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buying cattle Options
johnhagen
#1 Posted : Thursday, December 11, 2003 11:40:28 AM
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How old are the cows? How old is the bull and are the cows bred?What do the calves wiegh and or how old are they?Answer these and i can give you a fair apprasial and a few sugestions
CntryLvnGrl
#2 Posted : Thursday, December 11, 2003 11:29:46 PM
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It might also help to let us know where you live. In Wisconsin some times prices vary from one part of the state to another.

Feeder stock (feeder calves, feeder steers) are young animals about 300ish pounds that are raised for butchering.


Don''t feel bad about the market price. It''s not easy to pick up. I sell finished steers (finished means they are ready for butchering) for a friend of mine and every year I have to explain to people how the market price works.

If you have questions you''ve come to the right place. There seem to be many folks here that are well informed on raising critters.
joyfulmama
#3 Posted : Tuesday, December 30, 2003 7:39:03 AM
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Thanks so much for your responses. Our family was hit with the flu shortly after I posted and I am only now catching up with everything! Yikes!

We are looking at buying cow/calf pairs. The mothers are 2 or more years old, and the calves a few months. The owner has not been able to find the paperwork (they were her dad''s who just died) yet, so can''t tell us exact ages, weights or histories on any of the cattle. Could this be a problem?

Someone told her $600 per cow/calf pair. They are Red Brangus, not Red Angus. The bull is Red Angus.

We live in Central TX... the Austin area basically.

Also, would we be nuts not to take the bull? Around here people think we are. We have two young children, and being a novice I am quite nervous about bulls. I was figuring we could artificially inseminate, but that apparently is not what folks do here. Boy do we have a lot to learn! My husband is all for getting the bull as well. Aaack!

One thing I can not figure out is how you keep the bull in a herd and not end up inbreeding. What am I missing? My friend said her dad changed the bull out every few years... would that mean the first season daughters would not bear calves for several years bcasue they wouldn''t have been bred with their father?

Advice on safety would be great too. :-)

Thank you!!
CntryLvnGrl
#4 Posted : Wednesday, December 31, 2003 6:22:50 AM
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"Also, would we be nuts not to take the bull? Around here people think we are. We have two young children, and being a novice I am quite nervous about bulls. I was figuring we could artificially inseminate, but that apparently is not what folks do here. Boy do we have a lot to learn! My husband is all for getting the bull as well. Aaack!"

In my opinion I would tell you not to take the bull. Unless you''ve raised him by hand from a young''un, your awful new at this to have him around the yard. You can have a bull that will never give you problems and the next one can be hell on wheels. Do what you tell you kids... "don''t worry about what everyone else is doing" lol You can A.I. if you want, works great for thousands of cows each yr.

"One thing I can not figure out is how you keep the bull in a herd and not end up inbreeding. What am I missing? My friend said her dad changed the bull out every few years... would that mean the first season daughters would not bear calves for several years because they wouldn''t have been bred with their father?"

As far as keeping a bull w/ a herd. Cows have a nine month gestation, (sorry if I''m repeating stuff that you know) so they only get pregnant once a yr. The female baby''s (heifers) should not be bred until they are a yr. and a half so that they have their first calf at 2 yr. of age. So to some extent the bull can run w/ the herd. But most ppl will take him out for a couple of months or separate the young stock. So ya see if you don''t have lil Mr. Bull you don''t have to worry about all that. lol
I honestly can not help you much w/ the price. As I live in Wisconsin. But I do know that the local live stock auction places have web sites here. You might want to check there to get a good idea of going market price. I remember you saying in the first post that you didn''t understand the market. If you have a problem w/ it let me know and I will try to explain for you. Good luck w/ the bovines.
johnhagen
#5 Posted : Wednesday, December 31, 2003 11:20:39 AM
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Here in IL.that price for a cow calf pairis fair.I would breed the bull back to the cows and when done sell him and get another bull so you can then breed your heifers which would be his off spring.You can do this in line once but i dont recomend it.$300.00 should take care of the price of the bull.The next sugestion i would have is two buy only 3 more of the younger cows for a total of five cows and two calfs for your 20 acres.Did all the cows get bred and why are there only two cow calf pairs are the cows old or is the bull two big or two old this you need to ask.Good Luck
skruzich
#6 Posted : Wednesday, December 31, 2003 2:01:00 PM
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Heres something i am going to do soon. Simple way of getting your calves.
Go to a dairy and talk with the owner or manager, and offer to raise the newborn calves for 9 months for 1/2 of the calves. All you do is feed them milk for 6 mon and grain for the additional 3 months and return 1/2 of the heiffers to the dairy.
Of course your going to get bulls in there and its up to you what you do with them. I would take 1 or 2 and make them a beef steer, sell the rest. The heiffers you get from this you will raise up and then breed later. The cost will be in the feed and milk you buy. I know that the dairys around here don''t want the calves on the milk cows so they separate them and usually sell them off because they don''t have the time to deal with taking care of them.
steve
mikeg
#7 Posted : Thursday, January 01, 2004 10:20:06 PM
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some sound advice is don''t pay more for the stock than what you can get out of them at market because if things don''t work out you can always get that back.
George Parsons
#8 Posted : Tuesday, January 06, 2004 11:53:00 PM
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Two things; I''d like to add, my 2 cents worth and that''s about what it''s worth. #1 you can rent a bull, it usually don''t cost too much and they are usually easy to handle. Believe me the guy who rents them doesn''t want to be chasing his bull aropund thru various chutes and working pens. I rented a bull a couple of times and they were great. Had a wonderful personality and easy to handle. When my buddy came out to pick him up the bull would just walk straight in the trailer. No chutes pen or nothing just hop in. (he knew where he was going, a new set of gals).

#2 I don''t know what area you are from but in a lot of areas with grass and fairly temperate climate, by careful management you can have one cow-calf pair per acre. Again in right climate, with lots of inputs (fert hopefully from manures) and a paddock system. One with about 20 paddocks of cool season grass and 2 to 3 other paddocks with warm season grass for summer grazing and buy you hay. It can be done. Contact your NRCS or University about info.

Contact the university anyway on all the info you need to raise cattle. The Extension program (I think every state has one)

As far as prices again check extension, go to salebarns check their previous several weeks sale prices. They keep there recipts and usually publish them. Check any and all weekly advertisement papers.
GaryLee
#9 Posted : Sunday, January 25, 2004 6:50:19 AM
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I raise cattle about 75 miles east of Austin. First of all, I would check with the local tax authority to see what the mininum number of cattle.........usually expressed in "AU- animal units"..to maintain the ag valuation on the land, that will save you a bunch in taxes...In my county and an AU is one cow-calf pair or 7 goats, etc. I would purchase the minimum number to support the ag valuation for tax purposed. That way you can minimize the amount of supplemental feed or hay you have to provide. I run cows at a bout 5-6 acres per animal and never feed hay all year, including the winter! The secret to making money on cow/calves is to keept the costs down. Let them run in the woods and they can eat yaupon as a supplement........you could also put out molasses tubs, be sure to get the real hard kind(Positive Feed All-in-one is a good brand) It really just depends on your land and climate, but Brangus are a tough bunch. Just keep on eye on the body condition. If you are east of Austin, you are probably better off, the hill country doesn''t grow as much grass. $600 for a cow-calf pair is good price (for you) in Texas for decent cattle. You ought to be able to take the calves up to 500-600 pounds and get about $400-450 (or more) for them at the auction. You can call the local auction and they will probably send someone to pick them up for free or maybe a small fee. $300 for the bull would be steal.......good bulls are selling for over $.50 lb, and this bull likely weighs closer to 2000 lbs. We rarely have problems with bulls being aggressive.......of course there are exceptions. Feeding your herd an occaisional treat of "range cubes" ( about $5 for 50 lb) will make them real gentle. You can easily find someone local to come "work" your cattle.......mostly de-worming them about twice a year. AI - artificial insemination is something you need to be trained to do, and it sounds like with your level of experience, it is probably not the best option. Go for it.
joyfulmama
#10 Posted : Sunday, January 25, 2004 6:50:19 AM
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I am new to the forum and a recent subscriber to Mother Earth News. My husband and I (both with zero farming experience) recently purchased 30 acres. I would say about 20 of those acres is forageable... the rest is pond and woods.

There have been 6-8 cows, one bull and 2-5 calves on it (the land was leased out for ag exemption purposes before we bought it... the population varies as the owner swaps out cow/calf pairs).

A dear friend's father recently died, and she wants to sell his red angus cattle. She has offered them to us, and we are interested, but we are all clueless as to a fair price (she is a city girl too)! She has 20 cows, 6 calves and one bull. Obviously our land would not sustain that many head, but we are thinking about buying some.

Any advice on how to proceed price-wise? We really don't know where to begin. I've spent several hours online just trying to figure out what a feeder cow is! The market price lists just confuse me!

Thanks!
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