New To Cows - QUESTIONS!!

greybeard

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Tho it's more important with bulls, correct pastern is one of the things I look for.
Hoof placement when they walk..the rear hooves should mostly set down right where the front hooves were, tho with young animals it might not be so evident as they are still developing.
Certainly look underneath at the developing udder..number and size of teats tho again, it's hard to appraise with younger animals.

DO inquire if any of the heifers were a twin, with the other twin being a bull calf. Most of the time, twin to a bull calf is a freemartin..cannot be bred/reproduce, but is almost always fine for eating.

This is for bull appraisal and is an Aussie site, but much of it holds true for female structural soundness as well.
https://www.dpi.nsw.gov.au/animals-.../breeding/bull-selection/structural-soundness

Angus influenced breeds:
http://www.aberdeen-angus.co.uk/the-society/breed-assessment-booklet/#cows
 

Donna R. Raybon

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Brangus from good lines that are calm and docile are a great breed. Personality is passed on, so make sure the parents and other herd members are calm.

Before you take the plunge..... go visit someone who has the handling facilities necessary to confine a cow for exam. You need at minimum a head chute and alley. In fact, find a breeder and buy from him/her so that you also get 'mentoring' as a bonus.

Yeah, you can wing it with a lasso. I did for a long, long time.
There are ways to tie and then lay a grown, fully alert cow down on her side to do whatever you need. But, it is a YOUNG person's sport!!! One of best days of my life was when Tennessee Farmers Coop delivered and set up hub corral with push gate, alley, and squeeze chute!!!!!! Single handed I could work, vet, castrate, deworm, treat for pink eye (oh what fun times in the warm weather we have had!!! NOT!!), vaccinate, pour for fly control, AI, etc..... And, when I had a cow refusing to take a calf or with mastitis??? Into the chute she went and I was safe on outside with calf!!
 

farmerjan

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I pulled the ad that showed the calves. These are ONLY MY THOUGHTS; these calves look like they were either bought and then kept for awhile and then are being offered for sale. OR they have a real hodgepodge of cattle and pulled all the calves and have weaned them and are trying to sell; OR they got bottle calves or something similiar and raised them up to sell.

You are new to cattle. Do yourself a favor and talk to your vet on where to buy a couple of weaned, HEALTHY calves. Or better yet a couple of steers and get some experience with them. As a newbie, I would not go buy some calves from a mixed group like this. I am of the inclination that these have been bought different places, then put together and fed for a short 30-60 day period and now are being offered for sale. I think that there are a couple that look a bit wormy, the one with the rough haircoat that has not shed is one and then a couple looked thin. I know that brangus and brahma influenced cattle are not built the same as our angus and hereford and charolais but they still look like they are not getting an overabundance of feed. If you have one get sick, there will be little recourse from a seller with a mixed group like this.
I would not go buy any livestock off craigslist starting out. People can be very honest, and they can be very dishonest, and they can be very limited in their knowledge. Many are not really well versed in livestock, and are thinking they will make money. I have seen several ads where the people have said they have so and so for sale; and when you look at the picture...you wonder where they got their information from. They have no clue as to what they really have, and then by selling it to someone, that person says they have such and such because they were told that their original stock were this or that.... and it keeps snowballing.
Find someone who can mentor you a bit with your first cattle venture... it will save you money, and heartbreak and loss if something does go wrong and there is someone to go to for help, and advice.
 

Donna R. Raybon

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Farmer Jan is so very on the money!!!!!!!! My cattle were SOLD at stockyards, but I never, ever, bought anything at a stockyard. All were bought from established, breeders who were there as a resource to answer questions.
 

farmerjan

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We run commercial cattle with some registered ones in the mix. I have been doing this for 50 years. If I had 1/2 the money I spent and "buried" on less that healthy calves the first 10 years, I would be able to retire....well not quite.... but I spent so much trying to "save sick cattle" and all that.
We buy and sell at the stockyards. But We've been doing it a long time. I've watched the market trends, have made some very risky buys, and made some money and lost some too. You want to start out with healthy, cattle, don't have to have fancy pedigrees... just healthy. Until you get a feel for what is healthy, what illnesses can be easily cured, what a thrifty animal is, what thin cattle will gain and be profitable, and what ones will always be "sorry" cattle; you need to learn the ropes.
These calves could be fine. But you don't have the knowledge or experience to look at them and know that. I could look at them and still not be 100% right, but from years of experience, I would have a better chance of knowing if they would "go forward" or if they would go backwards and have some problems. Also, you need someone to help you see the little things. I would be somewhat out of my element in Fl.... your grasses are different, the temps, so much different from me here in Va.

I am not trying to discourage you. I am trying to save you from spending some money, and getting "hurt". You don't want to get 3 home, with $1,000 invested, have them get sick, and spend $500 on vet bills and bury 2. Now you have a very expensive $1500 calf. Realize too, that a $350 calf will weigh in the 300-400 lb range. You are talking at least a year before you can consider butchering. Just weaned calves are one of the greatest risk groups, and are the highest cost per lb. of all. Plus they will not be able to utilize the grass as well because they are going to need feed supplementing...they need protein to grow. You would be much better off finding a couple of 600 lb steers, that are weaned and eating and growing, that do not need much additional feed if the grass is decent, who's rumens are working well and they can utililize that grass the best when you turn them out. A little feed to call them into a catch pen, keep them tame and quiet.... feed grain for the last 30-90 days if you want grain finished, and butcher in 6-8 months at 1,000 lbs. You want an animal to gain 1.5 to 2.5 lbs a day for optimal growth and tenderest meat. And with the best utilization of the pasture you have. I have no idea of the best grasses there except I know that they are mostly warm season whereas we have more cool season grasses. The best time for your animals to put weight on might be Oct to Feb, I don't know. You need to find someone to help you with that.
 

greybeard

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I pulled the ad that showed the calves. These are ONLY MY THOUGHTS; these calves look like they were either bought and then kept for awhile and then are being offered for sale. OR they have a real hodgepodge of cattle and pulled all the calves and have weaned them and are trying to sell; OR they got bottle calves or something similiar and raised them up to sell.
I seriously doubt he is a breeder too, as there are just too many different breeds and phenotype there. Even if he did have a hodge podge group of females, you would think the calves would show a lot more uniformity (unless he had a LOT of different bulls)
Yep...as I said in another thread, you can make $$ buying light weights or thin cattle and putting them on some good grass and a little grain supplement for awhile, then turn around and sell them when they look better...and are at a heavier weight. The sale barn stickers probably haven't been off that mixed bunch very long, and if the CS ad doesn't produce results, they'll just go to a different sale barn and at very least make his $$ back, tho the added weight should produce a profit.
 

greybeard

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Farmer Jan is so very on the money!!!!!!!! My cattle were SOLD at stockyards, but I never, ever, bought anything at a stockyard. All were bought from established, breeders who were there as a resource to answer questions.

I've bought some at salebarns but been going to them a long time and have a pretty good eye for what runs thru the ring. Mostly tho, private treaty or raise my own, with just private buys for replacements.
I would have to know the seller to ever buy a bull form a sale barn.

You can sometimes get some very good cattle at herd dispersal sales.....watch the newspaper obits of the older ranchers. Their kids generally will sell the whole herd at the nearest barn...a lifetime of work gone in a couple of hours.
 

skeleroo

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Well I did it. Last Wednesday I got cows. Not the cows I was going to get, either.

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I had the vet come out and he gave them a clean bill of health. The baby is still on a bottle and is super friendly when she's hungry. The big girl wants nothing to do with me and isn't really interested in food at all. And she kicks. That's been fun.

Here's to a new adventure!
 

greybeard

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Get the red one interested in range cubes or creep type/size pellets as soon as you can. She'll settle down as soon as she figures out you are the giver of food.
Looks like you have plenty of grass for them!
Red (which I like) could use a little more ear and leather. ;)
 

skeleroo

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Get the red one interested in range cubes or creep type/size pellets as soon as you can. She'll settle down as soon as she figures out you are the giver of food.
Looks like you have plenty of grass for them!
Red (which I like) could use a little more ear and leather. ;)

The red one is the baby, the black one is the older... kickier... girl. The red one is a doll baby and just a beautiful girl. I've tried giving the big girl food but and cubes but she doesn't seem to want it. She doesn't even really go for the grain when I feed her.

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What does it mean a little more ear and leather?
 
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