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Anyone know about ranching?

Discussion in 'Announcements & Open Forum' started by 338_MtRushmore, Jul 14, 2018.

  1. 338_MtRushmore

    338_MtRushmore Well-Known Member

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    Anyone here know how to raise cattle, and have any insight that an inexperienced hand should know? Probably the last place I should be asking, but worth a chance I guess?


     
    Shadetree Mechanic likes this.

  2. Captain Kilowatt

    Captain Kilowatt Professional Amateur
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    Why should it be the last place you ask. There are several here that know a lot about bull shit. Perhaps they know something about the rest of the actual animal too. :whistle: Sorry but the lack of sleep last night made me lose my better judgement for a minute. :ROFLMAO:
     
    psycho, JoeDirt, 357magnum and 9 others like this.
  3. Shadetree Mechanic

    Shadetree Mechanic 808 On The North Side of Dover

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    I don't know anything about cattle, but it sounds like hard work. Hard work can keep you physically fit and increase your stamina. Up until a few years ago, we heated the house entirely with a wood stove. Our children helped us split wood from a very early age by stacking the wood in the back of the stake body truck. I know a guy who has a tree removal business and he would have me come and pick up wood from the job all summer, we would have a mountain of wood to split. We would burn about 10 cords, my inlaws 6 or 8 and my parents 4 or 5. Any extra wood I would sell for some pocket money. When my son got big enough to swing a splitting maul this became his preferred method even though we have a log splitter. He is in high school now and he can beat everyone in the school in arm wrestling. He is big enough now that I have to work hard to keep up with him. I am 46 now and I can tell that I can't do the things I used to do but I'm not old yet. lol Keep your eyes open and stay safe, if something doesn't look safe then it isn't. My 2 cents.
    Chris
     
  4. Tallman

    Tallman W9WDX Amateur Radio Member, KW4YJ EXTRA class

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    Well you just willingly gave up your freedom. If you have predators in the area you will have to do daily head counts some times more often if you lose some.
    (Always carry a high powered rifle with you. A shotgun is useless at long range.)
    The calves are more at risk the first 10 days.
    De-horn you cattle when they are only days old, there is a button on each side of the skull that floats when moved. That is the horn before it starts to grow. When young a small slit in the skin and the horn can be removed easily. If you wait too long there is a lot more trauma to the calf and danger to you.
    I intentionally avoided the use of the words "Horn Button". Beep Beep!
    Store as much baled hay as you can. Know the difference between hay and straw, Hay is high quality grass with little or no extra plant material in it.(Alfalfa, Bermuda, Sudan) Straw is low quality general natural field grass with other than edible plants included. (Sun flower stalks etc.)
    Be sure you have a vehicle that you can delver the hay to your cattle in the winter months reliably.

    The one thing you should never do is work your cattle ALONE. They can seriously/fatally injure you in the blink of an eye. I have been knocked out by getting head butted.
     
    #4 Tallman, Jul 14, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2018
  5. codeman

    codeman Recovering Crackerhead

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    I grew up on a ranch, my grandfather and my dad and uncle all were in cattle business. My uncle still is. My dad and grandad are long gone. I can tell you it can be quite a bit of work and many cost involved. I have been thinking of trying to get into it a little myself. My mom has 50 acres. I think about buying two or three heifers and a young bull. But I am not around as much as would need to be driving for a living 5 days a week away from home. But I am planning on getting off the road hopefully in a year or so. Maybe then I will give it a try.

    Luckily there are still pens and a barn in good condition and the fence looks to be in good shape although I have not walked the fence line in a long long time to check it out.

    How many acres and what are you thinking of getting into livestock wise?
     
  6. 338_MtRushmore

    338_MtRushmore Well-Known Member

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    I have always wanted to do something like this, but never thought I could really make it happen. My wife mentioned that she had thought about it for a few years now, but she thought I would say she was crazy.

    We now have the opportunity to make it happen, but have no idea where to start. No idea what to raise, or how much land to start with. I guess I'm not even sure what to ask.
     
    Tallman and Shadetree Mechanic like this.
  7. Shadetree Mechanic

    Shadetree Mechanic 808 On The North Side of Dover

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    Maybe there is someone in your area that would be willing to show you the ropes?
     
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  8. Tallman

    Tallman W9WDX Amateur Radio Member, KW4YJ EXTRA class

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    I'm sure there was no pun intended?
     
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  9. Robb

    Robb Yup

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    Costs: vet bills, meds, special balance of diet to qualify for USDA choice status/must be verified, pickup truck to get supplies (alfalfa, corn, etc), good dog/vet bills, salt licks, livestock purchasing agent, inspection fees, and transportation to the nearest slaughterhouse. Have to be able to winter them for three years until full maturity. Just some stuff that come to mind . . .

    We have never raised cattle on our farm. Used to have 20 head of milk cows when it was still profitable. Used to have chickens for egg production too. Now they are pretty much covered by larger companies that can minimize cost of production to realize profit. Just raise corn/soybeans now, as most others do in Iowa. The farm next to ours does have a cattle feed lot that supports 100 head.

    BTW CK; BS is a plus for the rancher, as he can either use it on his own garden, sell excess, put it out in pasture to support more grass growth (also necessary for USDA approval in proportion to corn/oats).

    So BS really does serve a greater good - sometimes - lol . . .
     
    #9 Robb, Jul 15, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018
  10. Tallman

    Tallman W9WDX Amateur Radio Member, KW4YJ EXTRA class

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    It is hard and difficult work but it is satisfying in a deep spiritual way. At the end of the day you made and created things. Fence is mended, calves delivered, cows milked. You earn every dime you make. Best of all you did it for your family and yourself. You are working for your own benefit. Not easy to make a profit but you can do it.
     
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  11. Tallman

    Tallman W9WDX Amateur Radio Member, KW4YJ EXTRA class

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    There are no special feeds to make the beef "Choice" and the difference between "Choice" and "Prime" is the marbling in between the muscle fibers. Prime Rib Eye steaks is a good example, Prime cost $18.00 lb, choice $8.00 lb. And that depends where you live and how the spot market is for that day.
    Some of those items mentioned are tax deductions, Vet bills, medication, and transportation all deductible. As is depreciation of equipment and facilities. Interest of loans for production equipment use to be deductible, I don't know if the laws have changed on that. I have been out that for at least 25 years. When my dad died so did the farming.
     
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  12. Robb

    Robb Yup

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    Well, you know a lot more about raising cattle than I do. No question. But I've seen charts sponsored by the USDA that givers proportion values to to the amount of grass to corn and oats (dunno if that is part of it still) in order to reach a growth that would be consistent with better grades of beef and therefore a better profit. Sure some 4H kid has a copy in his/her notes somewhere.. If you look around the net, I/m sure you will find it too. More corn in their diet with a high fat content can contribute to better meat marbling. At one time I considered raising buffalo; but the cost wasn't practical for that setting.

    Gotta say tho, that my favorite tasting beef - to me - comes from either Iowa or Nebraska - where buying feed corn was cheaper due to lower transportation cost. Great beef - if you are a beef fan like me!
     
    #12 Robb, Jul 15, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2018
  13. 338_MtRushmore

    338_MtRushmore Well-Known Member

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    I know a some brothers that run small operations. They said it was worth it just for taxes. I guess we could either buy 50 to 100 acres and learn on that. If it becomes serious we could sell it and go bigger. I thought about looking into land rent around me and see if I could go bigger and just lease out what I don't need.

    For something as simple as growing animals, it sure seems complicated when you don't know anything about it.
     
  14. Shadetree Mechanic

    Shadetree Mechanic 808 On The North Side of Dover

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    Another question comes to mind. How do you take vacation? Hire someone to work it while you are gone? Might not be able to take vacation any way so it doesn't matter? How about a plan B in case ( god forbid) you get sick or injured and are unable to work for a while. You need a plan B for everything you do. The more you plan now, the better off you will be when you make your move. It's hard when you don't know what you don't know. And at the same time there is nothing to it but to do it. Do you find yourself thinking about it a lot like you can't get it out of your head? Then you are on the right track.
     
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  15. Tallman

    Tallman W9WDX Amateur Radio Member, KW4YJ EXTRA class

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    Best question yet! When I said that they "Willingly gave up their freedom" Is exactly what I was talking about. YOU have to be there every single day for your cattle. They are helpless and can't do anything for them selves. Unless you have neighbors that you could trust with stacks of cash exposed and UN-watched.
    I had an uncle that had a dairy farm, geez i do not know how he did it all of those years. He was a mean scary S.O.B., rough as a cob and completely unapologetic about it.
    More than once I got beat by him, I always walked a wide arc to stay clear of him.
    He would tell people if you don't like the way he did things "F$$k off" that included Law enforcement, church elders, priest or any body who would call him out.
    He milked his cattle twice a day every single day and worked in the fields always doing something, mending fences, cutting hay, raking and turning hay to dry it, and my favorite Baling Hay.
    It is not a good choice for anybody who is weak willed, If you quit easily you won't last very long at it. The big plus side is your office space has a sky blue ceiling, lots of ventilation and a good view.
     
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