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Advice on getting Started with Cattle

Discussion in 'Everything Else Cattle' started by CntryBoy777, Apr 16, 2017.

  1. Apr 18, 2017
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

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  2. Apr 18, 2017
    greybeard

    greybeard True BYH Addict

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    Just off the top of my head, I have over 25 gates on my place...
     
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  3. Apr 18, 2017
    Mike CHS

    Mike CHS Herd Master

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    I have no idea what we will wind up with but we have 6 gates in a 54 1/2 acre paddock (plus two subdivision gates). Our 1 1/2 acre dry lot has 4 gates plus two internally in the shelters.

    My excuse is I worked for a government engineering command for too long.
     
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  4. Apr 18, 2017
    Baymule

    Baymule Herd Master

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    8 acres, 9 gates, 3 temporary wire gaps, when we finish the fencing, we'll add 2 more gates.
     
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  5. Apr 19, 2017
    CntryBoy777

    CntryBoy777 True BYH Addict

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    I am understanding much better about having gates, and the placement of them with the fencing that is being done now for goats. Also, having a bum leg doesn't encourage one to do a bunch of walking around either, so personal conveinence is certainly a factor. Even tho there will only be 3-4 steers to start with, I want each of you to know that I'm taking all of this very seriously and even if it takes a bit more time, I want to learn to do it right. So, your input is greatly appreciated. When I began all of this it here, with goats, it was more of a novelty, but my attitude has changed, and with this step and each from now on, will be done on a more serious level.
     
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  6. Apr 19, 2017
    farmerjan

    farmerjan Loving the herd life

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    Just to add my 2 cents. Greybeard is right. For a beginner, try to start with a couple of steers. Shorthorn is a decent breed. They are divided into 2 categories, milking shorthorns and beef shorthorns. If the kids are showing them then they are most likely beef. Even heifers would make a good beef but there is them coming into heat to contend with. Sometimes that is a problem, sometimes not.
    Get a book like "Raising beef cattle" by heather thomas smith. One of the "Storey books" Usually at TSC. Will give you some basics. Also, don't know about how your weather patterns are there, but here we figure 1-2 acres per head during the growing season. Then there is hay.
    A few basics....An animal will "finish" for optimal slaughter at about 20-26 months of age. That is for GOOD marbling in the meat. So, to make it simpler, you should be getting an animal that is weaned, eating good. Probably in the 5-800 lb range. Understand that older/bigger means closer to finishing. Older/bigger will also utilize the pasture better with less inputs as in grain, until close to finishing. You want this animal to GROW, and to do so eating grass. Not having to "baby" and feed alot of grain etc.
    @cjc is right.....don't get the "cute" poor little calf... they are usually a reject for a reason and often don't grow well. You want a pet, okay; you want a productive beef, no.
    That is not to say that an animal that is a "show" reject isn't a good one. Also, if you have a chance to find one that say has a "bad eye" say from pinkeye, or even have one that doesn't have an eye, that is still a good prospect. They will often be alot cheaper...and they only need one eye to find grass to eat. They are heavily discounted at the stockyards. We raise most all our "defective" cattle for meat. Once it is on the rail, it doesn't matter.

    One thing to consider, with the fencing..... Even though it will cost ALOT initially, consider doing any fencing with the idea that you will be able to use it for ANY animal there if you need to. So, basic stock fencing/woven wire is the best. Think about it. If you want to turn the goats out or some sheep or even graze some hogs, barbed wire doesn't work that well. I am not saying you have to use the expensive goat and sheep fencing...but the standard woven wire that is 48" tall, with stays that are 6" and graduated from closer together near the bottom to the top. Then you have "multi-purpose" fields to use, not just for the cattle.

    We do not put up any fencing on any land we own that is not standard woven wire. And most all the places we rent also. It is also a deterrent to dogs and coyotes but not 100% safe. Still better than barbed wire or smooth high tensile that can be electrified. The cattle will not be bothered much by the coyotes if they are not calving; dogs can/will run them and there is an answer for any dog harassing livestock...

    I agree totally that mowing is a waste of grass. I hate mowing the lawn where I rent as I figure that if there is enough to mow, it should be grazed. I do have a couple of "chicken tractor type portable coops" that I move around the lawn.....

    There's a ton more I can write, but will stop for now.
     
  7. Apr 19, 2017
    Bossroo

    Bossroo True BYH Addict

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    I agree with the above comments, also I would highly recomment that you also set up your venture to run as a BUSINESS from the get go and also hire a CPA that specializes in ranching. That will save you many dollars and not to mention headaches.
     
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  8. Apr 26, 2017
    CntryBoy777

    CntryBoy777 True BYH Addict

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    Just wanted all to know that I've been busy with other things and haven't gotten those samples yet, but will. I want to work on pasture change over before fence goes up, then see the best quality mixture that I can grow there. Also, one field may be better suited for grazing than the others.
     
  9. Apr 26, 2017
    greybeard

    greybeard True BYH Addict

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    Probably correct. Even within my own property, there are areas that are much better for forage than others.

    If I would put any one thing above the rest, I would point to getting the pH correct for the native or introduced grasses you intend to graze. Fertilizer is a waste if the pH is wrong, and pH work should be done first anyway and in most areas, lime is very cheap--cheaper than fertilizer..assuming it needs lime.
     
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  10. Apr 29, 2017
    CntryBoy777

    CntryBoy777 True BYH Addict

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    I went out today and collected my samples.... IMAG2278.jpg ....we have rain moving in tonite and on/off thru Sun nite, and more coming Tue/Wed again. After the inch we got 2 days ago still had the soil damp, but it wasn't going to get any dryer, so I got that done. I will go on Mon to extension office and send them off and should get the report back in 2-3 wks. It will be interesti g to see if my 2 yrs of growing thru the winter has improved the soil in field#1, tho there isn't anything to compare it to, other than the 3 other fields. So, things will pretty much be on hold til the results come in on this front, but I still have Plenty to keep me busy....:)
     
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