Why so low

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ClinchValley86

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A lesson for any thinking of starting a cow/calf operation.
A cow produce only 1 calf per year and all of the yearly income is generated
by that 1 calf.

The 8 calves produced a gross income of $3,753.70 divided by 8 = 469 each
I don't know about Alabama, but each cow costs me over $500 hd per year in feed and other expenses.

That's a loss of $31 per cow added to that loss is cost of labor, trucking, sale fees, vaccines and any other costs incurred. Hate to say it, but you'd be better off cutting your losses. Assuming all are bred back, I'd cull 4 of the 8 by selling 4 of them as bred cows as soon as reasonably possible.
This is why we are exiting the cow/calf game. Going tremendously in the hole if you have any overhead. Even inheriting the land it is hard to make it work with the traditional cow/calf model. We have a mortgage. Freezer beef is the only way we will ever have bills paid by cattle. Last year we came very close to braking even. This year we will be in the good.

If I can keep my Pops from buying equipment we don't need. Lol. Thinking about starting a used equipment lot too.
 

Lucky

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Sale tickets like that are why I wean and don’t sell anything but dinks or cows at the local sale barns anymore. Some good, some bad, and they got really you on one. It’s the avg that kills you.
 

J E

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Montgomery has been good to me. Those notes under a bad calf help figure out the problem. Had one back in the summer that didn't shed off and it said hair under because it was docked some. Midstate and Roanoke are good too.
 

gcreekrch

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As @kenny thomas said..... we never take anything to the sale that we don't sit there and watch. If something looks a little off that day, like that one calf, you will take a beating. I bought back one heifer of mine that looked like it had a "hay belly" or even a little bloated... because she was a hog and stood and ate and ate at the new bale of hay put in there 2 days before they got hauled to the sale. She got shuffled back with another group and about 40 days later went with a group that had hay in front of them for 4-5 days, and instead of the .55 I bought her back for, she brought 1.37 with the other 3 they put her with.
You have to be able to look at them from the buyers eye... and we have pretty much quit selling fall calves off cows since they can take a beating.... If we can't get things sold before the first of Sept... they will get mostly all kept and fed until after the first of the year.... Like has been stated, Oct is dead calf month... and we have learned that mostly it is not worth the time to haul them in and then get hurt on prices. Nov is a bad month to sell here... hunting season..... and there are hit and miss weeks for buyers. I keep preaching to DS to not take any in, in the fall anymore.
I bought back 4 out of 6 steers that he wanted me to take in back in early oct, because they brought less than I thought they should... put them out on grass for 4 weeks and he took some in last week because he heard that there was a buyer looking for some 5-6 wts... they put on about 50 lbs.... already weaned from before... and made about .15/lb more than a month earlier. Sure there was a little cost but the grass had already been paid for and we hadn't used it so can attribute the cost of the grass to the heifers that he is still running there for replacements...

If they are short and fat, they are beef for us to sell..... if they have real bad eyes, they will be beef.... you have to know what you can sell and make money on and what you can turn over in your own operation as beef sales.... Have one now on a cow that was born totally blind. Cow takes good care of it. Put her in a small lot, the calf has learned the fences... Put the bull in and rebred her. Going to put another calf in with a bad leg, and when the cow comes out, the 2 will just be there. Will kill him as a baby beef. He would not bring .25 at the sale .... have watched too many blind ones that are decent calves get totally hammered because of the eyes. Sometimes it is bad pinkeye and you can bring them home and treat and get some sight back and they can become beef candidates. Mostly the kindest thing to do is to kill them instead of shipping them to the sale.
I am leaving the sale barn as I type with 7 little “ other people’s mistakes”. I am thankful to the previous owners for giving me the opportunity to make a little money.😉
 

Dave

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Go sit in a sale barn with no intent to buy or sell. Do it a lot. If you pay attention you will learn a lot about what sells well and what doesn't. It has been over 50 years since the first cow I bought at the sale and I still learn. Here they will bring in 15-20 very similar calves in the ring. By the time they announce the consignor, weaning, vaccinations, etc one of the buyers will say one out. While they are selling I try to figure out which one they want to cut out and why. Some times I figure it out some times I don't. Challenge your mind to figure out what is wrong with a calf.
 

MurraysMutts

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Go sit in a sale barn with no intent to buy or sell. Do it a lot. If you pay attention you will learn a lot about what sells well and what doesn't. It has been over 50 years since the first cow I bought at the sale and I still learn. Here they will bring in 15-20 very similar calves in the ring. By the time they announce the consignor, weaning, vaccinations, etc one of the buyers will say one out. While they are selling I try to figure out which one they want to cut out and why. Some times I figure it out some times I don't. Challenge your mind to figure out what is wrong with a calf.
Always amazes me how fast they can see 1 animal to cut out of a group.
Be it a droopy ear, short tail, ANYTHING.
They'll dang sure do it.
 

Shoestring

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I did it this way. Long days and hard bench seat. 1st; I learned what the hell the auctioneer was saying. More information came flowing when I asked the regulars what something meant. 6/SS? that had to be explained. Now, I make mistakes, just not as many.
 

kenny thomas

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Sometimes I think they ask for one to be cut out of the group so they can turn around and buy it cheap and bring their average down. Seems like no one wants to bid much on a cut back, even if they don’t know why it was cut.
You are totally correct on people not bidding. Sometimes one brings half price just because nobody.started the bid and then everyone is wondering what was wrong.
 
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Dave

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Sometimes I think they ask for one to be cut out of the group so they can turn around and buy it cheap and bring their average down. Seems like no one wants to bid much on a cut back, even if they don’t know why it was cut.
Sometimes if it fits with some I have I buy those cut outs. It works more often than not.
 

jltrent

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If there is not at least two people there wanting them you take a beating as a seller. Looking at it the other way you got a deal as a buyer. It does kind of pizz you off when the auctioneer has just about finished and someone hollers bring them back around as they think they saw something. I have seen people lose a lot of money like that basically over nothing. Sheet like that can damages the local sale barns as we have some pretty good local ones. At larger sale barns I have seen a lot of obvious colluding going on also. I get this one, you get the next one and you get the next one as a new guy jumps in they all run it up and run them off.
 
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ClinchValley86

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If there is not at least two people there wanting them you take a beating as a seller. Looking at it the other way you got a deal as a buyer. It does kind of pizz you off when the auctioneer has just about finished and someone hollers bring them back around as they think they saw something. I have seen people lose a lot of money like that basically over nothing. Sheet like that can damages the local sale barns as we have some pretty good local ones. At larger sale barns I have seen a lot of obvious colluding going on also. I get this one, you get the next one and you get the next one as a new guy jumps in they all run it up and run them off.
It pays to go to a barn with a regular attendee.
 

Rmc

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Never sell at the sale barn without being there .
If someone wants to cut one out for no good reason bid that calf up and take it back home . No need to give it a way .
Watch how fast that stops if everyone one that gets cut out for no reason , gets bid on and bought by others then the one cutting them out it soon will stop .
Go to the auction know what price you are willing to accept and what you will haul them home unless you get.
Don’t be afraid to bid up your own animals.
How much time have you invested in that animal over the last year to get it to that point? What is 4-8 more hours
of invested in making sure all your hard work and effort over the last year makes you a profit?
You can not only increase your investment by being at the sale to increase your sale price . You can reinvest your capital that same day by buying some of the cut outs , thin calves ect take them home for a few months sell for a profit to increase your investment even more
 

farmerjan

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100% agreement @Rmc . I have been going now for over 40 years. I have a price in mind and will bring mine home if they don't bring what I want or what it seems the rest are bringing that day. I have bought some "so-so" calves and made some money, have lost some on a few too. But you have to watch out for your own animals at the sale... trusting that they will do good is a sure way to get screwed if you are not there and it happens to be an off day or a regular buyer does not show up or something.
 

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