How Much to Sell My Calf For

MyFather'sSheep

Overrun with beasties
Joined
Feb 1, 2019
Messages
66
Reaction score
37
Points
78
We are selling our 5 month Holstein heifer. She is super sweet, socialized with sheep, goats, and children, and is halter trained. How much is fair to sell her for? What avenues of sale are there besides craigslist and the sale barn (which is not our preference).
 

Rammy

Herd Master
Golden Herd Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2018
Messages
2,449
Reaction score
6,881
Points
383
Location
Tennessee
Greetings and welcome to BYH from Tn! So glad you joined us. Look around and see what interesting stuff you can find. You'll get to "meet" folks at the same time. By all means post away when the desire strikes you, especially if you have questions (provide as much detail/info as possible and pictures truly help)... With all the great folks here, generally someone will respond in no time at all. Oh, and we all love pics, so post them anytime you feel the need! Please make yourself at home!
PLEASE put at least your general location in your profile. It could be very important if/when you ask for or offer help or advice. You know, climate issues and such. I recommend at least your state as most folks won't be able to figure out where if you put anything more specific (county, town, street, etc) by itself. Old folks like me will never remember from this post & look there first. To add it, mouse hover over Account top right and a drop down will appear. Click on Personal Details and scan down. You'll see the spot for Location. Then go to the bottom and save changes. Thanks! Hope you enjoy the site!
 

farmerjan

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Messages
4,644
Reaction score
15,813
Points
548
Location
Shenandoah Valley Virginia
Hi and welcome to BYH. As @Rammy said your location is very important.

Now for the bad news. Here in Va a holstein heifer is next to worthless. I am not trying to be negative. The dairy industry is in very bad shape economics wise. They are selling holstein heifer baby calves here for $20 to $40 at the sale. Feeder size are bringing in the $40 to $50 per 100 wts.
I realize you are talking a nice, family raised heifer. Your best bet is craigslist so that someone who wants a potential family cow down the road, can find her available. Try ads at the feed stores. TSC has a bulletin board that you can post a picture etc.
There is next to no market for them here in my area. I work in the dairy industry. Have several jersey and guernsey and holstein crosses that I have used for nurse cows. They are a dime a dozen in value now.
You are going to have to find someone looking for a family type cow. Try the website, "keeping a family cow". I don't go on it much, but it is designed for homesteader type people. I have read alot of articles/posts by different people on it. Maybe you are in an area where it would be more in demand.
The other problem with holsteins is they make more milk than the average family wants/needs/can use. Plus, those that are looking for A2 milk, for digestibility issues, are looking for a jersey or guernsey more often. I have a couple holstein crosses and they make very good nurse cows and can feed 3-4 calves at a time if they get a little feed. I am not knocking them. But the realities of the situation are just that. I am a milk tester and had a small farm just sell out. All registered. He had both Holsteins and Brown Swiss; over 50 years of very good pedigrees. Most everyone halter broken. They sold for less than 1500 each as really good show/milk cows. That was about 1/2 to 1/3 of their real value in a normal market.
I just want you to be aware of the dairy situation in general.
Is there a reason why you are not going to keep her for a family cow for yourself? I just want you to be aware of the "real world" situation with the dairy industry. There are alot of cattle available for next to nothing right now. It is a sad situation and dairy farms are selling out because they cannot make a living anymore. Many good decent cattle are going for slaughter prices.
 

farmerjan

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Messages
4,644
Reaction score
15,813
Points
548
Location
Shenandoah Valley Virginia
Just an added note. How big is she? I would say that if she is weaned, at 3-400 lbs, you would be lucky in my area to get $150 to $200 for her. A springing, ready to calve dairy animal, on average here won't bring $6-800. You will have twice that in one to get them to that size/age.
We are even seeing it in the beef cattle markets. We just bought some bred cows. Some first calf heifers due in early fall, some older cows. Just average decent cows. Paid less than $600 each. Picked up 2 cows with calves already on the ground, ready to go back with the bulls to get rebred in June, for $1450. The calves should bring in the $500 range this fall when ready to be sold. We sold 2 cows that were fence jumpers, hard to catch, not going to calve til late fall. Took the 1350 we got for them, put $100 towards it and bought the 2 with calves that will be ready to sell before the 2 of ours would have their own calves. A very good "trade-off". The markets are tough and the dairy industry is in very very difficult straits.
 

greybeard

Herd Master
Joined
Oct 23, 2011
Messages
5,940
Reaction score
10,761
Points
553
Location
East Texas
I would say that if she is weaned, at 3-400 lbs, you would be lucky in my area to get $150 to $200 for her. A springing, ready to calve dairy animal, on average here won't bring $6-800. You will have twice that in one to get them to that size/age.

They're pretty much giving them away here with the only real market for private sales being to some 4H/FFAer that wants to raise a project calf but can't afford a beef animal.

There's a reason you can buy them so cheaply most places..
 

Simpleterrier

Loving the herd life
Joined
Nov 20, 2016
Messages
330
Reaction score
519
Points
163
Location
North central Ohio
Best bet would be to beef her up and put her in the freezer. Then u really don't loose anything. U will know how she was raised and what she ate.
 

MyFather'sSheep

Overrun with beasties
Joined
Feb 1, 2019
Messages
66
Reaction score
37
Points
78
Thanks everyone. She is probably around 300lbs. I sesrched "keeping a family cow" and could only find references to the book. Anyone have a link?
 
Top