjoy them.
 

MurraysMutts

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I didnt buy anything at my first few sales. I OBSERVED...
Scrutinized the situation, as my ol math teacher told us over and over.
Theres a lot to take in.

Let us know how ya get on?
 

kenny thomas

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MurraysMutts said:
I didnt buy anything at my first few sales. I OBSERVED...
Scrutinized the situation, as my ol math teacher told us over and over.
Theres a lot to take in.

Let us know how ya get on?
Very good advice. The traders love to see someone new there. Fresh Meat if the calf happens to be theirs.
 

farmerjan

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kenny thomas said:
First sale, that's hard for me to even remember. When I was younger and trading a lot I have been to as many as 5 sales a week. Go to one every Saturday now. I do enjoy them.

We are dating ourselves.... I can barely remember my first sale.... but do have memories of a few that were interesting after I moved to Va.... my son at about 11-12 yrs old., had some money and I told him that he could spend it anyway he wanted.... figuring he was going to buy some more sheep cuz at the time he really liked the sheep more than the cattle.... What did he buy???? A [email protected]#ned intact male (JACK) donkey.... that chased all my mares after we got it home.... Finally told him it had to go.... and he sold it and made money on it....it was a donkey too, not a mule or anything... biggest little PITA there ever was....
 

kenny thomas

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My dad worked the local stockyard and he brought me home 2 baby calves around 1972. One cost $3 and the other $5. Heifers that later made good cows. Sold them when I got married to make a down payment on a house trailer.
 

Dave

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My Dad bought me a Holstein bull calf when I was in second grade. That would have been 1959. I raised it and sold halves for beef. By the time I graduated from high school I had enough cattle to pay for two years of college. I don't remember my first sale. But the first sales where I bought cattle which would have been when I was in 10th grade in High School. I didn't have a drivers license. Mom dropped me off at the sale and I hired the steers hauled home. I remember getting butterflies in my stomach when I was bidding. Now I will bid on a pen of 20 + head and never think twice.
 

CG1

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Around here I have paid as little as $25 to as much as $800. I have also been given one free at auction that they didn't think had a chance so I just took it home.

The dairies around here right now will sell you a Holstein x Angus for around $400. Bulls and Heifers tend to sell for the same. Sick ones are often free.
 
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Hereford2

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$800? Ouch. I've heard of bottle calves going for $600, back in 2014. Only 2 days till sale day! Yes I'm counting them down lol.
 

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