Does it Make More Financial Sense to Keep Cattle Longer?

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Does it Make More Financial Sense to Keep Cattle Longer?

Postby Bullitt » Sun Jan 07, 2018 1:56 pm

Cattle can be sold for more when they are a little older. I see yearling bulls selling pretty well and bred heifers sell for more.

Does it make financial sense to not sell cattle as calves and keep them a little longer to sell as bulls and bred heifers?

I am thinking the deciding factors are if a person has enough space on the land and grass available to feed them.
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Re: Does it Make More Financial Sense to Keep Cattle Longer?

Postby Bigfoot » Sun Jan 07, 2018 2:34 pm

Usually, when this subject comes up I'm about the only one that sides with keeping them a while after weaning. I actually like a fall born calf that reason. When I wean him, he can go on grass. When a spring born calf, and it goes on hay. I can barely scrape together enough hay for my cows. I don't need calves eating much.
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Re: Does it Make More Financial Sense to Keep Cattle Longer?

Postby Nesikep » Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:16 pm

I just find lactating cows need FAR more food during the winter than dry cows if they're going to maintain condition, so I really wonder if it's a savings in hay.

It all depends on how markets are, one year you might be well off to carry calves through the spring, the next there's a glut and you lose money
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Re: Does it Make More Financial Sense to Keep Cattle Longer?

Postby Bullitt » Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:44 pm

Bigfoot wrote:Usually, when this subject comes up I'm about the only one that sides with keeping them a while after weaning. I actually like a fall born calf that reason. When I wean him, he can go on grass. When a spring born calf, and it goes on hay. I can barely scrape together enough hay for my cows. I don't need calves eating much.



That seems to make sense. You have to feed the nursing cows more in the winter, right?
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Re: Does it Make More Financial Sense to Keep Cattle Longer?

Postby Bullitt » Sun Jan 07, 2018 4:52 pm

Nesikep wrote:I just find lactating cows need FAR more food during the winter than dry cows if they're going to maintain condition, so I really wonder if it's a savings in hay.

It all depends on how markets are, one year you might be well off to carry calves through the spring, the next there's a glut and you lose money



I live in Texas, so our winters are much more mild than your winters in Canada.

If plenty of grass is available, my idea would be to have calves born about March. Then sell the bulls and bred heifers in the early summer of the next year. If needed, the bulls could be made into steers. Keeping them this long only makes sense if grass is available, though.
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Re: Does it Make More Financial Sense to Keep Cattle Longer?

Postby Bigfoot » Sun Jan 07, 2018 5:09 pm

Bullitt wrote:
Bigfoot wrote:Usually, when this subject comes up I'm about the only one that sides with keeping them a while after weaning. I actually like a fall born calf that reason. When I wean him, he can go on grass. When a spring born calf, and it goes on hay. I can barely scrape together enough hay for my cows. I don't need calves eating much.



That seems to make sense. You have to feed the nursing cows more in the winter, right?


Yes, but it doesnt amount to much. A big 700 pound calf can flat mow through some hay though. I may be unique though. Hay is my limiting factor.
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Re: Does it Make More Financial Sense to Keep Cattle Longer?

Postby TCRanch » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:06 pm

Depends on the market and your operation. Past few years I kept my spring calves and sold them in Jan or Feb the following year because the market was down and I was able to let them graze the brome field so I wasn't going through a couple bales every day. Sold last year's spring calves (2017) in Dec but deferred the payment until this year. Talk to your CPA! I don't keep any bull calves unless I have a prior, private treaty agreement. But I do sometimes retain additional heifers to sell as bred - once again depending on the market trend and our forage.
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Re: Does it Make More Financial Sense to Keep Cattle Longer?

Postby Bullitt » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:25 pm

TCRanch wrote:Depends on the market and your operation. Past few years I kept my spring calves and sold them in Jan or Feb the following year because the market was down and I was able to let them graze the brome field so I wasn't going through a couple bales every day. Sold last year's spring calves (2017) in Dec but deferred the payment until this year. Talk to your CPA! I don't keep any bull calves unless I have a prior, private treaty agreement. But I do sometimes retain additional heifers to sell as bred - once again depending on the market trend and our forage.


That would be a smart way to do it. If the market is down, hold on to the calves until prices come back up. Hopefully it does not take too long.

Do you not keep bull calves because of lack of space? I know the bulls would have to be kept separate from the heifers after about 10 months old.
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Re: Does it Make More Financial Sense to Keep Cattle Longer?

Postby Caustic Burno » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:27 pm

TCRanch wrote:Depends on the market and your operation. Past few years I kept my spring calves and sold them in Jan or Feb the following year because the market was down and I was able to let them graze the brome field so I wasn't going through a couple bales every day. Sold last year's spring calves (2017) in Dec but deferred the payment until this year. Talk to your CPA! I don't keep any bull calves unless I have a prior, private treaty agreement. But I do sometimes retain additional heifers to sell as bred - once again depending on the market trend and our forage.


Loose your butt on commercial bred heifers here unless it’s a Brangus or Braford. Best you will get is salebarn price. You can go to Crockett sale on any Tuesday and put together a trailer load.
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Re: Does it Make More Financial Sense to Keep Cattle Longer?

Postby TennesseeTuxedo » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:35 pm

Caustic Burno wrote:
TCRanch wrote:Depends on the market and your operation. Past few years I kept my spring calves and sold them in Jan or Feb the following year because the market was down and I was able to let them graze the brome field so I wasn't going through a couple bales every day. Sold last year's spring calves (2017) in Dec but deferred the payment until this year. Talk to your CPA! I don't keep any bull calves unless I have a prior, private treaty agreement. But I do sometimes retain additional heifers to sell as bred - once again depending on the market trend and our forage.


Loose your butt on commercial bred heifers here unless it’s a Brangus or Braford. Best you will get is salebarn price. You can go to Crockett sale on any Tuesday and put together a trailer load.


Good thing she's in Kansas and doesn't have to go to the fabled Crockett sale barn.
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Re: Does it Make More Financial Sense to Keep Cattle Longer?

Postby Bullitt » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:40 pm

Caustic Burno wrote:
TCRanch wrote:Depends on the market and your operation. Past few years I kept my spring calves and sold them in Jan or Feb the following year because the market was down and I was able to let them graze the brome field so I wasn't going through a couple bales every day. Sold last year's spring calves (2017) in Dec but deferred the payment until this year. Talk to your CPA! I don't keep any bull calves unless I have a prior, private treaty agreement. But I do sometimes retain additional heifers to sell as bred - once again depending on the market trend and our forage.


Loose your butt on commercial bred heifers here unless it’s a Brangus or Braford. Best you will get is salebarn price. You can go to Crockett sale on any Tuesday and put together a trailer load.



Maybe it would be good to raise Brangus and/or Braford heifers, breed them, and sell them in your area.
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Re: Does it Make More Financial Sense to Keep Cattle Longer?

Postby Caustic Burno » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:49 pm

TennesseeTuxedo wrote:
Caustic Burno wrote:
TCRanch wrote:Depends on the market and your operation. Past few years I kept my spring calves and sold them in Jan or Feb the following year because the market was down and I was able to let them graze the brome field so I wasn't going through a couple bales every day. Sold last year's spring calves (2017) in Dec but deferred the payment until this year. Talk to your CPA! I don't keep any bull calves unless I have a prior, private treaty agreement. But I do sometimes retain additional heifers to sell as bred - once again depending on the market trend and our forage.


Loose your butt on commercial bred heifers here unless it’s a Brangus or Braford. Best you will get is salebarn price. You can go to Crockett sale on any Tuesday and put together a trailer load.


Good thing she's in Kansas and doesn't have to go to the fabled Crockett sale barn.


You missed that part depends on your market I guess along with the word here.
Or were you just trying to start the same old crap over and over again.
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Re: Does it Make More Financial Sense to Keep Cattle Longer?

Postby TCRanch » Sun Jan 07, 2018 6:55 pm

Caustic Burno wrote:
TCRanch wrote:Depends on the market and your operation. Past few years I kept my spring calves and sold them in Jan or Feb the following year because the market was down and I was able to let them graze the brome field so I wasn't going through a couple bales every day. Sold last year's spring calves (2017) in Dec but deferred the payment until this year. Talk to your CPA! I don't keep any bull calves unless I have a prior, private treaty agreement. But I do sometimes retain additional heifers to sell as bred - once again depending on the market trend and our forage.


Loose your butt on commercial bred heifers here unless it’s a Brangus or Braford. Best you will get is salebarn price. You can go to Crockett sale on any Tuesday and put together a trailer load.


I'm definitely keeping the only ones I retained this year!
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Re: Does it Make More Financial Sense to Keep Cattle Longer?

Postby Caustic Burno » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:03 pm

TCRanch wrote:
Caustic Burno wrote:
TCRanch wrote:Depends on the market and your operation. Past few years I kept my spring calves and sold them in Jan or Feb the following year because the market was down and I was able to let them graze the brome field so I wasn't going through a couple bales every day. Sold last year's spring calves (2017) in Dec but deferred the payment until this year. Talk to your CPA! I don't keep any bull calves unless I have a prior, private treaty agreement. But I do sometimes retain additional heifers to sell as bred - once again depending on the market trend and our forage.


Loose your butt on commercial bred heifers here unless it’s a Brangus or Braford. Best you will get is salebarn price. You can go to Crockett sale on any Tuesday and put together a trailer load.


I'm definitely keeping the only ones I retained this year!


You could have gotten rich off bred heifers a few years ago no matter the breed in 2012 through 2014 .
Bred cows are going for 800 to 1600 right now, prices have been down last few months, just not a lot of back to the farm interest.
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Re: Does it Make More Financial Sense to Keep Cattle Longer?

Postby TCRanch » Sun Jan 07, 2018 7:43 pm

Caustic Burno wrote:
TCRanch wrote:
Caustic Burno wrote:
Loose your butt on commercial bred heifers here unless it’s a Brangus or Braford. Best you will get is salebarn price. You can go to Crockett sale on any Tuesday and put together a trailer load.


I'm definitely keeping the only ones I retained this year!


You could have gotten rich off bred heifers a few years ago no matter the breed in 2012 through 2014 .
Bred cows are going for 800 to 1600 right now, prices have been down last few months, just not a lot of back to the farm interest.

I did very well off my bred heifers a few years back, didn't sell any last year and just a couple private treaty the year prior. I took a 7 year old bred cow to the sale barn a few months ago and was shocked she sold as butcher. Felt horrible, like I should have kept her, but she was giving me a calf every other year and I really needed to cull.
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