What do you think of these numbers?

Help Support CattleToday:



I did some real simple calculations today and it made me think. I know there are a lot of other factors such as market fluctuations and feed availability to take into account but what these numbers showed was that you could make the highest profit per pound of gain if you only put about 100lbs on each steer. Of course you make more total if you put more weight on them, but profit per pound was 10 to 20 cents higher by selling at only 100 lbs gain. These numbers are from a sale this week in my area with 3,700 head sold.

I took the average weight and average price for medium to large #1 steers and figured out the average cost per head, and what the profit would be per pound of gain if you sold them at the various weights reported that day. If you bought them at 272 lbs and sold them at the following weights your profit per pound of gain would be:

308 0.69
389 0.99
446 0.87
519 0.90
639 0.80
668 0.79
738 0.80
763 0.87
825 0.80

What are everyones thoughts on this? If trucking fees aren't too high it seems that you could make more money if you bought and sold four times at 100lbs gain instead of putting 400lbs on one animal.
Did you calculate in death loss and the feed that went into them before they died. What about worming and vaccinating and treatment for sickness? Gain isn't a constant. There will be a ramp up period with each group before they really get into the feed and their digestive system gets tuned to the ration you feed. They may be gaining 4 lbs at the end, but less then 1 at the beginning.

The engineering department where I work has a saying, "works good on paper!"
You can pencil whip about anything into shape.
You mentioned buying 272# calves, 6 to 10% death loss. $6 to $9 hd. vet.
Light wts. don't gain like middle wts.
A calf that weighs 272# didn't get a good start no matter how you spin it.

If you were only wanting to put 100-200 lbs per head and then sell, what weights would you recommend buying?
Anonymous":2n8iopxd said:
If you were only wanting to put 100-200 lbs per head and then sell, what weights would you recommend buying?

another factor to consider in this is.. where will you market your calves. if you are only buying a few and plan on taking them to the sale barn, then go watch some sell. see what the target buying size is selling for and the target selling size and determine if you can come out on them..

a 500wt calf is going to cost you approximately 575-600. by the time you put some med cost and feed cost in this calf, and pay the commission to sell him, you might not come out on him.. seems that at these prices and with the uncertainty that looms in the market, that the downside risk is greater than the upside potential. but then again, i am certainly not one who claims to know.

good luck,

I tried the exact same thing and found out that it won't work. I bought a 210 steer for .90 cent a pound and put it on pasture for 10 months and feed bout 200 pounds of feed to him over the time and and sold him in may. he weighed 460 pounds and sold at .86 cent a pound, only got 360 dollars for him, so out of it made 160 dollars off of him not counting the feed, hay, wormer, and 20.00 commision. So in my oppion i didn't gain much. I guess since he was took off the milk that soon it kind stunted him and he grew slowley. Anyway he was a herford.From now on i am goin with the cow/calf operation.


Latest posts