I have been looking into getting into cows for beef production. What I want to know is there good money in cattle? How do you make a profit every year? Do you buy cattle in January and then sell all them for a profit? Any advice would be appreciated!
Cali's a rough state to try and get into cattle in anymore let alone now with record high cattle prices. Having said that if you can get in you can do very well.
Do you have land? If you do you have more options. Irrigation is fairly common. Especially with the sever drought.
Most ranchers I know/deal with run pairs (including us). Cow calf operations.
Do you have the ability to take a Wednesday off? If you can take the day off I'd highly recommend taking a trip to Galt (about 30-45 min south of sac) to Cattleman's Livestock Market. Butcher cows are in the morning with head calves, pairs and bred cows usually starting around 11:30. Sit there and watch prices, see what's selling and for what price. There are a lot of regular buyer there and the prices right now are staying pretty steady. Talk to some of the people there. You'll learn a lot. Find a market that works for you. Maybe buying small calves and selling a few hundred pounds larger works for you. Maybe selling feeder cattle out of your own cows.
Black is king in CA so you'll notice a difference in black hide vs Herefords, brahma influenced cattle etc.
take all these things to heart when you start making decisions. Know however that this is NOT even remotely a buyers market. Prices have more than double this last year.
This visit will give you a lot to think about and a idea of how you may choose to buy and or sell your cattle in the future. Might also get to know someone private you can purchase cattle from to get started. The auction can be a gamble if you don't know what your doing yet.
You'll also need to consider handling equipment. It's a must to be able to restrain your cattle when doctoring, vaccinations, OB work etc has to happen. I've seen to many people buy cattle then allow them to suffer from sickness etc because the owners neglected to take restraint seriously. To many people get hurt as well when the animals can't be restrained properly. You'll need to look to look into a large animal vet in your area as well. They are far and few between in CA these days and Davis is far to expensive.
Hope this helps I've rambled enough for now
I currently don't have enough land for cows. I was thinking about leasing some land. So when you say cow calf operation your meaning buying a pair?
I have heard of CLM. I'll probably go there sometime just to get the sell prices. Yeah, if I purchase some cattle I would most likely like Black Angus. I see that your in in CA too. Are the prices pretty high right now for a heifer or calf? I read something that said they are running(a calf) for about $600 is that true? What is the cheapest type of gender to buy? Thanks!
Finding land to lease is a bit of a challenge anymore. It's around but generally very expensive.
A cow calf operation is a herd of cows that calve out for you every year and you sell the calves.
Go to Clmgalt.com (I think is their site) and sign up for the weekly market report via email. That will give you a start from home of what prices run and when they fluctuate.
You'll be lucky to find a head calf for under $400 right now for a newborn Holstein bull calf. $600-$800 for a beef calf if there are any at all. If they are healthy they can go even higher. Add the cost of milk and meds and its a loosing battle.
There are no cheep cattle right now.