breed, cost for beef calves?

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by waygr00vy, Nov 22, 2007.

  1. waygr00vy

    waygr00vy Sunny Daze Farm

    Messages:
    660
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Maryland
    I am looking for 3-4 calves for the freezer. I have had Jerseys before but really don't know much about beef breeds, such as how much I will be looking to pay, what breeds are the best, what age to butcher, etc. There is a farmer with some beefmasters near by, but he wants $650 for a 6-7 month old calf. Is this reasonable? Seemed high to me. I saw an ad for yearling angus club calves for $400. Probably a dumb question, but what is a club calf?? LOL This price seems almost too cheap for a yearling...doesn't it? Also, what age are these calves usually weaned? I didn't want to bottle feed but would like to find one just weaned. Any advice will be greatly appreciated!! Thanks!
     
  2. petefarms

    petefarms Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    188
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2004
    Location:
    new york
    in upstate ny the cost is anywhere from .50 to 1.00 a lb, depending on who is selling, angus, angus/hereford cross's. scotch highlands may only go for .50 a lb. you just have to look around and do some legwork.
     

  3. TSYORK

    TSYORK Jhn Boy ina D Trump world

    Messages:
    2,395
    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
    Location:
    NC
    I picked up a 3/4 angus bull calf for $30.00 bucks. He was a week old, so I've had to feed him mr, but he's a beauty..... Good luck.
     
  4. SRobles

    SRobles Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    162
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Location:
    California Zone 9b
    I beleive a club calf is a replacer bull but dont hold me to my word. Around hear we pay about 200-400 for a weanling beef calf thats healthy
     
  5. pancho

    pancho Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    12,448
    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    Where I was born and raised a club calf was one that was of good enough quality for a show calf in 4H or FFA. Might mean something different in other areas.
     
  6. uncle Will in In.

    uncle Will in In. Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    7,154
    Joined:
    May 11, 2002
    Poncho is right onthe club calf.
    Beef cattle are nearly always sold by the pound. Giving a price per head is how you get more than the calf would bring per pound. Most beef calves are weaned off the cow in the fall. Most of these weigh from 400 up to 600 pounds. You can butcher them any time you want to, but most people like to have the calves looking plump. Beef calves such as these will sell in the neighborhood of $1.00 per pound. Holstiens sters are also butchered and can be bought at auction barns about any size you want. They bring less per pound than beef breeds because they have larger bones and don't dress out as much percentage of usable meat as the smaller boned beef calves. The smaller the calf, the higher priced per pound they will be. Top quality beef cattle fattened, and ready for slaughter are selling from 80 to 89 cents per pound now. Beware of buying calves under 200 pounds as they can have health problems unless you are knowlegable on this.
     
  7. ksfarmer

    ksfarmer Retired farmer-rancher

    Messages:
    2,987
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2007
    Location:
    north-central Kansas
    Pancho is right on. Most beef calves are weaned at 5 to 7 months old. For the freezer, either a beef breed such as hereford, angus, etc is best, but a dairy breed calf will be cheaper, they just don't dress out at as high a percentage. You don't say if you can feed the calves out to butcher weight on grain and hay or grass if that is your preference, if you can and don't mind the chores, I would buy 500-600 lb calves and feed them to 1000+. Personally I prefer grain fattened and would hope for 3 lbs gain per day. Thus, a 600 lb calf would take about 5 or 6 months on full feed to be ready to process. On grass it will take much longer. As to price, $400 for a yearling club calf sounds suspicously cheap. $650 for the beefmasters is probably a more reasonable price, but, where you are located can cause a wide variation in prices.
     
  8. unioncreek

    unioncreek Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    1,439
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2002
    Location:
    SE Washington
    Go to http://www.dvauction.com register and you can check prices at the closest auction. Prices vary quite a bit depending on where you are.

    Bobg
     
  9. waygr00vy

    waygr00vy Sunny Daze Farm

    Messages:
    660
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Maryland
    Thanks for all the good info! I will keep looking around then keeping this advice in mind, and sounds like I should check out the auctions as well. I will be feeding grain/hay and they will have access to some pasture as well. I am going to check out the beefmasters and see how they look. I thought $400 for yearling angus sounded suspicious too... I think prices may tend to be higher down here because it costs so much more to feed and hay them. Hay prices have gotten ridiculous around here...
     
  10. waygr00vy

    waygr00vy Sunny Daze Farm

    Messages:
    660
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Maryland
    ksfarmer, how much grain would you say you feed per day for that kind of weight gain?
     
  11. ksfarmer

    ksfarmer Retired farmer-rancher

    Messages:
    2,987
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2007
    Location:
    north-central Kansas
    It's been a few years since I fattened out anything but I think you are looking at 20-25 lbs of grain (corn is most efficient) along with all the silage or good hay they can eat. You can't start at this level of grain, but should start lower and gradually keep increasing the amt of grain. An old adage is "grain makes beef, hay makes manure". At todays grain prices, I'm not sure I want to try fattening cattle out again. For the last number of years, I have sold my calves as yearlings and let someone else feed them out. I feed about 7 or 8 lbs of grain and all the good ground hay (alfalfa-brome-prairie) they can eat from weaning at 8 months till yearling age and am selling steers averaging 800+ lbs. 3+ lbs of gain a day is an optimum figure and takes a lot of management. Lots of factors enter in, weather, health, implants, quality of feed, genetics of cattle, and etc.
     
  12. mtman

    mtman Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,260
    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2004
    Location:
    AR
    if anyome thinks 400.00 is to much for a 400 lb. angus you couldnt touch mine for that there higher then that at aution
     
  13. DJ in WA

    DJ in WA Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,868
    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2005
    Maybe I missed any mention of the weight - was said to be a yearling, much bigger than 400 pounds. How much should an average Angus yearling weigh?
     
  14. Karin L

    Karin L Bovine and Range Nerd

    Messages:
    911
    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Alberta, Canada
    I think an average Angus yearling should weigh in at least 800 lbs or more.
     
  15. waygr00vy

    waygr00vy Sunny Daze Farm

    Messages:
    660
    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2005
    Location:
    Maryland
    Yes, the ad with the yearling angus club calves did not have a weight. I assumed being yearlings they would weigh quite a bit more than 400 lbs or else there was something wrong with them. Which makes me suspicious why they are so cheap...
     
  16. Cheribelle

    Cheribelle Well-Known Member Supporter

    Messages:
    2,541
    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2007
    Location:
    S.E. Iowa
    Well if you don't call and ask, and it IS a good deal, you will lose out!
     
  17. kgchis

    kgchis Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    161
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2006
    Location:
    Mississippi
    I am in Mississippi, and I would imagine your market is a lot like ours.

    In Mississippi, the buyers are getting really picky right now. They want black angus, charolais, or black baldies. The orders from the midwest a really tightening up and that is about all they have orders for.

    So if you want to save some money, consider buying a red angus, hereford, or (as crazy as it may sound) a curly haired calf. These are a calves bringing lower prices but the meat is just as good.

    I have no clue what curly hair has to do with it, but curly haired cattle always bring lower prices. This past summer we sold 2 charolais/black angus bull calves on the same day. They were born about the same time, both were in the 400-450 lbs range, and were both the smoke grey color you see in charolais/black angus cross cattle. The curly haired calf brough .10 less a pound.
     
  18. crafty2002

    crafty2002 Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,137
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2006
    Location:
    South central Virgina
    You never know until you look the horse in the mouth.
    A man I worked for on and off for quite a while went to auctions all the time. Not for cattle but for things he could buy and sell for a profit or use in his shop or whatever.

    If we went to an action and he didn't buy anything, he called it a "water haul".
    Day spent, money spent for my pay and gas and he didn't buy a thing.
    But I have seen him buy $20,000 worth of tools or whatever for for a thousand dollars in two hours.
    In a week he would be sold them for 5 to 10 thousand.
    You just never know til you take a look.
     
  19. ksfarmer

    ksfarmer Retired farmer-rancher

    Messages:
    2,987
    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2007
    Location:
    north-central Kansas
    Around here we call these grey calves "rat tails". They usually have a thin tail with a small brush on it. Charolais-angus and simmintal-angus will give a few of them. I'm not sure why either, but they do usually bring $10 a hundred or so less than the others. Must be a belief that they do worse in the feed lot, but I have fattened one out for butcher and he did just fine,, tasty too. :shrug: