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Old 10-24-2007, 08:25 PM
 
Location: Finally escaped The People's Republic of California
11,317 posts, read 8,664,577 times
Reputation: 6391

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I was wondering if a person was to raise a few head of Cattle is it very labor intensive and or profitable. We are talking a small herd, maybee 20 or less, Keep in mind Wifey is a vet, so vet costs are low
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Old 10-25-2007, 05:31 AM
 
Location: SW MO
1,238 posts, read 4,474,775 times
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I have struggled with this question for a while, thinking I might like to try raising a few. Are you talking about butchering for your own use, or raising the calves to market weight then selling them? So much depends on the market value (price per pound) versus how much your feed cost and other overhead is. For instance, last year's hay shortage in our area raised costs considerably but this year there is an overabundance. But prices haven't dropped that much. Will you have to buy hay as well as feed? Feed prices went up a lot when ethanol became popular, and used up the corn supply.


Oh dear, I have to go to work. More discussion later?
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Old 10-25-2007, 07:33 AM
 
Location: Southwest Missouri
1,921 posts, read 6,433,552 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cali BassMan View Post
I was wondering if a person was to raise a few head of Cattle is it very labor intensive and or profitable. We are talking a small herd, maybee 20 or less, Keep in mind Wifey is a vet, so vet costs are low
If you're trying to make a profit on that scale, you're going to have to try to create a niche market. Perhaps you could raise organic beef and target local restaurants as customers. I think you're going to have to differentiate yourself in order to make it worthwhile (read: profitable) to run cattle on a small scale like that, unless you want a hobby farm and aren't concerned about revenues.
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Old 10-25-2007, 08:30 AM
 
Location: Missouri
1,554 posts, read 4,555,288 times
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I think my dear friend 2be can help you since she gotta a baby calf right now..... Yoo Hoo you got any answer for our friend Cali BassMan here.
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Old 10-25-2007, 09:29 AM
 
Location: MO Ozarkian in NE Hoosierana
4,682 posts, read 12,068,419 times
Reputation: 6992
Actually, for ours its real easy,,, FIL has 'em w/ his herd in MO...

Await your comments on the great questions/thoughts that firebll31 and 8 SNAKE have provided.

Here be some refs/books might also want to check out:
Raising your own beef for your family by Charles Sanders Issue #57
Amazon.com: Storey's Guide to Raising Beef Cattle: Health/Handling/Breeding: Books: Heather Smith Thomas
Barnes & Noble.com - Books: Getting Started with Beef and Dairy Cattle, by Heather Smith Thomas, Paperback
Beef Production for Small Farms, EC 1514 (http://extension.oregonstate.edu/catalog/html/ec/ec1514/ - broken link)
Amazon.com: Storey's Guide to Raising Beef Cattle: Health/Handling/Breeding: Books: Heather Smith Thomas
Amazon.com: Small Scale Livestock Farming: A Grass-Based Approach for Health, Sustainability, and Profit: Books: Carol Ekarius

Might also look at: Beef Focus Team - Missouri Commercial Agriculture Program
which is section from: Beef Focus Team - The Missouri Beef Audit
which comes from: Commercial Agriculture Program - Beef Team
A lot more info available too, but fear already buried ya under quite bit of patties already here...
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Old 10-25-2007, 12:03 PM
 
Location: Missouri
1,554 posts, read 4,555,288 times
Reputation: 743
Boy Shadow you are full of INFO..... You sure deserve that badge of yours.
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Old 10-25-2007, 12:16 PM
 
Location: MO Ozarkian in NE Hoosierana
4,682 posts, read 12,068,419 times
Reputation: 6992
Talking me, just a hillbilly geek...

Quote:
Originally Posted by kareybear View Post
Boy Shadow you are full of INFO..... You sure deserve that badge of yours.
lol, thanks kbear - actually, have been told that I'm full of something, its also four letters, and also has the letter "i" too...
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Old 10-25-2007, 04:38 PM
 
Location: Missouri
1,554 posts, read 4,555,288 times
Reputation: 743
Is something like spit....
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Old 10-25-2007, 06:29 PM
 
Location: Finally escaped The People's Republic of California
11,317 posts, read 8,664,577 times
Reputation: 6391
Thanks everyone,
I'm not really interested in making a huge profit, more just something to do when I retire, however I sure won't be able to afford a loss either...
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Old 10-25-2007, 08:11 PM
 
Location: SW MO
1,238 posts, read 4,474,775 times
Reputation: 1020
Here in Missouri we have to worry about some stuff you probably don't in Cali. Can you feed grass year-round, not needing hay? One of the biggest labor chores is making sure the ice is broken on the water trough or pond. Unless you invest in a tank heater. A friend of mine raises calves to about 300-400 lbs, then sells them. They are born in the spring, live off Momma and grass all summer then are sold before winter so you don't have to feed them. They usually bring something over a dollar a pound. Assuming 1. you don't have to rent grass 2. everyone stays healthy 3. minimal cost for vaccinations if you do it yourself (or have a spouse that is a vet!) that's around $500.00 profit for the babies and less work to do when the weather turns bad. My problem is I don't actually have any fenced acreage, and would have to rent or use my folks property, which is inconvenient. Also don't forget you will need to buy or borrow a bull, and the facilities for that. There is also the initial investment in a truck and trailer to think about.
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