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(Theoretical) Bull calves

Posted: Mon Jun 12, 2017 11:55 pm
by boondocks
Had an interesting conversation recently and thought I'd get y'all's take on it. He'd heard I might have some registered Angus for sale and called to inquire whether we might have a bull calf. I told him we always have steered them but that we have calves due soon (to a great AI sire, and the daughters we've seen are very nice) and (assuming we get a male) maybe we would be willing to see how they grow for a bit, and he could see if he's interested. I was a bit taken aback when he responded that he'd like to buy one just a few days' old and bottle raise it.

He didn't mention a price; we didn't get that far as I have no intention of taking a newborn off a mother. But I'd be willing to bet he thought a hundred dollar bill (or less) would be fair. I mean, I've got that in AI costs alone.

How many different kinds of crazy is this?
(a). None. Sure, give him a newborn calf to possibly kill, at your loss (and the calf's, and his for that matter).
(b) At least 1 kind of crazy, to wit:_______________________
(c) More than one kind of crazy. (I'm leaving space for you to elaborate): __________________________________________________________________________________________________

Re: (Theoretical) Bull calves

Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:11 am
by Son of Butch
I'll take that bet.... as even he knows newborn calves bring more than $100 at the sale barn

(c) 2 kinds... you and him
Of course he wants to buy as low as possible, but if you took the time to explain value of weaned steer any reasonable
person would understand and pay a small premium to boot. By not explaining you're putting stumbling blocks in his way
to paying you a premium.

Re: (Theoretical) Bull calves

Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 1:27 am
by boondocks
Son of Butch wrote:I'll take that bet.... as even he knows newborn calves bring more than $100 at the sale barn

(c) 2 kinds... you and him
Of course he wants to buy as low as possible, but if you took the time to explain value of weaned steer any reasonable
person would understand and pay a small premium to boot. By not explaining you're putting stumbling blocks in his way
to paying you a premium.

I told him I couldn't sell one that young in good conscience, that I was "sure" he knew what he was doing but I just couldn't do it. But that I'd consider it at weaning. He seemed to be willing to think that over (in theory).
Do people (intentionally) raise bulls from bottle calves?

Re: (Theoretical) Bull calves

Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:13 am
by Nesikep
I wouldn't.. I'm kinda accidentally doing one that got orphaned, but he's got a step momma and brother... doesn't grow like he would with his real momma but does alright nevertheless.

I couldn't imagine deliberately taking a bull calf from it's mother.. If you had one that was an orphan anyhow that would be a different story

This guy.. does he think you're a dairy by chance?

Re: (Theoretical) Bull calves

Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:37 am
by boondocks
Nesikep wrote:I wouldn't.. I'm kinda accidentally doing one that got orphaned, but he's got a step momma and brother... doesn't grow like he would with his real momma but does alright nevertheless.

I couldn't imagine deliberately taking a bull calf from it's mother.. If you had one that was an orphan anyhow that would be a different story

This guy.. does he think you're a dairy by chance?

No, he knows we run a registered Angus herd. His business plan was to get a registered Angus bull at a dairy bottle calf price I guess. Can't blame him for trying I suppose...Bulls have held their prices up here (better then heifers and cow/calf I think), so everyone is looking for an angle.

Re: (Theoretical) Bull calves

Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 2:53 am
by Son of Butch
boondocks wrote:
Son of Butch wrote:I'll take that bet.... as even he knows newborn calves bring more than $100 at the sale barn

(c) 2 kinds... you and him
Of course he wants to buy as low as possible, but if you took the time to explain value of weaned steer any reasonable
person would understand and pay a small premium to boot. By not explaining you're putting stumbling blocks in his way
to paying you a premium.

I told him I couldn't sell one that young in good conscience, that I was "sure" he knew what he was doing but I just couldn't do it. But that I'd consider it at weaning. He seemed to be willing to think that over (in theory).
Do people (intentionally) raise bulls from bottle calves?

Perhaps if they come from a dairy background and just have a few head of cattle.

Sellers focus too much on their own feelings (in good conscience) and not what the buyers want, making them lousy
salesmen. To be successful in sales most need to talk less and listen more. He doesn't care about your conscience.

You probably needed to explain why it would be best For Him to allow the mamma to her thing and not just yank the
calf off the cow so young. Why didn't you ask... "What would you expect to pay for a calf of this quality?"
You said neither of you talked price... What makes you think he only wanted to get a registered Angus bull at dairy
bottle calf price? What did he tell you that made you "sure" he knew what he was doing?
Beef calves are different than dairy calves.
Seems you assumed too many things and might be your own worst enemy when it comes to selling.
To get what you want, you have to focus on what He Wants and then problem solve together to get a win-win for both of you.

Re: (Theoretical) Bull calves

Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 3:10 am
by Son of Butch
Most dairy calves are never allowed to suck on the cow and go straight to a bottle from the git go.
Beef guys always say bottle calf, bottle calf, bottle calf, but when dairying we like many (most dairymen?) always had
them drinking from a bucket/pail by day 3 or 4

A beef calf that has been with it's mom a few days becomes a totally different creature than a bottle dairy calf.
Some of them are like a wild little deer. Most coming from a dairy background don't understand the depth of the
cow/calf attachment that forms... and wrongly think a calf is a calf and a bottle is as good as a mom.
Ex dairymen the first time calving beef cows are shocked by how much stress weaning causes... they had no idea.
It is not because they are stupid and often are very good cattlemen, it's just they have never experienced anything like it.

They will be getting a bigger healthier calf if they wait 100+ days rather than yanking a week old off it's mom even if
they did bottle feed it for 100 days.

Re: (Theoretical) Bull calves

Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:31 am
by MRRherefords
IMO I believe that he is probably used to raising dairy calves. My dad, when he was young used to sell Holstein bottle bull calves all the time. I would not sell him a bull calf that young especially an AI sired bull calf.

Re: (Theoretical) Bull calves

Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 5:55 am
by Son of Butch
MRRherefords wrote:IMO I believe that he is probably used to raising dairy calves. My dad, when he was young used to sell Holstein bottle bull calves all the time. I would not sell him a bull calf that young especially an AI sired bull calf.

Why would you not sell him an A.I. sired bull calf today for $xxxx on the condition he comes to get him in September?

Had Boon bothered to ask him then his background raising calves would be known.
Seems there was a massive failure to communicate with both parties just making assumptions and neither learning anything towards accomplishing a sale... so both lose out rather than win-win.

Seems few are problem solvers.
$100 non refundable deposit as down payment to hold calf for him to Sept. 15 at which time balance is due and
he picks up, with Boon guaranteeing a healthy live bull calf available Sept 15th or refunds the $100

Re: (Theoretical) Bull calves

Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 8:02 am
by pdfangus
My way of dealing with that was....

all bull calves less than one year old were priced at $5000.00.

my explanation was that there was probably a $5000.00 bull in the bunch but I would not know which one it was until they had been weighed as weanlings and as yearlings and properly developed.

if you can spot the $5000.00 calf, you can buy him today.

Re: (Theoretical) Bull calves

Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:02 am
by Brute 23
I had a similar situation not that long ago where a guy wanted to buy my #300-350 bull calves. He was going to cut them and take them to #500. I explained that I would be taking a loss by selling them that young. Taking them that last #300 is probably where the actual profit, if any, comes from off a calf. He understood what I was saying and we talked about some other options that would be mutually beneficial.

Re: (Theoretical) Bull calves

Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:14 am
by Farmgirl
Not bull calves but here is my gripe. Dealing with a guy now who wants to come buy quality weaned heifers for sale barn price. What a slap! The work is already done with these heifers and this jerk wants to stroll in and take advantage of it! Ain't gonna happen here.

:2cents: Farmgirl

Re: (Theoretical) Bull calves

Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 9:36 am
by dieselbeef

Re: (Theoretical) Bull calves

Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:01 am
by pdfangus
everyone in the cattle business is expecting to buy low and sell high....

Re: (Theoretical) Bull calves

Posted: Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:59 am
by Jeanne - Simme Valley
Boondocks & I are both in upstate NY - 3rd largest dairy state. I have had numerous people call to buy a newborn. I simply explain the only way that cow is going to make me any money is to raise her calf to weaning. But, I also tell them I would be glad to take a down-payment if they wanted to pick one out.