New to forum

Deecarter

Overrun with beasties
Joined
Jul 1, 2021
Messages
72
Reaction score
104
Points
93
Location
Douglasville Ga
Your pond, Ma'am...

Actually, my winter tub was a smaller circular tub that four khakis could jam themselves into, but for some reason I can't find anything but the rubber ones on the website today. So here's a BIG one (above) for example. I don't think mine held more then 10 gallons because it was easy peasy to dump. If it fits a duck or two it's good enough (for a few ducks). I also used kiddie pools when I had them, but when they were on sale. It just needs to be big enough to fit a few ducks and solid enough to hold up to daily dumping.
Thanks! That's an awesome pond. It will work.
 

farmerjan

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 16, 2016
Messages
6,121
Reaction score
21,054
Points
628
Location
Shenandoah Valley Virginia
A few things about raising a beef. When do you want to kill it? First thing to warn you about is getting a processing date is almost always a year or more out now... Used to be you could call and get a date in a couple of months. Not anymore. So.... one major thing to consider.

You are going to have alot of time and money in a bottle calf to get it to kill size. My suggestion is to get an animal that is weaned, ready to go on pasture... That can be anywhere from 400 to 800 lbs. If you know anyone in the cattle business that you trust... see if they can find you a 5-7 wt weaned animal. Here in Va the difference in prices would have me raising heifers to kill... 1.50 lb for a 5 wt steer as opposed to 1.25 lb for a heifer... The heifers will be a bit smaller at kill time. They will come in heat and be a pain for 24 hours while in heat... that's every 3 weeks. Some show next to no symptoms... some are very much a ROYAL PITA.... but most are not really that awful. They will finish out at a lighter weight, meaning they will marble good at a smaller size than most steers.... Not a huge difference, but something to consider.

If you were close here, I would go buy you a 650-700 steer with a bad eye.... pinkeye mostly are the problem.... but a bad eye animal will sell at a BIG discount.... they do not do as well in a feedlot situation because they can get bullied more... For a home situation.... who cares if he has 2 good eyes or one good eye... he will not have competition to worry about and will grow good. We keep and feed out any animal we have that has a bad eye. We keep most of our heifers that have a bad eye, and they either get killed or if they are nice heifers, will go into our breeding herd. They don't need 2 eyes on pasture to be a good mom.....

I have one now that had a dead calf, she just took a holstein bull calf fostered on her. She has only had one eye from birth. We were going to sell her, she brought $.50 lb and I bought her back... the rest in the group brought like 1.35 lb.... so she got raised up and this was her third calf. She is not the very best cow, does an average job... but she took this calf with next to no problems... in a week was turned out to pasture with it... and she will raise it. Disposition counts here too....

Sure 2 eyes is the best...BUT.... an otherwise nice animal that has one bad eye.... mostly ones that have gone blind in one side from not getting treated early enough.... will do just fine in a small operation. You don't eat the eye... it is cosmetic..... We have 2 that are nearly completely blind that stay together... they follow the other animals, and will be great beef. They would have brought next to nothing at the stockyard. Not giving them away.... both were on pasture on their momma's and got pinkeye and did not get caught up and treated as soon as they should have... one had it in one eye, then several months later got it in the 2nd eye....sometimes sh!t just happens.

If you have good grass... you might even consider 2 for company.... sell the other for beef to family members...

As @Baymule had limited room, she raised and fed and killed hers a little smaller than most, but it marbled nicely and she got good beef.
 

Deecarter

Overrun with beasties
Joined
Jul 1, 2021
Messages
72
Reaction score
104
Points
93
Location
Douglasville Ga
Birds of prey are always a issue when chickens or ducklings are small, you may want to keep them in a temporary enclosure with a shelter until they gain some size....but it so worth it for all the work these ducks do for your pasture / yard.
I’m reading about them now. I’ve also got to see how I get my Great Pyrenees to accept them. My chickens are in a coup with a large fenced in chicken yard. They are protected with fence attached to the chicken coop. I even have wire on the top. Chicken hawks are a problem here too.
 

Deecarter

Overrun with beasties
Joined
Jul 1, 2021
Messages
72
Reaction score
104
Points
93
Location
Douglasville Ga
A few things about raising a beef. When do you want to kill it? First thing to warn you about is getting a processing date is almost always a year or more out now... Used to be you could call and get a date in a couple of months. Not anymore. So.... one major thing to consider.

You are going to have alot of time and money in a bottle calf to get it to kill size. My suggestion is to get an animal that is weaned, ready to go on pasture... That can be anywhere from 400 to 800 lbs. If you know anyone in the cattle business that you trust... see if they can find you a 5-7 wt weaned animal. Here in Va the difference in prices would have me raising heifers to kill... 1.50 lb for a 5 wt steer as opposed to 1.25 lb for a heifer... The heifers will be a bit smaller at kill time. They will come in heat and be a pain for 24 hours while in heat... that's every 3 weeks. Some show next to no symptoms... some are very much a ROYAL PITA.... but most are not really that awful. They will finish out at a lighter weight, meaning they will marble good at a smaller size than most steers.... Not a huge difference, but something to consider.

If you were close here, I would go buy you a 650-700 steer with a bad eye.... pinkeye mostly are the problem.... but a bad eye animal will sell at a BIG discount.... they do not do as well in a feedlot situation because they can get bullied more... For a home situation.... who cares if he has 2 good eyes or one good eye... he will not have competition to worry about and will grow good. We keep and feed out any animal we have that has a bad eye. We keep most of our heifers that have a bad eye, and they either get killed or if they are nice heifers, will go into our breeding herd. They don't need 2 eyes on pasture to be a good mom.....

I have one now that had a dead calf, she just took a holstein bull calf fostered on her. She has only had one eye from birth. We were going to sell her, she brought $.50 lb and I bought her back... the rest in the group brought like 1.35 lb.... so she got raised up and this was her third calf. She is not the very best cow, does an average job... but she took this calf with next to no problems... in a week was turned out to pasture with it... and she will raise it. Disposition counts here too....

Sure 2 eyes is the best...BUT.... an otherwise nice animal that has one bad eye.... mostly ones that have gone blind in one side from not getting treated early enough.... will do just fine in a small operation. You don't eat the eye... it is cosmetic..... We have 2 that are nearly completely blind that stay together... they follow the other animals, and will be great beef. They would have brought next to nothing at the stockyard. Not giving them away.... both were on pasture on their momma's and got pinkeye and did not get caught up and treated as soon as they should have... one had it in one eye, then several months later got it in the 2nd eye....sometimes sh!t just happens.

If you have good grass... you might even consider 2 for company.... sell the other for beef to family members...

As @Baymule had limited room, she raised and fed and killed hers a little smaller than most, but it marbled nicely and she got good beef.
Good info! Thanks! I am going to consider this.
 

Alaskan

Herd Master
Joined
May 9, 2017
Messages
3,346
Reaction score
7,259
Points
433
Location
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
If you have hawks...maybe a flock of geese would be better.

Geese also eat snails and such. I loved my geese when I had them.

I have a BUNCH of predation,but a flock of 5 held their own, and were a scary enough group that nothing ate them.

I did lock them up every night.
 

Deecarter

Overrun with beasties
Joined
Jul 1, 2021
Messages
72
Reaction score
104
Points
93
Location
Douglasville Ga
If you have hawks...maybe a flock of geese would be better.

Geese also eat snails and such. I loved my geese when I had them.

I have a BUNCH of predation,but a flock of 5 held their own, and were a scary enough group that nothing ate them.

I did lock them up every night.
Do you think it's necessary to lock them in at night? I have two LGD and nothing comes inside the fence now. I'm not sure how my Great Pyrenees will do with geese or ducks, but I thought I could isolate them where the dogs could see them and let them out a little at a time while I am there to monitor to train them not to chase the ducks or geese. I like the idea of a beef cow to. My sister has one she is raising for slaughter, and it seems to be working.
 

Alaskan

Herd Master
Joined
May 9, 2017
Messages
3,346
Reaction score
7,259
Points
433
Location
Kenai Peninsula, Alaska
Do you think it's necessary to lock them in at night? I have two LGD and nothing comes inside the fence now. I'm not sure how my Great Pyrenees will do with geese or ducks, but I thought I could isolate them where the dogs could see them and let them out a little at a time while I am there to monitor to train them not to chase the ducks or geese. I like the idea of a beef cow to. My sister has one she is raising for slaughter, and it seems to be working.
If the geese are sleeping with/near the LGD, then they will probably stay safe and not need to be locked up.
 

Baymule

Herd Master
Joined
Aug 22, 2010
Messages
23,726
Reaction score
60,392
Points
823
Location
Northeast Texas
My dogs benefit from being off duty at night and not having random animals scattered about. They can patrol the outside of the coop and sheep barn/lot easier than run several pastures. They run the pastures anyway, but the pressure is off. Train your ducks or geese to go in every night and it will be easier on everybody.

@farmerjan summed it up nicely. No bottle babies! If you buy a calf, make sure it is not a bull calf, have him castrated. The man we bought our steer from castrated him and kept him on his momma until healed and weaned.
 

misfitmorgan

Herd Master
Joined
Feb 26, 2016
Messages
3,722
Reaction score
6,860
Points
423
Location
Northern Lower Michigan
Better to not buy bottle babies unless you are ready for the losses. We pick up ours from the auction and know full well everytime it is a roll of the dice. Once we have a couple we have raised and sold off we will be switching to beef animals most likely. Bottle calves are a good leg into cattle if you plan on getting some meat to start off and to have extras to sell then re-invest the profits.

Definitely easier and probly ends up cheaper to just buy farm calves who are a bit older and well started if you just after say 1 butcher beef.
 
Top