stocker cattle

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redsimangus

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OK I've been thinking of running stocker cattle. I would like to do an all hay diet instead of grain since my cost would be about half. I know that the adg won't be neat as good but it will be a lot cheaper gain. the calves would be bought as 5 weights an run for 100 to 150 days on hay. however I don't think our hay would be good enough protein an all. we have PLENTY of prairie hay but would I need to supplement a little afalfa? if so how many pounds? I would want the calves to gain at least 1.25 but preferably 1.5 #s a day. is that unreasonable? thanks
 

Texas PaPaw

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redsimangus":3p6hq7yg said:
OK I've been thinking of running stocker cattle. I would like to do an all hay diet instead of grain since my cost would be about half. I know that the adg won't be neat as good but it will be a lot cheaper gain. the calves would be bought as 5 weights an run for 100 to 150 days on hay. however I don't think our hay would be good enough protein an all. we have PLENTY of prairie hay but would I need to supplement a little afalfa? if so how many pounds? I would want the calves to gain at least 1.25 but preferably 1.5 #s a day. is that unreasonable? thanks

http://beefextension.com/new%20site%202/sccalc.html

Suggest you go to the attached link, download the OSU Ration calculator 2013 and learn to use it. Also be sure to download the instructions. Unless your hay is extremely cheap, suspect you can get a lower cost of gain using more, rather than less grain and protein concentrates.

If you decide to go with a hay ration, it will also help you determine how much alfalfa or other supplement to use. Having run many different ration scenarios have learned that more concentrate and less roughage usually results in a higher adg and lower cost of gain. Spend some time running different ration scenarios using readily available ingredients and you should able to come up with your best options.
 

Bigfoot

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Not much to add, to what's already been said. I will say at this stage, your growing frame. A little feed will go a long way. It's also been my experience that stockers gain much better when fed twice a day, morning and evening. Ddg hasn't went down as much as corn in my area, but it would be an excellent choice in your ration when it does.
 

Stocker Steve

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Texas PaPaw":3krns71t said:
Having run many different ration scenarios have learned that more concentrate and less roughage usually results in a higher adg and lower cost of gain.

What ADG range would you target with $2 to $3 corn to minimize COG?
 

cowboy43

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I was checking the market report, buying a 500 lb and selling a 680 lb to 725 lb after 150 days , you will only have from $50 to $111 above cost, after figuring all cost for 150 days ,how do you figure any profit, looks like a loss to me. Correct me if I am wrong, because I was wanting to do the same but when I put a pencil to it ,I do not see a profit especially if the market would drop in 150 days.
 

Stocker Steve

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Years back some folks were happy to make $30 to $50 per head... In general, stockers make good money when:

1) the market is going up (like this spring) since you have a gain in the price of your inventory
2) grain is expensive (like a couple years ago) since the feedlot can not bid as much for light cattle

9/15 USDA IA Dept of Ag Market News

527# at $294.56/lb = $1553
725# at $243.06 = $1762
so you get $209 for 198# or value of gain is $1.06/lb
Obviously this will vary with the two sizes you compare.
 

Aaron

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The only way to get decent gains on hay alone is to feed 2nd cut alfalfa dry hay or baleage. Anything less and you could be less than 2lbs/day gain. Your supposed to skimp on gains when cattle are cheap, not when they are worth a small fortune.
 

Stocker Steve

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Aaron":3qautbcu said:
The only way to get decent gains on hay alone is to feed 2nd cut alfalfa dry hay or baleage. Anything less and you could be less than 2lbs/day gain. Your supposed to skimp on gains when cattle are cheap, not when they are worth a small fortune.

Aaron is being a bit indirect here - - but I think the point is if you don't have stocker quality feed then why do you want to buy stockers?
 

toughntender

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If you've got all kinds of lower quality hay why not buy thin cows or custom feed dry pregnant cows. You'll save on supplement costs, and the margin will probably be better. Just a thought.
 

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