Cow/calf vs. Stocker Operation?

Discussion in 'Beef Cattle Discussion' started by steerguy, Mar 20, 2016.

  1. steerguy

    steerguy New Member

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    As a newbie we have plans on starting my first small herd, probably 5-10 beef head of angus at most, to begin with. My family recently purchased 80 acreas in northern TX. I'm trying to decide if I should go with:

    1) stocker, buying/replacing steers only

    2) cow/calf

    3) combination of both

    Doing much research, I'm finding pros/cons with both stocker and cow/calf, regarding health risks, etc. I would prefer to just work with steers, because the cow/calf operation sounds so much more involved working with new calves, AI, etc, yet many say the financial profits are better.

    This is obviously a huge time and financial investment. Our land and new barbed fencing is paid for, so now I'm ready to purchase a squeeze shoot and crowd alley setup, a few additional implements, and then buy some head at our local auction.

    What is the most common or best operation to pursue folks, steers or cow/calf?

    thanks

    Bill
     
  2. HighSix

    HighSix New Member

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    I'm interested to see the responses that you get. We just bought 70 acres northeast of Dallas and are looking to start raising beef cattle later this year or next year. With full time jobs off the ranch we will have our hands full with whatever we choose but I'm thinking about buying some older pairs, maybe 3 in 1's if I can find them to start and we will go from there.
     

  3. charloisfarmer

    charloisfarmer New Member

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    With cow calf operations u have easier chance of losing calves at earlier stages of life so buying older steers they will be less vulnerable. Idk what steers are like to handle guess it depends on the animal but cows are protective of calves. For the amount of head ur getting I would say get steers less work and easier to make a profit on small amounts of land i think any wasys
     
  4. Traveler24

    Traveler24 New Member

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    Last edited: May 17, 2016
  5. sduncan

    sduncan New Member

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    I'm new into the cattle industry and was wondering if any of you had any tips while starting out on ways to maximize the profit out of my heifers other than just calving them out? Or is that about it
     
  6. josiahwise

    josiahwise New Member

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    Most folks in our area of WV run cow-calf, with a little bit of stocker work on the side. Cow calf is a lot more involved, especially during calling season, but from what I've seen it brings a little more profit because one good cow can produce several calfs in her lifetime.
     
  7. mspinhirne

    mspinhirne New Member

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    as has been said, cow/calf is more profitable, but slightly higher maintenance labor involved. I have just started on 90 acres in east Texas. I have owned the land for a while, and leased the pasture for stocker operation. Benefit of stocker is ability to run 2 herds per year; summer yearlings sold in October / November, and winter weanlings from spring calves. You can quickly adjust to pasture conditions on stocking rate. Downside is selling during peak markets and not being as able to adjust to market price. Stocker is low work load since you will likely purchase weanlings that have already been worked.

    Cow/calf provides more market flexibility and selling spring calves in September -November depending on weight and market to optimize returns or carry over into winter and sell as yearlings next spring if you have pasture and want to risk market price. More flexible, but more work in calving season and when you have to work calves.