Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

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Boon
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Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

Postby Boon » Tue May 16, 2017 11:21 am

Like many people I have been searching on here for months, and learning from your wisdom. MUCH IS APPRECIATED.

Background:
29 Years Old
Central Texas
Off Farm income Yr/ $150k
My job is 100% work from home.
I currently own a home 1.5 hours away from the property I am looking at purchasing. The land closer is move expensive for 70% less land.
26 Acres Purchase Price $90,000
90% Pasture with Pond
100% Fenced Property


I grew up on a family farm outside of Mobile, AL. My Great Grandfather and Grandfather (Basically Father) worked this land until the farm was finally sold in 2006. I lived on the farm growing up and then went back and worked the farm over the summer every year until my early 20's. We did not manage a herd but physically managed the 200 acres and the things associated with that ( Fence Management, Pasture management, etc..) Additionally we had 50 acres of Pecans that we harvested every year and sold direct to consumers. I inherited

Previous Business Experience: I was the CEO of a smallish company for about 3 years doing good business in the 7 figure range. My point is that I have operated and actual business before. I know some things will transfer and most wont, but just some background info.

My Plan: I want to start a full grass fed operation with a market direct to consumers under the family farm name. Grass Fed Cow, Sheep, Pig, Chicken. My plan is to start small with 6 cow calf pairs (Limousines Registered) and approx 20 sheep (White Dorper), and 50 chickens (undecided). I would do rotational grazing on the property with daily moves and separate the different livestock. Additionally I would build a Barndominium to house some of the livestock and also have a place to stay. Each section would provide access to the pond for water and also individual shelters per section.

I would use AI on the cattle instead of having the Bull issue. Raise up to slaughter weight and then off to the butcher. In the middle keep replacement heifers, cull bad producers, and get rid of any problem stock. I would castrate the steers and keep them until they are nice and ready to eat.

Sheep and Chickens would be similar approach minus the AI aspects.

Being in central texas (hippieville) home of World Market etc... There is a huge market for this type of operation. I am a salesman by trade so its not really and issue for me to market my own goods regardless of where I do it. Additionally I already have some commitments from some very large local restaurants I have relationships with.

I additionally inherited all of the old farm equipment so I dont need a tractor or tools etc. Just cattle related equipment. Additionally I am hoping that I can keep my costs low with not having to buy as much feed as opposed to grazing.

I just want someone to shoot a hole in my plan haha. I feel that I have a good understanding of what I am getting myself into, but is my plan too good to be true (in my head).

sorry for all the info just trying to be clear.

Thanks,
Boon

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TennesseeTuxedo
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Re: Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

Postby TennesseeTuxedo » Tue May 16, 2017 1:15 pm

:welcome: to CT Boon.

You're gonna need more land.
The more I read here the less I know.

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Re: Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

Postby HDRider » Tue May 16, 2017 1:19 pm

Might want to research grass fed/finish genetics too.
:welcome: to CT and BT
bball wrote: "The juice wasn't worth the squeeze."
Dun said, "You gotta be flexible. Do whatever you have to do for the best results within your limitations."

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Re: Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

Postby M-5 » Tue May 16, 2017 1:32 pm

it all starts with a dream and only suggestion I have is scale it way back , Its gonna be more work than you think it will be at times and if your in sales unless it a pyramid scheme sales require you being intouch with customers and when things get sideways on a farm the sales slip and soon your in a downward spiral. Start small and slow and grow as your become adjusted to it.

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Re: Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

Postby callmefence » Tue May 16, 2017 1:37 pm

Keep hammering at that off farm income until you can get a bigger place. Lots of time 26 acres won't feed 2
The more I work the luckier I get...TexasBred


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Boon
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Re: Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

Postby Boon » Tue May 16, 2017 1:41 pm

How much should I scale back on herd numbers? Also what is the ideal size farm in central texas? Having been in business before I would rather not jump into something until I am doing it right the first time. I have the money to learn "the hard way" to a point.

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Re: Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

Postby HDRider » Tue May 16, 2017 1:49 pm

bball wrote: "The juice wasn't worth the squeeze."
Dun said, "You gotta be flexible. Do whatever you have to do for the best results within your limitations."

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Re: Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

Postby Rafter S » Tue May 16, 2017 2:26 pm

Boon wrote:How much should I scale back on herd numbers? Also what is the ideal size farm in central texas? Having been in business before I would rather not jump into something until I am doing it right the first time. I have the money to learn "the hard way" to a point.


I don't know anything about grass fed (except that the two times I've tried it I needed a chisel to cut the steaks), but I'm not far from you, and I wouldn't try to carry more than 8 cow-calf pairs on 26 acres. That's not counting any retained heifers or steers that are growing out to finish size, so I wouldn't try more than 4 cows starting out.

And I agree with whoever above advised starting slow. Don't try raising and marketing multiple kinds of livestock right away. Start with one, or two at most. When you get the bugs worked out add one more. Repeat as needed until you decide your plate is full (and I suspect it will be before you get to the 4 you're currently planning).
"I spent half my money on wine, women, and song.....and like a fool I squandered the rest." - Benny Hill

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Re: Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

Postby RanchMan90 » Tue May 16, 2017 2:41 pm

I think you would come out money ahead buying some big steers (1000+ lbs) to get some cash flow going and use your marketing skills to your advantage. You can buy them cheaper than you can raise them calculating what your time and land is worth :2cents:
Success is not a station on the railroad where you get off and your life's work is complete. Success is the train itself ~ Allan Nation

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Re: Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

Postby HDRider » Tue May 16, 2017 2:52 pm

RanchMan90 wrote:I think you would come out money ahead buying some big steers (1000+ lbs) to get some cash flow going and use your marketing skills to your advantage. You can buy them cheaper than you can raise them calculating what your time and land is worth :2cents:


And that is the saddest fact in the cattle business...
bball wrote: "The juice wasn't worth the squeeze."
Dun said, "You gotta be flexible. Do whatever you have to do for the best results within your limitations."

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Re: Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

Postby callmefence » Tue May 16, 2017 3:05 pm

Centex is a big place with varying topography.
What kinda country are you in.
The more I work the luckier I get...TexasBred


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Re: Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

Postby True Grit Farms » Tue May 16, 2017 3:16 pm

The biggest hole I see is your choice of cattle. Using Angus cattle is the way to go, especially if your marketing directly to the consumer. The ribeye, tenderness and marbling is where Angus cattle really shine.
Your head should be used for more than a hat rack.

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Re: Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

Postby HDRider » Tue May 16, 2017 3:19 pm

True Grit Farms wrote:The biggest hole I see is your choice of cattle. Using Angus cattle is the way to go, especially if your marketing directly to the consumer. The ribeye, tenderness and marbling is where Angus cattle really shine.

Real Angus, or black CAB faux Angus?
bball wrote: "The juice wasn't worth the squeeze."
Dun said, "You gotta be flexible. Do whatever you have to do for the best results within your limitations."

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Re: Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

Postby True Grit Farms » Tue May 16, 2017 3:45 pm

HDRider wrote:
True Grit Farms wrote:The biggest hole I see is your choice of cattle. Using Angus cattle is the way to go, especially if your marketing directly to the consumer. The ribeye, tenderness and marbling is where Angus cattle really shine.

Real Angus, or black CAB faux Angus?


REAL.
Your head should be used for more than a hat rack.

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Re: Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

Postby TexasBred » Tue May 16, 2017 4:11 pm

True Grit Farms wrote:
HDRider wrote:
True Grit Farms wrote:The biggest hole I see is your choice of cattle. Using Angus cattle is the way to go, especially if your marketing directly to the consumer. The ribeye, tenderness and marbling is where Angus cattle really shine.

Real Angus, or black CAB faux Angus?


REAL.



NObody knows the difference. lol
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