Sold the heifers calves

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Bigfoot

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Stripped them right of the cow, yesterday morning and hauled them straight to the yard. Out of character for me, but we do what we do.

They were bred to a heterozygous black bull, and I had close to half red or yellow (That's the kiss of death here). Out of the 23 calves about three were really colored odd, and they got hammered for sure. Four or 5 really showed some ear. That's also the kiss of death here.

Final results:

Oldest claves were March, youngest was a couple of June calve. I'm going to say the average age was 6 and a half months old

The stats:
average weight was 497........First calf heifers bred to the bull they were bred to, i was pretty pleased with that

4 averaged over 600

two in the high 300's (they were the youngest, but still small boned and a hatchet butt (Mom may have to go, but them 2 will get another chance)

Low price per pound was 92.50, and High was 1.58

Average of steers and heifers together was 1.24 (That will seem low to many, but we get hammered for a bunch of things, and I had most of the "things" going aagainst me). i can fix all the "things" on the second calf. Maybe not the ear, but the color for sure.

Best two calves brought $813, and worst calf brought $434, with average at a little over $600


CONCLUSION:
For me, in my area, with my management style, I was pleased with the end result. A run of heifers that all sold $800 calves would be better than a field full of $600 calves. I realize that, but can't seem to make every animal on the place "that kind of cow".

When these heifers were a year old, they were probably worth $1000-1100, so That's where I start my figures. I bout have to have $500 in feed/hay/shots/mineral/etc in them on top of that.

When I consider a heifer that I have $1500-1600 in just sold a $600 calf, it is a little depressing. Those figures don't even begin to include insurance/depreciation/fuel/maintenance/etc.


Why did I post this?
We talk among ourselves a lot, and that's fine. Some beginners visit here and that's fine (that's really what we should be here for). It's good from time to time, to see some real numbers, and tell what you did wrong, and what you could have done better. Yaw are welcome to expand on these thoughts and offer suggestions, but these are my numbers for my heifers, and it's not that great.

I look for better weaning weights and a better price per pound in the future. And an extra $200 per head will go along way, but IMHO it's just not covering the cost of production. I won't be quiting, but the industry more specifically the packers are propped up by people like myself. I played in a sand box as a child, and I guess I play with cows now. People that turned a profit in 2021, can judge that, and they can judge me, but those numbers are my reality.
 
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Bigfoot

Bigfoot

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great post, if not scary, sorta depressing too! But what a reality check thx bigfoot. Things are a lot diff here in the interior, we don't sale barns or stockyard. We must market our cattle one on one
I sold my heifers to neighbors last year (this is my year to keep heifers, I keep every other year), I sold my steers after backgrounding to one man. i was pleased with both results. They weighed more because I kept them 90 days, no discount for color or ear either. i texted the guy I sold the steers to and he didn't respond. A couple weeks later, I texted and he said I'm not doing good right now, try me in January. I don't know if he meant physically, financially or what, so I just laoded and went to the yard. I might background the calves off my cows, but I didn't these. I'm busy and it doesn't seem to ppay to do that and then sell at the yard. If I had a pot load, I would.
 

KAstocker

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Thanks for the post.

Sounds like you have a $1600 asset that produced $600 of revenue. Annual expenses are likely $600-900 for most, so that's negative ROI. Not great but sounds normal to me.
 

ClinchValley86

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This is the reason I am slowly moving away from cow calf. Have beefed all the heifers I've retained and calved the last few years. That's a good way to come out ahead on them. They make fine beef if they've always been in good condition IMO. I've gone up to 5 year olds that were born here and the beef was praised very much so. Pulled off grass and corn fed for about 45 days. That's it. And it's delicious.

It really is, at best, a break even game to sell a calf at weaning unless you have 100's of them and have very low management costs.

Until the crooked ass market is sorted out, it pays to get on the other end of the line. Otherwise we are letting the packers get all the fruit.
 

J+ Cattle

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Bigfoot
The first calf from a heifer is never as big as the calves that follow, I assume that you know this already but I say it for the new people that read the posts. You recognize the issues with color and ear that caused the prices to be lower and you already said that you can fix those issues with the second calves. I would expect the next calves to be 50 lbs heavier on average so next year the average price should be closer to $900.

What is my point?
1. Recognize your short comings….check you’ve done this, you identified mixed color and ear as bad for your market
2. Raise cattle that the buyers want and will pay more for…..check you already said that you can fix these issues on the next calves

Some people complain about what they receive but don’t change what they’re doing or what type of cattle they raise. Then they complain again the next year. This is a low margin business and any small gains can add up and make a big difference when you add together several improvements.
 
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Bigfoot

Bigfoot

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Bigfoot
The first calf from a heifer is never as big as the calves that follow, I assume that you know this already but I say it for the new people that read the posts. You recognize the issues with color and ear that caused the prices to be lower and you already said that you can fix those issues with the second calves. I would expect the next calves to be 50 lbs heavier on average so next year the average price should be closer to $900.

What is my point?
1. Recognize your short comings….check you’ve done this, you identified mixed color and ear as bad for your market
2. Raise cattle that the buyers want and will pay more for…..check you already said that you can fix these issues on the next calves

Some people complain about what they receive but don’t change what they’re doing or what type of cattle they raise. Then they complain again the next year. This is a low margin business and any small gains can add up and make a big difference when you add together several improvements.
I knew this little bull was heterozygous, but also knew he brought calving ease. He crushed the punnet square theory, every single calf he had a chance to mark red, he did.
 

tom4018

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Sold some 2 weeks ago at same yard. Half of my heifers were weaned and the rest were not. Almost same average weight, weaned ones averaged $40 a head more. Take vaccinations, worming and feed out of the equation and it didn't pay.
 

HDRider

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Sold some 2 weeks ago at same yard. Half of my heifers were weaned and the rest were not. Almost same average weight, weaned ones averaged $40 a head more. Take vaccinations, worming and feed out of the equation and it didn't pay.
The heifers I sold were weaned less than a week. I did not want to take them through the winter. They had one round of Bar-Vac 7 and Vira Shield 6. That and rent were their only expense.

Sold them direct so I did not have any commission or other selling expense.
 
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Bigfoot

Bigfoot

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Thanks for the detailed report. Based on this and the new bull - - which cows do you need to sell to hit your profit goal ?
I’m going to have to weaken and say F1 Brahma is too much for here. 1/4 brahma is enough. I think a homozygous bull will straighten out the color. I’ll have some smokes, but the reds and yellas should disappear. They’re what really got hammered. The reds more than the yellas.
 

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