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What Age To Take To Sale Barn

Posted: Tue May 09, 2017 8:52 pm
by TexFarmer
I've done some looking around for this answer and haven't found a very concise answer. What is the best age, in regards to profitability, to take calves (steers and cull heifers) to the sale barn? I've seen some say around 6 months or weening time, some say around a year, some say older. I'll be buying hay for my herd this winter so for my calves that were born this spring is it better for me to sell them in the fall so that I don't have to over-winter them or would it be better to feed them until spring rolls back around and they are yearlings or should I wait longer to sell them?

Re: What Age To Take To Sale Barn

Posted: Wed May 10, 2017 5:29 am
by MartinFarms
It is more based on weight and if you decide to wean or not. But generally I will send them on their way between 6-8 months of age or about 500#'s. Some times if I have the feed I may hold them longer.

Re: What Age To Take To Sale Barn

Posted: Wed May 10, 2017 7:44 am
by Rafter S
I wean my calves when they're about 8 months. I take the heifers that I'm keeping home, and the steers get weaned on the trailer on the way to the auction barn.

Re: What Age To Take To Sale Barn

Posted: Wed May 10, 2017 9:59 am
by TCRanch
In our case it depends on the market and our current hay or grazing situation. We wean appx 6 months for a minimum 30 days, generally 45. The past couple of years the market has tanked Nov & Dec so we kept them over the winter and let them graze the brome field, supplementing with bales & cubes. Prices started picking up again mid Jan so that's when we sold them.

Another consideration is our taxes; whether we need to show that income for the current or following year.

Re: What Age To Take To Sale Barn

Posted: Wed May 10, 2017 10:52 am
by Son of Butch
TexFarmer wrote:I've done some looking around for this answer and haven't found a very concise answer. What is the best age, in regards to profitability, to take calves (steers and cull heifers) to the sale barn? Some say 6 months some say around a year or older...

12.5 - 13 months
But really depends on what you have and what you are doing.
We sold 6 fat steers at sale barn yesterday average age was 11.5 months (352 days) and weighed 1360 lbs for 1.34
They all were home raised 3/4 black angus 1/4 holstein none showed much holstein, all were 100% polled and black.
All were banded at 6-9 weeks and implanted with ral-grow as calves and then Encore implant going into our feed lot.

Should have fed them another 21-30 days and sold them at 1450 lbs
BUT we really needed the $ bad by May 10th so we were kind of forced to sell them a tad early :(
Tempted to put 4 straight hereford fats (purchased at sale barn as feeders) on the load too, but guess what...
I'll need money next month too. :(

We fed 'em on a TMR Ration of:
1 part corn silage, 2 parts ear-lage, 3 pounds of alfalfa/grass mix hay, ddg and mineral mix containing rumensin

Re: What Age To Take To Sale Barn

Posted: Wed May 10, 2017 5:02 pm
by snoopdog
There's no "right " answer . If you have to buy feed , you have to weigh the cost versus gain versus the market . You can do good or you can get burned . The magic number varies with season and market . My advice would be avoid the fall rush, but anything can happen and has.

Re: What Age To Take To Sale Barn

Posted: Wed May 10, 2017 8:04 pm
by Son of Butch
snoopdog wrote:There's no "right " answer. If you have to buy feed, you have to weigh the cost versus gain versus the market .

True. Although you also need to weigh the price you can get selling your feed vs your return by feeding it.
It doesn't happen often, but...
Several years ago (2008?) we were finishing on shelled corn when cash corn went over $7 bushel and it made more
sense to sell out the steers and sell our corn than to keep feeding them corn.

Original poster stated they were unable to find a concise answer as to timing of sales.
I was tempted to reply... Always sell them between the 10th full moon and the 11th new moon of the year.
Then (right or wrong) they'd at least have a rule to follow.

Re: What Age To Take To Sale Barn

Posted: Wed May 10, 2017 8:37 pm
by Caustic Burno
Here it is by weight I target 5 to 6 wts
that is the break you have to pull the pencil. The 5wt at average price is currently bringing 800.00 the 6wt 900.00. How much cost and time are you going to incur to get that e100 lbs.

Re: What Age To Take To Sale Barn

Posted: Wed May 10, 2017 9:06 pm
by TexFarmer
Caustic Burno wrote:Here it is by weight I target 5 to 6 wts
that is the break you have to pull the pencil. The 5wt at average price is currently bringing 800.00 the 6wt 900.00. How much cost and time are you going to incur to get that e100 lbs.

Without the luxury of a scale, what age do Brangus steers and heifers reach 5 to 6 wts?

Re: What Age To Take To Sale Barn

Posted: Wed May 10, 2017 9:17 pm
by Rafter S
TexFarmer wrote:
Caustic Burno wrote:Here it is by weight I target 5 to 6 wts
that is the break you have to pull the pencil. The 5wt at average price is currently bringing 800.00 the 6wt 900.00. How much cost and time are you going to incur to get that e100 lbs.

Without the luxury of a scale, what age do Brangus steers and heifers reach 5 to 6 wts?


Without seeing the calves, probably about 8 months.

Re: What Age To Take To Sale Barn

Posted: Fri May 12, 2017 8:02 pm
by snoopdog
The magic number for us, if there is such a thing, in the past was 650lbs. They brought the most with the least input. your mileage may vary

Re: What Age To Take To Sale Barn

Posted: Fri May 12, 2017 9:12 pm
by ricebeltrancher
Sell when you are maximizing your profit. Simple as that. Could be heavy, could be light. That's when it pays to start sitting through the sale you plan on taking them to and checking their market reports.