Selling calves

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BC

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machslammer":26382062 said:
Do any of you guys that full creep feed calves and sell as unweaned. Tell the barn that they have been creep fed, so that the buyers know that they have been introduced to feed?
Why would you "full creep" a calf? Buyers do not want a fat, bloomy calf. Those type calves go backwards before they turn around and go forward. You would be better off to feed 1 lb of cottonseed meal (41% CP) for some additional protein than 3 or 4 lbs of a 14% creep feed.
 

mwj

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Selling private and recouping your investment at a sale are 2 different things. I have been around cattle for well over 50 years and those precon sales are nothing new. Over the period of time the idea has been around it should be dominating the mkt. if it is perfect! Good health programs are good from the producers standpoint. Weaning and breaking to eat at a bunk are something you are hoping will give you extra value. Your market will tell you what is profitable over time.Selling to the end consumer would let you capture all of the profit in the animal but will not work for most cattle producers.
 

machslammer

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BC":1l4m3h84 said:
machslammer":1l4m3h84 said:
Do any of you guys that full creep feed calves and sell as unweaned. Tell the barn that they have been creep fed, so that the buyers know that they have been introduced to feed?
Why would you "full creep" a calf? Buyers do not want a fat, bloomy calf. Those type calves go backwards before they turn around and go forward. You would be better off to feed 1 lb of cottonseed meal (41% CP) for some additional protein than 3 or 4 lbs of a 14% creep feed.

I introduce mine to feed day 1 if they are smart enough to go into the feeder that keeps 1200lbs year round. I buy 6 ton of feed a year for 15 calves. Helps to maintain momma's health and also gives them the extra energy to eat more and gain more weight. A calf will only eat till he is full anyways so I don't understand the thinking of a Fat Bloomy Calf. . The only time I see one of those is when the calf has lost his mom or been weaned too early. Looks like the buyers would want calves that have been introduced to feed already so they wean on a feedlot they know what to do. Our calves usually bring top dollar at the markets and are never overly fat. They need a little stored fat for energy. Here are our calves within the last week that were born last of march and first of April. 4 months old. Except the baldie and she is 3 weeks.











 

SRBeef

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Last time I was at the sale barn feeder sale the auctioneer actually stopped at one point to lecture the sellers to please note on the sales ticket whether or not the calves were weaned and had their shots. There did seem to be a bit of a premium paid for groups that came through the ring with information on shots and weaning.

To the original poster, I don't think it makes sense to wean on Thursday and ship on Saturday. That has to be stressful on the calves and you. The buyer is hoping you will take most of the hollering I guess.

Fenceline weaning, where calves and cows can see each other and rub noses through the fence or gate doesn't seem to be that big a deal with my Herefords. I usually wean at about 7 months in November as they come out of the chute from their fall booster shots and pour. Cows go to the left, calves to the right.

A day or two of bellowing, mostly cows with full udders, and everyone goes back to grazing or hay. After 6-8 weeks I have put retained heifers back in with the cows with no problem as long as I've moved the bulls to their winter pasture. Really no additional cost to wean. Calves are on good hay and some occasional sweet feed in the corral bunk to get them used to coming to me.

If I was buying calves this is the way I'd like to buy them. However I retain mine through the winter. After 6-8 weeks of weaning they go to grazing standing corn with hay behind them around Christmas as discussed here earlier. Non-retained get sold off of grazing corn and hay in April. Most have been for freezer beef in the past few years. However as I get my numbers up and the auction price is closer to my 1.30 target to make my ROI, I will be selling more at the sale barn at 1000-1100 lb in late April. fwiw.

Jim
 

dun

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SRBeef":3999m0n9 said:
Fenceline weaning, where calves and cows can see each other and rub noses through the fence or gate doesn't seem to be that big a deal with my Herefords. I usually wean at about 7 months in November as they come out of the chute from their fall booster shots and pour. Cows go to the left, calves to the right.

A day or two of bellowing, mostly cows with full udders, and everyone goes back to grazing or hay. After 6-8 weeks I have put retained heifers back in with the cows with no problem as long as I've moved the bulls to their winter pasture. Really no additional cost to wean. Calves are on good hay and some occasional sweet feed in the corral bunk to get them used to coming to me.
Other then ours being spearated at the first shots we do exactly the same thing. No real issues. We had one heifer that would climb under the hotwire and get back with her mother, she got weaned on the trailer after the second time and on heifer went back to nursing but that was after being back with the cows for 3 months after being weaned for 6 weeks. That's it in 15 years of fenceline weaning.
 

salebarn junkie

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If its a pre vac sell were you have to have a vet do the vaccination I can see paying more but if a sell were the guy from the yard hands out the tags and every one is on the honer system the buyer is crasy to pay more. Reputation doesn't mean anything around here the sells are big the buyers buy hundred of cattle a day there's no way to know or keep track of calves. I don't think a serious cattle buyer pays attention to a auctioner saying a calves weaned and had to rounds of shots. Maybe I have trust issues?
 

js1234

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salebarn junkie":2ije9psz said:
If its a pre vac sell were you have to have a vet do the vaccination I can see paying more but if a sell were the guy from the yard hands out the tags and every one is on the honer system the buyer is crasy to pay more. Reputation doesn't mean anything around here the sells are big the buyers buy hundred of cattle a day there's no way to know or keep track of calves. I don't think a serious cattle buyer pays attention to a auctioner saying a calves weaned and had to rounds of shots. Maybe I have trust issues?
In our operation, we absolutely keep track both in the barns and on the video. FWIW, weaned needs to be 30 days or more, 45 is better. If under 30 days, I'd rather just have a good bawler with 2 rounds of shots. On the video as an example, they have to fit one of the 2 categories above. We do not buy bawling calves without the second round of shots off the video, period. At the barns during the runs, we will buy "basic vacc" calves but only $5 or more behind their 2 shot counterparts. They are yarded and commingled with other basic vacc calves and we straighten them out in a grow yard before going to grass or feed. Due to this expense, we only will buy them cheaper. As far as the honor system goes, for the most part it works. I believe that in general people do their best to do what they say. That said, cattle that don't hold up their end of the bargain from a health or performance standpoint are never purchased again, at any price. If truly misrepresented, I'm not shy about sharing that info with my peers and if on the video, their rep or the auctioneer at the barn. Last week at the Superior Video as an example, I bought right at 2,100 head of calves for fall delivery, I'll buy more this week at the Western sale in Wyoming. When the catalogue comes, we go through and mark the lots that we have had before and performed well. We also mark the cattle that were "weaned" and showed up walking the fence or had unacceptable health issues etc. If in the first, I'll bang away extra hard to own them again, if in the second, I won't even bid and if I see a friend competing I'll give them the thumbs down. Why let someone else unknowingly buy that headache? I also believe reputation is a huge component. There are sets of cattle both at the barn and on the video that come from ranches that are reputation outfits. One can see in the sale results that said reputation can carry the cattle a long ways. Of course at barns we'll buy small sets to finish up etc. No history though as far as health etc, they have to be bought even $10-$15 cheaper yet. I assume these cattle will be a headache and they go into a group with other calves of unknown origin and are treated as "just inventory", no trying to hit special programs or markets etc. I'm sure there are lots of guys that do things differently, and if it makes them money, it certainly isn't wrong, but we buy a few and that's how we do it.
 

Double R Ranch

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We wean a minimum of 45 days. The buyers at our barn want that. We vaccinate and booster with a printout of what vaccinations, lot#'s and injection location along with IM or SQ notes printed and delivered with the cattle. Being smaller our auction can care less about us so I sit and wait for my cattle to sell. Bidding will start and ill finally get the auctioneers attention (not easy) he'll announce there mine, what they've had and that there 45+ days weaned and bunk broke. The price immediately jumps high. It's worth it for me to be sure my cattle are announced.
We fence wean mainly with a few here and there that get crown weaning rings installed. Then turn back with there moms. Moms do the rest. It's works very well for us.
My private buyers appreciate a decent weaning since the process of trying to get back to mom is over. We used to allow the buyers to take them off the cows (when they were in a hurry to bring them home) but we ended up chasing them down the road after they'd escape looking for mom. I tried to explain they needed good fences for that but it never really made sence to them I guess. So now I require the ranch wean first.
 
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colleen

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Well we weaned our first little group of calves with no problems. Now we are weaning the second group. We tried a little reverse psychology this time!! Instead of putting the calves in the little lot, we put the cows (only 3) in the little lot up front and the calves stayed with the rest of the cows, bull and a couple of younger calves in the big pasture. The calves went out with the rest of the cows and grazed as usual. Didn't upset them as much. And they kept eating!! They did come and hang out by fence at night and in the morning. We did this for about 3 days until we could no longer stand the horribly loud bellering of the mommas!! The calves definitely are not as loud as the cows! So we switched them back around! LOL. Oh well it was worth a try! And it did kind of ease the pain of the first few days, for the calves!
 

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