What to do? I need some opinions.

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BC Acres
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What to do? I need some opinions.

Postby BC Acres » Sat Apr 22, 2017 5:45 pm

First, let me tell you I am nothing but a hobby cattleman. I only have a small herd of 5 mommas, and I am in the middle of my 2nd calving season. Of my 5, three are having their 2nd calves and two are having their first calves, one of which has already calved. I sell calves in the fall at about 500 lbs. I am not in it for the money. I enjoy being around the cattle and spend time with them daily. I enjoy learning more and more about them. I don't want to lose my shirt, but I'm not dependent on cattle for income. I have a regular job for that. Anyway, here is the problem:

My brother is in the same boat in that he has a small herd. He has a pretty nice bull that we swap back and forth so I have calves in the spring and he has calves in the fall. Great deal, but he wants out. He owns the bull outright and has offered to sell him to me, but in my opinion he wants a little too much, and I generally try to avoid large exchanges of money amongst family. Plus, I am pushing my stalking rate already. I'm trying to start a rotational grazing set up so it works better. If I add a bull, I'm sure I will be well over stocked. Plus, if I need to separate him to keep a calving schedule, there wouldn't be any shelter should there be sever weather of some kind. He would have shade but nothing for extreme cold or hail etc. So what should I do?

1. Sell my pairs this fall and buy calves and background them.
2. Learn how to AI and do it myself.
3. Buy my own bull and hope weather isn't too bad when separated. Feed hay most of the year.
4. Sell my stock and buy my own bull. Buy pairs, breed momma and sell as heavy breds and sell calves too.
5. Say heck with it and sell out.
6. Other

Help me figure out what to do.

By the way, I live in KS if that matters.
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Re: What to do? I need some opinions.

Postby kucala5 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:24 pm

We lease a bull for breeding and have 26 momma cows. Our place doesn't easily support separating a bull from the herd when we would need to so that's the approach we've taken so far.
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RanchMan90
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Re: What to do? I need some opinions.

Postby RanchMan90 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:26 pm

Renting a bull may be an option so he's not on the feed bill year round. Or buying steers you'd never have to deal with a bull again. Whatever makes you happy if your not in it for a profit.
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BC Acres
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Re: What to do? I need some opinions.

Postby BC Acres » Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:39 pm

I have access to a bull I could rent. Should I be worried about disease from an outside bull?
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Re: What to do? I need some opinions.

Postby Workinonit Farm » Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:50 pm

BC Acres wrote:I have access to a bull I could rent. Should I be worried about disease from an outside bull?


Do you know the vaccination/management history on the bull? Do you know the history nd health of the cows that he's with? Are your cows well vaccinated?

If he, the cows he's with, and your animals are healthy, have good health histories, vaccination records, then I wouldn't be too concerned. You could always have him tested for any communicable diseases prior to signing a lease agreement.
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Re: What to do? I need some opinions.

Postby RanchMan90 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 6:57 pm

BC Acres wrote:I have access to a bull I could rent. Should I be worried about disease from an outside bull?

Just be sure he's fertility and trich tested.
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Re: What to do? I need some opinions.

Postby BC Acres » Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:21 pm

I just learned about my brother getting out a few days ago. I heard yesterday that there was a bull available from a coworker. She is a nice lady who is running her grandpa's herd after he passed a few years ago. I haven't had time to look into the bull and get health records and epds. My cows are on a regular vaccination schedule and have access to free mineral. I don't know about hers, but I would guess not. He has been rented out in other places already. Initially, I was a little hesitant.
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Re: What to do? I need some opinions.

Postby M-5 » Sat Apr 22, 2017 7:58 pm

You can buy a decent virgin bull for no more than 2500. Sell him after your done the loss you take should be no more than the rent you would have incurred.
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True Grit Farms
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Re: What to do? I need some opinions.

Postby True Grit Farms » Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:15 pm

Good young bulls come through the sale barns here almost weekly. And most of the time you can buy them for a bid or two over kill prices.
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Re: What to do? I need some opinions.

Postby BC Acres » Sat Apr 22, 2017 8:59 pm

True Grit Farms wrote:Good young bulls come through the sale barns here almost weekly. And most of the time you can buy them for a bid or two over kill prices.


Would you feel safe buying a bull you don't know what the calving ease might be? He would be the sire of the second and third calves of my cows. How many calves until you don't put too much stock in calving ease?
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Re: What to do? I need some opinions.

Postby bse » Sun Apr 23, 2017 5:35 am

Have someone come out and A I. No disease, should be way better bulls than you are gonna pick up at the local sale barn. Cost on 5 head should run around 300, you can't lease a bull for that!
Take the time to learn yourself how to do it, you will end up with around $750 in a tank and breeding kit + school. If you like being around them learning A I and doing your own will be something you will really enjoy.
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Re: What to do? I need some opinions.

Postby BC Acres » Sun Apr 23, 2017 7:28 am

bse wrote:Have someone come out and A I. No disease, should be way better bulls than you are gonna pick up at the local sale barn. Cost on 5 head should run around 300, you can't lease a bull for that!
Take the time to learn yourself how to do it, you will end up with around $750 in a tank and breeding kit + school. If you like being around them learning A I and doing your own will be something you will really enjoy.



I've been debating going to AI school. I've heard people say it seems much easier at school than it does in real life. If I had someone AI them, are there people that do it professionally, or do I just need to find someone that does their own and ask for help?
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Re: What to do? I need some opinions.

Postby Rafter S » Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:04 am

You mentioned calving ease. As I've said here a time out two before, while I'm very concerned about it with a 2-year old having her first calf, after that I don't worry about it at all. Unless you're breeding to a Belgian Blue, or something similar, the greatest effect you'll likely see from selecting for calving ease on mature cows is lower weaning weights.
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Re: What to do? I need some opinions.

Postby alisonb » Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:06 am

bse wrote:Have someone come out and A I. No disease, should be way better bulls than you are gonna pick up at the local sale barn. Cost on 5 head should run around 300, you can't lease a bull for that!
Take the time to learn yourself how to do it, you will end up with around $750 in a tank and breeding kit + school. If you like being around them learning A I and doing your own will be something you will really enjoy.

Good advice!
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BC Acres
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Re: What to do? I need some opinions.

Postby BC Acres » Sun Apr 23, 2017 9:10 am

Rafter S wrote:You mentioned calving ease. As I've said here a time out two before, while I'm very concerned about it with a 2-year old having her first calf, after that I don't worry about it at all. Unless you're breeding to a Belgian Blue, or something similar, the greatest effect you'll likely see from selecting for calving ease on mature cows is lower weaning weights.



I mentioned calving ease just for peace of mind. I know there are no guarantees but it seems like there may be less chance of a difficult birth if a calving ease bull was used. I'm probably just overly cautious. I am only on my second round of calves so I'm still pretty green. Should I be more focused on birthweight instead? If so, what range do you look for? Thanks for the comments. Love the suggestions.
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