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Gross Return from purchasing Bred Heifers ?

Posted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:11 pm
by Stocker Steve
Bred heifers here were about $1500 last winter. My numbers, based on 2016 average feeder prices, were that there was a zero gross return at a $1400 price. Most locals also did not want to play, so many bred heifers were trucked west to SD in time for the drought. :frowns: Someone took an equity hit on those girls even if they bred back...
Locals were willing to buy running age cows last winter. Kill price did go down, but hindsight says that this was still a better buy than bred heifers. I think this winter could be a repeat.
I asked a local BTO on what drives bred heifer prices - - and he went into a monologue about real cattlemen buying the big high quality heifers regardless of the price because they are "in the beef business."

When are bred heifers a more profitable buy than bred cows? A guess is that only at the bottom of the cattle price cycle?

Re: Gross Return from purchasing Bred Heifers ?

Posted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 8:44 pm
by 1982vett
Good question....I’m finding it hard to pay ~$1000 for a young bred cow and upwards of $1200 to $1400 for heifers when I can buy an older short bred cow in need of better forage than she was getting for~$650. Seems their has been a steady supply like this even in times of flush forage.

Re: Gross Return from purchasing Bred Heifers ?

Posted: Sun Oct 29, 2017 9:57 pm
by Stocker Steve
1982vett wrote:I can buy an older short bred cow in need of better forage than she was getting for~$650.


Is "older" running age or broken mouth?

Re: Gross Return from purchasing Bred Heifers ?

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:14 am
by Brute 23
There can be a lot of factors but I would think it mostly comes down to making a short term or long term investment.

I will add there are pros and cons to both. I don't see one way being better than the other. It just depends what kind of hole your trying to fill in your operation.

Re: Gross Return from purchasing Bred Heifers ?

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 9:39 am
by zirlottkim
I put together a group of 60 commercial heifers last spring as an experiment. Brangus type, black baldies, a few red angus and red motley face in the group.The idea was to breed and pick a dozen or so to keep and sell the rest. Some were mine, some I bought local. I put some weight on and got them all bred and they look nice. (blood tested). Looks like I will need get around $1250 per head to come out. I'm not sure that's possible for an average. Middle age cows are selling cheap here.

Re: Gross Return from purchasing Bred Heifers ?

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 10:55 am
by Stocker Steve
Heifer calves were cheap a year ago, so I would expect the bred heifers work out. I have a bunch too.

The conservative guys here work up bred prices from cow kill price plus expected profits. What are breds worth in AL?

Re: Gross Return from purchasing Bred Heifers ?

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 12:20 pm
by zirlottkim
Stocker Steve wrote:Heifer calves were cheap a year ago, so I would expect the bred heifers work out. I have a bunch too.

The conservative guys here work up bred prices from cow kill price plus expected profits. What are breds worth in AL?

I see some advertised for $1400 and higher but I know of no one willing to pay that. I haven't been to stockyard sale in a few months. According to stock card, good cow/calf pairs going from $1100 to $1350. Bred cows for $800 to $1100. Culls for 45 to 57 cents. No heifers were listed. I may try to go Wednesday. If so, I'll report back.

Re: Gross Return from purchasing Bred Heifers ?

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:02 pm
by TCRanch
I just sold a 3.5 year old bred cow for $1300 private treaty.

Re: Gross Return from purchasing Bred Heifers ?

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:32 pm
by Farm Fence Solutions
I'd be a whole lot more likely to pay $1,500 for a 4-5 year old that knows what she's doing before I'd pay half that for bred heifers. That's just my humble opinion, but ain't nobody got time for that kind of problem around here!

Re: Gross Return from purchasing Bred Heifers ?

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 1:44 pm
by ddd75
breds are cheap here and cow / calves are cheap. not sure what bred heifers are going for.

seems like everyone is happy with what they got right now. possibly because they bought high.

Re: Gross Return from purchasing Bred Heifers ?

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 3:19 pm
by Stocker Steve
ddd75 wrote:seems like everyone is happy with what they got right now. possibly because they bought high.


Yes, some are still hurting from $2400 cows.
Others loaded up this summer with BM cows from Dakotas.
I am trying to get my head around optimum stocking rates based on recent calf prices. I know some are still stocked like calves are worth $2.50. :o And I don't think current cows are necessarily "cheap" when you dig deep into profitability.
I think some would be best served by selling off some older cows and reducing feed purchased.

Re: Gross Return from purchasing Bred Heifers ?

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:32 pm
by 1982vett
Stocker Steve wrote:
1982vett wrote:I can buy an older short bred cow in need of better forage than she was getting for~$650.


Is "older" running age or broken mouth?

6 to 8 + is my guestimate mostly.

Re: Gross Return from purchasing Bred Heifers ?

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:33 pm
by Stocker Steve
Some corn silage and a $650 breds could be a winning combo. :cboy:

Re: Gross Return from purchasing Bred Heifers ?

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 7:55 pm
by ddd75
Stocker Steve wrote:Some corn silage and a $650 breds could be a winning combo. :cboy:

i don't see how you could lose.

Re: Gross Return from purchasing Bred Heifers ?

Posted: Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:49 pm
by RanchMan90
They may rationalize it by selling second calf cows for same price or more than first calf heifers and getting a "free" calf in the meantime. Seems to be the same sellers and buyers at these "special" sales every year. :2cents: