Keep bull calf or steer?

Discuss upcoming sales and sale results.
Lrj505
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Keep bull calf or steer?

Postby Lrj505 » Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:15 pm

I have a gelbvieh cow, she is big long and thick. She had a bull calf a week ago guessing he weighed 80 pounds Ish. Already has that “bull” look. The site is an average black angus bull nothing to talk about. I was thinking of keeping him for a future bull to increase weaning weights or sell as a balancer bull. But if I steer him I will make $1,000 ish in 6-7 months . I since have purchased a big growth black angus bull. Should I steer and wait for the new bull x gelbvieh to keep future balancer ? Or are balancers over rated ? I have included a pic of the new bull (not the calf’s dad) the calf and the gelbvieh. Thanks
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True Grit Farms
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Re: Keep bull calf or steer?

Postby True Grit Farms » Tue Jul 31, 2018 6:43 am

I play the odds and just cut or band all my bull calves. It's hard to beat a person at their game.
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Lrj505
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Re: Keep bull calf or steer?

Postby Lrj505 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 2:44 pm

True.
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farmerjan
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Re: Keep bull calf or steer?

Postby farmerjan » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:49 pm

You will have a minimum of $750 in him before he is ready to breed, plus the aggravation. Sell him as a steer and make your money while you can. If the sire is nothing special, why would you want to keep him?
Another thing. The calf/feeder prices are dropping a bit. The word is that we will have every single storage place for beef full by the end of Aug. due to the tariffs. This is going to affect the cull cow market, and the feeder calf market unless there is some serious movement. I don't pretend to understand all the things that go into the world economy and the effect on the agriculture. But, in my simple way, I really think we are in for some lower prices come this fall and maybe even into the spring until all the kinks are ironed out and we get some recipricating on markets with other countries. We are going to lose some markets, but there are also other countries that have suffered droughts and other problems so they will not be able to keep up with the demand. Plus, US beef has a pretty good reputation so the demand will come back around. However, with the depressed milk prices, there will be more dairy cows going to slaughter, so that will keep the cull cow prices down. If we get "full" of beef, it will depress cull cow prices even more. I am looking at prices to be down $.25 to $.50 / per pound this fall. That is pretty bad. Steers at $1.00 to $1.50 for 4-5 wts.... holstein and dairy steers to be down in the 40's and 50's. They are already down in the 60's around here and baby calves are down nearly half of what they were 4-6 weeks ago. Some of that is the veal market. The veal barns are usually empty til late August. They don't want anything to finish in Dec as there is no market, and starting calves in hot July and Aug is tough. So the demand is way off. They may pick back up a bit but I don't look for it to be alot.

Again, I am NOT AN EXPERT; and don't have all these tools at my disposal to "figure all this out". I am just passing on what I have seen over the years, and what my gut is telling me. I HOPE I AM WRONG and prices rebound....
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Chocolate Cow2
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Re: Keep bull calf or steer?

Postby Chocolate Cow2 » Sat Aug 04, 2018 10:27 pm

farmerjan, On FaceBook, Market to Market was asking for questions to be used on air with Elaine Kub. I hope you don't mind, I used your comment about cold storage being full and the question was presented to her. Here's a link if you'd like to listen to what she says. http://www.iptv.org/mtom/story/31132/ma ... elaine-kub
It's the first question she's asked.
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farmerjan
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Re: Keep bull calf or steer?

Postby farmerjan » Sat Aug 04, 2018 11:01 pm

I'm flattered that you thought my comment was worthy of discussion. The thing is, it might fill up with pork faster than beef, but if there is no market for that, then the cold storage is still full. I hope she is more right, and that the prices will be decent for feeders, but I am not getting a very good gut feeling on it. There is always a slump here in July/Aug. but the prices are slipping some and I am not hearing much good news from buyers that come to our local market for the foreseeable future. Slaughter bulls are down to the 70's and for years you could count on a bull bringing near $1.00. Cattle are being sold off in the southern states like Texas, due to drought conditions, and it might help out in the long term for prices, but it is going to hurt some in the short term.
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