advice on first purchase of calf

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by tnborn, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. tnborn

    tnborn Well-Known Member

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    Hello,
    I am thinking about purchasing some calves. I want meat. I don't know if I want dairy or not. I was wondering which breed of calves that I should buy. I want something to put in the freezers.
    tnborn
     
  2. unioncreek

    unioncreek Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Tnborn,

    Don't rule out a Holstein steer for meat, they actually make fine eating. About 5 years ago I bought a couple of Longhorn heifer for my 7 acres. They were cheap and it's all I could afford. We butchered one of the calves off them two weeks ago and it graded high Choice. A lot of times it comes down to what you are willing to pay or most of the time in my case what I can afford. If your buying day old calves through a sales barn be carefull and look them over real good. Check and see if you have any dairies close by and try and buy a holstein bull calf. You'll be getting more advise when others see your post and someone from your area will probably respond.

    Bobg
     

  3. tnborn

    tnborn Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the advice. I am going to consider what you said.
    tnborn
     
  4. travlnusa

    travlnusa Well-Known Member

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    While I am not suggesting you rule out holstein calves, you will not find them to be the bargin they were a year or two ago.

    If this is your first calve, I would try to buy from a neighbor or a "friend of a friend" situation.

    If that is not an option, I highly recommend you do not buy a 1-7 day old calf from a sale barn. Calves get sick at the drop of a hat. I would look at something 250-300 lbs.

    Buy a "angus cross", put it on grass this summer. Over the winter feed it at least 2% of body weight per day, and after 14 or so months, put it on full grain for 90 days.

    Just my 2 cents worth.
     
  5. oakhillfarm

    oakhillfarm Member

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    Hi Travelin' - I have Holstein/AngusX calves. I am in Virginia and bought them from a dairy for $80 each. One was a week old when I picked it up, the other 5 days. They are allowed to have one day of nursing for the colostrum and after that they are tied in the barn and fed milk from a nipple bucket once a day until someone comes to buy them. There are always people who want them.

    They dairies sometimes breed Angus bulls to their 1st time heifers resulting in a smaller calf than a pure Holstein mating would give them. Of course the boys they have no use for, and the girls (that calve and milk without difficulties) are bred back in the Holstein line when they mature. I think they make terrific steak!

    My friend, before she found this source for AngusX's, used straight holstein steers and said they were also WONDERFUL meat! Of course, they were pastured, stress-free and well cared for (she also finishes with corn), which has to make better beef than you will get in the store! She wanted to try the AngusX since it is ALL THE RAGE right now, and as it turned out she just got along really well with the owner of the dairy and now has a steady supply each spring. Her "extra" Holstein calves, will bring about $3000 each - butchered and wrapped. Her AngusX would be closer to $3500.

    Hope this helps.
    Liz.
     
  6. MRSSTEAK

    MRSSTEAK Well-Known Member

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    HOLY SMOKES!! $3000 for a steer cut and wrapped!!??? Did I understand you right? If so, what are they charging per pound? Are they feeding them gold?? That can't be right. Please tell me I'm mistaken. I'm darn lucky to get $1000 per steer. And that's gotta be one FAT beef!
     
  7. myersfarm

    myersfarm Dariy Calf Raiser

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    come on now a big angus finished will go at the most 1800 lbs ( most finish at 1400 ) and when dressed thats a high dressing is 65% ( most run in the low 60 ) thats 1170 to get that $3500 for one thats $2.99 pound at the best it runs around a $1.50 pound so someone in this world might just get rich selling cows if they could get those prices and every one.....yes i did use a calulator and looked up the box beef price for today........john
     
  8. littlebitfarm

    littlebitfarm Scotties rule! Supporter

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    I sold my grass fed Angus calves last year for $2.15/pound (hanging weight). Everyone that bought meat last year has requested meat this year. So they aren't feeling cheated.

    Kathie
     
  9. tim4mel

    tim4mel Member

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    What weight were they? How old were they?

    Here at the farmers market if it is butchered and wrapped it starts at $4.50 lb for ground beef and goes up from there. I've seen sides going for $4 per pound butchered and wrapped. If you figure a 1000 pound steer dressing out at 65%, that is $1300 a side. In Kathie's example if it was 1000 pounds hanging weight, that would be 2150. People will pay a premium for grass fed, pastured, natural beef. Especially if they have the option of visiting the pasture and seeing where their meat is coming from.