Cow calf vs steer operation?

Backgrounding & feeding questions.
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True Grit Farms
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Re: Cow calf vs steer operation?

Postby True Grit Farms » Sat Aug 04, 2018 4:55 pm

Lrj505 wrote:I think I need to sell everything and buy better cows

Your better off keeping your good cows and culling your bad one's. You can buy the best cow and if it doesn't fit your property or management style it won't work.
If we'd of know this we'd of picked our own cotton.

Lrj505
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Re: Cow calf vs steer operation?

Postby Lrj505 » Sat Aug 04, 2018 5:28 pm

I figured out how to buy and trade cheap and upgrade. Now I need to figure how/where/when to sell. The salebarns are all about stealing each other’s cattle.

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Re: Cow calf vs steer operation?

Postby True Grit Farms » Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:48 pm

You ain't stealing any cows around here at the sale barn. There's a half dozen or more full time cow traders at evey sale and that many or more folks like me looking for a good deal. The traders are going to buy everything that you can flip and make a buck on quickly.
I've spent a lot of time at the sale barns trying to figure out what the traders are seeing in cattle. And don't ever get in a bidding war with a cow trader, you'll end up losing.
If we'd of know this we'd of picked our own cotton.

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Re: Cow calf vs steer operation?

Postby Lrj505 » Sat Aug 04, 2018 7:55 pm

I know a filthy rich trader. He has pens here. He buys every week. Once he has a semi load he sends them to Nebraska. Prices are super high

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Re: Cow calf vs steer operation?

Postby Tbrake » Tue Aug 21, 2018 7:18 pm

Every cattle trader I know is all but broke. They are running out of banks that will finance them because they have screwed all of them over.
Your not going to make much money on that amount of acreage, unless you are a lot better than me.
Buy you 3-4 nice cows and and sell a calf off of them each year.
Or buy you 6-10 calves and feed them through the summer while there is forage. Sell that alfalfa.
To make this work you need to buy calves that are healthy and going to grow, for a fair price.

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Nesikep
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Re: Cow calf vs steer operation?

Postby Nesikep » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:39 pm

okiek wrote:I've done both for many years and could argue either side. Agree with True Grit on pricing. I'd take 2 truck loads of $300 steers with no spots!!

I can give you my exact steer numbers for last year. I bought heavy 4 and light 5 weights. I put them on native grasses, and other than a little cake on weekends to keep them coming in the lot, that's all they got. Bought them mid May and sold them 11-1. I did not do ear implants last year. Everyone dreams of 2lb a day gain, but without implants my steers averaged 1.32 adg. You can figure the profit based on your market. Based on my available grass, I can run a lot more 5 weight steers than cow calf pairs. However, I lose more and treat WAY more sickness in stockers than I do my own herd.

If you run maximum carrying capacity of both, I don't feel there's a huge difference in profit margin. My grandfather started his cattle business in 1916 and kept way more meticulous records than I do and he always told me the difference wasn't great enough to keep you from doing the one you enjoy most. That being said, I enjoy the pairs more and feel the work they cause is somewhat more enjoyable and they cause me personally less stress.

The way I look at it is that while of course cows do have expenses, they do create money out of nothing but grass.. a downturn won't put you in the hole as fast as a downturn while you're holding onto animals you've had to lay out cash to buy in the first place.
What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence
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Nesikep
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Re: Cow calf vs steer operation?

Postby Nesikep » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:40 pm

True Grit Farms wrote:You ain't stealing any cows around here at the sale barn. There's a half dozen or more full time cow traders at evey sale and that many or more folks like me looking for a good deal. The traders are going to buy everything that you can flip and make a buck on quickly.
I've spent a lot of time at the sale barns trying to figure out what the traders are seeing in cattle. And don't ever get in a bidding war with a cow trader, you'll end up losing.

you can make honest people out of them though :P
What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence
-Christopher Hitchens

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Jeanne - Simme Valley
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Re: Cow calf vs steer operation?

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Sat Aug 25, 2018 5:17 pm

there is no "get rich quick" in our business. You are looking for pie in the sky. Raise a few steers, feed them out, put great meat in your freezer & sell the other halves.
Simme Valley of New York - http://www.SimmeValley.com
"We make a living by what we get,
we make a life by what we give."