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What to do with fleshy calves

Douglas

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My calves have been selling poorly this fall. It appears that they are being graded small frame and/or discounted as fleshy. I have not fed these calves anything other than to move them around since they were weaned. They are about six months old and all my cows and calves have high condition because of the rainy summer and plentiful grass.
What should I do? I have good fescue and a small forage rape pasture. Should I just hold them till next year and let their frame catch up?
 

HerefordSire

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Douglas":s2fjy6p4 said:
My calves have been selling poorly this fall. It appears that they are being graded small frame and/or discounted as fleshy. I have not fed these calves anything other than to move them around since they were weaned. They are about six months old and all my cows and calves have high condition because of the rainy summer and plentiful grass.
What should I do? I have good fescue and a small forage rape pasture. Should I just hold them till next year and let their frame catch up?

Are you losing money with the ones you sold already? Do you have any hay for the calves?
 

Frankie

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It's great that you have such easy keeping cattle and good forage for them.

Cost and time wise, it it worth it to keep them until next year?

And do you think their frame will ever "catch up?"
 

dieselbeef

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i just went thru the same thing and took a beating on em...tough call...not like you can put em on a diet now can ya
 

HerefordSire

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Douglas":1rrv5b0j said:
I have plenty of grass and hay and i feel the ones i sold are significantly below the average for my area.

Hold them and take the chance.
 

Douglas

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Would a high protein forage like rape be good or bad, what about cereal rye? I have plenty of both. I normally feed the rye/ryegrass to the cows on a limited basis.
 

HerefordSire

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Douglas":gtax9fwg said:
Would a high protein forage like rape be good or bad, what about cereal rye? I have plenty of both. I normally feed the rye/ryegrass to the cows on a limited basis.

Financially speaking, it would depend on your estimated investment return which would depend on projected market prices in the coming months.
 

options

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HerefordSire":1rhvyu21 said:
Douglas":1rhvyu21 said:
I have plenty of grass and hay and i feel the ones i sold are significantly below the average for my area.

Hold them and take the chance.
Hold them and take the chance on what?

According to Douglas his calves are short and fat. Holding them longer will not change the genetics of the calves. He stated they are selling below average for his area. What does this man stand to gain by keeping these calves, other than realizing he may need to make an adjustment to his genetics?
 

HerefordSire

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options":38gb9ehh said:
HerefordSire":38gb9ehh said:
Douglas":38gb9ehh said:
I have plenty of grass and hay and i feel the ones i sold are significantly below the average for my area.

Hold them and take the chance.
Hold them and take the chance on what?

According to Douglas his calves are short and fat. Holding them longer will not change the genetics of the calves. He stated they are selling below average for his area. What does this man stand to gain by keeping these calves, other than realizing he may need to make an adjustment to his genetics?

Wait until market conditions improve.
 

options

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HerefordSire":20vq1xg9 said:
Wait until market conditions improve.
The market conditions could also worsen, but the fact still remains he has short, fat calves selling below the local average. I'm not seeing how playing the market will improve this mans problem.
 

HerefordSire

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options":33iowju8 said:
HerefordSire":33iowju8 said:
Wait until market conditions improve.
The market conditions could also worsen, but the fact still remains he has short, fat calves selling below the local average. I'm not seeing how playing the market will improve this mans problem.

Correct in that the market could go either way. That is why I originally asked Douglas if there was profit involved. Although he didn't answer me directly about the profit, if he had profit on the ones he already sold, I would dump the rest. However, if he took a loss on the ones he sold, I would be inclined to be patient to see if the market improves.
 

Stocker Steve

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Douglas":2l5sbfz6 said:
My calves have been selling poorly this fall. It appears that they are being graded small frame and/or discounted as fleshy. Should I just hold them till next year and let their frame catch up?

Fleshy calves do not gain well on pasture. About 1.2 lbs/day is typical in my area. Get out the pencil and compare your options, being sure to include something for labor and the cost of money in the retain them option. Another approach would be to have a buyer come out and look at your cow herd to try selling direct (after doing the pencil work).
 

ROB

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a few more variables you are probably thinking about - taxes, do you need to sell this year or would your tax situation be better off waiting until next year? cow maintenance costs - selling your calves now will provide more forage for your cows later going into the winter months, less hay to feed.

something else you might try that has worked for us in the past, we got the salebarn manager to come to the farm to look over our calves. once he's looked them over and knows their approximate weights, condition, etc. we have at times negotiated a minimum guaranteed price that we would accept if sold at his auction.

as others have mentioned prices may not be any better waiting until next year. these calves frames may not "catch up" - my luck there tail would grow another 6 inches.

with the information you have provided - i would be inclined to sell them now and maybe go shopping for a new herd bull. good luck.

ROB
 

BC

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This is a tough call. You have gotten caught in the middle of the smaller framed, easier fleshing animal vs. a growthier, faster growing animal argument. Your calves are probably better suited to a short term feeding period and sell them as freezer calves to local customers if you can develop that niche market.
 

donaldjohnson

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you didn!t say what breed your calves are. I would suggest you get a different bull now! I'm sorry to tell you.....but your calves won't get better. bite the bullet and sell as soon as the market makes a positive move maybe mid nov. dec. sorry to bring bad news. :( :(
 

harry

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Why not post a picture or two of those you have left?
 

BamaCowboy

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fleshy calves are hard to keep in condition at next stop. Just my thinking form experience, you stated you have fescue pasture, give them some hay and if you can put them on dry pasture with no fescue and check the market each day and unload them when they are not quite as fleshy, but don't over winter them unless you don't need the $
 

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