For the light weight calf buyers

Backgrounding & feeding questions.
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For the light weight calf buyers

Post by DCA farm » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:33 am

What kind of feed ration are y’all putting your light weight calves on I see people buying the 150-200 pound calves. I’d like see y’all pencil it must be super sharp



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Re: For the light weight calf buyers

Post by Son of Butch » Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:18 am

Nearly all calves sold under 200 lbs are dairy or dairy crossed calves. Properly managed they
can be very feed efficient. They would go on a textured calf starter for 1-2 weeks.
Then if a guy was running a decent number of them, they would use their own corn to make their
own complete calf feed containing both concentrate and roughage to control the forage intake.

When they reach 350-375 lbs then on to a grower ration containing either higher levels of
forage or they might continue on a high concentrate program depending on their end goal and
available home grown feedstuffs. Like hogs, it's a volume based program.
In effect they are adding value to their corn by selling it through the calves/steers.

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Re: For the light weight calf buyers

Post by DCA farm » Tue May 07, 2019 8:35 am

Son of Butch wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:18 am
Nearly all calves sold under 200 lbs are dairy or dairy crossed calves. Properly managed they
can be very feed efficient. They would go on a textured calf starter for 1-2 weeks.
Then if a guy was running a decent number of them, they would use their own corn to make their
own complete calf feed containing both concentrate and roughage to control the forage intake.

When they reach 350-375 lbs then on to a grower ration containing either higher levels of
forage or they might continue on a high concentrate program depending on their end goal and
available home grown feedstuffs. Like hogs, it's a volume based program.
In effect they are adding value to their corn by selling it through the calves/steers.
I watched a man buy every calf he could yesterday they called them 45-50 day olds he just kept saying he’s buying money makers he probably bought 20 calves they were all just around 100-120 pounds

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Re: For the light weight calf buyers

Post by Petercoates87 » Mon May 13, 2019 8:12 am

I own a Jersey & Jersey cross cow. I breed them beef but then buy a dairy bull calf when the cows calf. so it's like they got twins every year wean the twins off at 5 months old and then buy another calf to finish off her lacation. So that calf is 4 months when weaned and it works so far. The calf grows pretty good, no beef calf but theres a market for it. then uses the brewers grain and cracked corn to feed it. I have a September dairy bull now that's pushing 550 lbs

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Re: For the light weight calf buyers

Post by Allenw » Mon May 13, 2019 4:24 pm

DCA farm wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 8:35 am
Son of Butch wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:18 am
Nearly all calves sold under 200 lbs are dairy or dairy crossed calves. Properly managed they
can be very feed efficient. They would go on a textured calf starter for 1-2 weeks.
Then if a guy was running a decent number of them, they would use their own corn to make their
own complete calf feed containing both concentrate and roughage to control the forage intake.

When they reach 350-375 lbs then on to a grower ration containing either higher levels of
forage or they might continue on a high concentrate program depending on their end goal and
available home grown feedstuffs. Like hogs, it's a volume based program.
In effect they are adding value to their corn by selling it through the calves/steers.
I watched a man buy every calf he could yesterday they called them 45-50 day olds he just kept saying he’s buying money makers he probably bought 20 calves they were all just around 100-120 pounds
180 was about as light as I was satisfied with performance when starting them, a little heavier was better. The lighter calves just don't take off as fast.

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Re: For the light weight calf buyers

Post by DCA farm » Mon May 13, 2019 6:56 pm

Allenw wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 4:24 pm
DCA farm wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 8:35 am
Son of Butch wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:18 am
Nearly all calves sold under 200 lbs are dairy or dairy crossed calves. Properly managed they
can be very feed efficient. They would go on a textured calf starter for 1-2 weeks.
Then if a guy was running a decent number of them, they would use their own corn to make their
own complete calf feed containing both concentrate and roughage to control the forage intake.

When they reach 350-375 lbs then on to a grower ration containing either higher levels of
forage or they might continue on a high concentrate program depending on their end goal and
available home grown feedstuffs. Like hogs, it's a volume based program.
In effect they are adding value to their corn by selling it through the calves/steers.
I watched a man buy every calf he could yesterday they called them 45-50 day olds he just kept saying he’s buying money makers he probably bought 20 calves they were all just around 100-120 pounds
180 was about as light as I was satisfied with performance when starting them, a little heavier was better. The lighter calves just don't take off as fast.
What kind of feed do you put yours on

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Re: For the light weight calf buyers

Post by kenny thomas » Mon May 13, 2019 8:48 pm

Allenw wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 4:24 pm
DCA farm wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 8:35 am
Son of Butch wrote:
Wed Apr 10, 2019 11:18 am
Nearly all calves sold under 200 lbs are dairy or dairy crossed calves. Properly managed they
can be very feed efficient. They would go on a textured calf starter for 1-2 weeks.
Then if a guy was running a decent number of them, they would use their own corn to make their
own complete calf feed containing both concentrate and roughage to control the forage intake.

When they reach 350-375 lbs then on to a grower ration containing either higher levels of
forage or they might continue on a high concentrate program depending on their end goal and
available home grown feedstuffs. Like hogs, it's a volume based program.
In effect they are adding value to their corn by selling it through the calves/steers.
I watched a man buy every calf he could yesterday they called them 45-50 day olds he just kept saying he’s buying money makers he probably bought 20 calves they were all just around 100-120 pounds
180 was about as light as I was satisfied with performance when starting them, a little heavier was better. The lighter calves just don't take off as fast.
To me it seems more related to age than weight but I still try not to buy less than 275lb. But even then I buy the rough calves not the good young ones. The rough ones seem to respond to good care better.
I use a 16% feed with no gluten and added wet molasses to make it sweet to them. They start licking then eating because it taste good.
My thoughts only, don't bet the farm on them. KT

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Re: For the light weight calf buyers

Post by Allenw » Mon May 13, 2019 10:54 pm

DCA farm wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 6:56 pm
Allenw wrote:
Mon May 13, 2019 4:24 pm
DCA farm wrote:
Tue May 07, 2019 8:35 am

I watched a man buy every calf he could yesterday they called them 45-50 day olds he just kept saying he’s buying money makers he probably bought 20 calves they were all just around 100-120 pounds
180 was about as light as I was satisfied with performance when starting them, a little heavier was better. The lighter calves just don't take off as fast.
What kind of feed do you put yours on
I was hand feeding some good crabgrass hay with protein pellets, about 3/4 lb per head per day and rolled corn.
Add corn until you get where you want to be, protein pellets plus corn equal to 1% to 1.5% of body weight. I play it by ear too much to get too precise, goal is to keep them gaining and building frame until they can be turned out . If you can pick up a bottle calf or two that is about the same size really helps to get them started eating and drinking.


Kenny
I agree age plays a role in their growth rate, calves I was buying come off older cows that were split when sold. I think getting too far below the 200 lb mark they're younger and aren't used to grazing as much and would need to be fed a different ration, then what I was feeding to do well, an early wean TMR mix would work.

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Re: For the light weight calf buyers

Post by AndersonAg » Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:45 pm

Newbie here and I would love some input on what I’m doing and how I might be able to do it better. I’m also showing how dull my pencil is for the original poster. I’m pretty new to raising stockers and recently moved onto a 20 acre place (ranchette or hobby farm if you want to call it that) in central Texas that I divided into 6 paddocks using a hot wire. Cows didn’t make any sense because there’d be a lot of expense feeding all year to only sell a small handful of calves a year. That said, I started buying smaller calves, averaging 225# which seems like the sweet spot, 10-15 at a time that are mainly angus or charolais cross. The first two weeks I have them, they’re in a pen to make sure they stay healthy. They eat around 15 bags of either a 10 or 12% protein and go through around 4 square bales of hay along with some mineral containing bovatec while i’m getting them started. All said, purchase price plus input in the first 3 weeks I have around $400-$450 in each one. After the first 2 weeks, I turn them out into a coastal pasture (winter months I overseed with ryegrass) but still supplement feed them while they transition. I usually have 20-30 at a time and rotate them every 5-7 days allowing each paddock to rest nearly a month. Thus far, I have been selling them anywhere from 425# to 500# after 4 months so they’ve been averaging 2# or more of daily gain on mainly just grass (without overgrazing because we are grass farmers after all), netting me $150 - $225 per head on a buy/sell model (I base income on sell/buy because you have to replace your stock at some point). Following all this, I am buying and selling around 75 calves per year when there’s normal rainfall and haven’t had any die yet (fingers crossed).

I guess my question is this: on small acreage, do the small calves like this make sense because I can stock more of them or is there something I could do differently to net more in the end (and still not overgraze)?

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Re: For the light weight calf buyers

Post by Bigfoot » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:03 pm

AndersonAg wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:45 pm
Newbie here and I would love some input on what I’m doing and how I might be able to do it better. I’m also showing how dull my pencil is for the original poster. I’m pretty new to raising stockers and recently moved onto a 20 acre place (ranchette or hobby farm if you want to call it that) in central Texas that I divided into 6 paddocks using a hot wire. Cows didn’t make any sense because there’d be a lot of expense feeding all year to only sell a small handful of calves a year. That said, I started buying smaller calves, averaging 225# which seems like the sweet spot, 10-15 at a time that are mainly angus or charolais cross. The first two weeks I have them, they’re in a pen to make sure they stay healthy. They eat around 15 bags of either a 10 or 12% protein and go through around 4 square bales of hay along with some mineral containing bovatec while i’m getting them started. All said, purchase price plus input in the first 3 weeks I have around $400-$450 in each one. After the first 2 weeks, I turn them out into a coastal pasture (winter months I overseed with ryegrass) but still supplement feed them while they transition. I usually have 20-30 at a time and rotate them every 5-7 days allowing each paddock to rest nearly a month. Thus far, I have been selling them anywhere from 425# to 500# after 4 months so they’ve been averaging 2# or more of daily gain on mainly just grass (without overgrazing because we are grass farmers after all), netting me $150 - $225 per head on a buy/sell model (I base income on sell/buy because you have to replace your stock at some point). Following all this, I am buying and selling around 75 calves per year when there’s normal rainfall and haven’t had any die yet (fingers crossed).

I guess my question is this: on small acreage, do the small calves like this make sense because I can stock more of them or is there something I could do differently to net more in the end (and still not overgraze)?
You don’t have too terribly many options on a small acreage. The sweet spot for both buying and selling is ever changing, and nobody knows the future. One other option would be buying bred cows, to calve and split later. Even buying laughter cows to fatten can be profitable.
Your not a small business owner. Your a stay at home mom trapped in a pyramid scheme.

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Re: For the light weight calf buyers

Post by Bigfoot » Tue Jun 04, 2019 10:06 pm

Depending what part of the country your in, that small stuff can be demanded by tiedown ropers.
Your not a small business owner. Your a stay at home mom trapped in a pyramid scheme.

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Re: For the light weight calf buyers

Post by bird dog » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:45 am

Your plan seems fine to me. With small calves you can get by with much less expense for handling facilities not to mention truck and trailer. I would think your only big risk would be a sickness that effects the whole herd but thats the same for anybody and any size animals. You seem to be doing the right things ti minimize that risk.

It would be nice if you can find a source for calves besides a sale barn which I assume is where you are buying the animals.
Maybe also look around for a buyer that knows your program and avoid sale barn costs when selling. They are the perfect type and size to go to a grazer.

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Re: For the light weight calf buyers

Post by 5S Cattle » Wed Jun 05, 2019 10:55 pm

AndersonAg wrote:
Tue Jun 04, 2019 9:45 pm
Newbie here and I would love some input on what I’m doing and how I might be able to do it better. I’m also showing how dull my pencil is for the original poster. I’m pretty new to raising stockers and recently moved onto a 20 acre place (ranchette or hobby farm if you want to call it that) in central Texas that I divided into 6 paddocks using a hot wire. Cows didn’t make any sense because there’d be a lot of expense feeding all year to only sell a small handful of calves a year. That said, I started buying smaller calves, averaging 225# which seems like the sweet spot, 10-15 at a time that are mainly angus or charolais cross. The first two weeks I have them, they’re in a pen to make sure they stay healthy. They eat around 15 bags of either a 10 or 12% protein and go through around 4 square bales of hay along with some mineral containing bovatec while i’m getting them started. All said, purchase price plus input in the first 3 weeks I have around $400-$450 in each one. After the first 2 weeks, I turn them out into a coastal pasture (winter months I overseed with ryegrass) but still supplement feed them while they transition. I usually have 20-30 at a time and rotate them every 5-7 days allowing each paddock to rest nearly a month. Thus far, I have been selling them anywhere from 425# to 500# after 4 months so they’ve been averaging 2# or more of daily gain on mainly just grass (without overgrazing because we are grass farmers after all), netting me $150 - $225 per head on a buy/sell model (I base income on sell/buy because you have to replace your stock at some point). Following all this, I am buying and selling around 75 calves per year when there’s normal rainfall and haven’t had any die yet (fingers crossed).

I guess my question is this: on small acreage, do the small calves like this make sense because I can stock more of them or is there something I could do differently to net more in the end (and still not overgraze)?
What’s your vaccination protocol when you receive?

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Re: For the light weight calf buyers

Post by AndersonAg » Thu Jun 06, 2019 10:20 am

Upon arrival, they all get:
1. BoviShield Gold 5. Some calves seem to have a reaction to this 5 - 7 days later so you have to keep a close eye on them to make sure they aren't getting sick.
2. Ultrabac 8
3. Multimen 90
4. Generic Nuflor (as a metaphylaxis because they're all super stressed when I'm getting them but thinking about stopping this)
5. Synovex C
6. Ear Tag (I try to keep very detailed records of how they're acting every day to help me identify health trends in each one)
7. Ivermax pour-on
8. Bull calves get cut

I welcome suggestions on what I can do differently to help the calves that come through my place.

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Re: For the light weight calf buyers

Post by Buck Randall » Thu Jun 06, 2019 12:39 pm

You could replace the BSG-5 with Inforce 3 and Bovishield Gold BVD on arrival. Inforce is not as hard on stressed lightweight calves. Come back in a month with the BSG-5 as a booster. I like Once PMH as well, but it gets to be a lot of vaccine and meds for a little calf. Less is probably more on those guys.

If what you're doing is working for you, I wouldn't mess with it too much.

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