Running a Small Beef Herd

Beef Production Ideas for Part-Time Producers

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Choose a location that has good vegetation for grazing, such as field or rye grasses. You should choose a breed and cow size to match your feed resources and local conditions. Cattle handling and carrying out necessary husbandry practices such as castration and vaccination, herd health, reproductive management, nutrition, carrying capacity, supplementary feeding through normal feed shortages or drought are also explored. They jump in when it looks good, when prices are high, and they bail out when prices fall for fear of loosing money. Minimizing costs through sound management can definitely help. Running a Small Beef Herd has been written for anyone wishing to establish and successfully manage a small herd of beef cattle on their property.

Running a Small Beef Herd contains an extremely useful calendar of operations to assist with timing and coordination of all the relevant activities and completely updates the previous edition. It also updates and expands on the NLIS ear tagging requirements, and includes a chapter on the importance of soil health and fertility.

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How to develop and manage a small beef cattle herd

In order to capitalize on this strategy, some paradigm shifts might be in order. We all like to think that we can recognize a bargain when we see one.

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Raising cattle properly requires money, land and skill. Do you have Decide whether to run commercial cattle or registered purebred cattle. Running a Small Beef Herd by Fiona Baker published October The ISBN is The publisher is Landlinks Press. Buy Running a Small Beef.

In certain circumstances however human nature has a tendency to take over and we do the exact opposite. An example is the stock market. The market runs in cycles. When the market falls people perceive this as a bad thing. They worry about losing money so they sell when prices are low. They just guaranteed themselves a loss. In some circles livestock are considered securities like stocks and bonds.

Interestingly, many people act in the livestock market just like they do in the securities market. They jump in when it looks good, when prices are high, and they bail out when prices fall for fear of loosing money. The evidence of this lies in the ups and downs of the national cowherd inventory.

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Buy Low — Sell High Warren Buffett, definitely one of the more wealthy people in the world, amassed his fortune in securities using one simple principle, buy low — sell high. That sounds so simple, yet for so many people it is an insurmountable task. It is a difficult task for two reasons: Making it Easier The buy low — sell high strategy is often thought of when buying feeder calves. Especially part time producers hardly ever consider it in the cow — calf operation. Applying this strategy to the cow — calf operation can prove beneficial.

There are two reasons why the buy low — sell high principle applies well to the cow — calf operation: The cow — calf cycle allows even a novice who watches the market to make some fairly sound decisions most of the time. The goal in this strategy is to increase income while keeping risk to a minimum.

Entering the market buying cows is best accomplished when cow prices are low. However, even if prices are high the market can be entered successfully when just a few head are purchased as seedstock with which to build up a herd.

Running a Small Beef Herd - Fiona Baker - Google Книги

Through the low part of the price cycle retain as many heifers as possible to keep building the cowherd. If not all heifers are kept, attempt to keep those that will offer the greatest improvement to the genetic base. You should know why you want to rear cattle, and be able to set yourself goals to achieve the most constant economic return or personal satisfaction.

These must be clearly defined and achievable in a realistic time-frame. If not, your operation will lack focus. A small-scale cattle enterprise can involve a growing and feeding system calves or weaners are either raised or bought and then fattened for slaughter , breeding herds, or a combination of growing, feeding and breeding herds.

They can then be fed and marketed in less than a year from the time of purchase. Thus, the investment on each calf is returned within a comparatively short time. This type of operation may not require much land, but you will need adequate facilities to keep the animals comfortable and under control.

In a pasture-based enterprise, you buy weaned calves in early spring, put them onto pasture when the grass is at its best, and sell them when the pasture season is over. On the other hand, calves cost less in winter. Depending on the cost of winter feed, this may be the best time to buy cattle for the following pasture season. Working with calves requires a good deal of patience, as they are easily excited and stressed. Discuss a health programme with your vet. Establishing a breeding herd is a long-term objective.

It also requires more land, as well as adequate feed, water and fences to accommodate a year-round operation. Decide whether to run commercial cattle or registered purebred cattle.