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Would you sell at three months?

Posted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:52 pm
by herofan
If you were selling your calf crop and had a couple of stragglers thAt were only three months old, would you go ahead and sell those too, or would it be beneficial to keep them a while longer?

A couple of years ago when prices were high, we sold a three month old with the others, and the guy who hauled for us almost crapped his shorts. He said we should keep that one a few more months, but we went ahead and sold it.

By the time a few more months rolled around, prices had dropped drastically, so we came out on top there. To be honest, it was no brilliant forecasting on our part, we just didn't want to fool with keeping one calf, and we got lucky.

What is the general rule of thumb?

Re: Would you sell at three months?

Posted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 9:56 pm
by Bigfoot
Imho, the inputs are already paid for. Keep a calf til his value has been maxamized. Got a neighbor that weans and sells one day a year no matter how big, no matter how small. To each his own I guess.

Re: Would you sell at three months?

Posted: Wed Aug 16, 2017 11:32 pm
by A.J.
Unless getting them hauled off at a later time was an issue, I would probably keep them until they were closer to 5-6 months as long as there was adequate pasture and mama was still in good condition. I guess part of it would also depend on the lightweight cattle market in your area. You would put more weight on them, but the prices will probably be trending down heading into the fall, so it may be a wash.

Re: Would you sell at three months?

Posted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 12:19 am
by Son of Butch
All depends on the price, give me too much and I'll sell 'em at 3 days.
It would be beneficial for the calf to wait a few months, but if that messes with your life sell 'em all.

Re: Would you sell at three months?

Posted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 3:33 am
by wbvs58
I have been found guilty of just tidying things up like that.

Ken

Re: Would you sell at three months?

Posted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:14 am
by kd4au
To many unknowns for me to give a good answer even if I had one. But to me you feed that cow all year to get a calf 3 months is not making the cow do much work, or you working for her or is she working for you?

Re: Would you sell at three months?

Posted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 9:43 am
by Rafter S
I sell calves from my 2-year old heifers at 60 - 90 days, but don't sell them off mature cows younger than 7 months, and sometimes 9. However, I do my own penning and hauling. If I had to hire someone to do that, and had one or two stragglers, I might consider it.

Re: Would you sell at three months?

Posted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 4:39 pm
by farmerjan
When the prices were so high a couple of years ago, I did manage to convince my son to sell some a little smaller and was very glad when we did. But as a rule, a cow that is only making milk for 3 months has barely hit her peak, and that has been shown to be very detrimental in dairy cattle to not push them to hit a peak as soon as possible and to hold it. Granted beef are different, but to me she isn't paying for herself if the calf is only 2-3 months when it gets sold. We like them to be 5-7 months, regardless of whether off a heifer or a cow. We have been known to ship off a smaller calf if the whole rest of the group is going, but usually have smaller ones from several places that we can group together so not a problem to have one by its'self.
We also try to watch the markets and sell mostly in the 450-550 wt range. Seems to be the better size most years but this year who knows with the crazy weather around the country.
Also depends on the momma's condition and the amount of grass and hay we have. I find that the 1st calf heifers don't seem to lose that much more condition than most of the cows, but it could be because we calve them a little older than many do; ours are in the 28-30 month age when they have their first calf. We put the bulls in when the calves are in the 60-70 day range, so if we were to wean the calves off then, the cows are basically not doing anything for 9 months of the year, except being pregnant, and they are pregnant for the same amount of time while they are adding pounds to their calf for 3-5 months of the pregnancy.

A 250 lb calf at 2.00 lb is worth 500. 450 lb @ 1.65 is 742.50. That's another 240 plus for 3 more months with next to no added work on my part. But when the prices were totally through the roof, maybe would do some things a little different although I can't see selling at 60-90 days as a general rule.

Re: Would you sell at three months?

Posted: Thu Aug 17, 2017 5:01 pm
by Brute 23
wbvs58 wrote:I have been found guilty of just tidying things up like that.

Ken


Same here. Its usually a logistics deal with working cattle. I usually have heifers or some thing around so I'll wean the odd balls light and turn them out with heifers. Grab them up when they get some size.