Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

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Caustic Burno
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Re: Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

Postby Caustic Burno » Tue May 16, 2017 4:50 pm

Grit he is in Texas all his calves will drown trying to nurse in our summer.
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Brute 23
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Re: Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

Postby Brute 23 » Tue May 16, 2017 5:16 pm

It will be very hard to do with that amount of acres. You need 5ac per pair of improved grass and 10ac per pair native to raise a calf best case scenario. Depending on where exactly you are talking it may be more. That is not counting finishing out the calves.

I would look in to finding some one to produce you calves to a certain size, as suggested, then taking them to your place to finish out. As you get a feel for your market, if all is going well, you can look at purchasing or leasing more land.

IMO the most money you will make is being the the middle and end man. The original producer usually takes on the most risk for the smallest reward.

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Re: Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

Postby Boon » Tue May 16, 2017 9:08 pm

Thanks for all of the feedback. This property is near college station texas if that helps. Seems to be good grazing fields everything is green an up to your knees. I was thinking about using the dorpers to manage the weeds in the pasture FYI.

So the overall agreement that I can see above is-

1. Lower the total number of everything and just raise finishing steers?
2. Raise Angus ( should these be registered)

A few questions-
Should I have buy 1 3in1 and then a few steers? make money on whatever the cow produces and get some quick return? If she puts a steer out then keep it? If I do this I will end up with in expensive replacement cattle.

Also should I buy around this time of year and move them around Jan- Feb pending weight and finishing? If I do this should I buy a few throughout the year so that I have a constant supply of meat and in turn constantly selling?

all of yalls thoughts and ideas are very appreciated thanks everyone!

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Re: Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

Postby callmefence » Tue May 16, 2017 9:49 pm

Boon wrote:Thanks for all of the feedback. This property is near college station texas if that helps. Seems to be good grazing fields everything is green an up to your knees. I was thinking about using the dorpers to manage the weeds in the pasture FYI.

So the overall agreement that I can see above is-

1. Lower the total number of everything and just raise finishing steers?
2. Raise Angus ( should these be registered)

A few questions-
Should I have buy 1 3in1 and then a few steers? make money on whatever the cow produces and get some quick return? If she puts a steer out then keep it? If I do this I will end up with in expensive replacement cattle.

Also should I buy around this time of year and move them around Jan- Feb pending weight and finishing? If I do this should I buy a few throughout the year so that I have a constant supply of meat and in turn constantly selling?

all of yalls thoughts and ideas are very appreciated thanks everyone!


See that's east Texas to me. I figured you closer to Austin.(hippie reference)
That's a whole lot better country . if your willing to hustle and god keeps you in rain you might pull off a cow to 3 acres. You should be able to get corn and cotten Seed close enough and cheap enough. ( oh yeah grass feed) anyways I'd forget the sheep. Use 24d and fertilizer and I won't tell. Get ready to make some hard decisions if it quits raining. And your going be working for WAY less than your used to.

As 5 said don't let your real job suffer. Dance with the one that bring you.
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Re: Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

Postby Rafter S » Tue May 16, 2017 10:25 pm

Brute23,

With all the respect in the world, you're all wet saying he needs 10 acres of native grass per pair, unless you mean getting by without feeding any hay. Even then I don't think you'd need more than 7 acres per pair. Three are enough (assuming average rainfall) if you don't mind feeding hay for 3-4 months. He's in my part of the country, so this time I know what I'm talking about.
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Re: Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

Postby Rafter S » Tue May 16, 2017 10:32 pm

Boon,
Like Fence I had assumed you were close to The People's Republic of Austin. B/CS is my part of the country. I work just outside Bryan going toward Caldwell, and live between Navasota and Hempstead. I wouldn't mind meeting you sometime if you'd like.

And to answer at least one of your questions, while I agree that Angus would probably be a better choice than Limousin for grass fed, there's no reason I can think of why they'd need to be registered. Neither you nor your customers are going to eat those registration papers.
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Re: Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

Postby Brute 23 » Tue May 16, 2017 10:48 pm

That area is coming out of 3 of the wettest years in history... it's going to look good. When it gets bad... it will get bad.

The best thing for weeds is a low stocking rate and a chemical weed killer.

No one cares if their steak is registered or not.

You might shop that area a little harder. Depending on which direction you go out of college station you might find a better deal on a larger piece of land.

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Re: Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

Postby Angus86 » Wed May 17, 2017 12:36 am

Regarding the sheep.. remember you will have to protect them from predators and being 1.5 hours away this may be difficult.

I keep sheep, goats, and cattle but I have to put the sheep and goats up at night or risk the coyotes.

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Re: Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

Postby dieselbeef » Wed May 17, 2017 6:46 am

good luck selling the meat. processing will kill the market. people wont pay unless you sell by the piece..26 ac aint much grass..7-8 cow calf?
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Re: Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

Postby RanchMan90 » Wed May 17, 2017 6:52 am

Boon wrote:Thanks for all of the feedback. This property is near college station texas if that helps. Seems to be good grazing fields everything is green an up to your knees. I was thinking about using the dorpers to manage the weeds in the pasture FYI.

So the overall agreement that I can see above is-

1. Lower the total number of everything and just raise finishing steers?
2. Raise Angus ( should these be registered)

A few questions-
Should I have buy 1 3in1 and then a few steers? make money on whatever the cow produces and get some quick return? If she puts a steer out then keep it? If I do this I will end up with in expensive replacement cattle.

Also should I buy around this time of year and move them around Jan- Feb pending weight and finishing? If I do this should I buy a few throughout the year so that I have a constant supply of meat and in turn constantly selling?

all of yalls thoughts and ideas are very appreciated thanks everyone!

What are your goals? Do you know your customer? Know how to sell it before you buy it. I wouldn't recommend any brood animals living that far from the place unless you need tax shelter. Some 1000+ pounds steers or heifers should finish out around the holidays when beef is in highest demand. 3-4 head would be a good start unless it's pre-sold. Feeding alfalfa should count as grass fed?
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Re: Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

Postby dieselbeef » Wed May 17, 2017 8:11 am

i actually waded thru that entire first post...so you got a day job..land is an hr and 1/2 away. and your planning to mob graze the land and move em everyday..

that operation with the varying animals and all your trying to do is so labor intensive youre destined to fail. jmo.its worth nothing...

like I said...everyone wants grass finished beef till they get the price..then walmart crap looks pretty good to em

angus aren't grass finished cattle. and to keep a good supply of them on hand they will need to be of varying ages all yr so harvest is continual. cant sell all your meat..10 calves at one time to consumers..never do it. so one a month is good til ya start getting stuck with cuts no one wants..and they have to be reground into burger to sell it. got alotta freezer space I hope.
planning on raising them from ai? 2 yrs to get a good finished steer on grass alone to make good weight. 1200lbs approx.
so the 2nd yr youll have all the cows..the first calf..then the 2nd calf and you wont be butchering until they probly have a third calf. all on the ground at once. if you can sell them all on time
Last edited by dieselbeef on Wed May 17, 2017 8:45 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

Postby BC » Wed May 17, 2017 8:36 am

Texas A&M recently held a Grassfed Beef Conference. I hope you attended. The secret to grass finished cattle is two fold- 1)the right genetics and 2) high quality grass.

You do not need registered cattle for this type operation. You do need cattle that are easy fleshing and earlier maturing. Your first choice for a breed would not be one I would choose for a grassfed beef. Not bashing Limousin's, they are good cattle and have a place when trying to capture a yield premium. That is not the case in a grassfed program. It was suggested that instead of cow-calf pairs, you buy yearlings to graze and finish. This makes sense as you are merchandising your grass and not having to maintain a factory.

Now to forages. Cool season annuals and clovers are the highest quality forages that produce in your area. They are planted in the fall and play out about this time of year. That means you would have cattle to harvest at this time. You could also plant summer annuals like sorghum sudan for summer grazing and an early fall cattle harvest. The warm season perennial grass typically does not have the quality to finish cattle unless you get into a highly Managed Intensive Grazing program.

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Re: Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

Postby Brute 23 » Wed May 17, 2017 9:16 am

Rafter S wrote:Brute23,

With all the respect in the world, you're all wet saying he needs 10 acres of native grass per pair, unless you mean getting by without feeding any hay. Even then I don't think you'd need more than 7 acres per pair. Three are enough (assuming average rainfall) if you don't mind feeding hay for 3-4 months. He's in my part of the country, so this time I know what I'm talking about.


I don't stock cattle assuming average rainfall. You won't make it for the long haul like that. I have spent my fair share of time in that area and stick by my numbers... especially for some one 1.5hrs away wanting to start a grass fed operation.

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Re: Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

Postby Boon » Wed May 17, 2017 11:44 am

Ok understood... so to do what I want to do I need more land. Additionally I should raise yearlings and purchase on a month to two month basis so I have continual stock. "BC" do you have a breed recommendation? The only things breed wise anyone has said is full bred angus not a cross. I also and listening to you Brute I completely understand what you are all saying in regard to total land needed. How much land would be a good start? This is not something I am just going to jump on doing I can easily take my time so the more help the better.

Additionally it seem like alot of you are in the same area. I would love to possibly meet some of you and also I am not opposed to working for FREE to learn. I know us millennials have a bad rap but I was really raised by my grandfather. If I felt like it would be a good learning experience I would 100% do it pending working out a time. I am not saying that my help is worth nothing.... but I think it would be a fair trade for experience.

Thanks,
Boon

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Re: Starting a Small Cattle Operation HELP!

Postby Brute 23 » Wed May 17, 2017 12:12 pm

Just to clarify, I am not saying Rafter S is wrong. That is a preference. We have two different styles of operating. If you notice there is not a lot of difference in what we are saying acres wise. I like to see quite a bit of grass in the pasture and despise feeding hay. If I have excess grass I hold my calves longer to maximize my ground. Not to put words in his mouth, but he likes to maximize his ground with pairs and if he needs to feed a few bales that is ok. Im going to guess he lives on, or near his property?

Its two different operational styles... not a right or wrong. In reality if you stock a pair to 5 acres and it gets dry... you might have to sell 1 pair... so now you have 2 instead of 3. I don't like going up or down. I am in it for the long term and like to capitalize in the droughts... not the wet years... although I don't mind them.

That is why these boards are great if you keep an open mind and perspective with what each person is telling you. Now its your choice to take all this info and cut your own path. Your going to find you may not be happy if you do every thing I say... or every thing Rafter S says... a hybrid of all this info is probably actually the best route. ;-)


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