Stirring the pot on the LH/corriente topic

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BFE

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Here we go, I thought I would smack the hornets nest and get a good one going.

How cheap do LH/corriente type cows need to be to make money on them? I've stumbled on some fairly close to home for $400 a pop. Supposed to be bred, to similar type I assume, I'm waiting for more info on that. Going forward they would be bred Angus or Simmental.

I'm low on numbers right now, I've culled hard the last few years and high prices don't have me excited about building back right now, but the cheap girls could fill a gap until "good " cows get back in my price range.

Let the fighting begin!
 
Here we go, I thought I would smack the hornets nest and get a good one going.

How cheap do LH/corriente type cows need to be to make money on them? I've stumbled on some fairly close to home for $400 a pop. Supposed to be bred, to similar type I assume, I'm waiting for more info on that. Going forward they would be bred Angus or Simmental.

I'm low on numbers right now, I've culled hard the last few years and high prices don't have me excited about building back right now, but the cheap girls could fill a gap until "good " cows get back in my price range.

Let the fighting begin!
I have been doing this since the mid 90's. We run 100-120 cows on a little over 200 acres. There is nothing you can do in the cattle business that will make you more money. Corrientes, like every other breed, have doubled in price the past 2 years. Corrs I bought for $250-$300 a couple of years ago, sell for $600 - $700 (for solid black ones) . When the Corrs were $250-$300, ,we weaned 6 month old, 500 lb polled black calves that sold for the same thing as any other polled black calves did. When those were bringing $1.50 a pound, the first calf off of those cows brought 2-3 times what their mommas cost. Even with the $700 cows today, the calves are bringing $2.50 - $3,00. Still twice what the cows cost. But the real advantage is, you have ZERO inputs with the Corrs. They thrive on poor forage, weeds and brush that other cattle would starve on. You do not have to vaccinate, or worm, or worry about insects. The only thing we spend on ours, is loose minerals... about $10 per head per year. They do NOT have calving problems. They have plenty of milk to raise their calves. They are extremely fertile...never had one that wouldn't breed. You can run 3-4 on the same acreage you need for one British or Continental cow. They tolerate heat and humidity as well as a Brahma, and tolerate cold temps as well. Now, we do use exceptional bulls on these calves. My partner's brother raises Brangus and Ultrablacks, and we use his bulls. However for years we used straight Angus. They just produced 400-450 lb calves at weaning, where as these bulls we use now will wean 500+ calves.

I also should add, that we have these on 230 acres of very rough land, and 100 acres or so is covered in Kudzu. The rest is hardwoods, a patch of pine, broom sage, honey suckle, black berries, Johnson grass and crab grass, as well as voluntary remnants of past dove fields and food plots. Most people think this is an intrusive weed, but Kudzu leaves are about 25% protein, roots and stems are about 18%. We do not fertilize, spray herbicide, nor mow any of this, so no inputs there either. There is about a one acre spring-fed pond near our corral and a creek that runs down one side of most of the pasture. . The beavers made us another pond last year, too, on part of the creek. On the flip side, if we had a well maintained Fescue pasture, fertilized and kept weed-free, and had protein tubs, supplements, and fed high quality Bermuda hay... as well as vaccinating, worming etc.... I don't think we would see a noticeable difference in the weaning size.

We have them calving in February.. about a 3 week calving window. We put in 5 or 6 bulls in after Easter, and get them out Memorial day weekend. . In March we round them up and tag calves and cut the bulls, Around Labor Day weekend, we round them up again, and take the calves to the sale. We bought this place about 1978 or 79, for next to nothing , after the timber company cut it the last time. It is our private quail and rabbit hunting preserve, first and foremost. The cattle are just a sideline. My partner has 450 acres of row crop land about a mile down the road, fenced and crossed fenced into four 100 acre row crop plots. We plant a 50 acre dove filed on it, and he raises beans, corn, cotton and peanuts on the 4 fields, Rabbit and quail season opens mid November, and he is usually all harvested by then, We drive them over to that place, and they eat the crop residue and dove field all winter, Quail and rabbit season ends in February, and we drive them back to the Kudzu field then. and that is the extent of our handling them. We are both in our late 60's. and we do what little there is ourselves, on horse back.

Using the right bulls, we have never had a horned 1/2 Corrriente calf, and they always are black. We have used the occasional LH, Fla Scrub, Fla Cracker or Pineywoods cow. Sometimes the LH's have had calves with horns or scurs. I attribute this to the practice many people had of crossing LH with Watusi, to create cattle with impressive horns. Watusi have the African Horn Gene, and they are almost impossible to poll. Sometimes the LH calves have roaning or white markings...depending on the cow...but they are always black.
 
Here we go, I thought I would smack the hornets nest and get a good one going.

How cheap do LH/corriente type cows need to be to make money on them? I've stumbled on some fairly close to home for $400 a pop. Supposed to be bred, to similar type I assume, I'm waiting for more info on that. Going forward they would be bred Angus or Simmental.

I'm low on numbers right now, I've culled hard the last few years and high prices don't have me excited about building back right now, but the cheap girls could fill a gap until "good " cows get back in my price range.

Let the fighting begin!
The problem I have with Corrientes is that it appears they can throw a calf that is hard to distinguish from a decent calf from a good cow that will grow and finish where the feedlots need them.

Those calves will sell at reasonable prices for good calves... but won't grow and mature at the size the good calves will and it will hurt the people that buy them.

Life is a competition, but as @Caustic Burno said... A man has to have some standards.
 
I don't know all that @Warren Allison does about the breeding, raising , selling of these corr crosses... And he is in the south where the calves would be more accepted than up in our area here in Va... BUT... at $400 each, supposedly bred... if they weigh 800 lbs that is only $.50 lb for cull price.... and just about ANYTHING will bring that around here... if the cow herd numbers come out as low as has been talked about, cull cow prices are going to stay up. We are seeing $.75 to $.90 right along most of the time for normal cull cows so don't think you could lose on these cows. If you have pasture/hay available, I can see no real downside to it with the idea that they will bring back at least what you have in them in cull price and the calves will pay you back for whatever other input costs... PLUS.... unless the bottom totally falls out of everything... and if so, we are all screwed anyway.
My one longhorn cost me $350 with a small calf by her side 5-6 years ago... cull prices were in the $.45-.70 / lb then. I kept her first heifer, she bred back, had a dead bull calf and culled her for about $450.... her heifer got bred to our easy calving angus... mostly white heifer calf, kept... next was a black bull that sold for 1.50 /lb at the stockyard... so over $700 if I remember... 3rd calf was set of black heifer twins, one died... next calf is the mostly white with black points bull that is now a steer and will be my freezer beef next year since I do not have a jersey steer right now. The heifer (now cow) backed up every breeding when the bull was left in there so went from an August 1st calf to a January 4th calf over 4 years... and now will hopefully have a March calf this year since we did not have a bull in there before 1st of June...

\What I am getting at is the one longhorn I have is very PROLIFIC... if the corrs are anything like that, I cannot see how you would not make a decent return on the money invested. Even with less than optimal prices on selling the calves, according to your markets up that way...
 
@BFE , you are right...you are about to stir the pot with this thread!!! LOL But I will challenge any of the nay-sayers on here...with the same challenge I have offered to others before. (No takers yet, in 30 years I might add.) Here is is: You get up $200,000. and I will too. We each put $100,000 in a kitty...winner take all. I buy $100,00 worth of Corr cows. They buy $100,00 worth of commercial British, Continental, Brahma, or any various crosses of those kind of cattle. We each take a pasture the same size. They can not feed, hay, worm, vaccinate, fertilize the pasture, feed or supplement their cows, and neither will I. Neither of us can spend another dime's worth of inputs over the initial purchase price of the cows. No vets, no meds, no assisting in calving. We use the exact same black, polled bulls. At the end of the year ,the one who makes the most off their calf crop gets the pot. I will end the year with a $200,000 bonus in my pocket every time.
 
Lol. I'm actually farther south than the Shenandoah Valley. Not far from the point where Illinois Indiana and Kentucky meet. We get that all the time!
I don't know all that @Warren Allison does about the breeding, raising , selling of these corr crosses... And he is in the south where the calves would be more accepted than up in our area here in Va... BUT... at $400 each, supposedly bred... if they weigh 800 lbs that is only $.50 lb for cull price.... and just about ANYTHING will bring that around here... if the cow herd numbers come out as low as has been talked about, cull cow prices are going to stay up. We are seeing $.75 to $.90 right along most of the time for normal cull cows so don't think you could lose on these cows. If you have pasture/hay available, I can see no real downside to it with the idea that they will bring back at least what you have in them in cull price and the calves will pay you back for whatever other input costs... PLUS.... unless the bottom totally falls out of everything... and if so, we are all screwed anyway.
My one longhorn cost me $350 with a small calf by her side 5-6 years ago... cull prices were in the $.45-.70 / lb then. I kept her first heifer, she bred back, had a dead bull calf and culled her for about $450.... her heifer got bred to our easy calving angus... mostly white heifer calf, kept... next was a black bull that sold for 1.50 /lb at the stockyard... so over $700 if I remember... 3rd calf was set of black heifer twins, one died... next calf is the mostly white with black points bull that is now a steer and will be my freezer beef next year since I do not have a jersey steer right now. The heifer (now cow) backed up every breeding when the bull was left in there so went from an August 1st calf to a January 4th calf over 4 years... and now will hopefully have a March calf this year since we did not have a bull in there before 1st of June...

\What I am getting at is the one longhorn I have is very PROLIFIC... if the corrs are anything like that, I cannot see how you would not make a decent return on the money invested. Even with less than optimal prices on selling the calves, according to your markets up that way...
That's what I was thinking. Wouldn't take long to make back 400 bucks.
 
The problem I have with Corrientes is that it appears they can throw a calf that is hard to distinguish from a decent calf from a good cow that will grow and finish where the feedlots need them.
That is exactly why this is the most profitable cow-calf operation I have ever run across. As far as the other goes...if you stuck a gun to my head, I couldn't tell you who had bought some of our calves. Nor could I tell you who bought any other kind of calf I have ever carried to a sale. Neither could any feed lot operator or processor tell you who had raised that calf. If they don't perform as well as a straight beef calf does, then that is on the buyer, the back-grounder, the feed lot buyer, and the processing plant buyer. I guarantee you none of these people will feel the least bit bad about not paying you the maximum price you'd like for your calves...of any breed. Many, many other-breed calves don't pan out well, either. But, if out of some misplaced sense of owing these people something, if you want to be noble and do the right thing by them, get you a herd of top-=notch black Simmentals and just give them away to these buyers.
 
I dont have much sympathy for buyers. I bought a group of stockers with a baldy with one droopy ear. He was one of the best growing calves in the group, but brought 20 cents less than the others, nothing wrong but a droopy ear. Like mentioned above, they're just waiting for the chance to dock you.
 
That is exactly why this is the most profitable cow-calf operation I have ever run across. As far as the other goes...if you stuck a gun to my head, I couldn't tell you who had bought some of our calves. Nor could I tell you who bought any other kind of calf I have ever carried to a sale. Neither could any feed lot operator or processor tell you who had raised that calf. If they don't perform as well as a straight beef calf does, then that is on the buyer, the back-grounder, the feed lot buyer, and the processing plant buyer. I guarantee you none of these people will feel the least bit bad about not paying you the maximum price you'd like for your calves...of any breed. Many, many other-breed calves don't pan out well, either. But, if out of some misplaced sense of owing these people something, if you want to be noble and do the right thing by them, get you a herd of top-=notch black Simmentals and just give them away to these buyers.
This is exactly why I'd never buy anything from you, Warren. You're an entertaining guy and stack the **it better than most, but anybody that doesn't have the scruples to care about the product they sell or whom is hurt down the road isn't a "hand shake" kind of guy.
 
Buyers do have good memories. They can smell a rat from A good distance.
Well, unless they were at the unloading area on a Friday night, and saw me unload, and came up to me and asked my name, and wrote it down...then wrote the sticker numbers for my calves down once they were tagged in, then there is no way, when the calves are run through Saturday after noon..1 to 2 seconds each in the ring, they would EVER know whose calves they were. And when I came back with some more the next year, they would have to do the same thing Friday night, Saturday morning...or anytime the sale barn was open and receiving calves to sell, with every calf that was checked in. And Saturday afternoon, they would have to remember where they put that piece of paper last year, and check the numbers on every calf as it came through the ring.
 
This is exactly why I'd never buy anything from you, Warren. You're an entertaining guy and stack the **it better than most, but anybody that doesn't have the scruples to care about the product they sell or whom is hurt down the road isn't a "hand shake" kind of guy.
Well, if someone inquires about buying cattle from me, I answer truthfully any question they may ask me about them, that I know the answer to. And if I don't know, I will tell them " I dunno", 99% of the time, any cattle I am selling, are cattle that people have asked me to find and buy for them. I buy a lot more horses specifically to re-sell than I do cattle. I always disclose any information I have about the horse, and will truthfully answer any question about it that I know the answer to. I tell people if they are interested in buying my horse, they can come out and ride it as much as they want, bring a trainer with them to ride it, bring a whole team of vets to check it put if they want to, BUT,, once you decide to buy it, you will pay me before you load it on your trailer. And if it falls and breaks its neck getting on, you own 100% of a dead horse that you need to remove from my property.

In the past 2 years, I have bought....put together... 3 different herds of 80 to 150 head of cows, for 3 different people. Each has deposited anywhere from $200k to $385k in my account before I bought the first cow for them, to buy the cattle with. And we did all 3 on a handshake. Well, 2 of them anyway. The 3rd we made the deals over the phone, deposit and all, and I never met him in person til I delivered the first cows to him. About $50k worth on that 1st load that l bought with his money. So, I reckon there are some people that think they can do business with me on a handshake.

Twice I think, I have had someone hanging around the check in area of a sale, ask me what kind of calves these were, and I told them 1/2 Corriente...half Angus or Brangus or Ultrablack... depending on the bulls we used that year. One I had to tell them what a Corriente was. I told them if you ever go to a rodeo, Corriente is what you see in team roping and steer wrestling. One other time I had man ask me if they were half Corriente and I said yes they are. Dunno what else you could want. But, no, I have never stopped an auction, and stood up and yelled: "Y'all quit bidding this much. These calves are half Corriente!" If that makes me "unscrupulous", then so be it.
 
They remember the cattle, they do not care who the seller is.
LOL. Well, as I have proven on here, all the "experts" on CT could not tell from 5 pics of an Angus, a Chiangus, a commercial angus , some other black calf...I think it was a black Simm or SimmAngus, and a Corr-Angus calf, which one was the Corr-Angus. At 6 months old, no one can. Except @MurraysMutts guessed it right! :) Like I said, we have done this since about 98 or 99, carrying them to the same 2 or 3 sale barns, and they brought as much last year as they did the first year, and every year in between. I don't think that @BFE intends to do this but one year, so I don't think he has to worry about it any way.
 
I do not want to judge, but I always felt bad when I had a calf bring more than I thought it was worth. I have sometimes informed the yard about a calf or bred cow that I was selling that looked good but might have problems, and they just sort of laughed and said, "It is not a game for boys".
A half Jersey, half Charolais I had, sold for top steer price. I had not said a word. I told one of the yard owners who is a close friend afterwards and he said."Whew, they will not like that". Another black steer was small for his age, a borderline or full lunger, that looked pretty good on a cool sale day.
I said nothing and he sold real well. I felt bad about it. Sometimes I speak up and they bring more than i thought they would anyway.
I kind of balance the times I do not speak up with the times I have bought other people's problems. That is probably not ethical either.

I think my reputation is pretty good. Often the auctioneer has let me know with a wink or a nod to stop bidding, that is not something you want. I remain a little naive well into my older years.
 
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It's kinda like used cars....

U have to evaluate what it is, for what it is at that particular moment. Sometimes a perfect calf will fall prey to some weird thing after it's bought and moved to another place. For no particular reason at all.

Alive and healthy at the time it is evaluated is about all ya can do
 

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