New guy. Kinda lol

Discussion in 'Beef Cattle Discussion' started by rpratt, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. rpratt

    rpratt New Member

    So when I was younger we raised bottle calves. We would get 2-3 at a time and once 2 of them got to about 300-500lbs we would sell them and keep the 3rd for 2yrs then slaughter. I really enjoyed cows and am wanting to do something with cattle again.

    I'm active duty Air Force in NC now and trying to figure out the best game plan. I live on base currently so I will have to rent pasture to house the cattle. I've found a guy 1hr from here with bottle Holstein ($75) and jersey ($50) bulls and another guy 6hr away with Holstein, jersey, angus cross bottle calves for $40 each. I have a place close I can house the bottle calves that will help feed them but have to provide all feed for them (no pasture only small 1/4acre area).

    What is everyone's thoughts?
    What is fair price for pasture rental?
    Best place to find cattle breeders?
    Best place to sell cattle? (We used to just take them to the stock sale)
    Does anyone have exp with using milk cow to nurse bottle calves instead of using milk supplement?

    Any info will be helpful. Thank you.
  2. DoubleR

    DoubleR Repro Lover

    1st off Thank You for your service!
    I don't know that much about NC so I'm not sure exactly how much help I can be. There are so many variables.
    I think that bottle calves are time consuming. Just the sickness and death rates alone show that. We raise some with great success but loose some also. Everyone we know has about the same rates except we have the abilities to do IV fluids etc where some others don't without a vet bill.
    The people who will help feed them know what's involved with bottle calves?
    Wow those are great prices for calves! I'm jealous! Driving 6 hrs away for calves can't be cost effective.
    Pasture prices I can't help you with. Call around and ask. Depends on the demand and availability.
    Other than auction your probably pretty limited (for bottle calves) to dairies. At auction you may get lucky to find beef calves which will be much more profitable but you'll pay more for them also and have to put in the time at the auction. Auctions always a gamble. If you can find a dairy that will supply you you'd probably be better off. Plus they'd be started better if it's a reputable dairy.
    Unless you have the time to market them either online or flyers etc your probably looking at auction sales. At which point you need to go and see what size brings the best money for your situation. Also weather you have the abilities to steer them or not if they are bull calves.
    In our area holstein steers at 700-800 pounds is where the money is. Otherwise it's pretty much not worth it.
    Are you asking about using a milk cow to provide you the milk then bottle feeding the calves or use nurse cows who raise multiple calves?

  3. Bessie

    Bessie New Member

    Do you have family that will help you take care of them on the property you don't live on? Especially the bottle calves? I would think it would be better to get ones past bottle or nursing stage.

    Thank you for your service, too.
  4. Dion

    Dion New Member

    Thank you for your service. I have a son in the AF and I am an Army vet. Personally..... I wouldn't take on that load while I was on active duty. A better fit for me back then was to find a local farmer and make friends with him. Work for free helping the farmer on your time off. See if you can buy a bred cow and run it on his place with his cows in exchange for helping him when you can. As someone mentioned above, feeding dairy calves to far too labor intensive. You really need your own place with your home located there and a house full of kids to actually do the chores in the morning and evening. God bless you though and I appreciate your continuing interest in agriculture.
  5. steerboy

    steerboy New Member

    What would u recommend for me to feed a steer?
  6. DoubleR

    DoubleR Repro Lover

    That will depend on what kind of steer you end up with. Beef or dairy. Age he is. Etc.
    What ever you do start slow. Don't want to bloat him.