• If you are having problems logging in please use the Contact Us in the lower right hand corner of the forum page for assistance.

Weaning for Dollars

MurraysMutts

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
1,138
Reaction score
109
Location
N. Central boonies, Oklahoma
So this is the first time I've been able to wean at home. Always had a friendly neighbor with a pen handy.
I have retained most of what I've weaned in the past.
My plan is to wean em 45 days.
Worm, vaccinate, castrate the bulls calves.
Sell em 45 days from that.

Value added they call it.
I know it will cost me some time and effort. But I'm no stranger to work. Will cost me a bit of feed.
Does everyone see a bigger paycheck doing it this way?
And the other question.....
If I implant the steers, will I see any return on that investment in the 45 day time frame?

Thanks in advance!
Let's discuss...


Edited to add...
MOOOOOOO!
 

gcreekrch

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 26, 2010
Messages
1,409
Reaction score
32
Best way to answer that question is to decipher how much you think they are worth in 90 days, subtract what you think they are worth today and decide if you will have a profit after 90 days expenses.

Make sure in your cost you allow a bit for yardage as tractors don't run free.
 

Stocker Steve

Well-known member
Joined
May 2, 2005
Messages
10,216
Reaction score
9
Location
Central Minnesota
Depends, on size and time of year and ADG and ...

More for heavier calves, since most buyers don't expect weaned pee wees, nor do they have a place for unweaned 7 wts..
More for later in the season, since most buyers will accept unweaned calves early in the run.
More for higher ADG, to offset those nasty yardage costs.
 

uplandnut

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 21, 2015
Messages
299
Reaction score
0
I think I would vaccinate them right away when you wean them. That would give you the option to watch the market after the first 45 days and if prices are going your way you could sell them and if there not, then you could keep them the next 45 hoping for a better market. imho
 

SBMF 2015

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2020
Messages
628
Reaction score
51
Location
West Central,IL
MurraysMutts said:
So this is the first time I've been able to wean at home. Always had a friendly neighbor with a pen handy.
I have retained most of what I've weaned in the past.
My plan is to wean em 45 days.
Worm, vaccinate, castrate the bulls calves.
Sell em 45 days from that.

Value added they call it.
I know it will cost me some time and effort. But I'm no stranger to work. Will cost me a bit of feed.
Does everyone see a bigger paycheck doing it this way?
And the other question.....
If I implant the steers, will I see any return on that investment in the 45 day time frame?

Thanks in advance!
Let's discuss...


Edited to add...
MOOOOOOO!

I go lecture at our local Ag College's Beef Science class. One of our topics is Why Pre Conditioning PAY$.

I run very average cows. Mostly Angus based with a handful of red neck baldies and a couple Chars.
The last two years I have sold my calves at the same sale in January. Both years my 470lb strs have topped the sale for the 4-500lb weight class.
I vaccinate three times; At turn out in May BoviShield 5, Inforce3, Once PMH IN, Alpha7-mb1, Ivomec inj, castrate bulls, Revlor G. - $12.11/Hd.
2nd round at weaning; BoviShield 5, One shot, Somnu Shield, Safe Guard oral , Ralgro. - $8.03/Hd
3rd round; two weeks before the sale. BoviShield Gold One shot, Somnu Shield, Clean up II. - $5.32
My total vet expenses are $25.46/Hd
The calves had been weaned and back grounded for 90 days. They went to the sale with vet papers.
My 470lb strs brought $808.40 /Hd. The avg 4-500lb strs brought $1.36/lb x 470lbs =$634.50.
My strs brought $173.90 more than the average. It cost me $25.46 a hd plus a little time. I always wean my calves when the grass gets short to save condition on my cows.
Implants and wormer always give the potential for more pounds. Pounds=$
 

Stocker Steve

Well-known member
Joined
May 2, 2005
Messages
10,216
Reaction score
9
Location
Central Minnesota
Once or twice a year Harlan will publish projected back grounding profit in Beef magazine. Last time it was $10 per head. Many people who back ground their own calves are bad with math - - under estimating yardage costs and sub optimizing ADG.
 

MurraysMutts

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
1,138
Reaction score
109
Location
N. Central boonies, Oklahoma
Thanks folks!
I know itll cost me a bit. Here at what I call the smaller barns, the weaned ones always bring more.
I have 2 that will go to the vet for sure. One has a goopy eye. The other lil calf has what I believe is in abcess. He is smaller than everyone so he wont make the sale in my group. Most are around 450 or 500.
I'm concerned I may be throwing away money by vaccinating and implanting at this late stage. They are all natural to this point. They absolutely have to be sold by end of April.
 

bird dog

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 28, 2006
Messages
2,028
Reaction score
17
Location
Navarro County, Texas
It only works if the market you sell at will pay for the work you do. Most sale barns won't unless its a special sale for weaned calves. The big barns at OKC will announce what you have done and will pay for it. They are not to far from you and may be your best marketing opportunity. You need to get in the habit of castrating them earlier. If you wait until weaning age it is much more difficult on the animal and their weight will back up for a few days. Definitely implant even if its just for 30 days.
 

Nesikep

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
15,992
Reaction score
62
Location
Lillooet, BC, Canada
I weaned them and held them for a month ONCE.. it didn't pay..
Calves gain better on momma, rather leave them with her for that month
Calves lose weight after weaning for a bit and get going slowly again
You're taking a gamble on the market, if the prices are satisfactory now, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush
Adding in some money for extra special feed, vaccines, etc and the chance that any stress related illness happens to YOU.. nope
I trailer wean them, they're in good health with some fat and have reserves for their trip, I get close to top dollar every time, I'll take that and say thank you.
 

chaded

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 17, 2018
Messages
154
Reaction score
8
Location
Southeast Ohio
It’s funny, where I go I remember the last time I was there the auctioneer saying if they miss on the slip that yours is weaned, wormed, 2 rounds of shots, etc. to make sure you stop him and let him know. He said, “it matters to the buyers and they will pay more.”

Well, mine came straight from momma and were within a few cents of the top dollar calves and saw some that had all of that and went under what mine sold for and has been that way. Seems like it doesn’t apply to nice black baldies there? I don’t mind doing the extra work but not when it doesn’t pay.
 

SBMF 2015

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 15, 2020
Messages
628
Reaction score
51
Location
West Central,IL
chaded said:
It’s funny, where I go I remember the last time I was there the auctioneer saying if they miss on the slip that yours is weaned, wormed, 2 rounds of shots, etc. to make sure you stop him and let him know. He said, “it matters to the buyers and they will pay more.”

Well, mine came straight from momma and were within a few cents of the top dollar calves and saw some that had all of that and went under what mine sold for and has been that way. Seems like it doesn’t apply to nice black baldies there? I don’t mind doing the extra work but not when it doesn’t pay.

How do you know it doesn't pay? Whether you realize it or not you are building a reputation as a seller. Good or bad it's up to you.
If you watch the crowd at a feeder cattle sale on any given day at your local sale barn. You will find that maybe a dozen or so buyers divide up 90% of the sale. They each have a stack of orders and buy under several different numbers.
What you do on your farm determines how those calves perform for the next guy.
We used to keep 400hd of cattle on feed year round. We sourced them from 3 sale barns, and we bought them not an order buyer. If everything went like it should you don't always remember where a group comes from, but if you have a load break with shipping fever or IBR. I guarantee I would remember where they came from and not bid on that sellers cattle next year.
If you don't vaccinate and get the bawl out of them before you sell them you are setting them up to fail in the feedlot.
It is your responsibility to give your calves the protection they need for the next step in there life.
That's how you build a reputation herd, and who knows how much more your calves would have brought with two rounds of shots and 45days weaned. Good baldies always bring good money, usually better than the straight bred blacks. But breeding is only part of what makes good feeding cattle.
 

Nesikep

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 13, 2008
Messages
15,992
Reaction score
62
Location
Lillooet, BC, Canada
SBMF 2015 said:
chaded said:
It’s funny, where I go I remember the last time I was there the auctioneer saying if they miss on the slip that yours is weaned, wormed, 2 rounds of shots, etc. to make sure you stop him and let him know. He said, “it matters to the buyers and they will pay more.”

Well, mine came straight from momma and were within a few cents of the top dollar calves and saw some that had all of that and went under what mine sold for and has been that way. Seems like it doesn’t apply to nice black baldies there? I don’t mind doing the extra work but not when it doesn’t pay.

How do you know it doesn't pay? Whether you realize it or not you are building a reputation as a seller. Good or bad it's up to you.
If you watch the crowd at a feeder cattle sale on any given day at your local sale barn. You will find that maybe a dozen or so buyers divide up 90% of the sale. They each have a stack of orders and buy under several different numbers.
What you do on your farm determines how those calves perform for the next guy.
We used to keep 400hd of cattle on feed year round. We sourced them from 3 sale barns, and we bought them not an order buyer. If everything went like it should you don't always remember where a group comes from, but if you have a load break with shipping fever or IBR. I guarantee I would remember where they came from and not bid on that sellers cattle next year.
If you don't vaccinate and get the bawl out of them before you sell them you are setting them up to fail in the feedlot.
It is your responsibility to give your calves the protection they need for the next step in there life.
That's how you build a reputation herd, and who knows how much more your calves would have brought with two rounds of shots and 45days weaned. Good baldies always bring good money, usually better than the straight bred blacks. But breeding is only part of what makes good feeding cattle.
Good looking calves still bring good money here, even my tan/reds.
Been doing this here for 30 years, if the buyers had issues with my calves they wouldn't be getting close to top buck. My calves are nearly all totally docile and tame.. That equates to less stress and sickness, and easier handling for them.. maybe that's part of it
 

TennesseeTuxedo

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 9, 2011
Messages
15,829
Reaction score
29
Location
Live in Franklin, TN farm in Warsaw, KY
SBMF 2015 said:
chaded said:
It’s funny, where I go I remember the last time I was there the auctioneer saying if they miss on the slip that yours is weaned, wormed, 2 rounds of shots, etc. to make sure you stop him and let him know. He said, “it matters to the buyers and they will pay more.”

Well, mine came straight from momma and were within a few cents of the top dollar calves and saw some that had all of that and went under what mine sold for and has been that way. Seems like it doesn’t apply to nice black baldies there? I don’t mind doing the extra work but not when it doesn’t pay.

How do you know it doesn't pay? Whether you realize it or not you are building a reputation as a seller. Good or bad it's up to you.
If you watch the crowd at a feeder cattle sale on any given day at your local sale barn. You will find that maybe a dozen or so buyers divide up 90% of the sale. They each have a stack of orders and buy under several different numbers.
What you do on your farm determines how those calves perform for the next guy.
We used to keep 400hd of cattle on feed year round. We sourced them from 3 sale barns, and we bought them not an order buyer. If everything went like it should you don't always remember where a group comes from, but if you have a load break with shipping fever or IBR. I guarantee I would remember where they came from and not bid on that sellers cattle next year.
If you don't vaccinate and get the bawl out of them before you sell them you are setting them up to fail in the feedlot.
It is your responsibility to give your calves the protection they need for the next step in there life.
That's how you build a reputation herd, and who knows how much more your calves would have brought with two rounds of shots and 45days weaned. Good baldies always bring good money, usually better than the straight bred blacks. But breeding is only part of what makes good feeding cattle.

:clap: :clap: :clap:
 

chaded

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 17, 2018
Messages
154
Reaction score
8
Location
Southeast Ohio
Nesikep said:
SBMF 2015 said:
chaded said:
It’s funny, where I go I remember the last time I was there the auctioneer saying if they miss on the slip that yours is weaned, wormed, 2 rounds of shots, etc. to make sure you stop him and let him know. He said, “it matters to the buyers and they will pay more.”

Well, mine came straight from momma and were within a few cents of the top dollar calves and saw some that had all of that and went under what mine sold for and has been that way. Seems like it doesn’t apply to nice black baldies there? I don’t mind doing the extra work but not when it doesn’t pay.

How do you know it doesn't pay? Whether you realize it or not you are building a reputation as a seller. Good or bad it's up to you.
If you watch the crowd at a feeder cattle sale on any given day at your local sale barn. You will find that maybe a dozen or so buyers divide up 90% of the sale. They each have a stack of orders and buy under several different numbers.
What you do on your farm determines how those calves perform for the next guy.
We used to keep 400hd of cattle on feed year round. We sourced them from 3 sale barns, and we bought them not an order buyer. If everything went like it should you don't always remember where a group comes from, but if you have a load break with shipping fever or IBR. I guarantee I would remember where they came from and not bid on that sellers cattle next year.
If you don't vaccinate and get the bawl out of them before you sell them you are setting them up to fail in the feedlot.
It is your responsibility to give your calves the protection they need for the next step in there life.
That's how you build a reputation herd, and who knows how much more your calves would have brought with two rounds of shots and 45days weaned. Good baldies always bring good money, usually better than the straight bred blacks. But breeding is only part of what makes good feeding cattle.
Good looking calves still bring good money here, even my tan/reds.
Been doing this here for 30 years, if the buyers had issues with my calves they wouldn't be getting close to top buck. My calves are nearly all totally docile and tame.. That equates to less stress and sickness, and easier handling for them.. maybe that's part of it

Exactly.
 

elkwc

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 28, 2014
Messages
1,442
Reaction score
0
We wean at least 30 days. After that it depends on what pasture if any we have available. If we have extra grass or wheat we keep them longer. Sometimes 90-120 days. We don't implant. Some of our buyers pay more for non implanted calves and after doing it both ways we find we do as well not implanting. We give 2 rounds of shots. If we castrate at weaning we see very little back up. We don't retain anything we don't have pasture for and have too feed every bite too. It hasn't paid for us. IMO if we are selling calves that will go back to the country we don't gain anything from holding them longer. If selling cattle above 750 lbs retaining them at least 60 days sometimes pay. Anything longer than that we see no benefit in.
 

MurraysMutts

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2019
Messages
1,138
Reaction score
109
Location
N. Central boonies, Oklahoma
Thank you all. Great discussion here.
My plan so far is to go ahead and work em and implant the steers. They will wean 45 days plus.
I have three really nice heifers that I would love to keep, but that ain't gonna pay the bills....
I have access to wheat pasture for about 2 months. But I've gotta wean em b4 I turn em out, if i decide to use said wheat pasture.
I'm worried that on wheat, if I lose even one animal, I will lose all my profit from any gain I may get.
Gotta ponder that too I reckon
 

gcreekrch

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 26, 2010
Messages
1,409
Reaction score
32
In our area there are a few rules of thumb.

Keep your cow herd on a good LIVE vaccination program.

Vaccinate your calves at branding.

Preconditioning as yet does not pay the cost of doing it.

Feedlots buying calves will not take the chance that the seller actually vaccinated and will do a full induction upon arrival regardless.

My math says you have to get at least 1.5 lbs per day gain and 25 cents premium over what they would bring as fresh weaned calves to be paid for the process. Producers who follow above protocols and raise good quality cattle get paid a premium regardless.

I was at the feedlot we put calves in last week. There were 208 of our own heifers in there since Nov 1 last fall. I was told they were the healthiest pen at the lot with zero pulled since induction. Maybe we are doing something right.............
 

Lucky_P

Well-known member
Joined
May 21, 2009
Messages
3,190
Reaction score
32
Location
Western KY
It's the right thing to do for the calf...and the next owner down the line, but I don't know that we ever got paid enough to make it economically worthwhile for us - but the next guy up the supply chain benefitted.

Calves here were vaccinated with two rounds of Clostridials at 2 & 3 months of age, bulls castrated & implanted no later than 2 months of age. We did pre-weaning vaccinations for IBR/BRSV/BVD/PI3, Pasteurella/Mannheimia, then boostered IBR/BVD/BRSV/PI3 at weaning. Calves were all bunk broke and accustomed to eating feed/hay, drinking out of a stock tank.
Calves would often lose as much as 50# in the first week following weaning - despite having free-choice hay and up to 5#/hd DDG/day. I rarely had space/resources on hand to hang onto them for much more than 2 weeks post-weaning - much less 45-60-90 days to get recovery and compensatory weight gain.

It was hit or miss as to whether the goobers at the salebarns would even announce them as 'value-added' when they came into the sale ring - even though they were told expressly, at delivery, that they'd had two rounds of respiratory vaccines, were weaned and bunk broke.
All in all, I'd bet that calves 'weaned on the trailer' brought just about as much, and the folks bringing those in had no extra inputs - $$ or time - invested in them.
 
Top