> thank you for making me just a
> little less ignorant....thanks.
> now....if I could only do
> something about my looks... You can, now go look into the mirror, not at your face but deep into your very being through the eyes and soul and ask what S&M chord within your body would ever make you want to take over the responsibility of caring for cattle; keeping in mind they never really need instant care except when: it is too hot, cold, wet, dry, early, late, have something else "really important" planned, your vet's unreachable, your flat broke, etc. Next determine what you expect to receive the most pleasure from: Calves being born or growing up or getting fat or being shown at fairs or going through the sales barn or getting well or being put out of their misery or vulture feed or being born from every cow you own, or just sizzling on the grill with the knowledge you have raised your own meat, etc. Maybe you just want to have an "old cow's pasture" to salvage them from the canner's and cutter's market. Maybe you want to get into the business to make money & if that is the case you had best first determine how much money you can afford to loose, and what is your liquidation point vice having your banker determine it for you. If you are expecting to make minimum wage, especially starting out as you are, for time invested then forget it, you won't, there is just too much of a learning curve! After answering the above very basic questions on basic desires, interests, and intestinal fortitude you next need to look at assets to support these like available of feed, water, shelter, pasture area, money (both up front and cash flow), time, health, etc. to determine if you have assets to come close to supporting your aspirations. Now it is time to go talk to your county agent, sales barn operator, soil conservation person, professors at your local ag college, to get their inputs on your plans and to get on news letter mail-outs and other publications, seminars and classes to attend. By now you should be getting an idea on which breeds and mixes you would want to have, and the advantages (traits) you are looking for, as well as a clearer cut set of goals you want to accomplish. You will also have a pretty good idea what is available locally, or if you want to go into exocits or registered and their probable increased shipping and definite marketing costs. By the time you answer the above questions you have a good idea on the answer to what you are looking for in purchasing cattle, and the local available reliable assets to help you with your purchasing final decisions. In parting, if all you want is milk for the table, buy milk goats, their milk is twice as rich and better for cheese, they cost less initially and take up less space. If you have pastures which aren't in the best of shape, then concentrate first on pasture improvement, using cattle/haying as a means of harvesting the grass. Goats are great for cleaning up some types of "weeds". Don't forget that the return to "native grasses" sometimes have bigger overall advantages than "the grandest improved strains" after total input costs are considered, along with wildlife improvement. Now go do your local homework, starting with yourself and your bedmate, and we hope to see your progress later.