Selling Spring Calves

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TCRanch

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Our local sale barn will advertise early consignments, announce the seller and list all vaccinations when the calves (cattle, etc) go into the ring. Makes a difference here but you also have to build your reputation.
 

CalumetFarms

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I always hold them through winter and sell my heifers as yearlings in the spring.
I sell at the state graded sale in Marshall Virginia, Fauquier livestock exchange.
Prices are usually a bit better in the spring, but most importantly more folks are interested in picking up some cattle when the grass is growing.
On the contrary, I always buy cattle in the fall or dead of winter. You can pick up replacement heifers cheap when people start looking at just how much hay they're feeding.
I bale all my hay, and have more than I know what to do with. So that certainly plays in.
 

gcreekrch

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kenny thomas":30zuu80m said:
I will easily pay 5 to 10 cents higher for weaned and having the correct vaccination.
Does the sale barn separate them and tell that they are weaned when they come into the ring?


Feeders here like calves to come from a vaccination program but will actually pay less for preconditioned calves than bawling ones. The theory is that regardless of how long the are weaned, moving and hauling puts enough stress on calves that many will get sick regardless. They like to have them off the cow, through the ring, inducted into the lot and on feed withing 3 or 4 days.

Not sure how far calves from different areas in the US have to travel to feedlots but here it can be 16 to 20 hour hauls.
 

kenny thomas

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My weaned calves will be off the cow and on feed for at least 45 days. I like 60 days better. No one can ever convince me a bawling calf will be healthier than a weaned and properly vaccinated one. Calves here travel 1000 to 1300 miles to the feedlot.
 

Coosh71

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Sold all my spring g calves today to a repeat buyer. He called and asked what I had, I told him my neighbor had asked about my calves already. He immediately said, I will pay you $.10/lb premium on your heifers and $.20 on your steer. Ummmm sold. Weighing them in the morning and calling him with the price. I do believe in private sales vs sale barn sales this time of year. I've NEVER met a sale barn paid auctioneer who worked for ME! We have been fortunate and have found d good motivation ated buyers... But also we do the work. We work/vaccinate our calves at least twice. They have been on grass and feed 30-45 days minimum. When our calves hit his wheat field next week they won't miss a beat and will grow well with no stress related sickness.
 

bird dog

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I like to hold mine this time of year until December or January. Let the fall run finish up. I usually start them on some grain and pasture and then they graze wheat or rye grass or whatever. This year I have a nice stand of Bob oats.

Saying all that, I still don't have them weaned. Its gonna have to dry out some to get them out of the field. Suppose to rain again tomorrow, so maybe next week??
 

Dave

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Here nobody vaccinates before weaning. That is because of the big steep country. Cows and calves are gathered. Cows turned back out and calves hauled to a corral miles away. Vaccinated the next day, sometimes that day. Three or four days in the corral to get the bawl out of them. Then they are turned out to grass on the hay fields. Sold 30 to 60 days later.
 

bball

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Coosh71":1t6pny9c said:
Sold all my spring g calves today to a repeat buyer. He called and asked what I had, I told him my neighbor had asked about my calves already. He immediately said, I will pay you $.10/lb premium on your heifers and $.20 on your steer. Ummmm sold. Weighing them in the morning and calling him with the price. I do believe in private sales vs sale barn sales this time of year. I've NEVER met a sale barn paid auctioneer who worked for ME! We have been fortunate and have found d good motivation ated buyers... But also we do the work. We work/vaccinate our calves at least twice. They have been on grass and feed 30-45 days minimum. When our calves hit his wheat field next week they won't miss a beat and will grow well with no stress related sickness.

This is a huge factor for me. We added another private buyer this fall. He is taking every heifer we have left. Weaned, vaccinated, wormed and bunk broke. Paying $.15 premium over the going rate at the sale barn. No added costs like yardage, commissions, etc. Win-Win.
I am probably going to be a couple halves short for freezer beef next fall.
 

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