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Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

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Boon

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Like many people I have been searching on here for months, and learning from your wisdom. MUCH IS APPRECIATED.

Background:
29 Years Old
Central Texas
Off Farm income Yr/ $150k
My job is 100% work from home.
I currently own a home 1.5 hours away from the property I am looking at purchasing. The land closer is move expensive for 70% less land.
26 Acres Purchase Price $90,000
90% Pasture with Pond
100% Fenced Property


I grew up on a family farm outside of Mobile, AL. My Great Grandfather and Grandfather (Basically Father) worked this land until the farm was finally sold in 2006. I lived on the farm growing up and then went back and worked the farm over the summer every year until my early 20's. We did not manage a herd but physically managed the 200 acres and the things associated with that ( Fence Management, Pasture management, etc..) Additionally we had 50 acres of Pecans that we harvested every year and sold direct to consumers. I inherited

Previous Business Experience: I was the CEO of a smallish company for about 3 years doing good business in the 7 figure range. My point is that I have operated and actual business before. I know some things will transfer and most wont, but just some background info.

My Plan: I want to start a full grass fed operation with a market direct to consumers under the family farm name. Grass Fed Cow, Sheep, Pig, Chicken. My plan is to start small with 6 cow calf pairs (Limousines Registered) and approx 20 sheep (White Dorper), and 50 chickens (undecided). I would do rotational grazing on the property with daily moves and separate the different livestock. Additionally I would build a Barndominium to house some of the livestock and also have a place to stay. Each section would provide access to the pond for water and also individual shelters per section.

I would use AI on the cattle instead of having the Bull issue. Raise up to slaughter weight and then off to the butcher. In the middle keep replacement heifers, cull bad producers, and get rid of any problem stock. I would castrate the steers and keep them until they are nice and ready to eat.

Sheep and Chickens would be similar approach minus the AI aspects.

Being in central texas (hippieville) home of World Market etc... There is a huge market for this type of operation. I am a salesman by trade so its not really and issue for me to market my own goods regardless of where I do it. Additionally I already have some commitments from some very large local restaurants I have relationships with.

I additionally inherited all of the old farm equipment so I dont need a tractor or tools etc. Just cattle related equipment. Additionally I am hoping that I can keep my costs low with not having to buy as much feed as opposed to grazing.

I just want someone to shoot a hole in my plan haha. I feel that I have a good understanding of what I am getting myself into, but is my plan too good to be true (in my head).

sorry for all the info just trying to be clear.

Thanks,
Boon
 

HDRider

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Might want to research grass fed/finish genetics too.
:welcome: to CT and BT
 

M-5

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it all starts with a dream and only suggestion I have is scale it way back , Its gonna be more work than you think it will be at times and if your in sales unless it a pyramid scheme sales require you being intouch with customers and when things get sideways on a farm the sales slip and soon your in a downward spiral. Start small and slow and grow as your become adjusted to it.

:2cents:
 
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Boon

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How much should I scale back on herd numbers? Also what is the ideal size farm in central texas? Having been in business before I would rather not jump into something until I am doing it right the first time. I have the money to learn "the hard way" to a point.
 

Rafter S

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Boon":37jpnoe8 said:
How much should I scale back on herd numbers? Also what is the ideal size farm in central texas? Having been in business before I would rather not jump into something until I am doing it right the first time. I have the money to learn "the hard way" to a point.

I don't know anything about grass fed (except that the two times I've tried it I needed a chisel to cut the steaks), but I'm not far from you, and I wouldn't try to carry more than 8 cow-calf pairs on 26 acres. That's not counting any retained heifers or steers that are growing out to finish size, so I wouldn't try more than 4 cows starting out.

And I agree with whoever above advised starting slow. Don't try raising and marketing multiple kinds of livestock right away. Start with one, or two at most. When you get the bugs worked out add one more. Repeat as needed until you decide your plate is full (and I suspect it will be before you get to the 4 you're currently planning).
 

RanchMan90

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I think you would come out money ahead buying some big steers (1000+ lbs) to get some cash flow going and use your marketing skills to your advantage. You can buy them cheaper than you can raise them calculating what your time and land is worth :2cents:
 

HDRider

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RanchMan90":3vfjywfu said:
I think you would come out money ahead buying some big steers (1000+ lbs) to get some cash flow going and use your marketing skills to your advantage. You can buy them cheaper than you can raise them calculating what your time and land is worth :2cents:

And that is the saddest fact in the cattle business...
 

True Grit Farms

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The biggest hole I see is your choice of cattle. Using Angus cattle is the way to go, especially if your marketing directly to the consumer. The ribeye, tenderness and marbling is where Angus cattle really shine.
 

HDRider

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True Grit Farms":c2g283re said:
The biggest hole I see is your choice of cattle. Using Angus cattle is the way to go, especially if your marketing directly to the consumer. The ribeye, tenderness and marbling is where Angus cattle really shine.
Real Angus, or black CAB faux Angus?
 

True Grit Farms

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HDRider":18g58kju said:
True Grit Farms":18g58kju said:
The biggest hole I see is your choice of cattle. Using Angus cattle is the way to go, especially if your marketing directly to the consumer. The ribeye, tenderness and marbling is where Angus cattle really shine.
Real Angus, or black CAB faux Angus?

REAL.
 

TexasBred

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True Grit Farms":bq8wa95y said:
HDRider":bq8wa95y said:
True Grit Farms":bq8wa95y said:
The biggest hole I see is your choice of cattle. Using Angus cattle is the way to go, especially if your marketing directly to the consumer. The ribeye, tenderness and marbling is where Angus cattle really shine.
Real Angus, or black CAB faux Angus?

REAL.


NObody knows the difference. lol
 

Brute 23

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It will be very hard to do with that amount of acres. You need 5ac per pair of improved grass and 10ac per pair native to raise a calf best case scenario. Depending on where exactly you are talking it may be more. That is not counting finishing out the calves.

I would look in to finding some one to produce you calves to a certain size, as suggested, then taking them to your place to finish out. As you get a feel for your market, if all is going well, you can look at purchasing or leasing more land.

IMO the most money you will make is being the the middle and end man. The original producer usually takes on the most risk for the smallest reward.
 
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Boon

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Thanks for all of the feedback. This property is near college station texas if that helps. Seems to be good grazing fields everything is green an up to your knees. I was thinking about using the dorpers to manage the weeds in the pasture FYI.

So the overall agreement that I can see above is-

1. Lower the total number of everything and just raise finishing steers?
2. Raise Angus ( should these be registered)

A few questions-
Should I have buy 1 3in1 and then a few steers? make money on whatever the cow produces and get some quick return? If she puts a steer out then keep it? If I do this I will end up with in expensive replacement cattle.

Also should I buy around this time of year and move them around Jan- Feb pending weight and finishing? If I do this should I buy a few throughout the year so that I have a constant supply of meat and in turn constantly selling?

all of yalls thoughts and ideas are very appreciated thanks everyone!
 

callmefence

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Boon":2m95urnb said:
Thanks for all of the feedback. This property is near college station texas if that helps. Seems to be good grazing fields everything is green an up to your knees. I was thinking about using the dorpers to manage the weeds in the pasture FYI.

So the overall agreement that I can see above is-

1. Lower the total number of everything and just raise finishing steers?
2. Raise Angus ( should these be registered)

A few questions-
Should I have buy 1 3in1 and then a few steers? make money on whatever the cow produces and get some quick return? If she puts a steer out then keep it? If I do this I will end up with in expensive replacement cattle.

Also should I buy around this time of year and move them around Jan- Feb pending weight and finishing? If I do this should I buy a few throughout the year so that I have a constant supply of meat and in turn constantly selling?

all of yalls thoughts and ideas are very appreciated thanks everyone!

See that's east Texas to me. I figured you closer to Austin.(hippie reference)
That's a whole lot better country . if your willing to hustle and god keeps you in rain you might pull off a cow to 3 acres. You should be able to get corn and cotten Seed close enough and cheap enough. ( oh yeah grass feed) anyways I'd forget the sheep. Use 24d and fertilizer and I won't tell. Get ready to make some hard decisions if it quits raining. And your going be working for WAY less than your used to.

As 5 said don't let your real job suffer. Dance with the one that bring you.
 

Rafter S

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Brute23,

With all the respect in the world, you're all wet saying he needs 10 acres of native grass per pair, unless you mean getting by without feeding any hay. Even then I don't think you'd need more than 7 acres per pair. Three are enough (assuming average rainfall) if you don't mind feeding hay for 3-4 months. He's in my part of the country, so this time I know what I'm talking about.
 

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