Going cow calf to feeders

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MistyMorning
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Going cow calf to feeders

Postby MistyMorning » Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:22 pm

Since I can’t call my go to guy from here anymore need tons of advice and thoughts about getting out of cow calf and go to feeders. So 50 acres pasture Northern mn. I’m thinking supports a cow/calf 2.5 per acre. Sometimes more sometimes less. When do I buy feeders at this latitude and at what weight and since grass starts about mid May goes until mid September? Supplements? Number of steers?
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Re: Going cow calf to feeders

Postby TennesseeTuxedo » Fri Mar 02, 2018 6:25 pm

I've seriously considered doing the same thing.
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Re: Going cow calf to feeders

Postby Aaron » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:02 pm

MistyMorning wrote:Since I can’t call my go to guy from here anymore need tons of advice and thoughts about getting out of cow calf and go to feeders. So 50 acres pasture Northern mn. I’m thinking supports a cow/calf 2.5 per acre. Sometimes more sometimes less. When do I buy feeders at this latitude and at what weight and since grass starts about mid May goes until mid September? Supplements? Number of steers?


50 acres of good lush Minnesota grass should hold 25-30 steers, even if it gets a bit dry. June 1 to whenever the price is right. Buy 650-675 lb weight average and look for green cattle with frame that will gain 300 lbs+. Just salt and mineral.

I've got 50 acres I am going to run my 2017 steers on this year for the first time, so I can give you real world results at the end of the 2018 grazing season.
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Re: Going cow calf to feeders

Postby snoopdog » Sat Mar 03, 2018 7:47 am

It's a tough game , Aaron is right , green cattle with frame. A better start imo would be heifers , then if the market tanks you can calve them , a very sharp pencil is your friend. Ease into it with separate groups of different size , so you can keep your cash flow and as soon as you can make a profit sell, don't get greedy. You'll lose on some groups inevitably but that's the way it goes .
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Re: Going cow calf to feeders

Postby MistyMorning » Sat Mar 03, 2018 1:28 pm

Thanks you guys. Gives me a good idea of what needs I’ll have to address. One question what do you mean by “green? I’ll probably have more questions as I think this stuff over. Thanks again!
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Re: Going cow calf to feeders

Postby Aaron » Sat Mar 03, 2018 4:58 pm

MistyMorning wrote:Thanks you guys. Gives me a good idea of what needs I’ll have to address. One question what do you mean by “green? I’ll probably have more questions as I think this stuff over. Thanks again!


Green means 'very light flesh'. Some people get mad at the notion of such cattle and view them as malnourished and starving. They are the money-makers and start putting weight on, right off the truck. You want them shrunk out with no fill, hook and pin bones showing, even the last couple of short ribs. But you also want them to have plenty of depth and spring in the rib, width through the back. The really good green cattle will have an awesome hair coat.
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Re: Going cow calf to feeders

Postby TennesseeTuxedo » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:03 pm

Lordy Aaron, that's the last kind of calf I'd ever hope to raise and sell at our auction barn.
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Re: Going cow calf to feeders

Postby Aaron » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:15 pm

BTW Misty, welcome back. Us CT veterans always enjoy having you around.
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Re: Going cow calf to feeders

Postby Aaron » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:28 pm

TennesseeTuxedo wrote:Lordy Aaron, that's the last kind of calf I'd ever hope to raise and sell at our auction barn.


Doesn't work for calves. People think they are runts or sick. But a potload of fancy green grass yearlings? Whoo hoo! Get a briefcase for all that cash. :banana: :banana:
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Re: Going cow calf to feeders

Postby TennesseeTuxedo » Sat Mar 03, 2018 5:38 pm

Aaron wrote:
TennesseeTuxedo wrote:Lordy Aaron, that's the last kind of calf I'd ever hope to raise and sell at our auction barn.


Doesn't work for calves. People think they are runts or sick. But a potload of fancy green grass yearlings? Whoo hoo! Get a briefcase for all that cash. :banana: :banana:


Gotcha, I'll give it a try one day.
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Re: Going cow calf to feeders

Postby MistyMorning » Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:48 pm

Hey Aaron thanks for the kind words. Since calving is goi g to start here soon the feeder deal is going to have to wait. So I’m very interested in how your operation goes with the feeders. The feeders definitely are something that might get Work real well here so I’m getting on the learning curve
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Re: Going cow calf to feeders

Postby Stocker Steve » Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:14 pm

1) To make serious money you need to buy calves out of season, not when everyone has green grass. So now you or someone else is back grounding light calves.
2) Lighter calves need more supplement since their rumen is not developed. I have turned out 4 wts but it was ugly, 5 wts work OK, 6 wts are safer, 7 wts require too much maintenance energy.
3) Lots of literature on supplementing. Energy with an ionophore is standard. DDG avoids the starch issue you have with corn. At a minimum - - you want to bucket them daily for a couple weeks to settle them down and get past the washy grass.
4) Goggle Gordon Hazard and buy his book.
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Re: Going cow calf to feeders

Postby Aaron » Sun Mar 04, 2018 8:20 pm

MistyMorning wrote:Hey Aaron thanks for the kind words. Since calving is goi g to start here soon the feeder deal is going to have to wait. So I’m very interested in how your operation goes with the feeders. The feeders definitely are something that might get Work real well here so I’m getting on the learning curve


I typically ship the steers as green yearlings just turning 12 months and do well. Last year however, I felt I was a good $50-75 a head back on the price for the quality that was on the table in April. Had I kept them till August, I would have pocketed at least another $300-400 a head. So this year I will take the yearlings to grass along with my fall calves and ship all the steers at once in either end of August or end of September depending on prices and grass rotation. The fall calves catch up quick, so they should go with the smaller spring yearlings and have everything sell in two groups.

I don't mind shipping in the spring and leaving a couple hundred on the table for the grasser man, but I lose my cool when it is almost double that.
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Re: Going cow calf to feeders

Postby Stocker Steve » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:21 am

Are you selling heifers and retaining steers?

What do your 12 month old Hereford steers weigh?
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Re: Going cow calf to feeders

Postby Aaron » Mon Mar 05, 2018 9:42 am

Stocker Steve wrote:Are you selling heifers and retaining steers?

What do your 12 month old Hereford steers weigh?


Retaining both. Spring steers are around the 700 lb mark at 12 months. They should be around 1000 lb mark by end of August.
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