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Contributor

backgrounding

Its me again the aspiring farmer... just havent found any land yet lol. However a freind of mine has a few acres and is also wanting to buy some calfs next year. He was involved in 4H when he was younger so at least one of us knows what we are doing. My question is this. Is it a good idea to buy calfs in the early spring and let them eat ONLY grass until it is time to sell them in the fall? He says the pasture he has is good grass. Another question. Say I find a place that hasnt had cows on it in years... should I sew new grass for them to eat? Once again thanks again for any advice...

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4 Replies
Senior Contributor

Re: backgrounding

If its a bad idea.... Lots of people must be wrong. Don't count on the 4-H thing teaching your buddy much about production agriculture. It's more about buying a calf to win some sore of prize at the fair.
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Senior Advisor

Re: backgrounding

If I don't get my fall bred cows bought within the next couple of weeks, I'm gonna consider buying calves to feed.
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Senior Contributor

Re: backgrounding

I've been buying calves for years and turning out to grass. If possible, buy them in march or so before everyone else jumps in and wants them. You can get a better price at this time before grass greens. If you can keep them penned up close for a month and feed them, you can watch them closer and weed out any sale barn sickness before it affects the whole group. After a month, grass is growing and you turn them out. If you can figure out what they should weigh at the time you want to sell them, try to have an even group of calves that are same size and color and make a pot load out of them. When a buyer can get 50,000 lbs of animals from a single source and fill a trailer, they bring more money that way as well.
What type of grass is on it? Weed pressure? Make sure water source is good and there is shade somewhere around. Good Fence is very important when you turn a calf out on a place he's never been on before as well. Good luck hope you make a pocket full of cash!
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Contributor

Re: backgrounding

Bwc you may need to check around and see in any cattle man in your area will put poundage cattle on your leased land or your buddies ground. I have done that for years myself with putting poundage calves on local farmers who would like to have cattle but for many reasons don't want to own the cattle but want their farm not overgrown. It makes you money and the producer money without you taking on a huge expenses with the price of beef now. It would give you a way to not have as much risk and be able to get your feet wet into the back grounding game.
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