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Oct 21, 2010
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I'm wanting to start a backgrounding operation in Eastern Kansas with cattle 400-500 lbs. I've been around cow/calf operations all my life and have fed all of our calves up to 800 lbs, but I have never worked for a feedyard or feed someone else's cattle. My thought is to get under one feedyard and use their plan, as far as feed and medicine. They supply the cattle, the medicine, and feed. I would charge a yardage fee, provide all care and equipment, and test all cattle for BVD at my expense. After 60 days I would send the cattle out to the feedyard and they would replace stock. More or less I'm getting these cattle started on feed and getting them healthy in a less stressful enviornment before they hit the feedlot. Is this being done? Or, am I way out in left field? If this is something that feed yards are looking for, how would you suggest going about getting started?


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May 23, 2004
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Its done but it takes knowing the right people- and they dictate how they want it done.
Generally you cover the feed and meds and get compensated at the end
You will always take a share in the death loss.
And there is usually a min lb/head gain.

Upside for you is you have less capital involved upfront
Downside is you are their insurance policy-- lots of dead or sick and you take at least half the hit. Feed costs go up and you take the hit. They don't have their money tied up in feed or meds.
Cattle don't gain well you take part of the hit.

You can make some money- I did it for years. But you will never get rich and it will wear you out trying to turn enough to make a lving.

Second thing to worry about is that this is a MAJOR scam area-- lots of people tried it, shipped out calves and never got paid. They usually suck you in and pay real good(beware of them covering to many of the costs) for a couple of loads-- get you to increase heads on hand and then stick you good.
Beware of out of state deals- they are harder to get your money if things go south.

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