Why wean calves?

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MurraysMutts

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Don't wean anything, don't castrate, dehorn, vaccinate, implant, feed. Some old idiots like me love that kind.
I sold some unweaned bull calves for good money. They'd a brought more as steers sure...
Then I bought some back a few of the same only much cheaper. They already got a band and vaccinations. We play the waiting game now.
I NEED an implant gun....
And some pruners
And a chute of my own
Blah blah blah!

But one or two calves is just piddling around anyway.
I'm the guy that uses the sale barns chute after the sale to work calves b4 I bring em home

Also making a valid effort to steer calves at birth or shortly after.
I can already see the 💰 🤑 💸 💲 🪙 💶
 

BC

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Looks to me like you just paid cash out of pocket money to do what your cows should be able to do as part of their job. Not to mention you have charged no yardage.
If calves are prepared properly 6% shrink is too much, unless you haul them like gcreek does, or your auction mart isn’t doing their job properly
Your country is different than BirdDog's. He is getting about all the land will provide in calf weight without at weaning without creep feeding. I cannot speak for the far northwest, but in East and Central Texas, 6 to 10% shrink from the farm until crossing the scales at the sale barn is not uncommon in August and September for weaned on the trailer calves. Weaned calves can be hauled in a day early, put back on feed and the shrink will be in the 1 to 1.5% range. Something no one as mentioned is moving selling date out of October (Known as National Dead Calf Month in these parts).

Producers see a fat, bloomy calf as something pretty and something to brag on to his buddies. Buyers see that same calf as a wreck looking for a place to happen. They want a hardened calf that has had their immune system stimulated, knows how to eat from a trough and drink from a trough.
 

callmefence

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Your country is different than BirdDog's. He is getting about all the land will provide in calf weight without at weaning without creep feeding. I cannot speak for the far northwest, but in East and Central Texas, 6 to 10% shrink from the farm until crossing the scales at the sale barn is not uncommon in August and September for weaned on the trailer calves. Weaned calves can be hauled in a day early, put back on feed and the shrink will be in the 1 to 1.5% range. Something no one as mentioned is moving selling date out of October (Known as National Dead Calf Month in these parts).

Producers see a fat, bloomy calf as something pretty and something to brag on to his buddies. Buyers see that same calf as a wreck looking for a place to happen. They want a hardened calf that has had their immune system stimulated, knows how to eat from a trough and drink from a trough.
Nailed it..
 

Silver

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Move half of your cows down to Fences country, and report back in a couple of years. You could possibly have a little different outlook.;)
Okay, so now I get it. Feed is so cheap in Fences country you can take your calves off their mommas and pour feed and labour into them to put pounds on the calves at a lower average daily gain and that’s more profitable than other methods discussed earlier in the thread. Got it. ;)
 

mwj

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Maybe the question should be: Why are people weaning dinks then trying to feed weight onto them instead of selecting for a cow that can do the whole job in a timely manner?


The ''weaning dinks'' is what I was talking about. There are a lot of people that do not have the grass to support those bigger cows and soggy calves.
 

Silver

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The ''weaning dinks'' is what I was talking about. There are a lot of people that do not have the grass to support those bigger cows and soggy calves.
I do realize that there are places where no cow is going to wean a 750 lb calf no matter how good she is. By “dinks” I really mean calves much smaller than what CAN be raised locally. One can look at the local auction reports and see quite a spread on steer calf weights and see that some producers are selling dinks compared to other producers in the same market. I think Birddog said he averages 625 lbs on his steers, those aren’t dinks in any market.
 

simme

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Ahhh…. The old “but your country is different” angle. I even hear that angle locally.
Might try a crop of cotton up there. I hear they do well with cotton in Texas. Sell the fiber and winter the cows with cottonseed supplement. Might be a long haul to a cotton gin though.
 

Silver

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Might try a crop of cotton up there. I hear they do well with cotton in Texas. Sell the fiber and winter the cows with cottonseed supplement. Might be a long haul to a cotton gin though.
Well if I’ve learned anything on this thread it’s that the more you pay to put a pound on a calf the better.
 

Rydero

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Might try a crop of cotton up there. I hear they do well with cotton in Texas. Sell the fiber and winter the cows with cottonseed supplement. Might be a long haul to a cotton gin though.
Did I miss the part where Silver said the way he grows cotton is better than someone else? I guess if you can't win the business argument with numbers, just make it about everything else.

It's so easy raising cattle where the snow forces you to feed 200 days a year and the ground is frozen half the time. What do we know about the cost of feeding?
 

callmefence

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Okay, so now I get it. Feed is so cheap in Fences country you can take your calves off their mommas and pour feed and labour into them to put pounds on the calves at a lower average daily gain and that’s more profitable than other methods discussed earlier in the thread. Got it. ;)
We just make up the difference by saving on labor during the winter. ... 😉
 

simme

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Did I miss the part where Silver said the way he grows cotton is better than someone else? I guess if you can't win the business argument with numbers, just make it about everything else.

It's so easy raising cattle where the snow forces you to feed 200 days a year and the ground is frozen half the time. What do we know about the cost of feeding?
I was responding to the "Ahhh…. The old "but your country is different" angle. I even hear that angle locally." And hoping to make make the point that there ARE differences in what can be done, how it is done, and how successfully it can be done DEPENDING on environment, local conditions and a person's situation. I would hope that most people would agree. I am sure that practices and expectations have to be adjusted for climate, forage availability and on and on.

I am sure that Silver is making good choices and getting good results. Pictures of his cattle indicate that. I am also pretty sure that his method of growing cotton is best for him and his local conditions - since I suspect he does not grow any in that climate. I don't have any experience with feeding 200 days per year or extended periods of frozen ground. Part of my point as well. I probably could not make good decisions in that environment.

Lucky is the man who can receive advice and counsel from many people with varying life experiences.
Foolish is the man who will not be open to advice from others.
Wise is the man who can filter that into what can be applied to his situation and benefit.

There is seldom a one size fits all answer to everything. No desire to win an argument. Just enjoy sharing thoughts.
 

AldacoCattle

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sorry if this is a dumb question, I am fairly new to this. But how do buyers know when the calves have been weaned? We have a fairly small operation and like I said we’re new to this. Thank you!
 

callmefence

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sorry if this is a dumb question, I am fairly new to this. But how do buyers know when the calves have been weaned? We have a fairly small operation and like I said we’re new to this. Thank you!
Same way they can tell if they're Corriente crosses, they know what the hell they're doing. It's not something you can do with instructions it takes lots of experience.
 

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