Total beginner

Help Support CattleToday:

A

Anonymous

Hello, all. My girl and I looking to just start out with raising cattle. Unfortunately, we're not at all experienced and want to know where to begin doing the research. We're at least a year or two away from being able to actually get started, so I figure that this is a good time to learn what we need to learn (as well as make sure that this is the industry and lifestyle for us).

Could anyone please point us in the right direction? We're looking for any and all resources that would help us out. Thanks in advance.

Steve



[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Real thought-provoking questions!

Foremost and basic:

Do you REALLY like and enjoy being around animals, including cattle especially? Are you willing to devote 24/7 to your activities if needed? Livestock raising is NOT a "9-5" day job. It's an all weather job. Do you have the financial resources to support your livestock operation for 3 to 5 years to ensure they have plenty of food, a decent facility to live in, and to provide them with Vet care as needed?

Livestock breeding and raising is a lifestyle! Enjoyable one at that. Most of us only break even or make a modest profit over the long haul. Only the select few top percent actually make good money, year to year.

On the other hand, if one is entering livestock as an avocation or extra thing, then their day job(s) provide financial resources for their livestock.

[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

Those are definitely the questions I've been trying to answer! :)

I do really love animals, and regardless of if I end up with cattle, I will most definitely have a few horses once we find some land and decide where we want to live. My main concern is being able to carry the financial load.

[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

> Hello, all. My girl and I looking
> to just start out with raising
> cattle. Unfortunately, we're not
> at all experienced and want to
> know where to begin doing the
> research. We're at least a year or
> two away from being able to
> actually get started, so I figure
> that this is a good time to learn
> what we need to learn (as well as
> make sure that this is the
> industry and lifestyle for us).

> Could anyone please point us in
> the right direction? We're looking
> for any and all resources that
> would help us out. Thanks in
> advance.

> Steve

Bill gave you some excellent advice. You need to love what you do! It's sort of like collections - don't collect the things you think might make you rich someday. Collect things you like - then when the market goes south you're still happy. We don't farm to make a living but to produce our own beef and keep us busy. We enjoy it! To use Mastercard's advertising campaign, "Spending time with my dad, kids, and grandkids while learning down-home values and life lessons - Priceless."
 
OP
A

Anonymous

If your proposed new place replaces an old mortgage payment (assuming you do not pay cash for new place), then you are trading monthly payments.

Livestock infrastructure is a large expense. Corral, working chute, etc.; separation & holding pens, turn-out pasture areas (for horses), shelter areas for all stock. Year-around hay stock "in barn", minerals, supplemental feed (as needed), water tanks (troughs), Vet expenses for routine vaccinations and de-worming (unless you do them yourself), Farrier expenses, transporting costs, etc. The good side is that (usually) if your operation qualifies as a "Livestock Operation" and not a "Hobby Farm" (per IRS rules), then your structures and maintenance costs for stock are tax deductable (livestock are depreciated), according to our own CPA.

According to our own extensive record-keeping in the Texas Panhandle region, our annual "cost" per 1000# equivalent cattle unit is averaging about $38. per head per month...we have excellent healthy registered stock, good sources for excellent quality hay at reasonable prices. Our annual "cost" per 1000# equivalent horse is averaging about $75 a month for our healthy registered horses. We own our facility and pay cash as we go for property and facility improvements and no loans...this keeps our monthly cash outlays lower.

If you don't have your own bulls or stallions, breeding fees will bump up the average monthly costs. If you plan to run registered animals, then breeding fees can be significant, including Vet charges (for A.I., preg. checks, etc.) However, sometimes extra costs for A.I., bull leasing, mare or cow transport to breeder, can be cheaper that building special areas on your property to safely keep a bull or stallion.

[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

> Bill gave you some excellent
> advice. You need to love what you
> do! It's sort of like collections
> - don't collect the things you
> think might make you rich someday.
> Collect things you like - then
> when the market goes south you're
> still happy. We don't farm to make
> a living but to produce our own
> beef and keep us busy. We enjoy
> it! To use Mastercard's
> advertising campaign,
> "Spending time with my dad,
> kids, and grandkids while learning
> down-home values and life lessons
> - Priceless."

Very, very true. We don't hope to get rich on ranching... we simply want to make sure that we can afford to support ourselves and a decent lifestyle. It's so hard to tell these things ahead of time, though.

[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

> Very, very true. We don't hope to
> get rich on ranching... we simply
> want to make sure that we can
> afford to support ourselves and a
> decent lifestyle. It's so hard to
> tell these things ahead of time,
> though.

Just a suggestion - start out with just a few head. Lease a few acres from someone you know, preferably with past cattle experience. If you find it is everything you thought it was, then you find a way to go hungry while buying and tending to more stock. It should be a very satisfying and wonderful time. There will be good days and bad, happy and sad, but overall it is, at least to me, very emotionally rewarding and an excellent way to put the daily worries out of your mind for a few hours.

[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

> Just a suggestion - start out with
> just a few head. Lease a few acres
> from someone you know, preferably
> with past cattle experience. If
> you find it is everything you
> thought it was, then you find a
> way to go hungry while buying and
> tending to more stock. It should
> be a very satisfying and wonderful
> time. There will be good days and
> bad, happy and sad, but overall it
> is, at least to me, very
> emotionally rewarding and an
> excellent way to put the daily
> worries out of your mind for a few
> hours.

Very good point. That's how my wife and I started a few years ago.

[email protected]
 
OP
A

Anonymous

> Very, very true. We don't hope to
> get rich on ranching... we simply
> want to make sure that we can
> afford to support ourselves and a
> decent lifestyle. It's so hard to
> tell these things ahead of time,
> though.

I'm very new at this also, but I wish I could play you the voicemail ( I work an outside job)my wife left me after our first calf was born, she was so excited. Now we have a bottle calf that our daughter is raising.It was unexpected but my daughter is handling it well and is learning responsibilty.I don't think I'm smart enough to do this full time for a living but I love to sit on the porch and watch them graze in the evening. Soothes the soul.

The people on this board give good advice and I read this daily. We lived on our farm for about a year repairing and building fences and asking questions before we got our feet wet buying a few head from a farm we knew had good quality stock. The fence building was the easy part. We stated building fences from the interior of the farm and expanded outward as we gained more cattle, using the rest for hay. The hard part is learning how to raise the livestock. We are often confused and still ask a lot of dumb questions but it doesn't bother us anymore because we know enough now to know we don't know much, if that makes sense. We have good neighbors that give us advice and come running when we call for help.That's a key part for us.

Goodluck,



[email protected]
 

Latest posts

Top