where to start?

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Anonymous

I'm sorry to sound so ignorant...but I am. I know nothing about raising cattle or operating a farm, but am interested in learing. All I know is that we have 20 acres, and would like to put it to use someday. Is there any money in miniature cattle? How would one find a market in their area? Where do I start. Where can the ex-citi-folk to learn all the basics of cattle?

Kathy in Illinois
 
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Anonymous

There is a Yahoo board for miniature cattle. To learn about cattle, find a mentor in your area and work with him/her.

dun

> I'm sorry to sound so
> ignorant...but I am. I know
> nothing about raising cattle or
> operating a farm, but am
> interested in learing. All I know
> is that we have 20 acres, and
> would like to put it to use
> someday. Is there any money in
> miniature cattle? How would one
> find a market in their area? Where
> do I start. Where can the
> ex-citi-folk to learn all the
> basics of cattle?

> Kathy in Illinois
 
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Anonymous

> I have only been raising cattle
> for a couple years. I've learned a
> lot and would be willing to help
> you. Email me at
> <A HREF="mailto:[email protected]">[email protected]</A> . I'm also
> in Illinois.

> Jena hi my name is vinson and i am also looking for infromation. Please on anything you get an i will do the same for you. thanks vinson

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Anonymous

> I'm sorry to sound so
> ignorant...but I am. I know
> nothing about raising cattle or
> operating a farm, but am
> interested in learing. All I know
> is that we have 20 acres, and
> would like to put it to use
> someday. Is there any money in
> miniature cattle? How would one
> find a market in their area? Where
> do I start. Where can the
> ex-citi-folk to learn all the
> basics of cattle?

> Kathy in Illinois Hi sorry i am new also and starting out with and small herd. my questions are, how much land do one need per cow. thanks

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Anonymous

Contact your local extension agent and they will be able to help you. It all depends on soil type, grasses available, and other things along this order.

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Anonymous

Hi Kathy & Others on this thread! Welcome to the life of cattle and other livestock.

So many questions, so little time...lol.

Guess the first question is what is your objective in raising cattle? Food, pleasure, breeding, raising to sell at slaughter, etc.? Next item is that if you plan to obtain the best price for your calves or other cattle, then you need to select breed & color that is most popular in your area sales, auctions, etc. "Odd" or nitch livestock do not bring good price or sell well "locally."

In deciding on a breed (otherwise), pick a breed that would be hardy for your locale and then browse the Associations that represent and register that breed--they have a world of information. Every breed has an association--just type breed name on your browser and follow the links.

Unless you have very exceptional area county agents or extension people, do not expect too much help from them since they probably don't want to get into a conflict of interest issue.

"Assuming" you have decent, predictable grass and adequate rainfall (with some supplemental fertilization), you can probably run 1 to 2 head (max.) per acre (along with any needed supplements, etc.). If you are raising cattle "drylot" with no forage and 100% supplemental feeding, you can put as many in a pen as you want as long as they remain healthy, compatible, get exercise, etc., but, not recommended unless you are doing "feedlot" things, since disease and other problems can develop.

All outdoor livestock need supplemental hay and other supplements during winter (non-grass growing) months.

A caveat: Buy the VERY BEST specimens with the very best conformation and health status that you can. Avoid illnesses, vet bills, and deaths. Be wary of "picking up a calf or two" at a too good to be true price from an area "calf mill"--you usually inherit problems and you get what you pay for.

In our selective registered breeding and raising program of Texas Longhorns, our monthly average feed, hay, and mineral costs run about $38. per 1000# animal unit, per month. Twice yearly de-worming, vaccinations, and related probably cost about $50 to $75 a year per 1000# unit. Note: in case you haven't already guessed, Three 333 lb calves = 1 animal unit, etc.

If you are set up for it (corral, working chute, headgate, etc.), and if you do your own vaccinations and de-worming injections, your only costs are the medications (relatively cheap). If not, figure Vet visits or transport animals to Vet clinic for treatment.

If you aren't a very good judge of animal condition and health (or don't have a friend who is), you will probably be better off to purchase any stock from a reputable breeder who operates a quality, clean facility. Remember, there is no free lunch and you get what you pay for.

Calves are like children--they can catch about anything at school and bring it home to infect the rest of the family. Purchasing calves or adults from a poorly run, unsanitary, and messy breeder is asking for trouble AND you'll end up with extra vet bills and probable deaths if worse comes to worse.

As far as calf weight gain is concerned, estimate between 1.5 and 2 lbs a month gain when properly fed between birth and maturity (usually around breeding age). Lot depends on breed, type of feed, and all.

Hope this helps some! Bill

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Anonymous

Is there any money in
> miniature cattle?

Miniature cattle such as Dexters, miniature Longhorns, etc., are considered a nitch market. Generally easier to manage since they are smaller and take up less space. "Local" markets are often not interested. Greatest market is wider and usually across state lines.

Search your browser for more info on "Minature Cattle".

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Anonymous

I am in Wisconsin about 50 miles north of Illinois and I have raised cattle in Louisiana and Texas and I would suggest with your rain fall that it will take 1 to 1.5 acres per pair (cow with calf) if fertilized and cross finced to allow for rotational grazing. If you are far enough north to have cool season grasses in the growing season then you may get by with 1 acre per pair. I am available for consulting work; contact me if I can help.



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