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I think the Brangus bull is a great choice in your part of the world, but don't get hung up on black is the only way to go. I started years ago with red cows that I got from my grandparents, similar to you it sounds like. I couldn't wait to turn them black. It was for many of the same reasons that you are reading here. Like, black sells better, or black grows better, or etc. etc. etc.
There are many great options for great cattle that are not black. I'm glad that I mixed in some great angus genetics, but I also mixed in some charolais and quite a bit of Simmental. I have gone back to all Red Bulls and I couldn't be happier with my calves. Most of the time, actually, my red calves outperform the black calves on the rail, scales, and sale ring. Find what works best for, #1 your liking, and #2 what fits your marketing plan best.
From someone that has come full circle, never let anybody tell you there's only one way or one breed/color.
This is interesting to hear. What made you want to come back to red? Sell better, like the look..etc? Most the cows I have now are between 3 or 4 years old so I won't be getting rid of them anytime soon (unless one gives me a reason to). I really like my red mammas, and I've been pretty dead set on getting a black bull....I like the thought of options though!
 
Tell ya what, you are set up pretty well for success. You have 8 cows that are a very good breed to have. Get the neighbor's bull for a month or so, to get them bred. When you go to wean them, all 8 black , polled calves will fit on that 16' trailer for the ride to the sale barn. At today's prices, you looking at a $12k-$16k pay check that day. When and if one of those 8 cows ages out, just carry her to the sale with the 8 calves, and you will have more than enough money to buy a young pair, young bred cow, or a 3-N-1 deal. You will have enough money from the sale to buy a NICE cow. You don't have the place overstocked...all you need is the head gate/squeeze chute, and you are set up as good as a lot of us that have done this for a longtime. I don't think I would change one thing about how you are doing things. @Brute 23 gave you another sound piece of advice: Use the KISS format. How do you water them...creek, pond, or water troughs? If it is water troughs, and they are inside a pen or other smaller area, with a funnel point they have to go through to get water, I would hang an oiler or duster at that entrance gate, for flies.
Great to hear, I'd just like to keep the mistakes to a minimum because I know there will be some on the way. I am not too familiar with the KISS format. We have three water toughs..1 in the pens and 2 on opposite corners of the property. We also have a nice sized tank right in the middle on the property that is still filled up good....I will look into an oiler/duster.

How about mineral tubs/blocks? See a lot around about them..anyone have a go to brand they can recommend?
 
Great to hear, I'd just like to keep the mistakes to a minimum because I know there will be some on the way. I am not too familiar with the KISS format. We have three water toughs..1 in the pens and 2 on opposite corners of the property. We also have a nice sized tank right in the middle on the property that is still filled up good....I will look into an oiler/duster.

How about mineral tubs/blocks? See a lot around about them..anyone have a go to brand they can recommend?
K.I.S.S. is an acronym for systems or procedures in business : Keep It Simple, Stupid. Or, like @Brute 23 said " Keep It Super Simple" ( I kinda like his better, actually). Since you have water outside of the pens too, then put your mineral/salt feeders in the pen. You want to have it to where they have to go in there every day to get something.... be it water, food, salt...whatever, thus having to pass under the dusters, oilers, etc. With just 8 head, you can get feed-through fly-control minerals, too. If you get soil samples before you fertilize your pastures every year (and you should), it will show any mineral deficiencies , and can be added into your fertilizer mix, too. IMO, this is very important. Just applying any kind of standard mix fertilizer is a waste of money.....like being sick, and walking into a pharmacy, and grabbing the first bottle of medicine you see. If it isn't what you need, it won't do you any good, and could actually cause harm. Honestly, I think you'd have to try to make a mistake with how you are doing things now. You got this!
 
The bull deal will be you biggest challenge, imo. If you can hunt up a good source to rent a bull for 60 days you will have it made in the shade. If they are a good source, meaning easy to deal with, and have quality bulls, I would not worry about the breed. The money and time saved not having to buy and house a bull year round would out weigh the little bit of dock for red or ear or what ever.

That would also give you some flexibility to change or AI to a red Angus if you wanted replacements. There would be a lot of options not being tied to a purchased bull.

L&E is a decent place. They will have their brands and Purina. They and Purina have a cottonseed cube.

Loose salt is a must year round. Vitaferm mineral is a great product but you will have to hunt a place up with it. L&E will not have it and I'm not a fan of theirs or Purinas.

Tubs can be a good thing when it goes dry in the summer or the grass looses quality in the summer or winter. You have to have standing grass though. You will see a lot of people put them out with not much but dirt and its not a very efficient feed source.

Look up threads on feeding whole cottonseed. It's an excellent feed that quite a few of us feed. It's a game changer, imo, if you can physically handle it. You can elimate alot of all these other costly sack feeds and hay and stuff like that with that one product. They will sell it in bulk from the cotton gins in #1000 totes for around $200.
 
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K.I.S.S. is an acronym for systems or procedures in business : Keep It Simple, Stupid. Or, like @Brute 23 said " Keep It Super Simple" ( I kinda like his better, actually). Since you have water outside of the pens too, then put your mineral/salt feeders in the pen. You want to have it to where they have to go in there every day to get something.... be it water, food, salt...whatever, thus having to pass under the dusters, oilers, etc. With just 8 head, you can get feed-through fly-control minerals, too. If you get soil samples before you fertilize your pastures every year (and you should), it will show any mineral deficiencies , and can be added into your fertilizer mix, too. IMO, this is very important. Just applying any kind of standard mix fertilizer is a waste of money.....like being sick, and walking into a pharmacy, and grabbing the first bottle of medicine you see. If it isn't what you need, it won't do you any good, and could actually cause harm. Honestly, I think you'd have to try to make a mistake with how you are doing things now. You got this!
Woah, talk about goin over the head..reading comprehension was never my strong suit years ago! I'll schedule a soil sample here soon...right now is still a good time to fertilize correct?
 
The bull deal will be you biggest challenge, imo. If you can hunt up a good source to rent a bull for 60 days you will have it made in the shade. If they are a good source, meaning easy to deal with, and have quality bulls, I would not worry about the breed. The money and time saved not having to buy and house a bull year round would out weigh the little bit of dock for red or ear or what ever.

That would also give you some flexibility to change or AI to a red Angus if you wanted replacements. There would be a lot of options not being tied to a purchased bull.

L&E is a decent place. They will have their brands and Purina. They and Purina have a cottonseed cube.

Loose salt is a must year round. Vitaferm mineral is a great product but you will have to hunt a place up with it. L&E will not have it and I'm not a fan of theirs or Purinas.

Tubs can be a good thing when it goes dry in the summer or the grass looses quality in the summer or winter. You have to have standing grass though. You will see a lot of people put them out with not much but dirt and its not a very efficient feed source.

Look up threads on feeding whole cottonseed. It's an excellent feed that quite a few of us feed. It's a game changer, imo, if you can physically handle it. You can elimate alot of all these other costly sack feeds and hay and stuff like that with that one product. They will sell it in bulk from the cotton gins in #1000 totes for around $200.
Thank you, got some things to look into it seems...let the games begin!
 
The best advice I can give you is to check out the low input cattle model... "Thoughts and Advice from an Old Cattleman" by Gordon Hazard and "Knowledge Rich Ranching" by Allan Nation are two excellent books. Also the Stockman GrassFarmer is a good magazine. You can make good money in the cattle business if you don't follow the herd. Buy your hay instead of making it, 90% of the time it is cheaper than the true cost of making it yourself. Heavy metal disease (equipment) can kill an operation.
 
That is correct. There were 8 calves to start and 5 had already been taken to the sale. I am on the FB marketplace hunt for a head gate right now, but would much rather go for a squeeze chute..so we'll see what comes available. Figured I'd need to get one if I wanted to administer worming/vaxx on my own. My wife usually helps the most, and also has a little ag background so I put her to work! I have a buddy just down the road though that is a pretty solid hand. We have a little over 30 acres (pretty wooded) 2 of it is fenced in homestead, then a fence that goes through the middle of the property separating the remaining 28 (roughly 14 on each side).
I just swapped out my 6 yr old Priefert head gate for a squeeze chute. Not using the head gate at all. I would take $500 for it. I'm just north of you.
 
That is correct. There were 8 calves to start and 5 had already been taken to the sale. I am on the FB marketplace hunt for a head gate right now, but would much rather go for a squeeze chute..so we'll see what comes available. Figured I'd need to get one if I wanted to administer worming/vaxx on my own. My wife usually helps the most, and also has a little ag background so I put her to work! I have a buddy just down the road though that is a pretty solid hand. We have a little over 30 acres (pretty wooded) 2 of it is fenced in homestead, then a fence that goes through the middle of the property separating the remaining 28 (roughly 14 on each side).
I have a squeze chute for sale, it's in pretty good shape but does need a little TLC. Our ranch is in Stonewall LA just a little south of Shreveport and my office is in Houston. I can bring it that far for you to save you a trip if you'd like to buy it. PM me for details
 
Great to hear, I'd just like to keep the mistakes to a minimum because I know there will be some on the way. I am not too familiar with the KISS format. We have three water toughs..1 in the pens and 2 on opposite corners of the property. We also have a nice sized tank right in the middle on the property that is still filled up good....I will look into an oiler/duster.

How about mineral tubs/blocks? See a lot around about them..anyone have a go to brand they can recommend?
Here is my head gate before I deinstalled it
 

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Tell ya what, you are set up pretty well for success. You have 8 cows that are a very good breed to have. Get the neighbor's bull for a month or so, to get them bred. When you go to wean them, all 8 black , polled calves will fit on that 16' trailer for the ride to the sale barn. At today's prices, you looking at a $12k-$16k pay check that day. When and if one of those 8 cows ages out, just carry her to the sale with the 8 calves, and you will have more than enough money to buy a young pair, young bred cow, or a 3-N-1 deal. You will have enough money from the sale to buy a NICE cow. You don't have the place overstocked...all you need is the head gate/squeeze chute, and you are set up as good as a lot of us that have done this for a longtime. I don't think I would change one thing about how you are doing things. @Brute 23 gave you another sound piece of advice: Use the KISS format. How do you water them...creek, pond, or water troughs? If it is water troughs, and they are inside a pen or other smaller area, with a funnel point they have to go through to get water, I would hang an oiler or duster at that entrance gate, for flies.
Hey there Warren, you seem to be the go to person for good sound advice. I'm new myself and trying to decide what I want to do, just for consumption (self/family) and sell a few for extra income. I have forgotten a lot since being younger. I think I would like to go with a cross-breed, such as the Beefmaster x Gert. What are your thoughts on this idea? I'm in the panhandle of Texas, so I need something that can endure the heat and the cold winters. Thanks.
 
Formal - I have been raising PB Simmentals for about 60 years. Small herd, around 50 momma cows. I don't own ANY hay equipment except the spears on my tractor. I have it done by a neighbor. I am fortunate to have a neighbor that does his own, then mine, then any other people wanting to hire him - so it is done in a very timely manner and excellent finished product!
Rotational grazing and facilities should be your main goals right now. With your water supplies located in different locations, you shouldn't have any trouble splitting up your paddocks.
We live in two different worlds - I'm in Upstate NY - grass and clover grow like weeds. We get lots of moisture. For rotational grazing, the 1st number 1 rule is don't let your cattle graze a section/paddock for more than 7 days. So, this means you have to play with the size of their paddocks. Use temporary electric fence - polywire & push in posts.
This may be something in your future, but rotational grazing is the best for your cattle and land.
You are now a grass farmer more than a cattle farmer!!!
 
Hey there Warren, you seem to be the go to person for good sound advice. I'm new myself and trying to decide what I want to do, just for consumption (self/family) and sell a few for extra income. I have forgotten a lot since being younger. I think I would like to go with a cross-breed, such as the Beefmaster x Gert. What are your thoughts on this idea? I'm in the panhandle of Texas, so I need something that can endure the heat and the cold winters. Thanks.
I dunno that everyone on here thinks I am the "go to" guy, but thanks. IMO, you gain nothing with a BM x Gert cross. Either one would be a good choice for brood cows in your area. There will be little hybrid vigor with that cross..they are basically the same animal. Then again, I don't think that cross would hurt anything. If you had gert cows and a BM bull or vice versa, you would be ok. I think if I lived where you do, and having to deal with both severe heat and severe cold, I would get Hereford cows, and a Brahma bull. The steers won't bring as much as a beef-bred black one will, but those would be the ones you would eat. Your heifer calves are a different story. f1 Br x Herf are the most sought after for brood cows and replacement heifers. And if you retained some, you can breed them to a black Angus bull, and you will get calves that grow like weeds, and will top the sale. I don't believe in retaining heifers myself but that doesn't mean I am right about it.

How many acres do you have? And how many momma cows do you plan on running?

By the way, you need to go to your profile and put in your location. This will help you so much in getting answers. People who live in your area will be more likely to respond.
 

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