Selling Spring Calves

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kenny thomas
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Re: Selling Spring Calves

Postby kenny thomas » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:27 pm

MtnCows93 wrote:
pricefarm wrote:I have a group of spring born calves that will be ready to wean in a few more weeks. What would y'all do with them ? Sell them off the cow, wean them give them there shots and try and get a few more cents per pound from them , or hold them over and sell them next spring ? I have more than enough hay and so far around here hay isn't selling everyone has plenty.

id sell them, if the sale is anything like here you wont get any extra by weaning and giving shots. if you wanna feed hay just buy some lightweight calves and feed them

Where are you that they don't pay more for weaned calves? Many calves here and west into KY get big premiums for value added calves.
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Re: Selling Spring Calves

Postby farmerjan » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:45 pm

There is next to no premium paid on calves that go through the Staunton Va. yard. They will read anything that a seller claims, but I watched all 1685 head sold this past friday and the ones with a list of stuff; shots, worming, weaned, etc.,; did no better than the ones that didn't have any claims.. The one market in Harrisonburg Va has feeder cattle sales that are sanctioned by a feeder assoc and anything that goes through them has to meet certain protocols. They do bring a little more most times, but you almost have to be part of the "good ole boy" group.... The commissions are higher and we didn't see where it benefited us in the past with a slight increase in price per lb but selling costs twice what we pay, plus the added mileage/time to get them there. I have gotten BQA accreditation several years and we just didn't see where we made out any better following the requirements. Some places it would probably make a difference. Here, they just need to be black and not show any dairy cross breeding and they are worth nearly twice of what colored cattle are....
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Re: Selling Spring Calves

Postby MtnCows93 » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:49 pm

kenny thomas wrote:
MtnCows93 wrote:
pricefarm wrote:I have a group of spring born calves that will be ready to wean in a few more weeks. What would y'all do with them ? Sell them off the cow, wean them give them there shots and try and get a few more cents per pound from them , or hold them over and sell them next spring ? I have more than enough hay and so far around here hay isn't selling everyone has plenty.

id sell them, if the sale is anything like here you wont get any extra by weaning and giving shots. if you wanna feed hay just buy some lightweight calves and feed them

Where are you that they don't pay more for weaned calves? Many calves here and west into KY get big premiums for value added calves.

Thats what is seems like to me they go through the ring so quick. you can take them to graded special sales and get more but the salebarn doesnt make much difference
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Re: Selling Spring Calves

Postby kenny thomas » Sun Oct 21, 2018 9:53 pm

I will easily pay 5 to 10 cents higher for weaned and having the correct vaccination.
Does the sale barn separate them and tell that they are weaned when they come into the ring?
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Re: Selling Spring Calves

Postby farmerjan » Sun Oct 21, 2018 10:24 pm

They will announce the ones that have vaccinations/weaned/wormed etc, but it makes little or no difference in Staunton.
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Re: Selling Spring Calves

Postby TCRanch » Mon Oct 22, 2018 7:25 am

Our local sale barn will advertise early consignments, announce the seller and list all vaccinations when the calves (cattle, etc) go into the ring. Makes a difference here but you also have to build your reputation.
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Re: Selling Spring Calves

Postby CalumetFarms » Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:24 pm

I always hold them through winter and sell my heifers as yearlings in the spring.
I sell at the state graded sale in Marshall Virginia, Fauquier livestock exchange.
Prices are usually a bit better in the spring, but most importantly more folks are interested in picking up some cattle when the grass is growing.
On the contrary, I always buy cattle in the fall or dead of winter. You can pick up replacement heifers cheap when people start looking at just how much hay they're feeding.
I bale all my hay, and have more than I know what to do with. So that certainly plays in.
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Re: Selling Spring Calves

Postby gcreekrch » Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:42 pm

kenny thomas wrote:I will easily pay 5 to 10 cents higher for weaned and having the correct vaccination.
Does the sale barn separate them and tell that they are weaned when they come into the ring?



Feeders here like calves to come from a vaccination program but will actually pay less for preconditioned calves than bawling ones. The theory is that regardless of how long the are weaned, moving and hauling puts enough stress on calves that many will get sick regardless. They like to have them off the cow, through the ring, inducted into the lot and on feed withing 3 or 4 days.

Not sure how far calves from different areas in the US have to travel to feedlots but here it can be 16 to 20 hour hauls.
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Re: Selling Spring Calves

Postby kenny thomas » Mon Oct 22, 2018 9:48 pm

My weaned calves will be off the cow and on feed for at least 45 days. I like 60 days better. No one can ever convince me a bawling calf will be healthier than a weaned and properly vaccinated one. Calves here travel 1000 to 1300 miles to the feedlot.
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Re: Selling Spring Calves

Postby Jeanne - Simme Valley » Tue Oct 23, 2018 2:57 pm

My steers are vaccinated twice before weaning, weaned at least 45 days, and my feedlot buyer says my cattle stay healthy & make him money. He pays me top dollar.
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Re: Selling Spring Calves

Postby Coosh71 » Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:31 pm

Sold all my spring g calves today to a repeat buyer. He called and asked what I had, I told him my neighbor had asked about my calves already. He immediately said, I will pay you $.10/lb premium on your heifers and $.20 on your steer. Ummmm sold. Weighing them in the morning and calling him with the price. I do believe in private sales vs sale barn sales this time of year. I've NEVER met a sale barn paid auctioneer who worked for ME! We have been fortunate and have found d good motivation ated buyers... But also we do the work. We work/vaccinate our calves at least twice. They have been on grass and feed 30-45 days minimum. When our calves hit his wheat field next week they won't miss a beat and will grow well with no stress related sickness.
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Re: Selling Spring Calves

Postby bird dog » Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:20 pm

I like to hold mine this time of year until December or January. Let the fall run finish up. I usually start them on some grain and pasture and then they graze wheat or rye grass or whatever. This year I have a nice stand of Bob oats.

Saying all that, I still don't have them weaned. Its gonna have to dry out some to get them out of the field. Suppose to rain again tomorrow, so maybe next week??
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Re: Selling Spring Calves

Postby Dave » Tue Oct 23, 2018 10:42 pm

Here nobody vaccinates before weaning. That is because of the big steep country. Cows and calves are gathered. Cows turned back out and calves hauled to a corral miles away. Vaccinated the next day, sometimes that day. Three or four days in the corral to get the bawl out of them. Then they are turned out to grass on the hay fields. Sold 30 to 60 days later.
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Re: Selling Spring Calves

Postby bball » Wed Oct 24, 2018 12:07 am

Coosh71 wrote:Sold all my spring g calves today to a repeat buyer. He called and asked what I had, I told him my neighbor had asked about my calves already. He immediately said, I will pay you $.10/lb premium on your heifers and $.20 on your steer. Ummmm sold. Weighing them in the morning and calling him with the price. I do believe in private sales vs sale barn sales this time of year. I've NEVER met a sale barn paid auctioneer who worked for ME! We have been fortunate and have found d good motivation ated buyers... But also we do the work. We work/vaccinate our calves at least twice. They have been on grass and feed 30-45 days minimum. When our calves hit his wheat field next week they won't miss a beat and will grow well with no stress related sickness.


This is a huge factor for me. We added another private buyer this fall. He is taking every heifer we have left. Weaned, vaccinated, wormed and bunk broke. Paying $.15 premium over the going rate at the sale barn. No added costs like yardage, commissions, etc. Win-Win.
I am probably going to be a couple halves short for freezer beef next fall.
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