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Sale barns.....-

eric

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I was talking with a neighbor the other day and the subject got around to salebarn cattle. I mentioned I was kinda skeptical about buying bred cows from the salebarn because being new, I couldn't really tell for sure if they were really pregnant or not. He told me that every salebarn has a vet on staff who checks the bred cows and tells how far along they are before they go into the pen. Is this true at most barns? The few sales I have been to, I have always just gotten there as the auction was about to start and never paid much attention to the unloading of the cattle.

He also says he always has the salebarn vet vaccinate the calves he buys, as this saves him from having to load them back up again and the vet usually does it a little cheaper than the local vet because he is already there and has the equipment right there. Any reason not to use the salebarn vet? Do all (or at least most larger ones) salebarns have a vet working the sales?
 

dun

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Some of the small neighborhood type of sales don't have vets on staff. The places that move very many cattle alwasy have a vet on hand. I don't know about other places, but in MO the cow will generally come into the ring with a colored sticker on her back. The color denotes the stage of pregnancy or not checked. The vet mouths them and the age is written on the tag. A digit denotes the age in years, SS is short and solid, BM is broken mouth.
If they check the cows there will be a sign hanging on the wall somewhere that denotes what the different colors denote.

dun


eric":2l38rdqh said:
I was talking with a neighbor the other day and the subject got around to salebarn cattle. I mentioned I was kinda skeptical about buying bred cows from the salebarn because being new, I couldn't really tell for sure if they were really pregnant or not. He told me that every salebarn has a vet on staff who checks the bred cows and tells how far along they are before they go into the pen. Is this true at most barns? The few sales I have been to, I have always just gotten there as the auction was about to start and never paid much attention to the unloading of the cattle.

He also says he always has the salebarn vet vaccinate the calves he buys, as this saves him from having to load them back up again and the vet usually does it a little cheaper than the local vet because he is already there and has the equipment right there. Any reason not to use the salebarn vet? Do all (or at least most larger ones) salebarns have a vet working the sales?
 

txag

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eric":ioyvxqz8 said:
I was talking with a neighbor the other day and the subject got around to salebarn cattle. I mentioned I was kinda skeptical about buying bred cows from the salebarn because being new, I couldn't really tell for sure if they were really pregnant or not. He told me that every salebarn has a vet on staff who checks the bred cows and tells how far along they are before they go into the pen. Is this true at most barns? The few sales I have been to, I have always just gotten there as the auction was about to start and never paid much attention to the unloading of the cattle.

He also says he always has the salebarn vet vaccinate the calves he buys, as this saves him from having to load them back up again and the vet usually does it a little cheaper than the local vet because he is already there and has the equipment right there. Any reason not to use the salebarn vet? Do all (or at least most larger ones) salebarns have a vet working the sales?

at most of the sale barns in our area, the vet will preg check any cow that the seller wants checked (a small fee is charged to the seller for this at some barns). the vet then writes the number on her w/a paint stick to denote how many months she's bred. open cows that have been checked will usually have just a slash mark. cows w/o numbers or slash weren't palpated. the vet also bangs tests all eligible sale cattle on the day of the sale but i don't think the ones in our area do any vaccinating at the sale barn. if the sale barn vet does vaccinate he may be cheaper than a regular vet but a vet is never cheaper than doing it yourself (if you have the pens and equipment)
 

Campground Cattle

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I agree with txag except in my area the cow has her age along with how many months bred painted on her back
 

CopeMan

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Campground Cattle":3kwglh81 said:
I agree with txag except in my area the cow has her age along with how many months bred painted on her back

The same way here in Tennessee to.
 

Jake

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Most cows at the sale barn are there for a reason!! I work at the Washington Barn in the summer and there is always one or two that are from good backgrounds that would be quality buys, but the greater share will put you up on top of the gate or will not perform well.
 

Hawk

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Just a comment on sale barns. There are 8 livestock auctions within 100 miles or so of my place here in north east Texas. There is a sale in one of these barns every day of the week except Sunday. 7 of them have sales on Saturday. Each sales usually averages 1500 to 2000 head of cattle, except during bad weather. It is a bit of a stretch to believe that all of these cattle are culls, sick, wild, mean, old or some other kind of problem animal. Many generations of fine ranchers have successfully utilized the auction barn system to market their animals and, to a lesser extent, to purchase replacement animals for decades. These cattlemen are certainly not ignorant. Quite the contrary. Many of them are among the best educated, most progressive, and most successful cattle ranchers in the business today. In my part of the country, at least, the vast majority of cattle are bought and sold in an auction ring. There are certainly other means available to us today to market our product and they have their place, but that doesn't mean that the livestock auction is no longer a viable alternative. The auction environment may not be for everyone, and they don't try to be. There are certain advantages to buying animals directly from the breeder and there are advantages to buying and selling at the sale barn. Just because we prefer one option, it doesn't mean that the other option is terrible. If you believe that sale barns are seething caldrons of disease and that all of the animals there are culls, then you must believe that anyone that would buy or sale anything there is a complete fool. I can assure you that that is not the case. OK, I feel better now so I will get down off my soap box.
 

txag

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Hawk":3b2mysbe said:
Just a comment on sale barns. There are 8 livestock auctions within 100 miles or so of my place here in north east Texas. There is a sale in one of these barns every day of the week except Sunday. 7 of them have sales on Saturday. Each sales usually averages 1500 to 2000 head of cattle, except during bad weather. It is a bit of a stretch to believe that all of these cattle are culls, sick, wild, mean, old or some other kind of problem animal. Many generations of fine ranchers have successfully utilized the auction barn system to market their animals and, to a lesser extent, to purchase replacement animals for decades. These cattlemen are certainly not ignorant. Quite the contrary. Many of them are among the best educated, most progressive, and most successful cattle ranchers in the business today. In my part of the country, at least, the vast majority of cattle are bought and sold in an auction ring. There are certainly other means available to us today to market our product and they have their place, but that doesn't mean that the livestock auction is no longer a viable alternative. The auction environment may not be for everyone, and they don't try to be. There are certain advantages to buying animals directly from the breeder and there are advantages to buying and selling at the sale barn. Just because we prefer one option, it doesn't mean that the other option is terrible. If you believe that sale barns are seething caldrons of disease and that all of the animals there are culls, then you must believe that anyone that would buy or sale anything there is a complete fool. I can assure you that that is not the case. OK, I feel better now so I will get down off my soap box.

Hawk,

i think you make some good points, but for those 1500-2000 head, how many are cows? usually at the barns around here, the cows sell for about 2 hours & then the calves (including yearling-age, replacement heifers) sell for the other 8-10 hours or so. personally, i think there are some cows go through that could be ok, but the majority are sick, infertile or old. now the calves are another story......the sick are definitely in the minority. if i was looking to buy replacement females, i wouldn't have a problem buying some at an auction barn but i probably wouldn't buy cows there.
 

Craig-TX

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Over the years we’ve had good results with cows bought in the ring. You’ve got to be careful and look closely, just like when you’re buying anything else of value. It pays to get there early go back to the barn. Spend some time on the catwalks and see what looks good and what doesn’t. If the salebarn owner or auctioneer is starting a cow by the pound, it’s fairly safe to assume she’s already seen her better days.

The trick is to never get in a hurry to buy and be willing to walk away empty handed on any given day. You can pick off some nice deals if you have the skill and patience. It’s more work and more time consuming than buying private treaty or from a special sale but it sure can leave a lot more money in your pocket.

Craig-TX
 

la4angus

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Hawk
It appears that you are referring to Jakes previous post.
He was talking about the cows that are selling at the weekly auctions. You and I both know that the auction barn is a place to get rid of the cows that a rancher or farmer wants to cull for one reason or another. The calves are a different story. Most of the calves are fresh off the ranch or farm and are healthy. If an auction is having a special sale for replacement females, whether it be bred cows , pairs, or open hfrs, it should be a good place to buy replacements. Just keep in mind that the
cattle were exposed to many diseases at the barn, even though the barns are kept clean; fresh cattle can pick diseases so they should be vaccinated with an antibiotic; given fresh hay, feed and water, plus watching them closely for about 10 days for disease after bringing them home and not turning them out with the rest of your herd. After eading your post I think that you know this, but just did not mention it.
Preventing a disease is cheaper than curing a disease.
I will get off of my soap box now.
 

Jake

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Thanks LA4angus that's exactly what I was trying to say. There is nothing wrong with buyin calves at the barn just cull cows.
 

dun

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One of the post in this string made valid points on buying cows at the sale barn. Do your homework, spend time ibserving and checking out the animals. I concure that there are some real sorry cows going through the ring, but I would hazard a guess that there are just as many if not more that are decent cattle. Yes disease can be a problem, we've never had a problem with a shot of Nuflor when they arrive and isolate them. Stocker size calves we don't even do that, worm and turn out. Maybe it's shear dumb luck but we've not had a problem in moer years then I care to remember. We did get burned on one heifer. I let a petty face turn my head, plus we didn't realize she'ld been tranqed when she went through the ring. Funy part is that when we finally got her back to the sale barn, after paying the vet for 6 jolts of tranqualizer we still made money on her.


dun



Jake":1dmmk9r0 said:
Thanks LA4angus that's exactly what I was trying to say. There is nothing wrong with buyin calves at the barn just cull cows.
 

donnaIL

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I've recently been to two "breeding cow" sales in our area. A vet is on hand and preg checks and ages cattle. They put a post-it looking tag on the side of the animal that states age/stage of preg... and they do stick good, brought our first sale barn preg heifer home a week ago and the post-it still stuck on her FTSP469G6 The auctioneer also tells you about animals they have info on, like what farm or region they came from, what kind of bull they are bred to and in some cases even have the documents for the specific bull they were bred to or ai'd to.

When you go to pay out they offer alot of services, from hoof trimming to worming, antibiotics, and alot of different vacinnation packages, and they seemed quite reasonable to me, most in the $10 range. I thought both sales were very professional. donna
 

Rod

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I only buy heard sell offs at salebarns, I have had good luck with them. I feel that most of everything else there, with the exception of the calves, are culls. You still have to be real carefull on aging and preg testing!!
 

Tc

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a good experanced cowman can pick an choose good decent cattle from the salebarn.i wouldnt advice a beginner to try it.youll get burnt 9 out of 10 times cause you dont no what your doing yet.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Tc
 

Rod

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Heard sell offs are the safest way to go at the salebarn. Most are good stock or the farmer wouldn't have kept them around. I have frequently visited with the farmer about his heard the day before the sale to get as much information as I can about his stock. I generally stay away from the rest of the bred cows at the salebarn, chances are there is a good reason why they are there!
 

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