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What does everyone think is the optimal weight to sell calve

Posted: Wed Mar 15, 2006 4:03 pm
by DoubleK
Hello everyone

I'm new to this site and was wanting to get some opinions on selling my calves. I'm a small producer (around 40 calves per year) and I have participated in the wean/vac sales the last 2 years. My question is, should I hold my calves until they weigh 800 or so or should I just sell them straight off the cow. There are costs associated with the extra weight and they always seem to bring less per pound so, I just would like to hear from you each and every one.



Thx


Dubya

calves

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 5:24 pm
by ARMTco@aol.com
If you were here and they were black hided, I can get you $1.40 at least a pound if it's right around 500lbs. If that helps any but, I am in WV

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 9:58 pm
by D.R. Cattle
I like to wean around 450-500 lbs. But it's important to wean your calves and give your cows ample time to recover for the next crop, whatever the weight is.

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 10:06 pm
by Bez!
Break out the pencil and do your math.

Find the two or three sale barns that you are likely to deal with. Ask them for their historic pricing on a monthly basis for the past few years.

Then figure wht the calves are worth - approximately is as close as you will ever get. Then figure wht it costs you to keep them.

You now have YOUR answer.

It will not be the same as your neighbour - it will be YOUR most advantgeous weight.

Bez!

Posted: Fri Mar 17, 2006 11:07 pm
by Bama
I go pretty much the same as Bez, but with a little extra.

You need to know the

weight of the calf
average daily gain
cost of keeping per day
drawdown on momma
todays price and expected price in weeks to come

All of these will change from day to day due to calf eating more, weather changing, grass condition, market condition, and other factors.

I try to take into account all of these things and project it out a couple of months. You will never hit on the perfect number but you can get reasonablly close. No two calves are alike nor can you say always sell at a certain weight. To many varibles. For instance a 300 pound calf bringing (to make math easier) 1.50 per pound is $450. A 600 pound calf at $1.00 per pound is $600. Now figure out how much it cost you to grow it from 300 to 600 pounds. These are just numbers I threw out. Run the numbers in your operation to get your best guess.

Thats what I was thinking

Posted: Sat Mar 18, 2006 9:47 pm
by DoubleK
Guys, Thanks so much for your thoughts. Not always a cut and dried situation.

Again, many thanks

Dub

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 6:26 am
by Limomike
I agree, whatever the costs are associated with keeping the weened calves from around 4-500lbs up to 7-800, then thats what needs to be figured. If I have calves on pasture that I have weened, then I let em grow. It costs me nothing to just let them eat all summer, and gain that extra weight.

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 6:42 am
by dun
Limomike wrote:I agree, whatever the costs are associated with keeping the weened calves from around 4-500lbs up to 7-800, then thats what needs to be figured. If I have calves on pasture that I have weened, then I let em grow. It costs me nothing to just let them eat all summer, and gain that extra weight.


If they're growing they're eating. If they're eating the grass they consume has value. There is no free lunch. Heterosis may be close, but it isn;t really free either

dun

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 7:50 am
by flaboy+
I sell at 5-6 months regardless of weight. Some go as early as 4 months if mom if getting pulled down badly.

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 11:13 am
by Farminlund
Although costs to keep a calf can't be discounted, I put more weight on the calf's age & ma's body condition when making the sell decission. Marketing earlier than 6- 8 months IMO is not properly/fully utilizing the ma, later than that & you are risking the next calf crop. So much like flaboy, I sell around 7 months regardless of weight (I will keep or sell if close to a 100# incremement as that makes a big difference in the price per pound). For example, a 6+ month calf at 500 will be kept for another month or so, while a 7 month old 590 goes right now. Then I use the adjusted 205 weights to determine cow performance & cull accordingly.

free?

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 2:11 pm
by DoubleK
dun wrote:
Limomike wrote:I agree, whatever the costs are associated with keeping the weened calves from around 4-500lbs up to 7-800, then thats what needs to be figured. If I have calves on pasture that I have weened, then I let em grow. It costs me nothing to just let them eat all summer, and gain that extra weight.


If they're growing they're eating. If they're eating the grass they consume has value. There is no free lunch. Heterosis may be close, but it isn;t really free either

dun


Dun, can you explain what you mean by Heterosis may be close to being free. Thanks

Dub

Re: free?

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 3:17 pm
by dun
DoubleK wrote:Dun, can you explain what you mean by Heterosis may be close to being free. Thanks

Dub


With selection of the right breeds and good quliaty animals within the breeds the offspring are typically better doing animals then either parent.
The reason it's almost free is because thosee critters to gain the additionla wiehgt to meet their potential still takes grass.

dun

Re: free?

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 5:00 pm
by DoubleK
dun wrote:
DoubleK wrote:Dun, can you explain what you mean by Heterosis may be close to being free. Thanks

Dub


With selection of the right breeds and good quliaty animals within the breeds the offspring are typically better doing animals then either parent.
The reason it's almost free is because thosee critters to gain the additionla wiehgt to meet their potential still takes grass.

dun


OK, thanks, I have always heard the term heterosis but, I wasn't quite sure what that meant. Thanks for answering without making it seem like it was a dumb question (although it probably was)


Dub

Re: free?

Posted: Mon Mar 20, 2006 5:08 pm
by dun
DoubleK wrote:
dun wrote:
DoubleK wrote:Dun, can you explain what you mean by Heterosis may be close to being free. Thanks

Dub


With selection of the right breeds and good quliaty animals within the breeds the offspring are typically better doing animals then either parent.
The reason it's almost free is because thosee critters to gain the additionla wiehgt to meet their potential still takes grass.

dun


OK, thanks, I have always heard the term heterosis but, I wasn't quite sure what that meant. Thanks for answering without making it seem like it was a dumb question (although it probably was)


Dub

Not dumb at all. Searchthis site for heterosis or hybred vigor and you'll find multiple discussion of the subject.

dun